Ranch style

The cover story in the paper’s Real Estate section today begins this way:

Metropolitan Home magazine took a rare trip into the heartland for its April issue — “Renovation Goes Green & Gorgeous!” — and landed at the home of Cara and Robert Barnes in Oklahoma City.

The Barnes’ mid-century home at 2532 Pembroke Terrace garnered eight glossy pages in the prestigious chronicle of modern design.

Here’s the piece, by Brian Libby; the floorplan looks something like this. And I wrote about this house myself last year:

George Seminoff, just out of OSU’s School of Architecture, designed this house in 1957, and it’s just undergone a golden-anniversary facelift. A classic ranch, roughly 2700 square feet, this house shows that Seminoff was a major Frank Lloyd Wright fan but open to a wide range of influences. The rooms aren’t the least bit square: 30- and 60-degree angles are everywhere. There’s what was described as the True In-Law plan: a wing with a bedroom, a bath, and an actual kitchenette (since removed). One place we dared not venture was into the library, which has cork wallpaper (!) and a leather floor (!!). Look up in the living room, and there are redwood beams; the cabinetry is ash. The walls are Venetian plaster and utterly gorgeous. And for fans of sunshine, as I am, there are new floor-to-ceiling Arcadia glass windows along the back of the house (a great view of the pool).

Bill Quick would probably love this place.


  1. Tatyana »

    5 April 2008 · 6:21 pm

    What’s so amazing about the client, Cara? The designer send the drawings back and forth, she approved of contractors (or suggested her own) – so what? it’s a standard practice.
    Typical ass-kissing, to call her amazing (or whatever the epithet was).

    I don’t find the plan particularly beaitiful – all those sharp angles and uncomfortable passages, so much waste of space. Look at the entrance to the guest suite, f.ex – why there is a corridor on the left? makes no sense. That long and sharp alcove for a dining table (glass tabletop: ugh) in front of the kitchen cabinetry – feels like a rat trap.
    On the plan, the [added, I presume] kitchen counter is horizontal – no connection to surrounding geometry. The master suite’s bathroom has only shower; to take a bath you have to exit around into the corridor and then into the office and get into what looks like a powder rm but has a tub in it – but no wc.
    The finishes seem fine – the best you could do, I guess, with that much glass around and the concrete patio, bare of vegetation half a year, visible from everywhere the house. But the custom furniture they are so proud of is threatening-looking: triangular tables, and the odd (and random! worst expletive in my former boss’ vocabulary) angles of the carpet inset in the living area.

    Chaz, when you were on your excursion, did you enter from the garage? It looks on the plan that the formal entry leads directly to the library – you couldn’t have missed it.
    The cork wallcovering and the leather flooring are not news; I’ve seen those in showrooms 14 years ago.

  2. CGHill »

    5 April 2008 · 6:52 pm

    I didn’t miss it; they had it roped off for some reason (perhaps to protect the floor from us clumsy clods).

    The place did seem a bit tight on space to me, but then there were about sixty visitors at the time. And it fits the contours of the land just fine, a desideratum of old man Nichols, who developed the township just to the east.

  3. Tatyana »

    5 April 2008 · 7:01 pm

    The exterior geometry might be brilliant (no info about the site in the article) and suited well to the land. But we’re talking about the interiors, and they are not thought out well.
    Only the master BR looks not too bad (the wall color is garish, though)

  4. Bill Quick »

    6 April 2008 · 1:36 pm

    As a subscriber to Met Home ever since it was (I think) Apartment Life or somesuch, yes, I did see the article, and yes, I did love the home. I’d probably use more authentic MCM pieces in the interior, but that’s just me.

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