Their all-time favorite piece is a 1968 Magnavox stereo console, which Perry traveled from Palm Springs to California City to purchase. “It houses a radio, record player, and storage for our LPs, and lets us enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra and Julie London records while sipping cocktails at home with friends.”
When it comes to architecture and design, Barry Brisco and Rosemary are firm believers in the dictum ‘less is more,’ a phrase first used by poet Robert Browning in 1855 and taken up by modernist architect Mies van der Rohe. The Briscos’ 1,660-square-foot Quincy Jones atrium Eichler, located in the San Mateo Highlands, is a showcase of MCM vintage finds and reproductions.
The living room features an original 1960 ‘Papa Bear’ chair by Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner, and two Wegner 'shell' chair reproductions, which were recently put into production for the first time. A modern ‘Andy’ sofa from B&B Italia and a requisite Noguchi glass-topped coffee table create an easy area for lounging and conversation. Lighting is also vintage: a mushroom floor lamp and a globe ceiling light.
The Briscos personalized their space with an African stool, made by the Ashante tribe in West Africa, and a bamboo art installation that slides apart to reveal a big-screen television.
“We deliberately minimized our furniture choices, what we put on the walls—almost nothing—and kept the kitchen appliances as low key as possible,” Brisco says. “This approach complements the clean, simple lines of the house and produces a calm, peaceful environment for living.”
For some homeowners, the ‘less is more’ mantra just won’t cut it. Chris and Stephen Harris-Smith have lived in their San Rafael Eichler for about four years, and they’ve filled their entire home with an eclectic mix of art and color. Every bit of wall space is an invitation for self-expression, and each room is a prop master’s dream, chock full of flea market finds, homemade crafts, and reclaimed and refurbished pieces.
In the master bedroom, they covered the wall with Fornasetti wallpaper. Two Lane furniture pieces hold Stephen’s clothes, a mariachi’s guitar, and a gnarly wood lamp that Chris picked up for $15.
“We have a lot of stuff in our house but none of it is expensive nor precious,” Chris says.
In the dining room, the couple stacked ‘70s-style wood speakers near a MCM Lane credenza painted gloss white as a homage to one of Chris’ favorite artists, Louise Nevelson. On the wall hangs a collection of framed pages from the 1958 Container Corporation of America annual report. A European 45-arm Sputnik-like chandelier hangs above a dining table and a set of Salvation Army chairs, which he purchased for $39.
“I tossed the table, kept the chairs, and recovered the seats,” Chris says.
Photos: David Toerge, Hunter Lewis Wimmer, Richard Cardran, Bruce Lahey, Sascha Schleumer, Dave Weinstein; and courtesy Barry and Rosemary Brisco, RedneckModern.com, Robert Perry and Dennis Vasquez, Kimberly Dudow, Chris and Stephen Harris-Smith, Sarah and Kim Shetter