704. 957. 9107 info@moderncharlotte.com


Mid-Century Modern homes of the 50’s and 60’s are now the sought-after darlings at the real estate dance. Even though 10 years ago you could hardly give them away, now it seems like almost everyone wants to have a “Mad Men” home. But still waiting for the limelight are modern homes of the 70’s and 80’s. This style of home tends to be less popular than earlier moderns. But they represent the last hurrah of the MCM era; the last residential architecture style to be entirely new and not a rehash of an older style. We predict these homes will be embraced and appreciated in the future, so they’re a good investment now.

The design of 70’s and 80’s modern homes actually has its roots in 1964. That year, a forward-thinking investment group teamed with architects to design the first phase of Sea Ranch, a ground-breaking experimental community in Northern California. Sea Ranch houses were designed to seamlessly fit their environment, with terraced building sites, natural wood siding and sloping roofs that reflected the rugged geography. By the end of the 60’s, the Sea Ranch home style was being interpreted by other architects and springing up all over California, leading to “California Contemporary” being adopted as the label for the style.


California Contemporary homes were soon being built across the US due to two primary influences in the 70’s: the energy crisis and the coming of age of the “Me Generation”, with its interest in ecology and its quest for self-expression. The boundary-pushing shapes, natural materials and energy-efficient designs of the California Contemporary perfectly expressed the generation’s desires.

Designed to take advantage of more challenging, previously overlooked sites, it’s common for these houses to be sited on heavily wooded sloping lots with little or no lawn areas. Inside, you’ll usually find multiple levels, vaulted ceilings with loft spaces, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces, angled wood siding feature walls and earth tone ceramic tile. Windows might be small or non-existent on some sides of the house and hugely expansive on other sides.

The Charlotte area’s heavily wooded landscapes and often hilly geography was the perfect setting for 70’s and 80’s contemporaries. Many were built in this area, including some very inventive custom-designed residences. You’ll find great examples of the style all over Charlotte, particularly in south Charlotte neighborhoods such as Mountainbrook, Raintree and Oak Creek. The vaulted spaces and natural materials of these homes mix well with Danish Modern and 60’s mod decor, so if you’re in the market for an MCM home, don’t overlook 70’s and 80’s modern future gems.

Some Sea Ranch homes:searanch1Sea-Ranch-02



Some of Modern Charlotte’s California Contemporary listings, past and present:


Currently listed:

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For more details and photos of this home CLICK HERE. For more information on 70’s and 80’s modern homes available in the Charlotte area, contact gail@moderncharlotte.com.



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