Modern Home Update: Looking “Back to the Future”

“Live in the home of tomorrow…today!” a developer’s billboard reads in the popular 1980’s movie, Back to the Future II. Back to 1955 in Joliet, Illinois, a Mid-Century modern home was built and has recently been listed for sale.  In 2004, Stanton Architects, Inc. was commissioned to modernize the kitchen and bathrooms.  To keep with the modern design, they stayed true to characteristics from that time: clean lines, innovative use of glass, and a mix of materials.

The most prominent change was opening up the kitchen into the living space by tearing down a wall.  “Whoa, this is heavy,” says Marty McFly in the movie.  The enclosed kitchen was given two islands, one as a prep station and one as a bar separating the kitchen and living room.   A highlight of the design includes sleek laminate cabinets with glass light box panel doors. Another remarkable feature is the use of custom stainless steel doors and ceiling light boxes with canisters.  Stainless steel appliances were selected, another foresight.


“One point two one jigowatts!” exclaims Doc Brown, “Great Scott!”  Technologically advanced, Stanton Architects, Inc. prepared a computer visualization of the designed kitchen.  The homeowners experienced a virtual reality, animation, and gallery of the new space allowing them to visualize it in 3D. Stanton Architects, Inc. provides this valuable service to allow clients to make building, materials, and color changes before construction starts, thus saving considerable time and money.

The master en suite received a “Far out!” makeover also.  The cabinets remained in tact while clean stainless steel vessel sinks sat on top of a shiny stainless steel countertop.  Raised wall-mount faucets protrude from their own stainless steel counter spilling water into the vessels below.  Under cabinet lighting highlights the blue glass tiled backsplash.  Above the new specialty mirrored medicine cabinets, is another backlit blue glass tiled light panel.  A privacy pocket door was added to the water closet.  Glass blocks wrapped around the shower corner allow light to flood the shower area.


A second bathroom was also brought “into the future.”  A water closet was created by the bathroom’s entrance allowing more privacy.  Wood and glass front doors create visual interest on the new larger cabinets.  Atop are two porcelain vessel sinks and modern wall mount faucets.  Light boxes frame the mirrored medicine cabinets all around.  The bathroom’s sole window was saved but the tunnel like wall approaching it was taken down and opened up into a unique large bath area designed for showering or bathing.  A frameless glass wall separates the bathing area from the dressing area.

These modern design inspired renovations kept its Midcentury Modern design style of sleek, clean, simple, and a timeless look for this architectural gem.  The new homeowners can live in the future, today!