Carlos Cardoza is a man who makes things his own. Take, for example, his 1960 Cadillac convertible. When he bought it 12 years ago, it was boring beige.
“I don’t do beige,” said the graphic designer, laughing. “I thought, ‘this is the perfect car that needs to be pink.'”
It’s parked in front of another, much bigger project for Cardoza, his incredible 1954 midcentury modern house at 11016 Pinocchio Dr. This house is like no other, designed by architect Gordon Nichols and known as the Smith House. When Cardoza found it, the exterior trim was brick red and the inside was a mess.
“When I bought it 22 years ago, I had a vision,” he said. “It was very dark inside and it was dumpy, but I saw this house as a canvas.”
Like an artist, Cardoza worked on that canvas, first filling it with reproductions and later original midcentury furniture (his favorite stores are Design District shops Sputnik Modern and Collage Classics). He has painted and arranged, created and perfected. Now, it is a masterpiece of atomic era styling with four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bath, and 2,240 square feet.
Cardoza is moving to Palm Springs, where there are practically MCM houses on every corner, so this gem is going on the market tomorrow—there’s an an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. and you can be among the first to see this midcentury marvel.
In 1954, the Disney Streets were under construction and Pinocchio Drive was the place with the model homes, a showcase of architects and builders. Starting in September of that year, you could visit each one, decide on a style, and something similar would be built nearby on a new street. Architect Nichols built several midcentury modern homes in the Disney Streets, but none we’ve seen take it to this level: This is full-immersion, time warp real estate.
This is midcentury architecture at its finest: low-slung roof, expansive horizontal feel, great connection between the indoor and outdoor living spaces with lots of windows doors with large glass inserts. The brick fireplace creates a what the builder described as a “visual center” in the front entry hall—love that pink Roman brick!
The home is roughly T-shaped, with an open concept living area with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and authentic MCM features, like the Nelson Bubble Lamp in the dining room. The kitchen is truly a jump back in time, with the cool original cabinetry, vintage pink appliances, and Formica counters.
Almost every room opens to the the covered lanai and terraced decks, with views of the swimming pool. The north lawn features a private deck just off the dining area. Bring out the tray of martinis!
A large master bedroom suite at the rear of the house, overlooking the pool and featuring an unusual round window with starburst design. Its bathroom is a turquoise dream, with tile accent walls, dual sinks, and a memorable, retro look.
This marvelous midcentury modern will be listed by Ed Murchison with Virginia Cook Realtors for $665,000.