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.