Marvelous Mid-Century

The husband-and-wife team of Haven Design and Construction poured their hearts into a mid-century renovation in Alamo Heights for marvelous results.

  This 1959 Alamo Heights mid-century ranch had seen its heyday and was in a state of disrepair when the Haven design team came across the property while searching for a potential flip project. Haven Design and Construction is an award-winning design firm led by husband-and-wife team Jana and Armando Valdez. This interior designer and contractor pair met salsa dancing, and it was a match made in home design heaven. They have been creating lifestyle-centric homes ever since in a variety of styles. However, this personal flip project was their first step into mid-century modern design.

 “I was never actually a big fan of mid-century design,” starts Jana. “I always associated it with dark woods, choppy floorplans and dated paneling. However, researching the design style for this project and finding ways to modernize it has truly changed my perception. We discovered that mid-century design could be light, bright and the perfect complement to modern living. It is actually one of my favorite styles now.”

The well-loved home included dated fixtures and a floorplan broken up by a haphazard 1980s addition. To begin, the Haven team updated all plumbing and electrical, and ran a new gas line to the kitchen. The HVAC had been recently upgraded, but all windows and doors needed to be replaced with energy efficient models. Then they tackled the layout, deciding to open up the space by doubling the size of the kitchen, incorporating a study that can be converted to a fourth bedroom and adding a laundry and mudroom combination space off the pool, which was achieved by enclosing a third of the two-and-a-half car garage. They had to install a 30-foot LVL beam to carry the structural load between the kitchen and living room to accomplish their goals.

“My husband, Armando, actually purchased tractor tires to make carts so we could carry the beam into the house,” laughs Jana. “I tell people I’m married to MacGyver because he always finds a way to bring my ambitious design plans to life.” 

 Throughout the renovation, the Haven team sought a balance of preserving the original architecture while updating the space for modern living with a design that was universally appealing. “We kept the original stone fireplace, the wood beams, the clerestory windows and many of the charming features that made this home unique,” explains Jana. “We even found inspiration in them rather than working against them. For example, I carried the triangle shape of the clerestory windows through textiles, furnishings and a new custom-made dividing wall in the foyer.”

 While the home’s exterior was in good condition, the team found ways to increase indoor-outdoor living and flow. “Having outdoor spaces for entertaining is huge right now,” explains Jana. “We wanted to increase flow by putting in glass doors to the patio. We also designed a custom wood and steel pergola to anchor the patio space and match the roof’s slope. It defines the outdoor living area.” In addition, the team preserved part of the original stacked stone fence, incorporating linear cedar planks for privacy, and landscaped with mid-century-inspired plantings.   

 “This home was definitely a challenge, but it will always hold a special place in my heart,” adds Jana. “After all, this home made me fall in love with mid-century design!” The young couple who purchased the home feels the same way.

Haven Design and Construction
210-996-9494  |