Olympus Cove, Ron Godwin, DFS Construction, mid-century modern, paneled door, yard wall
In Olympus Cove, a wall of breeze blocks encloses a courtyard that fronts the new family home designed by architect/ designer Ron Godwin and built by DFS Construction. Pulling inspiration from the property’s original 1958 house by architect Ed Dreier, Godwin fashioned the two-story entry with vertical windows, an exaggerated paneled door and a wall built with stone salvaged from the ‘50s dwelling. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

Architect and designer Ron Godwin’s task was both challenging and inspired: to update and expand an outmoded 1958 mid-century home by famed architect Ed Dreier while retaining its flavor, satisfying current building codes and meeting the functional needs and wants of an active young family. “My clients wanted to bring the house into the 21st century, while adding a second level that captured amazing views and provided more living space,” he explains. To accomplish these goals while ensuring a structurally sound and livable dwelling, Godwin was unable to salvage little more than its original terrazzo floor and the decorative stone that dressed portions of the 70-year-old structure. Doggedly, he also preserved the home’s appeal. “We made every effort to keep the spirit of the original design intact,” he says.

Ron Godwin, dining area, rocky crystal starburst chandelier, see-through geometric screen, yellow chairs, mid-century modern
In the dining room, Hammerton Studio’s Rock Crystal Starburst chandelier hangs above a custom table crafted by Bradshaw Design. Godwin designed the striking screen, crafted by E3 Fabrication, to separate the dining space from the entry and stairway. Chairs are by Baker. Photo by Kyle Aiken.
Ron Godwin, living room, ribbed white oak, repurposed marble, custom cocktail table, see-through riling, black geometric tile flooring
Godwin clad the living room’s fireplace wall with ribbed white oak and designed a streamlined surround of stone and repurposed marble from the original house. His custom cocktail table was fabricated by Bradshaw Design and European Marble & Granite. It rests on a thick shag rug that fosters mid-century style and is flanked by Hickory Chair sofas piped with yellow leather. Godwin tailored the draperies in a lux textile by JAB Anstoetz. A boldly patterned, see-through railing serves the nearby staircase. Art is from A Gallery, and the rug is from Regency Royale. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

The architecture—which celebrates mid-century modern’s signature shapes, organic materials and a connection to the outdoors—also showcases Godwin’s updated takes on Dreier design elements. Large continuous windows, strong vertical forms and light- filled spaces top the list. While inspired by the past, Godwin’s design is created for today’s living. “I didn’t restore an Ed Dreier home; I brought it into the future for a young, modern family,” he explains.

Ron Godwin, green leather counter stools, calacatta Manhattan quartz, kitchen peninsula, vintage lights, fruit display
Leather counter stools by Hickory Chair front a kitchen peninsula topped with polished Calacatta Manhattan quartz from European Marble & Granite. “It’s a practical choice for the active family,” Godwin explains. The cabinetry is by Craftsman Kitchens, the art is from A Gallery and the vintage ceiling lights are from Retrospect Water & Light. Photo by Kyle Aiken.
mid-century modern, green leather bar chairs, orange ottoman,
Wood flooring helps delineate the open kitchen and family room areas from the nearby dining and entry. White walls and drapery-framed windows help unite the adjoining spaces to create a sense of continuity. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

Classic mid-century character and modern-day living drove Godwin’s design from the get-go, animating everything from its architectural forms to the finishes, furnishings and fabrics he featured throughout. To begin, there is the striking front facade that welcomes visitors with a broad walk of garden-inset pavers leading to a two-story entry. The architect crowned it with a butterfly roof atop walls of windows, a vertically exaggerated paneled door and an offset wall built with stone rescued from the original dwelling. To create the illusion of a front courtyard, Godwin formed a separate wall of lively patterned breeze blocks enclosing raised planters.

Godwin, powder room, floating vanity, backlit mirror, custom 3D onyx tiles, marble vanity, brass hardware
In the powder room, a floating vanity fabricated from polished Honey onyx joins a backlit mirror to front a back wall covered with custom 3D onyx tiles by Artistic Tile. Faucet is by Waterworks and the onyx is from European Marble & Granite. Photo by Kyle Aiken.
white quart floating shelves, metallic brick fireplace, glassware, Century Furniture credenza, mid-century modern table, botanical wool rug
White quartz floating shelves front the breakfast room fireplace clad with metallic brick tiles by Artistic Tile. A collection of period glassware tops the credenza by Century Furniture. The classic Eero Saarinen Tulip Table is from Knoll, the botanical wool rug is from Regency Royale and the stone and tiles are from European Marble & Granite. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

Like Dreier, Godwin considers each and every elevation crucial, as evidenced by architectonic forms that define the highly dimensional dwelling on every side. In the backyard, for example, a large pool reflects three commanding monoliths anchoring the structure’s artful interplay of flat and sloped roofs, vertically stacked windows and beams, and broad decks, patios and planters extending outward from the house. “The monoliths were established by Dreier originally, but I gave them a travertine look instead,” Godwin says.

Godwin, wet bar, floating shelves, 50s interior, Constellation Reflections tile and stone, gold glassware
Located between the breakfast room and the kitchen, a swanky wet bar boasts floating shelves, dazzling Constellation Reflections tile and stone retained from the original ‘50s interior. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

The architect’s fresh spin on mid-century design continues inside, where light-filled rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and a strong relationship to the outdoors flourish. A neutral palette unifies open spaces that flow seamlessly into each other, punctuated with upbeat colors, natural materials and lux textures. Where shag carpeting once dominated the interior, slate and wood flooring now ground white-walled rooms enlivened with leather, mohair, velvet and performance fabrics in exuberant hues ranging from admiral blue and lime to tangerine, turquoise and citron. “This is a young family and they like vibrant things,” Godwin explains. Period furnishings and striking light fixtures add sculptural forms that similarly animate the home and enthusiastically nod to its mid-century roots.

master bedroom, sloped wood-clad ceiling, inset TV, white quartz, floating quartz hearth, blue patterned lounge chair, deep blue color palette
A sloped wood-clad ceiling crowns the master bedroom, where Godwin inset the TV in a Vega white quartz form that fronts a monolith extending from the main-level living room below. The floating quartz hearth below extends past the monolith’s massive form for added dimension. The lounge chair is from Baker Furniture upholstered in fabric from JAB Anstoetz, and the quartz is from European Marble & Granite. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

The interior is rife with lively gestures. In the entry, located between a step-up living room and a sequence of opens spaces including the dining, kitchen and family room areas, Godwin fashioned mod see-through panels that serve not only as stair railings and a floor-to-ceiling screen, but also as functional art. “I wanted something spectacular for this main stairway,” he says. Mission accomplished. Memorable design statements continue in the dining room where a dazzling starburst chandelier hovers above
a bronze-based table, in the kitchen where ribbed profiles detail white oak cabinets and in the breakfast room where white stone shelves float across a fireplace clad in metallic brick.

Godwin, bathroom, freestanding tub, Carrara marble tile, terrazzo tile, brass hardware, blue accents
Godwin backed a shapely tub with a wall dressed in Dune dimensional Carrara marble tile by Artistic Tile. Underfoot, large terrazzo tiles add subtle pattern to the floor. Photo by Kyle Aiken.
master bathroom, guilded framed mirrors, decorative sconces, 3D geometric drawers, blue and gold accents, brass hardware
Guilded framed mirrors and decorative sconces brighten the master bathroom. Godwin suspended a custom floating vanity above the terrazzo floor. The floor tiles and honed Carrara marble countertop are from European Marble & Granite. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

The thrills continue beyond the main level. Upstairs, a master suite features a sculpture-like fireplace wall integrated into a tile-clad monolith that extends from the living room below. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame it on both sides, and stained ipe wood accentuates the sloped ceiling above. “It’s another reference to mid-century,” Godwin explains.

restored terrazzo floors, tropical patterned drapes, glass doors, blue shag rug, Eero Saarinen Tulip Table
Restored original terrazzo floors ground the lower level, where tropical-pattered drapes frame glass doors that open to the pool and patio areas. A thick shag rug anchors an Eero Saarinen Tulip Table from Knoll. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

In the playful lower level, aptly coined “the rec room,” tropical-patterned drapes, brightly colored performance fabrics and curvy furnishings rouse the laid-back hangout that features adjoining bar, dining and TV-viewing areas. Broad glass doors open to the pool and patios while the level’s original terrazzo floor—restored by European Marble & Granite—gleams brightly underfoot.

two-sided fireplace, outdoor kitchen, outdoor lounge, upstairs deck
A two-sided fireplace warms the outdoor kitchen, lounge and dining areas. The large deck above serves the upstairs bedrooms, providing breathtaking views of the landscape and city beyond. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

From the bold architecture to the compelling, colorful interior, it’s clear that the swanky style of decades past drove much of this dwelling’s dynamic design. But as Godwin is quick to point out, this is no museum piece. “No one actually thinks this is a mid-century home, but they recognize its spirit,” he explains. For his clients, that’s a large part of why they’re delighted to call this inspired house their home.

Godwin, pool, monoliths, flat and sloped roofs
The back of the home overlooks a large pool and multiple outdoor living areas. Three massive monoliths team with flat and sloped roofs, vertically stacked windows and large decks to define the structure’s strong architectural forms. The three-level house captures broad vistas of Salt Lake Valley. Photo by Kyle Aiken.

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.