Vintage Revivals: Make it Modern
The Santa Clara Mercantile Co. – lovingly referred to as “the Merc” – is one of the most historically significant buildings in Gubler’s hometown of Santa Clara, Utah. Built in 1928, the adobe structure has functioned as a supply and gas station, warehouse, grocery store and post office. Now, the fearless DIYer is making it a perfect fit for her family of five.
But privacy can be tricky with large-scale commercial windows. Gubler built an open bookcase, filled with plants, that sits in front of a floor-to-ceiling kitchen window. It creatively obstructs views without blocking the light, and the burst of greenery evokes the feeling of being outside. She designed the rest of the kitchen with details reminiscent of the era, like the large-scale diamond pattern she sketched for the 1-inch hex tile floors. “It’s in line with the period, but also feels really special and impactful,” she said. The kitchen also features tall, built-in cabinets painted a deep green – inspired by early 1900s storage – with steel pulls for a contemporary mix.
Throughout the entire project, Gubler has been careful to not “over-renovate” while introducing modern flair to the historic building. Warm and cozy patterned rugs balance out the sleek and polished concrete flooring. A bleached walnut kitchen island lightens up moody cabinetry. Natural wood floors in the bedroom and brass fixtures warm up white walls. She also uncovered the original brick exterior and revitalized the stucco to give the Merc modern curb appeal. Then she added a faux garage door made from reclaimed cedar, salvaged from a barn built at the same time as the original Merc. Each decision showcases the Gublers’ attention to historic detail, while embracing a modern aesthetic that fits their lifestyle.
As progress continues, the family loves living in their reimagined space. “To think that, for 100 years, people have gazed out of this space, and now we get to be a part of that; it actually makes me a little emotional.”
See the progress:
Mandi Gubler’s living room features Andersen® A-Series casement windows.
- Color: Black exterior and interior
- Grilles: Full divided lights, colonial grille pattern
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