West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May House

Some people recoil when they hear the phrase “Modernism,” equating it with stark white walls, rigid linearity, and all the charm of a prison cell. While these associations aren’t always unfounded, Modernism also has the ability to be warm, inviting, and organic. Don’t believe us? Let us present Exhibit A: the Mid-Century California home of Lisa Wong Jackson.

Designed by prominent Postwar architect Cliff May, the house features some of the hallmarks of Mid-Century Modernism: large picture windows, an open floor plan, exposed structural elements, and light, light, light! Lisa, a graphic designer and proprietor of stationery company Good On Paper, lives here with her husband Nick and two sons, Lucas and Theo. “Over the years we put a lot of work into it here and there,” she says, “creating an indoor-outdoor living space that’s both functional, fun, and safe for our young and very active boys. We wanted our home to be open, light and airy—a little Mid-Century Modern and a little Scandanavian—but it also have a kid-friendly and ‘real’ feeling to it.” The result is a vibrant, effortlessly inviting home, one that is both unpretentious and sophisticated, elegant and laid-back. Check out all of the photos of Lisa’s lived-in Mid-Century home below!

“Our front living room area is my favorite part of the house,” Lisa says. “It gets flooded with natural light and warmth. The open floor plan allows for a seamless flow into the dining room and also makes it easy to watch the kids while cooking in the kitchen. This is where everyone loves to hang out.”

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May House

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May Dining Room

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May Dining Room

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May Dining Room

“Our home doesn’t have a lot of storage, so our all-white credenza is a great solution. We love to display our favorite prints, plants, ceramics and my new 2016 Calendar.”

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May Kitchen

“The open kitchen has plenty of drawer space, but not much cabinet or pantry space, so I try to keep it as minimal as possible. I love the DIY open shelving we built for our plates and bowls—it’s made from two pieces of unfinished red oak and spray painted white brackets.”

“We wanted our master bedroom to be clean, light, natural and feel serene. We are surrounded by our favorite photos, trinkets and prints.”

“This is our master bathroom. With floor to ceiling white subway tiles and black tile flooring, we wanted our bathroom to be a neutral space with a few pops of color, pattern, and texture from the shower curtain, towels, and basket for storing extra towels.”

West Elm - Mid-Century Modern Cliff May House

“The back living room is our entertainment room where we curl up and watch movies and listen to records. Above the couch is an engineers print from my talented friend and photographer Jennifer Young. It’s a large version of one of the pages from our latest 2016 calendar collaboration.”

West Elm - Lisa Wong Jackson Family Portrait

Portraits by Sarah Hebenstreit

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January 6, 2016

I would love to know where you purchased your large white credenza?

Lisa / Good on Paper

January 6, 2016

In response to Shilo: The large white credenza is actually two Ikea Besta models side by side. My husband and I built it in several hours after the kids went to bed. We needed more storage (the downside of this style of house). Hope that helps!


January 7, 2016

How about the white shelves in living room? Behind the chair and ottoman?
Thanks for sharing!

Lisa / Good on Paper

January 15, 2016

In response to Tania: The shelves behind the chair and ottoman are also from Ikea but they are pretty old so I’m not sure what they are called or if it’s still available. Sorry! They are made from real wood though and have lasted us over 8 years so far 😉 Good luck!


January 18, 2016

This house is incredibly real and very lived in! Love it


April 8, 2016

Where did you find the side tables next to the couch in the back living room? Great house–love your style!!!


July 13, 2016

Hi! Can you kindly share where the wall sconces in the bedroom were purchased? TY!

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