15 Mid-Century Modern Dream Homes that will Kill Your Children

The clean lines, the geometric decorative elements, the seamless blending of indoor and outdoor space… I sure do love mid-century modern architecture.

Do you know what I love more? My children. And that is why I will never live in my MCM dream home. Because mid-century modern architecture is designed to KILL YOUR CHILDREN. (Also, moderately clumsy or drunk adults).


We can be reasonably certain that none of these children reached adulthood.

As a public service, Projectophile is alerting its readers to the dangers posed by key elements of mid-century modern residential design.


I love open, flowing space as much as the next modern girl. But I know it would only be a matter of minutes before my kid flings himself off one of these deadly ledges…


Red arrows show the direction of travel of children’s bodies


What four-year-old can resist that hidden nook?

ledge4-read arrow

That’s going to require at least ten stitches.


Where are all the children? Probably under that ledge, unconscious.

Someone needs to call protective services on this place, because this stylish modern mother is too absorbed in her reading to notice that all her children have fallen into the living room garden:



First of all, make sure your kid wears her helmet when she inevitably climbs up, and then falls of of, this rock formation in your dream living room.


Be sure to check those crevices for rabid bats.

 As soon as you turn around to fetch the marshmallows, Junior is going to stumble right into that open fireplace (and stumble out with some third-degree burns).  And watch out for that mysterious little nook on the right!

fireplacew-arrow2The use of indoor reflecting pools creates a calm and deadly space in your modern dream home:

blackandwhitepoolofdeathChildren in mid-century modern homes are advised to wear flotation devices at all times. This glamorous couple has no idea what danger lurks in that strangely-placed reflective pool.

indoor reflecting pool white circle1

“Darling, why is it suddenly so quiet in there?”

And for goodness sake, don’t send your kids trick-or-treating near this Mid-Century Modern fortress:



Nothing is more un-modern than an unsightly railing on your stairs. To add extra danger to your mid-century staircase, twist the stairs into a dramatic 180-degree turn, or simply make the angle of the stairs extra steep.


deathstairs3(Hey, aren’t these just a bunch of IKEA Lack shelves nailed to a wall?)


These extra-dangerous stairs lead right to the ceiling, guaranteeing a concussion for your curious child.

These soaring, multi-story bannisters add a touch of safety, but you know my kid would totally get her head stuck in between them. Keep a crowbar handy to pry her free…

deathstairs6The mid-century dream house below comes with its own on-site medical team, in the very likely event that your children will either drown, fall, slip on those mossy stairs, or impale themselves on a rock.


Or maybe that’s dried blood I see on those stairs?

If you care about your children’s safety, perhaps you’ll want to settle down in a late Georgian colonial revival.

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487 thoughts on “15 Mid-Century Modern Dream Homes that will Kill Your Children

  1. We live in one of these houses and and have a four year old. So far he’s alive, although we are quite familiar with the staff at the local ER. We have found that ordering all our household supplies off Amazon means we have enough bubble wrap to keep him encased and fairly safe.

  2. Pingback: YOU Are Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: How to Live (in Style) with Small Children | projectophile

  3. This is the funniest piece I have read in awhile! I lived in two different MCM homes as a child. Fortunately none of us sustained any life-threatening injuries. We used to slather ourselves in baby oil and climb up on the flat roofs to sunbathe… and we have the wrinkles to prove it.

  4. This was histerical reading and you were the first to make me laugh today! Thank you! I am a newbie to MCM and you are totally spot-on with your child-danger analysis. No state licensure would issue a foster family license for this home! Keep up the talent!

  5. I’m laughing because this article is completely ridiculous. I can find just as many ‘deadly’ aspects about Georgian Revival that would kill your little darlings.

  6. So funny, I didn’t know anyone else with a living room garden. My house was the one all the neighborhood kids played hide and seek in and we all survived. All three kids had to have stitches but those were credited to the mini trampoline, football practice and the fence outside.

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  8. You’re funny alright…most of the architecture responsible of death, has huge white columns on the front of it…Basically,the world is a death trap! Run,Run,Run..to your boring house, but not with scissors.

  9. forget the children. i almost killed my architect while working on the design for one of these things. now i live in mexico where there are no ordinances or permits needed. so pretty much if you can dream it; you can build it.

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  13. Floating stairs? You’ve got to be crazy to put these in a house! They look awesome, but when you get older, they kind of look like a death trap. I have a friend who just has open stairs, and they are enough to make me question each step when I am walking up the,

  14. Pingback: A Death Trap? | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

  15. The whole POINT to mid century modern houses is to offer plenty of nefarious ways for the an evil mastermind to kill off his enemy! You need a convenient place to drown your visitors. And a front entrance moat makes it much easier for the crocodiles to nab unwanted guests. That last house was where James Bond killed off Bambi and Thumper!

  16. I have to laugh a little – these are by far not your average mid-century home! These are mostly avant-garde designs that have little to do with the mid-century homes I grew up in and around! I think the only thing about those houses that could kill anyone would have been the asbestos in the flooring and insulation (which has likely been replaced long ago).

  17. funny, clever article, but let’s be honest – only maybe one or two of those houses are MID-CENTURY modern. modern yes, but not mid-century. the black and white house photo is mid-century, but the others are most likely 21st century built, or no more than 20-25 years old. even modern homes in the 50′s and 60′s didn’t have indoor ponds and gardens. at least none I have ever seen, unless it was a frank Lloyd wright or other upscale (for the wealthy) architect. those houses, and these on this page, are not built for the masses, as most real mid-century houses were.
    really beautiful homes, though. and I can dream, right….?

  18. It is pretty much a fact that Car doors can be devilishly effective finger munchers, Yet…
    You definitely made some great observations, thanks for taking the time and effort to put that together, prescription medications?

  19. it’s unfortunate that this mistaken idea that children are some kind of extraordinarily stupid beings has completely taken over the built environment. today, regulations won’t allow for good design on the grounds of “health and safety”, and this is where it starts, the cretin notion of children falling off the ledge simply because there is no balustrade. it’s not children that fall off a ledge, it’s stupid people who do and design should not be made equally stupid to fit those. no man made ledge needs balustrades or handrails more than a mountain, so if one’s children can survive a modern home they certainly will not survive the very nature of the world we live in.

  20. Mid-century, yes — Expo ’67 in 1967 had a “modern” home demonstration model with large, unprotected holes in the middle of the living room floor that would have allowed anyone with an unstable gait to fall to the next storey, whether they were a toddler, a person with MS or other physical disability, someone in a hurry who skidded on a slick floor, or someone who tripped.

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  24. I am pretty sure that the first house on your number two hazard belonged to two of my close childhood friends! They were identical twins – we spent many happy hours there playing Barbies and horses in and around those streams in the living room and nobody ever died, go figure. It actually never occurred to me that it was dangerous; I always thought it was just The Coolest House Ever and wished so much that I lived there. Kids are surprisingly adaptable, plus, they bounce. I say this confidently since not only did I survive the 60s and 70s intact, but both of my kids miraculously lived to adulthood. Granted if I ever have grandkids I will in fact do something about my own mid century excitingly rail free stairwell but until then or somebody breaks a hip, I like it. I still wish I had a stream in the living room – although, good god, I can only imagine trying to maintain it. The water was running – it started at one end and circulated all the way around to the other stream and, I guess, back again. I don’t think there were fish – disappointingly, as I recall my 10 year old self thinking and I vaguely remember their dad explaining why fish couldn’t live there – but there might (should) have been.

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