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).

im_certain_none_of_these_children_reached_adulthood

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.

1.  OPEN LEDGES:

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…

ledge5redarrow

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

ledge2

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

ledge4-read arrow

That’s going to require at least ten stitches.

ledge3

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:

ledgeredarrow

2. FIRE, WATER, AND OTHER DEATH TRAPS INSPIRED BY NATURE:

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.

rocks1

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:

drowningpool2

3. FLOATING STAIRS:

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.

ultimatedeathstairs

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

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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.

deathhouse

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.

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

  1. Those 180 degrees turn stairs; are very common in the Netherlands. Due to lack of space we have often resort to this type of stairs. Sometimes the lack of space leaves no other solution. A pond in a home, certainly if you have small children, not common sense. Outside the home. Due to a lot of rivers, lakes, canals etc. in the Netherlands everywhere, most children learn to swim at a very young age. Many of these houses in those pictures offer dangerous situations however a danger free house/environment is whishful thinking.

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    • True?
      I think being overprotective and ‘preventing all hurt’ is way more dangerous. I grew up in a house with open fire, don’t remember ever being dumb enough to put my hands in there. The well meaning parents preventing children from doing ‘anything’ could well be a contributory factor in various mass shooting/suicides over the last 30+yrs? Knowing the difference between right and wrong the ‘hard way’ may be a difficult lesson but definitely worthwhile.

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  6. This is brilliant. I’m very interested in architecture and in fact my family had stairs not too far off in design from the second last one (it had a slide-y banister as well for extra fun instead of those long bars) which as children we would often swing from and I still think those stairs are cool, even if potentially dangerous! Great post : )

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  7. So… remind me again, why would a kid jump off a roof? Are some people’s kids really that dumb? I mean, if they’re under 2, you could just keep them out of said dangerous areas. I don’t see these as much of a problem. Stairs without railings are probably more deadly for the elderly than kids.

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  8. Reblogged this on sorysworld and commented:
    I came across this post and I cannot stop laughing. I personally do not have children, so worrying about safety would probably come in last place if I ever decided to buy a house. I do love open spaces and modern architecture though. Some, if not all, of the design aspect show on this article are of my liking, but know I am questioning how ready I actually am to become a parent.

    My poor children would be known at the ER if I get to buy a house before having them. For the sake of my imaginary future children lets home I keep renting.

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    • You are referring to a style that was permitted at midcentury. Today’s codes prohibit stairs and elevated platforms that have no guardrails.

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  9. You’ve made your point simply and powerfully. These houses were built by people with more dollars than sense. These are architectural follies by definition. Architects and their clients, people with too much money, have drifted away from the very definition and meaning of shelter.

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  10. When I was a kid I jumped off the roof of a 3 story Victorian, dove off a cliff into a quarry and climbed back up the cliff. No hard hat, no life vest, no ropes. Protect your kid into incompetence

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  11. As an architect friend of mine wryly commented once: “Form swallows function.” In other words, it’s all about design, the people – old and young alike – occupying the architect’s creation be damned!

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