What makes a house a home? It’s not enough to just find a sweet pad. You’ve got to put your own stamp on it, whether that means making it a reflection of your personality or just getting really comfortable. Of course, the best homes tend to be welcoming and stylish.
When one cool California couple had the chance to deck out their own house, they challenged themselves to capture time in a bottle. Their plan wouldn’t be easy, but if it worked, their place would pull off something that hadn’t been done in generations.
When Julian Goldklang and Desiree Myers set out to buy their first house, they didn’t want to settle for something conventional. A stylish couple with a very specific expertise, these two had a vision from the start.
Both were big fans of the Swinging Sixties, though they were born long after those days were over. Still, Julian and Desiree wondered if, in a sense, they could still live in that fab decade.
These newlyweds had far more than just a passing interest in interior design. Julian founded his own company called Mid Century Mobler, which sold and restored furniture from the ’50s and ’60s. It quickly established itself as one of the best in the business.
With that expertise, Julian and Desiree certainly knew how to decorate a house in the retro style. But could they find the right house for it? The couple knew their area of Oakland hills boasted a handful of “round houses,” built by famed architect Leon Meyer.
So the instant one of these distinctive ’60s domiciles hit the market, Desiree and Julian knew they had to have it. They entered their bid and nervously awaited some news — hopefully good news.
In 2017, they got it! The couple was overjoyed though they understood winning the house was only half the battle. They still had to decorate it to fit their vision. And not just any furniture would do.
From the onset, Julian and Desiree insisted that every piece in every room would be authentic 1960s. That way they’d be waking up every morning in a time capsule straight out of the psychedelic era.
Take, for example, this seating in their office. The sectional is fully modular, meaning that the chairs can be moved into many different arrangements. You can’t get these at your local IKEA. So where did they come from?
Well, Julian and Desiree see a ton of vintage pieces filter through Mid Century Mobler. While they sell off most of them to specialty stores and collectors, the lovebirds will hang on to anything that catches their eye.
If something is particularly cool or rare, you can bet Julian and Desiree will snag it. Neither of them could resist the comfort and style of the hanging parrot chair (left) — even though it was technically designed in 1970.
It’s individual discoveries like that that have slowly filled up the round house. Desiree and Julian can only plan so far, so they need to rely on those moments of inspiration. Before moving in, Julian said he never would’ve considered a red couch.
But once he saw this model, he knew he had to have it. Not only did it fit his aesthetic, but the sofa added a splash of warm color to a living room otherwise dominated by earth tones.
Then again, this main living space can’t help but stay warm with a fab fireplace at the center. It makes the round house a great space to entertain guests, though it may not be the house’s most popular party feature.
Friends and family can’t help but congregate around their 1960s stereo console, which sounds as good as ever! Julian proudly shared that every party has records spinning non-stop. This area also has a bit of a personal touch.
Right behind the record player hangs a portrait of Julian’s father as a child, painted sometime in the 1950s. Pretty neat — that’s one object the couple won’t find for sale at an auction!
After a hard day of restoring old furniture and blasting British Invasion tunes, Desiree and Julian can crash in their luxurious bedroom. They explained that their biggest decorating challenge was finding basics that fit rounded rooms, but they managed.
All in all, the round house is one of the neatest pads out there. Only a lot of planning and elbow grease could pull off this ’60s vibe. Still, there is one notable exception.
Despite Julian’s boast that everything in their home is from the mid-century, Desiree rightfully points out that they do own computers. They need them for work, after all. But they haven’t quite finished retro-fitting the round house.
“We’ve started toying with the idea of remodeling our kitchen, which was redone sometime in the early 1990s,” revealed Desiree. Once they finish this space, they’ll be enjoying some Mad Men-style meals in no time.
The round house is cool and flashy, but at the end of the day, Julian and Desiree agreed that it feels like home. It wasn’t easy making their vision a reality, but at least they found inspiration from some of the more far-out ’60s residences in the country.
YouTube / HouzzTV
The couple followed the example of the boldest 1960s designers, like John Hay. He was the co-founder of popular tea brand Celestial Seasonings and owned lucrative real estate all over the country. His designs accounted for his greatest fear.
Nuclear annihilation. After a period of de-escalation, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union shot back up in the early 1980s. Both sides were stockpiling weapons and mobilizing troops all over the globe.
Courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration
However, Hay was sure the Soviets were poised to strike first, and that the entire world would soon turn a bright shade of red. America couldn’t protect him from this threat.
But Hay could protect himself. He was a born self-starter. A former marine, Hay built Celestial from the ground-up by picking herbs in the Rocky Mountains and stuffing them into hand-sewn bags.
In 1983, Hay turned his attention to the tranquil Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. He purchased 240 acres of empty land for a mere $146,000. So how would this keep him safe?
Flickr / super*dave
Well, Hay wasn’t so much interested in the woods as he was in the gigantic limestone cave that ran beneath them. He believed it had the potential to house the ultimate fallout shelter. Construction began immediately.
Flickr / Dan
However, relations between America and the USSR soon improved, and it became increasingly unlikely that any nuclear war would take place. What could Hay do with his half-built bunker?
Hay, a shrewd businessman as always, knew how to adapt under changing circumstances. Maybe his underground abode could be used not just for survival, but for recreation. He drew up a new plan.
After a few more years of intense construction and furnishing, the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge was born. What was once a bomb shelter was now a subterranean, high-end hotel.
Hay naturally felt quite pleased with its transformation. “I didn’t want to come through the war like Tina Turner in Mad Max,” he said, “so I created Tinseltown.”
To stay in one of the cave’s four bedrooms, guests have to shell out as much as $1,600 per night. Although the rate is as steep as the mountains surrounding the hotel, the price is worth it!
Each morning you can take a hot shower that will wash away the problems and worries that you brought from above ground. That’s right, you can stay clean even when you’re living in a cave.
You can relax and watch a movie on the 75-inch LED television mounted on the limestone walls. The lodge’s thermal heating will keep you nice and cozy even in the dead of winter.
Later on, you could head over to the state-of-the-art kitchen to enjoy a classy dinner and good company. Unlike most bomb shelters, the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge has way more than just canned goods.
Of course, guests aren’t confined to the indoors. You can hike around the Ozarks and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the region’s majestic wildlife.
Facebook / Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
There’s plenty of nature still present inside the hotel too. The lodge preserved some of the original cave features, like the stalactites hanging from the ceiling, as well as this waterfall.
And the Beckham’s guests never have to be afraid. Should the danger of a nuclear attack ever resurface, the hotel can seal all the openings in the cave with concrete blocks.
Like any eccentric millionaire worth his salt, Hay also installed a helipad. That could really come in handy for all those instances when the average Joe travels by helicopter.
If you dream of making this luxurious cave your own, you are in luck. The property recently went on sale for the sum of $2.75 million. One lucky person can make the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge their own private retreat.
Just imagine sitting by the fire on the front deck, with nobody around for miles and miles. You could sip a mug of herbal tea and be grateful that John Hay’s paranoia created such a special place.