Six years ago, when Rob Rump first set eyes the mid-century modern house that is now his family’s home, it was love at first sight. It was also a new stage in his evolution as a woodworker and designer.

The founder of Bespoke Carpentry, Rump had started his career doing restoration work on old houses – updating them in a manner authentic to their period. He and his wife, Kim Fetter, had already restored a log house and were looking for something larger to accommodate their growing family.

Mid-century modern (MCM) design quickly became Rump’s latest passion.

“Rob loves a challenge, needs a challenge,” Fetter says. Although she was originally less than enchanted with the house, the minimalist design, the mature trees and sweeping views of their 15-acre property soon won her over.

Mid-century modern has seen a resurge in popularity

Rob, Maya, Audrey and Kim grouped around the two-sided fireplace between the dining and living rooms. Photo: Greg Byers

Mid-century modern is defined as being modern in design and construction, with clean lines, muted tones, a combination of natural and man-made materials, graphic shapes, and design that integrates the indoors and outdoors. It eschews clutter and fussy decorative elements.

As the name implies, MCM’s heyday was in the years 1950 to 1970, but the style has recently seen a resurge in popularity.

The Rump Fetter house was built in 1978 by Ozzie and Rose Maranta, who were obviously fans of the movement. The flat, torched-on roof, the floating stairway to the basement, the wood siding, the big glass windows, and the fact that the house is cantilevered over its foundation, are all elements of MCM design.

To illustrate the care Maranta took in construction, Rump points out the roof’s overhang.

“It provides shade for the house in summer, but in winter, with the angle of the sun lower, it fills the house with heat and light,” he explains.

Other MCM highlights are the double-sided fireplace between the living and dining areas, the valence lighting in the bedrooms. and the barrel-ceilinged galley kitchen.

Maya and Audrey sit on the minimalist sofa with book-matched walnut end pieces designed and built by their father Rob, as is the coffee table in front of it. Photo: Greg Byers

In addition to his construction and restoration business, Rump has branched out into furniture making and fine-woodworked decorative items, such as bowls and charcuterie boards. Living in the house has also persuaded him to try his hand at MCM furniture. In the living room, he has built a minimalist sofa with book-matched walnut end pieces, as well as a coffee table. A bench holds food for the family’s two dogs.

”MCM furniture looks simple, but the finishing details are tricky,” Rump notes.

The spare design of the house contrasts with the lush landscape around it. There is an apple orchard, apricot and pear trees, and maple trees which are tapped in spring, producing 50 litres of maple syrup. A round ‘pizza’ garden produces a variety of herbs and vegetables. There are several flower beds and at one end of the property – in a salvaged old barn – is Rump’s workshop.

The family, which includes daughters Maya 12 and Audrey 10, is also environmentally conscious. They grow much of their own produce and the house is kept warm in winter by geothermal heat.

The house may be MCM but the family that lives in it is as up-to-date as tomorrow.

The north side of Kim and Rob’s house, showing the classic elements of Mid-Century Modern design – the torched roof, wall of windows and the house cantilevered over the foundation. Photo: Greg Byers

The family in their circular ‘pizza’ vegetable garden, one of many gardens on their lush, 15 acre property.