Painter Christopher Florentino explains how he revived a 1963 house by modern architect Gene Leedy.

The three Left-Twist Cube's are by Frank Gehry.

Most people buy furniture for their house. Christopher Florentino, aka Flore, bought a house for his furniture. The Brooklyn-born painter, whose work draws on graffiti and street art, has had a lifelong obsession with midcentury modern, amassing furniture from the period since he was a teen. His collection finally found a home when he discovered a Gene Leedy–designed 1963 ranch house in Winter Haven, Florida, on Instagram.

Read the ‘My House’ Q&A with Christopher Florentino

Leedy, a founding member of the Sarasota School of Architecture, fostered a regional Gulf Coast twist on modernism, defined by courtyards, local sandstone, glass walls, and bringing the outdoors in. It was these features, combined with the home’s pristine condition, that made the Ellison Residence, as it’s known, the ideal habitat for Christopher and his furniture. 

 In June, he closed on the house without having stepped inside. Here, he takes us through his first few months living there.

Artist Christopher Florentino says his respect for Gene Leedy drove his update of the architect’s 1963 Ellison Residence in central Florida:

Artist Christopher Florentino says his respect for Gene Leedy drove his update of the architect’s 1963 Ellison Residence in central Florida: “Being original is important to me. I don’t want Gene Leedy to come here and be like, ‘Damn, you killed my vision.’” In the living room, George Nelson’s Saucer Bubble pendant hovers over Eames classics, like an LCW chair, a Molded Fiberglass armchair, and a Molded Plywood coffee table. Christopher found the lounge, an Eames replica, in a dumpster and couldn’t let it go to waste. A Warhol print hangs from the sandstone block wall; the Ekko mobile is by Matthew Richards.

Photo by Matthew Williams

The living area’s Chicklet sofa by Ray Wilkes is covered in a Knoll tweed.

The living area’s Chicklet sofa by Ray Wilkes is covered in a Knoll tweed. 

Photo by Matthew Williams

Beneath a work from Christopher’s

Beneath a work from Christopher’s “Something Modern” series sits a record player once owned by his grandfather, which Christopher retrofitted with a Bluetooth speaker. A vintage Robie Junior robot vacuum sits atop a modern-day automated floor cleaner. 

Photo by Matthew Williams

See the full story on Dwell.com: Pop Art, Street Art, and Space Age Furniture Collide at a Painter’s Midcentury Ranch Home in Florida

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