come see us at the show this weekend!  booth W8.  please stop by and introduce yourself if we have not already met.  



market 411


our new listing in wyoming....

So far the 2015 market is shaping up to be a continuation of what we were experiencing in 2014 with a few differences.  So here’s what’s going on in cincinnatimodern land (and beyond) as we see it:

  • inventory continues to be at historic lows.  Prices are starting to climb (in most areas), but slowly.  Interest rates are back down to historic lows as well.  This is creating a bonafide SELLERS MARKET.
  • It’s a great time to buy if you are 1. patient. 2. pre approved for a mortgage and 3. have a strategy.  This is where it pays to work with agents (like us) who can lead you to a good lender, supply you with listings the minute they hit the market (or before), and know how to negotiate in multiple offer situations!  
  • FHA has just substantially lowered the rate for its mortgage insurance, making it possible for many people to buy who previously thought they couldn’t qualify.  It’s certainly worth a conversation with a knowledgable lender if you are thinking of buying any time in the near future.  It does not cost anything to ask!  For mortgage information and or preapprovals, contact Shawn Huss at Talmer Bank 513-703-6489.
  • We are seeing the most demand for modern houses in the $150,000 - $400,000 range.  We get calls regularly from other agents asking if we have anything coming to market for their clients.  But OUR CLIENTS get first priority when we know of modern listings coming.  It’s one of the benefits of working with us as your buyer’s agent.  And it doesn’t cost you a thing.  Why leave home buying to chance in such a competitive market?  
  • It’s also a great time to SELL (see above).  We had many deals last year that were bid well over asking price.  IF your house is in great condition and you price it at (or just below) market value, you have the best chance of getting the highest price.  Price a house too high and no one takes it seriously.  
  • Many sellers think you should wait until Spring to list, but the best time to list in this market is NOW!  Winter traditionally has the lowest inventory, AND we are in an inventory slump.  There are rabid buyers just waiting to pounce on new listings right now (no offense to any of our rabid buyers :)! 

We also have big changes coming to in the next month as we roll out our newly designed website (yay)!  And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 20th Century Cincinnati Show on February 21 and 22.  Stop by and see us there - we’d love to talk about your buying or selling needs, or just gab about modern homes! 



cincinnatimodern's favorite things - part IV

christmas at our house, circa 1957. photo courtesy of the pressler family

Just in time for the shopping season, here is our 4th annual installment of our favorite things -  gift ideas for modern design lovers!  

vince guaraldi trio - a charlie brown christmas

my favorite album of all time. i limit listening to nov. and dec. every year and i never tire of it. i even had this one on vinyl. vince guaraldi must have been the coolest cat of all time. genius. classic!


birds and words by charley harper

the 40th anniversary reissue of the 1974 classic. It was so popular that ALL of the original copies were stolen from the cincinnati and hamilton county public libraries. time to get your own copy!

harper christmas tile

love this never before seen harper design. his depiction of people in his artwork always makes me laugh.

ekko workshop mobile

this was a gift from my friend jenny and not only do i love the shapes, but somehow the white on white just pops in our hallway. it comes in other colors, too!

cincinnati zoo/ museum center / cincinnati art museum / contemporary arts center memberships

 cincinnati zoo membership - it's the gift that keeps on giving!

modkat litterbox

ok - this one is a little pricey, but pets appreciate good design, too. well at least some do! this was a gift from a client whose cat refused to use it. as you can see here, our little guys are more than willing to try something new!

dansk kobenstyle cookware

designed in 1956 by jens H. quistgaard, this genius design has lids that double as trivets. we have a couple of vintage pieces that belonged to arlen's mom and they are a bit less than perfect after all these years, but still gorgeous.  

chemex coffee maker

no, starbucks did not invent the 'pour over.' dr. peter schlumbohm phd did in 1941 with his sexy chemex coffee maker. part of the permanent design collection of the MOMA. it's on display on our kitchen counter as well.

hood map from mica 12/v

maybe it's because we're realtors and we love maps, but this bit of hometown pride kind of says it all. designed by artist sarah hyland and sold at our favorite hometown gift shop. it's yet another reason to to go otr (or something to do while you are waiting for a table).

fern studio

college hill's fern studio has gorgeous modern plants, pots and air plants. perfect hostess gifts. because who couldn't use a cool plant?!

cincinnati anthology by zan mcquade

nice collection of cincinnati essays. click on image above for review.


this modern reproduction mailbox is like having a modern sculpture in your yard! lovely range of colors to match the original eichler color palette from benjamin moore. a tad pricy, but what a statement!

Hope this list of things we love helps to inspire you.  For more ideas, check out our 2011,  2012, and 2013 favorite things lists as well.  

And don't miss local shopping opportunities like the City Flea Small Mall and Mica 12/v (see above).  And our personal favorite, museum gift shops - Cincinnati Art Muesum Shop, Contemporary Arts Center Gift Shop and the amazing Indianapolis Museum of Art Museum Store (just an hour and a half up the road.  fab selection of jewelry - it totally puts our museum shop to shame!)  Happy Holidays!



architourism part VI 

Sometimes, you just have to see what you have to see.  While on our road trip East over the Summer, I decided it would really not be all that much out of the way while heading home to casually drive through New Caanan, CT.  I've been entranced by Philip Johnson's Glass House since I was a kid.  I used to draw pictures of my own glass house creations.  I simply could not be that close to "the house" and not stop by for a look, right?  But as it turns out, we drove through on a Sunday morning, and there were no tours planned.  To top that off, the 'welcome center' is no where near the actual house.  But thanks to some on the fly google searching and our GPS, we found it!  Well, we found a massive (and ancient looking) stone wall that seemed like it was miles long, and by some strange act of fate, stopped our car at the exact point where the house was.  Thanks to Kirsten (and her Cross Fit training), she climbed up on the wall for a better look, and got some pretty cool stalker-esque photos! 


 kirsten on the wall


another modern house across the street from the glass housemore information on the glass house

and philip johnson


architourism, part V

I’m no architecture critic.  But I am, by nature, critical of architecture.  I can’t help it.  Our latest in a series of mid distance road trips took us to Boston via Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.  With no real knowledge of the Falls area and no expectations, we were pleasantly surprised to find the second most striking attraction in the area to be the midcentury modern Skylon Tower. 

Photo taken on the American side, with the striking Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in the background. It was designed by Bregman + Hamann Architects and completed in 1965. Look closely and you can see the external 'yellow bug' elevator beginning its ascent.

This tower, soaring 700+ feet above the falls, is a raving beauty from the exterior.  I’m a sucker for shapes (Saarinen furniture, Jonathan Adler ceramics) and this one is super sexy, rising out of the landscape with grace, beauty, and a bit of Googie moxie.  Completed in 1965, it was a continuous concrete pour, round the clock, for 38 days (compared to UC’s Crosley Tower, the infamous brutalist campus building, which was completed in 1969 with an 18 day continuous pour)!  That’s 6,000 cubic yards of concrete, folks!  The tapered shape of the tower required reducing the size of the slip form as it was inched upward, a precise operation that had not been previously attempted.  

yikes! brass boob lights as far as the eye can see......every single thing added to this building since its construction in 1965 is inappropriate. luckily, lots of the original yummy details are still intact!

Imagine my horror to enter into the building through the game arcade level to find the entire base floor under an endless canopy of brass boob lights!  Was the entire building similarly defaced? If this mish-mosh level of 80’s/90’s mediocrity and seemingly lack of maintenance was any indication, hopes were not high.  As we stepped into the ‘yellow bug’ elevator pod that raced up the exterior of this edifice, I was heartened to see that it was pretty darn original.  When the doors burst open onto the restaurant level, we were greeted with beautiful diamond patterned wood inlay on the walls, and subtle recessed lights on the curving ceiling as if it were still 1965.  Did they actually have the forethought to leave well enough alone?  The buffet dinner was surprisingly good.  The views were breathtaking. 

original wood inlay walls in the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room

cool vintage detail in an office area on the way to the women's washroom in the Summit View Restaurant

original terrazzo floor detail on the base level of the Skylon Tower.

daughters tenley and kirsten take in the view of the falls from the summit view dining room.

One floor up from the restaurant level is the 360 degree indoor/outdoor observation deck.  The sunset view of the falls was stunning.  You could even see the Toronto skyline way in the distance.  The center of this level was the ubiquitous campy gift shop.  It was like stepping back in time to 1965.  Exactly what I would have hoped for.  The journey back down in the yellow bug was just as awe inspiring.  But the real treat was walking away and looking back to see the colored lights shooting up the exterior in the now dark night sky.  The trap worked on this tourist!  

 view of the falls from the Skylon Tower - with shadow of the tower!

view from the observation deck of the Skylon Tower. photo by tenley rissover

view from the observation deck of the Skylon Tower. photo by tenley rissover

view from the observation deck of the Skylon Tower. photo by tenley rissover

view from the observation deck of the Skylon Tower. photo by tenley rissoverclick on image below for a short 20 second video 

the Skylon Tower at night

the clan on vacation - sid tobias, tenley, susan, arlen + kirsten rissover. that clunky tower like building in the background is NOT the Skylon Tower!


see these other installments in our architourism series: 

it's miller time!

day trippin'

mcm architecture geeks invade columbus, in

a funny thing happened on the way to a swim meet

the farnsworth experience

more architourism