Photography by Tina Sargeant
Along with its seven residents, this restored 1961 home is where mid-century modern goes to live.
In 2001, Aaron Marsh was working for a moving company. He’d load and unload all day, and in the evenings come home and begin booking shows for his rock band, Copeland. He got to see a lot of different types of furniture thanks to his day job—and not only in clients’ homes.
“In our warehouse, way up on the top floor of the storage section, there was a couch,” he says. “I could only see a few little corners of it, but it had a rounded edge, real small legs, a low back.” He was intrigued. One day, back from deliveries, he saw the couch—a perfect mid-century modern boomerang sofa—down from storage, sitting on the loading dock. Its destiny? The dumpster.
“I’d been wanting to see that couch since I started working there,” says Aaron, who in addition to fronting Copeland, is co-owner of Lakeland’s Vanguard Room. “I was like, ‘No, I’m taking it. Can I have it?’” He loaded it in his minivan, and his obsession began.
Meanwhile, Megan Marsh (then Morrison), a single mom at the time, had just moved her family from a small townhouse to a 2,300-square-foot home for her, her two sons, and daughter.
“It was a blank slate,” Megan says, so she started filling it with furniture she liked, without paying much attention to creating a cohesive “look.” As it turned out, that was developing naturally anyway.
“Over time, I noticed that the mid-century stuff was always what I gravitated towards.” – Megan Marsh
“I didn’t really think that I had a solid style,” says Megan, a marketing manager at Saddle Creek Logistics. “Over time, I noticed that the mid-century stuff was always what I gravitated towards.”
Cut to 2018, when Aaron and Megan met and bonded over their shared aesthetic. In fact, it was Megan’s style that may have sealed the deal for Aaron. When they first started dating, she sent him a picture of something in her house, and he couldn’t help but parse the photo for more clues about who she was and what she was into.
“He noticed that I had some mid-century furniture and wanted a tour of my house,” Megan says, so she started snapping more pics and sending them to him. They discovered they had similar styles.
The impossible dream?
With such specific tastes, it took the couple, who eloped in Spain in July 2019, a while to find their dream home. There were a few must-haves on the list, starting with a big ask: original terrazzo flooring.
“Megan was on a terrazzo kick,” Aaron says, so the couple had their realtor use it as a search criterion, filtering out listings that were terrazzo-free.
Next on the list was a lot of natural light (Aaron loves houseplants), and, of course, it had to be authentically mid-century.
Those were tall orders, especially considering that the house also needed to have enough space—and bedrooms!—for the couple and their five kids under 11, Megan’s three and Aaron’s two boys.
“That was what was hard for us, because when houses were built in the ’60s and ’70s, they weren’t built large, and also they weren’t built with four bedrooms,” Megan says.
Finally, a listing came up. Constructed in 1961, their future home on New Jersey Road was more than 2,200 square feet, with three bedrooms and a bonus room off the back that could serve as a master. But it wouldn’t be theirs for a while yet.
“We actually came to look at it when it was in disrepair, but we got there 15 minutes after the flipper had put in an offer and it was accepted,” Aaron says. They contacted the investor—and even offered more than the listing price—but the company wouldn’t budge until its renovations were nearly complete. They kept in touch, and the Marshes came to take a look as the house was getting ready for re-listing. They even got to have a say in some of the flipper’s choices, urging them to leave the terrazzo floors, not paint the bricks on the home’s exterior, and hold off on choosing kitchen cabinet hardware (they wanted to make the selection themselves).
“When we came across this house, we were so bummed because we thought they were gonna flip it and take away all the mid-century modern features of it,” Megan says. “They actually left quite a few of them.”
As they suspected, even post-flip, the couple was still drawn to the home, with its open floor plan, multitude of windows, and square footage, both inside and outside. The house sits on a triple lot, with plenty of yard for their kids to play and, eventually, for Aaron to create a garden. They had nabbed their dream home.
Making it their own
The couple moved in in August of 2019 and immediately started filling the house with their collection of mid-mod pieces. They’d amassed quite a bit between them, especially since starting their own mid-century modern furniture company, LKLD Modern, soon after they started dating.
“It’s a common interest of ours, so we’d take little day trips around Florida to pick up vintage pieces,” Aaron says. “We would keep the coolest stuff and sell what we didn’t need.”
They’ve been to Bartow, Sarasota, Port St. Lucie, Orlando, and Dade City (among others), all in the name of snatching up their next favorite piece. But it was a trip to Miami—during which Aaron’s car broke down—that yielded one of his most prized possessions, a Brutalist seven-tier Tom Greene chandelier that he had coveted and finally discovered on eBay. It’s now the centerpiece of the living room, despite Megan’s initial protestations.
“We got it before we even found this place, and then we moved in and he hung it and it looks amazing,” she says. “I never would have picked it, but it looks great in here.”
That’s a common theme for the Marshes. Usually when one of them brings home a piece, it doesn’t take long for the other to get on board. They trust each other’s eyes.
“I’m usually the one that finds the pieces and he’s always the one that knows exactly where they should go. I feel like we really complement each other in that way.” –Megan Marsh
“I’m usually the one that finds the pieces and he’s always the one that knows exactly where they should go,” Megan says. “I feel like we really complement each other in that way.”
The home is still evolving. What was once the living room is now the dining room, what was the dining room is now a nook for the kids’ homework and snack time. And the couple is always swapping in one piece for another, depending on what they find. It’s an enjoyable process.
“We both kind of have a strong creative vision,” Aaron says. “It’s really nice that our creative vision overlaps.”