The Villages - May 2017 - 14
Mar y & L en Bo c z k o w s k i
Midcentury Modern HoMe
Using a blowtorch and a knife, 12-year-old Len
Boczkowski laid his first floor.
"My dad taught me everything," he said. "With
four kids to support, he made lousy wages as a laborer
working for the gas company in Detroit, Michigan.
So dad always had side projects going to earn extra
As his assistant, Len learned the ins and outs of
"He laid one tile that day," Len said, "then he told me
I was on my own and left. I made $120- more money
than my father earned in a week. I decided right then I
wanted to become a contractor."
Len continued to help his father and went on to
open his own company in 1966, a business he ran for
more than 40 years. As a painting contractor, he did
commercial work, designed homes and layouts, and
chose colors, too. Along the way, he met a woman
named Mary and invited her to dinner at his sparse
apartment. There was just one problem: he didn't have
any furniture. But with an eye for design and enough
time before dinner, he managed to pull things together.
"I knew I had to buy knives, forks, spoons -
everything if I wanted to impress her," Len said.
He filled his apartment with plants and bought a
pair of elephant statues, which he used to support a
smoked glass tabletop where the couple could eat.
"He's always been creative," Mary added.
Len served a special meal that night: Parmesan
chicken with egg noodles on a bed of fresh spinach.
Mary and Len eventually married and have since
shared many meals and home improvement projects.
They still own the elephant statues from that old
apartment and have collected other pieces together over
the years. Combining their talents, the two have gutted
homes, redesigned interiors and transformed drab
places into extraordinary spaces.
In 2006, Len's aunt and uncle urged the couple to
take a look at The Villages. Making the trip from their
Wisconsin home, Len said he and Mary were impressed.
"We bought a home and came to live in The Villages
full-time in 2007," Len said.
The couple's current home is an 1,800-square-foot
Lacoste model, which they have completely altered to
reflect their midcentury modern style.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - May 2017
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The Villages - May 2017 - Contents
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