Trend Alert – Mid Century Modern

Trend Alert – Mid Century Modern design is having a major moment. Our phones keep ringing with potential clients asking for MCM. We’ve done renovations to restore MCM homes to their former glory and we’ve infused countless homes with MCM accent pieces and decor. It is funny because baby boomers that grew up with MCM once tended to steer away from the look since it probably reminded them of their parents’ house but like many things, MCM came full circle.

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Mid Century Modern was a design era from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. Started by the Bauhaus, an art school in Germany, MCM stems from the idea that everything can be designed. The Bauhaus believed architecture should encompass more than the exterior shell of a building and interior walls, it should include the furnishings, finishes, and decor. Bauhaus saw every object as an “art object”. Bauhaus took this idea and applied it to all aspects of design, including graphic design, industrial design, and interior design.

Beyond Bauhaus, MCM gained traction in America and other parts of the world like Brazil and Scandinavia. American designers are often credited with infusing the strong linear lines of the Bauhaus MCM with a slightly softer, more organic structures. Many of the most iconic furniture still in use today was designed during the MCM era. Undulating forms, curved arms, tapered “peg legs“, and an assortment of woods like teak, walnut, maple, and beech are some of the defining characteristics of MCM design. 

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BHD has long been a fan of MCM. From a design standpoint, MCM is a designer’s secret weapon because the pieces add character and help create a layered look when paired with more contemporary furniture. We love the scale of MCM furniture because it isn’t the puffed-up furniture we tend to see today and is really great for historic homes that tend to have less square footage. Lastly, we love MCM furniture because it is the perfect blend of organic, natural materials and high-design. 

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The great thing about buying MCM furniture today is you have the option to buy new or you can buy used. There are a plethora of design firms recreating classic MCM looks, from walnut credenzas to sling back chairs, that are priced well and give you the look without the hunt. Buying authentic MCM can be tricky but we love tracking down originals because we love their originality and quality. There are local Nashville dealers that specialize in authentic MCM and tons of online sites. It is getting rarer and rarer to find MCM priced cheap at antique stores, estate sales, and thrift stores but there are definitely still deals to be found! 

This BHD space is featured on HGTV’s article on MCM design!

MCM art is another one of our favorite go-tos. We love the organic muted tones and geometrically driven designs. We often have better luck finding MCM art in local thrift stores and the like because it isn’t as recognizable as say an Eames lounge chair or a Saarinen tulip table. 

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An easy and relatively inexpensive way to add MCM appeal to your home is through color, either with paint or textiles. Color wise, small accents of citruses or mustards go a long way. Sherwin Williams  “Vintage Finds” is a good starting point. BHD literally has hundreds of color options to choose from! We love layered accent textiles in a space to build a bohemian, eclectic look.

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November Newsletter – New Opportunities

All fall, we’ve felt very fortunate to have an array of exciting new opportunities come our way. HGTV presented us with an opportunity to design for an upcoming Nashville show, an out of town real estate development company asked us to partner in creating new Airbnb properties, and we’ve met new clients with a broad range of design goals. For a firm that thrives on diversity, life is good!

We ultimately decided to turn down HGTV (not a phrase you hear often!) so we could focus on our local clients and get our hands involved with the Airbnb projects. With the holidays just weeks away, we are reminding ourselves to slow down and enjoy the ride. We are filled with gratitude to all our clients, vendors, and community partners. Thank you and warmest wishes! Happy Holidays!


Featured BHD Space: Frequently Asked Questions
This past year we’ve worked with a ton of new clients and as the year winds down, we thought it was the perfect time to discuss some of the biggest fears potential clients have when it comes to interior design and renovations. We want to pull back the curtains and reveal some of the inner workings that go into completing projects – on time, on budget, and on point! 

Don't fear timelines! Even a gut renovation on a bathroom is executed with laser like percisi

“Will the project be completed on time?”
 
Honestly, interior design projects have a significant range of scope. A straightforward project with furnishings, accessories, and paint typically is the easiest to predict because we have the most control over vendors and contractors. During the selection process, we check projected lead times for every piece of the project and it really helps us manage our client’s timeline! A more intensive renovation requires a bigger team of contractors and involves coordinating many moving pieces. BHD sets realistic timelines for our clients and we use our years of experience to both set and manage the timeline. 
 
Don't fear timelines! Even a gut renovation on a bathroom is executed with laser like percisi
 
“Will the project come in on budget?”

Budgets are often the biggest worry when it comes to interior design, and we totally understand why. It seems like in the age of HGTV and the DIY network, every episode of our favorite TV show features a project going over budget. Perhaps it is because blown budgets make for good TV? Every episode needs a good hook, or something to keep viewers engaged through commercial breaks. Don’t get us wrong, budgets are fragile in real-life projects as well but not nearly as scary and dramatic as television makes them out to be!

Entering a project, we work with the client to set the budget for the project. We don’t promise the moon and hide change orders to get clients. Second, we rely on contractors early in the project. No uh-oh moments when suddenly it is going to cost X amount of dollars to complete the design! Granted, there are unforeseen problems that can arise when we open walls or start demoing, but often these problems are anticipated and accounted for! 

 
“I don’t know how to describe my style but I know what I like and I don’t like. How will I know I will like the finished spaces?”
 
We usually ask clients when we first meet them if they have any inspiration images. We ask if they have any furniture pieces they love / can’t live without / can’t get rid of. We take time to get to know our clients and definitely help clients develop their style. We don’t have a one-size-fits all design philosophy. Your project will be your project, even if you can’t conceptualize what you want when we start the process. 
 
 
“Will the furniture be  comfortable? I am scared to buy things I can’t tryout in person!”

This question comes up a lot. Interior designers have an entire world of vendors and manufacturers not available to the public. The only downside is the products are rarely featured in a showroom and our clients can’t “tryout” sofas, chairs, etc during the selection process. We remedy this a few ways. First, we know the brands we carry. Likely, we’ve ordered the piece before or we’ve seen it at market. Secondly, we can usually narrow down what a client will find comfortable by discussing what has worked in the past and what has not worked.  Lastly, we take into consideration ergonomics and make suggestions for our clients based off what is best suited for their own unique needs. Not everyone loves a deep sofa while some clients wouldn’t be happy with anything but!


 

Featured Event: Holiday Lights at Cheekwood

For the second time ever, the Cheekwood gardens will be aglow this holiday season with over a 1 million lights. We love visiting the gardens at night and this show is sure to be a spectacular sight!

WHEN: November 25 – January 1, 5pm-10pm, Closed on Christmas and every Monday except on December 26th

TICKETS: Adults: $20, Youth (ages 3-17): $15, Children 2 and under: Free, Parking $5, Plus a $5 fee for purchasing onsite. Buy online to save!

Click here for more info and click here to buy tickets online


Hot Topic & Featured Vendor: Nashville Artist Collective

We love finding local artists for our clients and are excited to share with you the exciting new online gallery called Nashville Artist Collective. As an offshoot to the very successful Charleston Artist Collective which was founded in 2010, the Nashville group features area artists whose work is both available online to purchase or who can work on commissioned pieces. We love seeing new platforms arise for artists in our community to get their stuff out there. We can’t wait to see this site grow and for our local artists to get attention even outside the city. Go Nashville!

http://nashville.artistcollectives.org/


 
By |November 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Kahnle Kitchen

We’ve been excited to share this project for months and are thrilled the time is finally right. Not only has this project won GOLD from American Society of Interior Designers “Best Small Kitchen”, it’s the home of one of our favorite clients.

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Allow us to introduce to you Mike Kahnle.  Mike’s story doesn’t begin when his wife Hilary was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 but is is where we are going to start. Three kids, happy household, uprooted by a terminal disease. From her diagnosis to her street fight with cancer, to Hilary’s passing in August 2012, to the very present moment, Mike’s life has been changing. He quickly realized normal was not his going to be his family’s reality.

Mike knows firsthand the titles we all use to define ourselves rarely show the whole picture. Father, landscape architect, designer, artist; all true but in real life, what matters is now is how the pieces interplay. How do you raise three young daughters on your own?  Easy, stand up and confront it!  His new label will be feminist dad!  He will teach his daughters independence and artistry and kindness and joy and laughter.  He will now seek out and support women-owned business in the hope of knocking down the barriers that might stand in the way of his daughters.  He will lead them by example, showing them how to solve problems creatively.  He will teach them to treat people and the planet with kindness.  He will encourage them to start their life’s work today.  He will be a feminist dad!

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Good Grief

Before Hilary passed away, a giant red oak tree fell down in their backyard during a tremendous windstorm. Mike suddenly realized that he wanted to use the tree to make something useful.  A tree falls down but its life isn’t over. Using Hilary’s grandfather’s ax and then a two-handed draw knife for fine carving, Mike cut deeper into the log revealing the grain. “As more and more wood is removed, an intricate pattern of light and dark band reveal the tree’s growth cycle over the years; periods of great growth and periods of drought—not only how old the tree lived to be, but also how the tree lived over its lifetime.’ The sculptures, labeled “Good Grief” have become an expression of Mike’s grief, an expression of losing his wife. Each piece is a part of Mike’s story.image003

Creative Problem Solving

Another piece of the story is the family’s kitchen. Hilary, a talented architect, and Mike liked to muse renovations. Completed in 2015, the kitchen has become “a symbol of the family healing, a decision to move forward with life, and to accept that Hilary’s last wish was for us all to be happy and to grow in her absence”.  Mike chose Beth Haley Design to design a space that fit the family’s new reality – life without Mom – while keeping with the decidedly mid-century spirit of the house and honoring Hilary’s wishes.  A tall order, which came together brilliantly and the long term impact of the renovations have been profound.  The family kitchen in now a gathering spot. It’s a pace to convene and converse.  The transformation from pre-renovation dysfunction to post renovation function can’t be understated.  The experience formed Mike’s developing world view that the basis of design is creative problem solving.

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Taking cues from the existing architecture of the space, our design challenge was to maintain the vintage, 1960’s feel of the home while maximizing function in the existing kitchen. We worked to create layers of visual interest and add to the homes appeal and design.  We brought natural light into the centrally located kitchen by installing a tunnel skylight in the center of the space. Recessed lighting, pendants, and under cabinet lighting work in unison to further illuminate the space.  In addition, we removed a load bearing wall and replaced with an architectural support beam-decked out in red paint-to further open up the space and bring in more natural light.

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To create a sense of openness in the kitchen, we chose to feature doorless cabinets and colorful shelving that reflect the 60’s feel and personality of the home.

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Within the existing layout, the sink wall opening was enlarged and encased in wood paneling on both sides, both facing the kitchen and facing into the other living spaces. The wood paneling creates a very unique, custom look, making the kitchen appear like an exotic, high performing piece of furniture or appliance when viewed from other angles around the home.   The waterfall edge countertop by the cooktop and new eat-in peninsula expand the visual space and are purposely paired with backless barstools that leave the sightline into the space uninterrupted. Hardwood floors were selected to make the kitchen feel more congruent with the adjoining rooms.

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The Saarinen table and Bertoia chairs work perfectly with the period furniture found throughout the house. Accents of red standout against the white and natural wood backdrop.

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Much of the existing layout remained but the addition of a beverage, snack, and lunch station was developed to complete the space. High-function was the aim when we designed this stretch of cabinets with a base with microwave for the kids, pull-out pantry, and lots of drawers for storage. Though it is a short expanse of wall, it is a hub of activity with maxed out functionality.
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Like most kitchens, it is the hub of the house for the active and fully engaged family. This kitchen, more than any we have ever worked on, is the heart of the home. Connection being the key both in terms of space and in terms of relationships. Mike’s life is full of creativity, sensitivity, and passion.  We are honored to share his story with you. Mike is a local designer and landscape architect. We encourage all of you to check out his website and see his work. In addition, we are honored to have some of Mike’s pieces installed in our lawn. If you haven’t been by our shop on Linden recently, come by, say hi, and take a look at the art!