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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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!

BHD does Airbnb

Nashville is a hot city for Airbnb. As of this post, there are over 2,100 rental properties in the city with an average nightly rental of $201. That equals $420,000 potential nightly income and $153 million dollars potential income city wide for the year. Needless to say, Airbnb is serious business.

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BHD has enjoyed being a part of the action. We love creating highly functional spaces and in this case, the challenge is threefold. First, we need to create beautiful spaces that photograph well, as better pictures mean more renters which means higher return on investment for our clients. Secondly, we need to create truly comfortable spaces for the renters so they enjoy their stay and leave positive reviews for their hosts (our clients), which helps ensure future rentals. Lastly, we need to create spaces that are easy to maintain. With guests coming and going, you need durable furniture, durable fabrics, and unfussy materials that can stand up to constant cleaning and use.

Join us on a mini tour of one of our latest Airbnb projects – a converted garage abode!

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For this one bed, one bath studio rental, the clients wanted to maximize the potential of the space by creating a cozy seating area for renters to enjoy. We focused on creating a great lighting scheme for the space and added sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, and simple, operable window coverings for guests wishing to sleep in!  Paint colors are dramatic but simple and highlight the cottage’s architectural features.


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A small food bar for guests to make coffee and reheat leftovers is all the kitchen needed. Even though the food bar is simple, the appearance is elevated by presenting the offerings in stylish manner. Coffee cups are displayed on a tray, a napkin lined basket holds breakfast bars, and a tiny bud vase adds color and says welcome. The best part about this area is it is unfussy yet friendly, inviting, and easy to recreate, guest after guest.


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Complementing the food bar is a very simple two top table. There wasn’t much space but this table and chair fit the bill perfectly. The glass top is easy to clean and keeps the space feeling fresh and offers a relaxing vista of the beautiful and well-manicured gardens below.










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We added max functionality to the small bathroom by selecting a sleek floating vanity and oversized medicine cabinet. We wanted to expand the space and keep the bathroom feeling fresh so we used large subway tile on the walls and large porcelain tiles on the floor to increase visual space.




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White towels and a small vase with greenery finishes the space. This bathroom photographs beautifully and is sure to impress guests in person as well!






Have guests coming to town and need a little extra space?  Here is the link to this fabulously chic and welcoming getaway.  Happy renting!




By |September 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Dwell on Design

Maloney Residence | Santa Monica/Venice | Photo credit: Noah Walker

Earlier this summer Beth took a trip to LA to discover Dwell on Design and we are very excited to share some of the highlights from her trip. The pictures she posted while she was there were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what she saw and experienced. Dwell on Design – if you are not familiar – is a design conference with a modern mindset organized by Dwell Magazine, one of our favorite design publications.

Beech Knoll House | East Side/Hills | Photo Credit: Dana Meilijson

Beth was in design heaven, surrounded by inspiration and creativity, honing her design skills in kitchen design, bath design and sustainability by attending lectures and classes, visiting exhibits on the latest design trends and “LYFT-ing” her way thru 2 days of contemporary home tours.

Black House | East Side / Hills | Photo credit: Ethan Pines

While attending a seminar on design trends, Beth spotted one of our projects featured in the presentation. What a surprise! No one knew it was our project but Beth knew and that was enough excitement.  Here is the project they featured, one many of you will sur?ely recognize and love!

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Beth Haley Design!

After spending two days touring contemporary California homes, Beth was asked by one of her Lyft drivers what she was going to take back to her own design business.  One noticeable result is an affirmation to stay true to her desire to design for function and simplicity but with an artistic eye and a desired connection between people and nature.

Black House | Mar Vista / Culver City | Photo Credit: Lisa Krutky

One of the most insightful moments of Beth’s trip happened during a late afternoon lecture by California architect David Hertz. He shared highlights from his recent book, “The Restorative Home, Ecological Houses by David Hertz”.  In David’s own words – “I’ve always had a social and ecological concern. The honest expression of materials and structure, a response to climate and a blurring of the boundary between indoors and outdoors are important to me.” According to his books introduction by Michael Webb, David’s projects, “seek to move the client beyond the merely sustainable to the restorative”.  David expands the meaning of restorative “a restorative building is one that gives back more than it takes. It generates more fresh air, nurtures vegetation, harvests energy and captures more water than the building consumes in its lifetime.”

Beth left his seminar ready to rethink existing methods and design solutions yet remain true to her social and ecological leanings. What a refreshing, revitalizing and affirming lecture! Rethinking the use of materials to problem solve for our housing needs, both functionally and aesthetically, can, in turn, create nurturing spaces; spaces that connect us to one another, our environment and our innate needs. For us, design is about feeling and people, making the most from what we have or need. It’s a simplistic design, one that is not carried away for the sake of design or trend, but instead nurtures the human spirit while simultaneously igniting creativity, beauty and human connection.

Beverly Grove Residence | Architect: David Hertz

When we asked Beth what are her biggest takeaways from the trip, she brimmed with excitement and flooded us with ideas!  Use simplified and hardworking materials in creative ways – wood, metal, concrete; expand spaces with outdoor connections creating interesting vistas.

Grand View Residence | Mar Vista / Culver City | Photo credit: Daryl Olesinski

Make the most of all surfaces both horizontal and vertical; open and review site lines – is it purposeful and beautiful?;  mix finishes; add skylights and transoms.

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Maloney Residence | Santa Monica/Venice | Photo credit: Noah Walker

Use nooks and crannies to create special places to connect within a home; add plants – lots of them, indoors and out.

Adelaide Place | Santa Monica / Venice | Photo credit: Sam Frost

Create multipurpose spaces, adding moveable walls to diversify space; use operable windows and glass walls; include sculptural interiors & floating vanities.

Trousdale Residence | East Side / Hills | Photo credit: Squared Design Lab

Vary the heights of floors to create individualized yet open spaces, use fireplaces as artistic sculptures.

Adelaide Place | Santa Monica / Venice | Photo credit: Sam Frost

Use art to create feelings and lighting not only to direct us but also as art and sculpture.  SO MANY IDEAS! We can’t wait to use these ideas in our next project!


Piccus Residence | Santa Monica/Venice | Photo credit:Thomas Story/Rudin Donner Design

When thinking about the outdoor spaces, Beth was reminded to use colorful walls, sculptural plantings, rocks, art sculptures, metal and concrete creating repetition and rhythm and use of pattern in design.

Piccus Residence | Santa Monica / Venice | Photo credit: Thomas Story/Rudin Donner Design

The proper use of vegetation screens and multiple, layered decks can create outdoor rooms, extending the living spaces and connecting the homeowners to nature.

Picccus Residence | Santa Monica / Venice | Photo credit: Thomas Story/Rudin Donner Design

As you can see, Beth is inspired. The trip filled her with design possibilities and she loved having the opportunity to see the results of thoughtful design. “People, problem solving, creating solutions, and being aware of our impact on the environment all while doing it all with an artistic eye is why I love this industry. I hope you are as inspired about your next project as I am. I look forward to us being environmentally creative problem solvers together!”

Adelaide Place | Santa Monica / Venice | Photo credit: Sam Frost

By |August 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|