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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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!

September Newsletter

September is many things but to people in the design industry, but mostly it is anticipated as the month magazines and design publications release their “style issues”. Fall seems like the perfect time to take stock of the past year and to look forward to the next year. This year, style previews couldn’t be more timely. Last week, Beth Haley Design projects took home SIX design awards and we are proud for many reasons but chiefly we are proud of the breadth of the projects and styles. BHD is no one-trick-pony. We say it often but every project is different because every client is different. We love our clients! It is an honor to work with you on designing your home. Thank you!


Featured BHD Space: American Society of Interior Designers Award Winners!

BHD was honored with 6 awards for our design from the American Society of Interior Designers. Not to toot our own horn, but we submitted 6 projects and 6 projects came back winners! Join us as we celebrate the wins and explore all the different styles mastered by BHD!

GOLD
KITCHEN LARGE 
 
Like much of the home, the existing kitchen needed a complete overhaul. After reviewing the entire layout of the home, we reworked much of the floor plan to best achieve our client’s goals. Where did the kitchen find its new home?  In the den, of course!  Sometimes the best layout is in a completely different space.  Highest on the wish list for the new kitchen was a highly functional, spacious kitchen, fit for entertaining, with plenty of storage, counter space, and access to the outdoors. In selecting finishes for the kitchen, we worked to strike the right balance between dark and light, matte and glossy, solid and patterned. 
 

GOLD
KITCHEN SMALL

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 with the homeowner and architect to create layers of visual interest and add to the homes appeal and design. We love Mid Century Modern design and this project really let us flex our design muscles! Everything from the tiles to the waterfall edge countertop to the cabinets and lighting feels right.

 
GOLD
BATHROOM LARGE
 
The existing 1990’s bathroom was tight, bland, and cluttered. The challenge was to create a spacious, NYC pied-a-terre worthy master bath, with better storage, without increasing the square footage. The solution was to remove the closed-in full height shower walls, built-in tub, and standard height vanities, and start fresh. Double vanities were a must but we were hesitant to fill the space with cabinets. We found a perfect solution in the polished nickel, custom height pedestal vanities with marble tops. They exude glamour, give great countertop area, yet don’t clutter the space. Instead, their reflective qualities expand the space. We added floor to ceiling cabinets between the vanities and on the wall behind the vanities where an existing closet was removed. The cabinets were custom designed for our client’s needs, giving all their products a discrete, organized home, leaving the expanses of marble open and burden free.
 
 
GOLD
RESIDENCE UNDER 3,500 SQ FT
 
Working with long-time clients on one of their final home purchases, we set out to remodel and update a single level 1980’s home to accommodate aging-in-place. Other goals for the project were to create open public spaces for entertaining, organized storage, and to add additional square footage by enclosing an existing porch. The emphasis of our renovation was to create a sense of connection throughout the home and to provide our clients an oasis for their family. Stylewise, our clients yearned for easy sophistication and a strong preference for red and an affinity for prints, we chose timeless pieces that would compliment items collected over the years.
 
 
SILVER
RESIDENCE UNDER 3,500 SQ FT
 
Working with clients who are fortunate to call Nashville their weekend home, our design challenge was to take an 1850’s warehouse turned condo and create a sophisticated, urban retreat. Work included giving major upgrades to the master suite and kitchen, adding a guest suite, and bringing warmth and comfort to the former industrial space. This job was equal parts removing walls as it was using unique materials, textiles, and furnishings. We were lucky the loft had great bones – huge oversize windows, high ceilings, heavy wood beams, original brickwork, etc. We love the juxtaposition of the existing architecture with sleek furnishings and lux finishes.
 
 
BRONZE
RESIDENCE UNDER 3,500 SQ FT

For our clients who truly love to entertain, our challenge was to transform the original Victorian floor plan of assorted small rooms lacking in cohesiveness and function and create a high performance, finely tailored home. The idea of the project wasn’t to obliterate the historical roots of the home but rather give the home a loving push into the 21st century. Our work was preservation as much as it was renovation. Style wise, we chose pieces that would compliment that both the existing architecture of the house and our client’s modern design sensibilities. This meant a vibrant mix of old and new, unexpected pairings, and sophisticated color palette with deep greys, reflective whites, paired with rich purple accents. 


 
 
Featured Event: Belcourt Theater
 

Belcourt Theater is one of our favorite local institutions and we can’t wait to check out the renovation completed earlier this summer. There’s nothing like catching a film at the Belcourt and enjoying the sites in Hillsboro Village! 

Hot Topic & Featured Vendor: Sherwin Williams 2017 Color Forecast


Each year, Sherwin Williams puts together an in depth look at trends they foresee for the upcoming year. This year, there are 4 main looks of ideas emerging. We love the looks, especially the romantic, jewel tones and the vibrant, bold colors. For more info and to see the complete presentation click here


Noir – “It’s among our most precious commodities: night.”


Holistic – “Sustainable design and radical transparency are the new standards.”


Intrepid – “The virtual and the real are blurring in the form of seamless commerce and “office anywhere” collaboration.”


Unbounded – Global immigration is redefining borderlands, national identity and our sense of coexistence.