High Point House: Master Suite

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In keeping with the spirit of the house we went with transitional furniture, adding a solid Mid Century vibe. What’s unique and a little daring about this design is the light and dark contrast. To achieve a fresh, retro inspired style without looking too dated, it’s important to use contemporary design sensibility alongside those vintage elements.

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As you can see, the original space was quite dated for the most part. The carpet needed to go, the curtains were dated, and the walls sported a strange shade of minty-blue. The room did have generous windows that flooded the space with natural light, which is a huge plus. Other than that, it wasn’t much of a master suite, especially with the very out-of-date rose-pink bathroom…

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So, how exactly did we achieve the end design? Most of the rooms in this house are pretty standard without a whole lot of natural character compared to the exterior and the great room. However, that didn’t stop us from making a beautiful space and emphasizing some neat design elements in the space. For example, we painted the brick wall behind the bed a subtle gray to update the look while creating a soft contrast with the sloped ceiling.

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Matching bedroom sets were quite a popular furnishing solution for bedrooms, and still have their place today. But, if you want a truly personalized and eye-catching design, consider mixing in different finishes and colors. The key is to create a sense of balance; too many pieces that are bulky or dark will close in that light and airy feel. Because the bed is already the focal point of any bedroom, by choosing a large, rich espresso finished frame, we gave that piece a lot of visual weight but kept other pieces neutral and bright. If we chose dark colors for the chair, end tables or accent tables, the extra visual weight would have disrupted the flow of the entire space.

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Another lovely element in the master suite is the little sitting area we create by the windows! It completes the space and makes the room feel a bit more grand. The chair is a modern take on a classic design, and the simple, softened contours complement our Mid Century theme. We chose a smaller accent table with a sleek and shiny look that recalls the silver lamps atop the nightstands. Add a white porcelain vase and matching dish (both sporting retro geometric patterns) and the sitting nook comes together beautifully!

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And that’s all there’s to it! Besides the actual renovation work, this make-over wasn’t too complicated. The important thing to remember is not to get carried away. Less is more, especially with a Mid Century design in mind. If you over think it, it’s easy to make the space feel like it’s being pulled in too many directions at once. Contrast, neutrals and sleek and simple are the major design elements you need to think about for this Mid Century contemporary master suite.

 

 

 

High Point House Renovation: Exterior

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We’ve just completed one of our largest and most exciting projects of late: the total renovation of a Mid Century modern home! Naturally, we’ve updated the retro-modernist look with vintage inspired furnishing and décor from Mid Century Living, and the results are even better than we envisioned. Follow our process through this huge project for some beautiful Mid Century inspiration. We’ll go room by room and show you how to create each look, breaking down our choices for furniture, room décor direction, and accessories! We did our best to stay true to the home’s original beauty and Mid Century architecture, while still updating the look to fit a contemporary lifestyle. You’ll be amazed by the before and after shots of this renovation, and we hope that it’ll inspire you to bring a retro style into your home!

To begin, we’ll discuss the exterior of the house, and the relatively minor changes we made to bring out its natural beauty and Mid Century architecture. Modernism came after World War II, when Americans were ready to start anew, and this thirst for change fueled a radical shift from traditional home designs to something entirely different and unexpected. Shaping the future was an important goal and the space age hype had the country’s—and the world’s—attention. Naturally, with the energy to move forward and the rapid progression of technology, the shift in cultural ideals greatly influenced architecture. Simplicity, experimentation, and functionality spurred much the design trends. Mid Century architecture was about contributing to the everyday life style of the average person without going over the top with frills and excess. Large windows and bright, open-planned spaces (things we take for granted in contemporary homes) made their debut for the first time on a wide-spread scale. It was all about connecting man-made structures with the natural landscape; these architects really knew how to bring the outdoors in. However, when we found our project home, the outdoors were a on the verge of taking over the place…

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But, as you can see, the house has some amazing bones. The front entry way is incredibly unique and a quintessential representation of the period’s architecture. You can plainly see the use of a post and beam structure, which allowed for the massive and numerous windows the house showcases. The beams even become part of the home’s charm and eye-catching curb appeal.

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Of course, the home is far past its peak in these before photos. The brown brick and dark beams do a lot to date the exterior, and not in a fun, vintage way! The colors blend too much with the foliage and bring down the light and airy vibe that was originally intended. There’s some room for more porch space, but it’s taken up by large, overgrown planters. After a little weeding and some paint…

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The house has a completely new life, but it stays true to the architecture’s dedication to modernism. Repainting the home a light gray with white trim serves to create a bright and modern mood while simultaneously emphasizing the angular, geometric design. Cutting back on the landscape helped to tame the spacious and beautiful yard, but we didn’t go overboard in fear of trespassing on the natural greenery for a design that looked too manicured and synthesized. We didn’t want to distract from the house.

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We also expanded the porch area and added a second door that leads into the rec room. With the extra outdoor space, we were able add a wicker love-seat and matching chair for evening chats and gatherings. The steps leading to the pathway were replaced and updated with something a little sturdier, and the railings were swapped out for sleek and simple ones that reflected the contours of the entry way.

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And here’s the renovated exterior at night! The floor to ceiling windows allow light to spill out, creating this beautifully lit effect, showcasing the home’s Mid Century splendor.

If you love what we’ve done with the outside, just wait until you see the inside! Coming up in the next few posts, we’ll explore the master suite, the kitchen, and the rec room. But don’t worry; there’s even more on the way, so stay tuned.

A Closer Look at the Mid Century Inspired Dining Room

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So, you’ve chosen a beautiful, Mid Century Living dining set! You fell in love with simple, clean lines, space-age inspired angles, and natural wood grain finishes, and rightly so! But now what? How do  you put together a dining room that combines a Mid Century look and contemporary livability without making your home look too dated, or losing the vintage integrity of the pieces? The wonderful thing about Mid Century furniture is its versatility and its overall transitional look. This allows you to mix in styles and modern trends without things clashing or feeling mix-matched. Depending on your home’s look, you can layer in industrial and urban elements, trendy hues, or minimalist accessories. It’s all in the details!

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In the space pictured above, bright, complementary colors are used to bridge the gap between a design that’s completely vintage and a more modern life style. The hues are reminiscent of the solid colored plastic and ceramic accessories that were popular in the 50’s and 60’s, but sport an updated colored palette that isn’t tired or dull. A mixture of textures also helps to give this space dimension and a contemporary air.  The scroll-work rug softens the entire look, breaking away from the expected linear and geometric patterns that are typically Mid Century.  The pattern is relatively traditional, elegant, and intricate, which seems counter intuitive to the sleek and simple tastes of retro styles. However, the blue accent color ties in the dinnerware and wall art without overpowering the lovely natural walnut finished dining set and server. Other accent pieces, like the white chandelier and the gold sunflower mirror recall Mid Century trends, but each of these elements display a modern twist that’s not stuck in the past.

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On the other hand, ditching the wood wall paneling comeback in favor of a completely light and bright minimalist style may suite your style better! In spaces like these, a light oak wood finished dining set was chosen over the richer and darker walnut wood finish. This creates a modern air that incorporates Scandinavian elements for a look that’s sophisticated and reserved, but not too stuffy. Feel free to mix grays, creams and whites for subtle visual interest and to break up the sterility of a room that’s all white. A touch of warm blue here and golden-beige there really polishes the look and completes the space. Replacing two of the side chairs with a dining bench adds a sense of casualness that’s comfortable and livable. It also adds to the dining chairs’ uniquely shaped backs that are light and angular for a style that has no extra frills,  giving the space an artistic or gallery inspired air.

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If you want to add a little more contrast to a light and bright color palette that’s dominant color is white or cream, think about a deep blue or navy rug. It’ll act as an anchor to the room and warm up an otherwise cool and airy design. And thanks to the expansive yet delicate white geometric pattern, this rug won’t overwhelm the room. Accessory wise, the simple and elegant dual chandeliers are nothing short of graceful, and their style is reflected in an a honey-gold, eye-catching vase atop the server. The gallery-style abstract wall art brings all the visual elements together, incorporating beautifully the color scheme and tone of the design.

With a Mid Century look, you can create a style that’s uniquely yours, mixing in modern and vintage elements. You can easily blend retro vibes with contemporary livability for a dining room that’s casual enough for everyday living and can also be beautifully styled for holidays, gatherings, and occasions. Inspired to decorate your perfect dining space?

Tips and Tricks for Styling a Mid Century Sectional Group

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Pros of a Sectional Group

When decorating you Mid Century living space, you may or may not think to choose a sleek and simple sectional. A sofa and love seat set is usually the natural tendency, but depending on your space, a sectional may be the perfect fit. Here are some great pros:

1. Plenty of Seating 

Sectionals are known for plenty of versatile and comfortable seating, so if your like to entertain, you can instantly make your living room the center of your home!

2. They’re not as big as you might think! 

Sectionals can bring to mind big, bulky pieces of furniture that are meant for the man cave, or a finished basement. However, this isn’t always the case, especially when your talking about Mid Century designs, which are consistently light, low and petite. You can totally achieve an elegant and understated look with the right sectional group.

3. Re-arrange for your unique space or whatever occasion you’re hosing! 

This is probably the best part of owning a sectional group. Because the pieces are movable, it’s easy to re-arrange your seating to fit the exact needs of your space. Some of the pieces can even act as a convenient, stand-alone chair. Having freedom like this means you can even move around your living room set up whenever you’re expecting a large group of guests, whether the occasion be game night, or a holiday.

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Now that we’ve got some of the basics covered, how do you create a space that centers around an eye-catching sectional? First, allow your sectional choice to dictate the flow and design of the room. This specific Mid Century Living design pictured here combines a sense of elegance with a casual, inviting air. In a cool blue upholstery, the tone is neutral, but still has a little personality. An array of throw pillows and other accessories will match the color, so customizing your look is easy. To complete a retro look, add subtle geometric patterns and textured fabrics in warm beige, rust, olive and navy. Other elements, like hanging woven lights or rustic metal wall art, will introduce a variety of textures, creating visual interest and depth.

Styling Choices

Modern & Urban

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If you want a look that’s less Mid Century and more modern, that’s easily and beautifully done! This Mid Century sofa is adaptable to contemporary designs schemes, and you can achieve an urban, understated look in lieu of something completely retro. A gray scale color palette is a natural place to start because it automatically sets a clean, modern vibe. Instead of using colorful accent pieces, try light gray and white accessories with simple patterns. Nature inspired pieces, like a ceramic shell or an indoor plant help to give the space a contemporary air instead of a Mid Century feel.

Eclectic & Bohemian

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If you still want something fun and colorful, but a design that’s totally vintage or clean and modern isn’t for you, consider an eclectic, rustic style. You’ll be able to achieve a contemporary feel, but you can skip the formality of a modern, minimalist look. The key is to soften the angular contours of the sectional with opposing textures that aren’t so clean cut. For example, the rustic, natural wood grain chest of drawers pictured above offsets the simple design of the sofa. In addition, the layered rugs are textured, fun and casual. Plus, they do wonders to tie the entire space together. Not only does the tribal print rug include the same maroon, yellow and navy tones of the room, the pattern is free-spirited, bringing a touch of bohemian style.

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Playful throw pillows introduce relevant, but varying patterns and colors, throwing a fun eclectic element into the mix. Lastly, get creative with accessories. You can use them to emphasize different elements throughout the space. A wooden dish will reference the weathered chest of drawers and tan woven rug, while lemon yellow vases and a vivid, abstract painting will promote the bright accent colors around the room.

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The sectional group is stylish, versatile and an effective choice for your living space! The great thing about a Mid Century inspired design is that you don’t have to stick with a totally retro vibe. Feel free to mix in bohemian or urban elements to suit your perfect style. Whether you tailor your sectional to the size and shape of your room, or add décor and accessories that express your personality, it’s so easy to create a look that’s all your own.

 

Mid Century Decorating 101: Part III

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In the third and final part of Mid Century Decorating 101, we’ll be looking at how to transform your bedroom into a trendy, vintage haven!

A Vintage Inspired Bedroom

1915n-13abed1915n-43a1915n-153a1915n-103a10915n-143a_ls1Putting together a Mid Century style bedroom can give you quite a few creative options. You can customize a vintage look to fit your personality! The natural wood finishes are conducive to pretty much any color scheme you can dream up, so feel free to go modern and trendy, or authentic and retro with your palette. You’ll be able to seamlessly fuse contemporary touches with an old school vibe for a comfortable and stylish room that’s entirely you.

Furniture

If you want to go completely authentic, picking a matching bedroom set can really hit it out of the park! Whether you favor a light oak wood finish or the darker walnut finish counter-part, both provide a light and understated look that won’t overwhelm the room. If you want a style that’s more of a retro-contemporary crossover, mix in modern accent pieces and allow your bigger furniture pieces–like the bed–make the vintage statement.

Bed

1915-13a-_wb2_jun-06-2016Choosing the right bed is important because the essential piece of furniture is an anchor for the whole space. Once you have an anchor piece, it’s easy to mix in other elements. This neat and tidy natural oak bed is a great focal point. It clearly represents the beautiful vintage design scheme while still versatile enough to be paired with bright bedding. The complete oak bedroom set offers a very refined sense, but a warm playfulness is brought out through colors and fabrics.

Reading Nook

1915-93a_ls1_jun-03-2016This reading/sitting area is a great example of old meets new! The light oak dresser carries a definite Mid Century flair while the white accent chair to the left is neutral and modern. Together, they create a livable and fresh vintage inspired design that doesn’t feel too dated. Choose a few accessories in y our favorite hues that vary in size and color to customize your style and achieve that polished look.

Nightstand

e333a-mg3a_ls1mcl_sep-14-2016If you love the Mid Century look but want some quirk and eclectic flair, check out a colorfully lacquered nightstand in place of the matching oak nightstand. It’s a fun, modern twist on the classic design. Plus, you can emphasize your accent color and give your bedroom a lighthearted feel.

Accessorizing 

It’s about the little things, especially when it comes to the details of your Mid Century bedroom! While picking  the perfect bed and bedroom set will set the foundations for a beautiful style, it’s the thoughtfully chosen decorations that will truly bring your vision to life.

Vintage Clock

clockMix in vintage or vintage-inspired accessories to give interest and depth to your design. A charming alarm clock is just the thing for your bedside table. This little guy has a ton of personality! You can also add lacquered or plastic vases and candle holders as these materials were new and popular during the 50s and 60s. Be sure to pick items that represent your personal style!

Throw Pillows

throw-pillowsDelve into some retro inspired patterns! Bold geometric shapes and textured fabrics in a vivid monotone color scheme are a brilliant contrast the simple, ice blue bedspread. Typically, authentically retro hues from the 50s and 60s are  richer, dustier tones, and while beautiful and stylish, choosing colors like these could make your design seem a little too much like living in a time capsule. To update the look, choose similar colors in brighter tints that feel more in sync with modern styles.

That about wrap’s up Part III of Mid Century Decor 101, and finishes up this style guide! We hope you enjoyed these articles and are ready to bring some retro vibes into your home. Check out our future style guides and articles for more Mid Century designs and ideas.