8 Approaches to Mid-Century Modern Design

If you’re among those attracted to streamlined and minimalistic style, there are ways to incorporate these touches into your home without a total remodel.

BY TALI WEE

The TV show “Mad Men” has not only earned widespread praise and dozens of awards, it’s also inspired a renaissance for mid-century modern design. If you’re among those attracted to streamlined and minimalistic style, there are ways to incorporate these touches into your home without a total remodel.

Mid-century modern describes an era of style and design that began in the mid-1940s and continued into the mid-1960s. At the time, architecture was greatly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s environmental focus and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s functional structures. Most of these homes included expansive windows, open layouts and materials such as glass, wood, metal and concrete.

Interiors complemented the architecture with furniture made of natural resources and sleek, modern plastic accessories — think egg chairs, bubble lamps, tulip tables and geometric-shaped, low-slung furniture. Each piece had a function, and lines were clean and simple.

As cyclical styles re-emerge, they’re often paired with contemporary elements to bridge the time lapse. Here are tips from eight designers who are successfully incorporating mid-century modern touches into their designs:

1. Fresh texture

Emily Henderson, a frontrunner in mid-century modern style and a designer featured on HGTV, advocates white-painted walls and no more than five accent hues per room. Her designs are asymmetrical and full of texture. One highlight is her trademark inclusion of plants. The punch of rich green works effortlessly with her mod finishes.

2. Budget antiques

Designer and blogger Carrie Waller mastered 1960s decor with retro patterns and lamps, all while on budget. Her takeaway advice is to wait for the perfect piece. She decorated her home by perusing estate sales, collecting old brass animals and other iconic accents.

3. Clean simplicity

Blogger and event planner Camille Styles offers expertise across numerous design styles, but often incorporates mid-century modern touches into her projects. The design for her new office space is focused on function, with minimal furniture, closed storage for clean lines and ample lighting. She opts for soothing neutral hues with pops of color.

4. Planned vision

Designer Darlene Weir is function-focused and says envisioning a plan is the key to any successful design. Having a specific vision before she ever begins a design project enables her to avoid clutter from the outset. Her mid-century modern flair is reflected through her choice of furniture. Whether paired with cottage or contemporary styles, Weir’s chairs and sofas are true 1960s design inspiration.

5. Statement piece

Vintage furniture helps ground Erin Gates’ mid-century modern rooms. The designer uses just one statement piece per room and allows that single piece to inspire the rest of the furniture and accent choices within the space. Because vintage elements can get expensive, splurging for a single statement item is a cost-effective method for successful styling.

6. Eclectic layers

Designer Kristin Jackson prefers to blend eclectic design with mid-century modern style for a layered look. A room that features wood accessories only, for instance, is not nearly as interesting as one that layers elements such as wood, metal, fresh flowers, antique lamps, brass accents and retro patterns. Before making any big investments, she suggests shopping your own home. Rearrange your decor to expose the perfect accents for the greatest design impact.

7. Researched history

Curious about the history of one of your vintage pieces? Suzanne and Lauren McGrath are the authors of “Good Bones, Great Pieces: The 7 Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime.” The mother-daughter design team takes a special interest in the origin of the pieces they include in their designs, noting that understanding history helps dictate how retro pieces best pair with contemporary designs. Their style features tasteful, practical combinations of low-slung tables, retro patterns and saddle chairs.

8. Balanced pairing

Interior designer and blogger Samantha Penner is known for her ability to combine mid-century modern flair with elegant contemporary styling. She effortlessly adds antique bar carts and Milo Baughman chairs for a look that’s chic without looking like it belongs in a museum.

8 Approaches to Mid-Century Modern Design

If you’re among those attracted to streamlined and minimalistic style, there are ways to incorporate these touches into your home without a total remodel.

BY TALI WEE

The TV show “Mad Men” has not only earned widespread praise and dozens of awards, it’s also inspired a renaissance for mid-century modern design. If you’re among those attracted to streamlined and minimalistic style, there are ways to incorporate these touches into your home without a total remodel.

Mid-century modern describes an era of style and design that began in the mid-1940s and continued into the mid-1960s. At the time, architecture was greatly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s environmental focus and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s functional structures. Most of these homes included expansive windows, open layouts and materials such as glass, wood, metal and concrete.

Interiors complemented the architecture with furniture made of natural resources and sleek, modern plastic accessories — think egg chairs, bubble lamps, tulip tables and geometric-shaped, low-slung furniture. Each piece had a function, and lines were clean and simple.

As cyclical styles re-emerge, they’re often paired with contemporary elements to bridge the time lapse. Here are tips from eight designers who are successfully incorporating mid-century modern touches into their designs:

1. Fresh texture

Emily Henderson, a frontrunner in mid-century modern style and a designer featured on HGTV, advocates white-painted walls and no more than five accent hues per room. Her designs are asymmetrical and full of texture. One highlight is her trademark inclusion of plants. The punch of rich green works effortlessly with her mod finishes.

2. Budget antiques

Designer and blogger Carrie Waller mastered 1960s decor with retro patterns and lamps, all while on budget. Her takeaway advice is to wait for the perfect piece. She decorated her home by perusing estate sales, collecting old brass animals and other iconic accents.

3. Clean simplicity

Blogger and event planner Camille Styles offers expertise across numerous design styles, but often incorporates mid-century modern touches into her projects. The design for her new office space is focused on function, with minimal furniture, closed storage for clean lines and ample lighting. She opts for soothing neutral hues with pops of color.

4. Planned vision

Designer Darlene Weir is function-focused and says envisioning a plan is the key to any successful design. Having a specific vision before she ever begins a design project enables her to avoid clutter from the outset. Her mid-century modern flair is reflected through her choice of furniture. Whether paired with cottage or contemporary styles, Weir’s chairs and sofas are true 1960s design inspiration.

5. Statement piece

Vintage furniture helps ground Erin Gates’ mid-century modern rooms. The designer uses just one statement piece per room and allows that single piece to inspire the rest of the furniture and accent choices within the space. Because vintage elements can get expensive, splurging for a single statement item is a cost-effective method for successful styling.

6. Eclectic layers

Designer Kristin Jackson prefers to blend eclectic design with mid-century modern style for a layered look. A room that features wood accessories only, for instance, is not nearly as interesting as one that layers elements such as wood, metal, fresh flowers, antique lamps, brass accents and retro patterns. Before making any big investments, she suggests shopping your own home. Rearrange your decor to expose the perfect accents for the greatest design impact.

7. Researched history

Curious about the history of one of your vintage pieces? Suzanne and Lauren McGrath are the authors of “Good Bones, Great Pieces: The 7 Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime.” The mother-daughter design team takes a special interest in the origin of the pieces they include in their designs, noting that understanding history helps dictate how retro pieces best pair with contemporary designs. Their style features tasteful, practical combinations of low-slung tables, retro patterns and saddle chairs.

8. Balanced pairing

Interior designer and blogger Samantha Penner is known for her ability to combine mid-century modern flair with elegant contemporary styling. She effortlessly adds antique bar carts and Milo Baughman chairs for a look that’s chic without looking like it belongs in a museum.

Calgary Home and Garden Show

Ask us… again!

After an amazingly epic time at the Calgary Home and Garden Show in 2018, Renee and I are headed back to the show again this year to answer all of your Mortgage and Real Estate related questions.

Don’t miss checking out our booth and entering to win this years give away!! A $200 gift certificate to the Kananaskis Nordic Spa and a night at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge! AHHHH! Do we really have to give it away Renee??? I want to go myself!

Here are the official details!

In partnership with Renée Huse of MMG MORTGAGE, I will be at the 2019 Calgary Home and Garden Show from February 28th -March 3rd, 2019 providing on the fly real estate market analyses and mortgage advice.

Ask Me: Renée Huse, Mortgage Agent

With a business rooted in honesty and integrity, Renee’s goal to be the trusted mortgage partner for your family, friends and community.  With access to over 70 lenders, Renee offers products tailored to meet your specific needs at the best rates.

www.reneehuse.com

Ask Me: Monique Morrison, YYC Red Shoe Realtor

Working with a positive outlook, Monique enhances the real estate experience with an honest, knowledgeable and collaborative commitment to you.  Together you’ll the perfect place to call HOME.
www.moniquemorrison.com

Purchase your show tickets early to receive a discount by clicking the image below!

https://calgaryhomeandgardenshow.tix123.com/

 

5 Design Tips to Cure ‘Model Home Syndrome’

Looking for a new home with all the modern amenities, but wish you could maintain that old-home feel? These budget-friendly tricks are easy to implement but can have a lasting impact on the character of your home.

BY BOBVILA.COM

Most homes built in the U.S. these days are done by developers, which can be great — contractor-built homes are energy efficient, contain the latest features and technologies, and look brand new! But depending on your taste, that brand-new look can be awesome… or totally bland.

So if you want all the benefits of contemporary living but prefer an old-home feel, check out these tips for adding some architectural details to give a new house lots of character.

No. 1: Install (lots of) architectural molding

Built-in decorative features are an almost guaranteed escape from “model home syndrome.” Crown molding, ceiling coffers, baseboards, chair rails, transoms, cornice molding, wainscoting and recessed panels all impart new drywall with loads of vintage charm. Note: The earlier you install molding in a new house the better, as walls and floors are likely to become less square over time.

No. 2: Change up your cabinet pulls

You know what they didn’t have in the days of antique houses? Brushed aluminum and acrylic. So you know what you should replace in your house? The same! In your kitchen and bathroom, consider using glass knobs, which came to popularity in the early 1900s (when metal was in short supply due to the Great Depression and world wars). To echo the look throughout your home, do the same with your door knobs, desk-drawer handles and dresser pulls.

No. 3: Address your staircase

Consider replacing the handrails and newel post with more elegant woodwork. Check local salvage yards, classified ads and online sites to snag pieces that will make an impression. And if you really want to go for it, rip up your wall-to-wall carpeting and install a stair runner for a signature-antique look.

No. 4: Upgrade your light switch and outlet plates

For very little time and money, you can easily upgrade all your switch plates and outlet covers. Look for nickel and brass finishes to stay era-appropriate. You can check antique shops if you’re a purist, but there are plenty of reproduction pieces that’ll do just fine.

No. 5: Switch up your lights

Nothing screams contractor-built home like contractor-grade lighting. Though energy-smart and inexpensive, such fixtures make everything look as generic as can be. Neutrality is the goal when you’re trying to entice buyers, not when you want to create a beautiful space. Look for antiques like chandeliers — but old wiring can be problematic, so consider reproductions. Wall sconces especially will evoke the era you’re after.

New Canada Food Guide

New Year, New You, New Food Guide?

In light of the new Canada Food Guide, I thought I would re-share some tips from my experience.

Most everyone knows that I lost some weight… ok, I lost a lot of weight – over 120 pounds. Tons of people ask me how I did it and that’s a very long answer. Today I am just going to share with you some tips of how I did it and have maintained (+/- 10 lbs) for over 5 years.

First off, I’m sure you have heard it a hundred times and have read it on a million blogs – but drink more water! For a girl that loves soda and juice, this was probably the hardest thing I had to do. I tried to cut out as much as possible of sugary drinks. I don’t drink coffee, I am more of a tea drinker but Starbucks is my biggest weakness, to continue to enjoy it I looked for the lowest calorie drink on the menu that I liked – my drink of choice was a Venti Cool Lime Refresher with light ice (only 90 calories). They have since discontinued it, so if you have a suggestion let me know. Right now I’m drinking sugar-free Strawberry Infused Green Tea.  Anyways…. I felt like I could still go for a “coffee” with my friends without guilt.

Second, is portions. When I was considerably overweight I could sit down and plow through an entire large pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to, but I don’t! Now I am conscious of how much I’m eating, when you start to think about how big your stomach is and how much food you are putting into it. Few tips from me… I only use side plates, I no longer use full dinner plates. The other trick that I did was I started putting away the leftovers before I even sat down to eat. Recipes typically cater to families, so putting away the extra helped so that I wasn’t temped to have seconds and had meals for later in the week.

Third is choice! I am a big believer in menu planning, it helped me know what I was going to be eating throughout the week and even get control of some of my cravings. That way I wasn’t out and about running errands thinking there is nothing in the house and just stopping for Taco Time. I was already prepped and knew I was making good food choices if I stuck to the plan.

Final tip from me would be exercise! At the peak of my weight loss journey I was doing a lot of bootcamps, not so much anymore now that I am maintaining. I still remain active, right now I’m doing yoga at home. Golf is a big one in the summer and I try to get out and do a little something everyday.

Canada Food Guide

 

Other tips from people that I unfortunately have never been able to master but they seem important:

Eat Breakfast – ughh, I really don’t like breakfast. Ok maybe bacon and eggs but a girl can’t do that every day. I will do smoothies or take a handful of nuts and raisins as I’m headed out the door.

Salad / Vegetables – it’s green and gets on my plate (my dad says that all the time and I tend to agree). I obviously eat vegetables but salad baffles me – it’s just lettuce. People that order it on menu because it’s the healthy choice… beware, all the toppings and dressings can quickly make it the most high calorie and fat item on the menu. Do your research!

To make sure you are successful give yourself a break. A cheat meal, a lazy day or $5 in 10 cent candies! It’s all natural and just remember it’s a journey – so keep moving forward and don’t give up. Just start all over again with your next choice. I am not skinny or super fit but those are my ways of maintaining my weight loss and keeping a balance in my life. I can still go out with friends (and eat fish tacos with a gin and tonic – am I right??) and enjoy everyday loving myself and feeling comfortable in my skin.

Chef's Plate

Chef’s Plate – The Relationship Saver

We lead a pretty busy life! Both of us work (obviously), flip properties and when you add my chaotic #realtorlife to the equation, planning meals can be a bit overwhelming. Last year when we bought our second house, were renovating and adding a secondary suite, tensions were a little high and when asked “What’s for dinner?” I would bite off the head of my unsuspecting partner. It wasn’t his fault and, in truth, a valid question but I didn’t have the answer.

That’s when I was introduced to Chef’s Plate. People had mentioned it before but now that the dinner dilemma had reached critical volume, I took a closer look. And thank goodness because I swear it saved our relationship – lol.

Here is the scoop….
Meal Plans range from classic and family friendly to 15 minute meals and vegetarian. And you can pick either 2, 3, or 4 meals a week delivered.

We opted for the 4x per week Classic, which is their widest variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian recipes. Both 30 minute and 15 Minute recipes are included. Note the 15 minutes ones are offered at a premium price.

The nice thing is some weeks when we have a lot of dinner plans and events, we can reduce our order to 2 or 3 meals or even skip the delivery entirely (which we did over the holidays).

This is great not only for busy families but I think it would also be amazing for the seniors in your life! If someone has mobility issues or isn’t eating the healthiest options then fresh food can be delivered to their door. They choose the meals and the 15 minute meals even come with all the veggies/ingredients chopped and ready to go.

I have been impressed with the freshness of the ingredients, the ease of the recipes and, actually most surprisingly, the portion size. We can both eat dinner and most nights, there is enough left over for my partner to take for lunch the next day.

We did the math and worked out how much wasted food we had at the end of the week and this works for us! Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I encourage you to run the numbers and see what it might do to your family’s quality of life and time spent together!

Get your free plates here -> chefsplate.com?r=3pc-IS4KGSW or use the referral tag #freeplatesfromYYCRedShoeRealtor

 

WE PICK THE ONES THAT WE WOULDN’T MAKE OURSELVES, DUE TO LACK OF SKILL AND SPECIALTY INGREDIENTS. OUR TASTES LEAN TOWARD MEXICAN AND ASIAN. SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES:

  • Sweet Potato & Avocado Poke Bowl with sticky rice and sesame-soy dressing
  • Crispy Chicken Katsu Sandwich with garlic aioli and a crunchy slaw
  • Pork Meatball Hot Pot with leeks and rice noodles
  • Crispy Fish Tacos with avocado salsa & creamy lime slaw
Farmer's Markets

Farmer’s Markets… be still my heart!

There is something I love about wandering through the aisles, filled with all the bright colours and local products. With the new year’s resolutions still going strong, I imagine the market is super busy right now. Fresh fruit, vegetables and local organic meats are easily at your fingertips. It smart to eat local because you are supporting a neighbour, organic is a healthy option and eating seasonally is definitely best, but I wonder why I don’t go enough?

Whenever I travel, I try to make it to the local market and I vow that when I get home will go to our markets more often. But somehow when I get back, I just don’t do it 🙁

Here are my excuses, which are totally lame. I’m not a morning person, so maybe that is why I opt for Superstore vs. the Calgary Farmer’s Market. You don’t have to go early but in my head that goes together for some reason. Or it’s the parking thing, which is so #firstworldproblems. Or maybe it’s because I’m too busy to menu plan my week. I dunno why but I never get there, which sucks!

Here are some reasons I’m going to make it a priority in 2019.

What’s Fresh

Apples, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers (GH), Eggplant (GH), Peppers (GH), Potatoes, Tomatoes (GH), Winter Squash.

They have a list of seasonal recipes too, so there are no excuses. http://www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/fresh

Meet the Vendors

Such a huge selection to choose from! You can look on the website here for the full list. Some I love to hit up, Simple Simons Pies, Spragg’s Meat Shop and Better.  http://www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/explore-market/meet-our-vendors

Better has cold press juices and smoothies made with fresh ingredients. And you know how much I love my juices! Eau Claire Distillery is also there, can we say Gin and Juice?! LOL

What’s New

If you haven’t heard by spring 2020 the Calgary Farmer’s Market will be growing by 50,000 ft2! They are opening a second location in the new northwest community of Greenwich.

Those are all amazing reasons to go and I can’t wait to make this part of my grocery shopping routine!

Date Night

Calgary – It’s Date Night!

Calgary is AMAZING!

I know, I might be biased – but there is so much to do in our city.  With everything the city has to offer date night should be easy and more than just dinner and a movie. 

How about these cool local date night ideas:

• Live Improv: Loose Moose Theatre 
• Handmade Pasta Making Lesson: The Spice Chica 
• Murder Mystery Dinner: Fort Calgary 
• Sunday Brunch: Monki Breakfast Club
• Drop in Volleyball: Rally Pointe
• Tacos and Bowling: National on 10th
• Escape Room Experience: Level 1 Escape / Escape Capers YYC 
• Surfset Group Fitness: Revolution Fitness 
• Live Music: There are tons of cool places like Ironwood and Wine Ohs

Everyone is different and the more you can personalize the experience the better it will be for both of you.  Remember that they love you  just spending time together and reminding them how important they are to you will win you major brownie points and fill your heart up with joy.

Or, “Netflix and Chilling” always works too  😉

Love Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day – Pamper Her or Spoil Him

Tis the season of love, tingly feelings and romance.  I adore this time of year, people being all mushy gushy with feelings, open hearts and public displays of affection. I mean, seriously, is there anything cuter than a couple holding hands walking in the snow and not feeling the cold. It doesn’t matter if you are in love with yourself, a partner, your family, your friends or even your pet – sing it from the rooftops during this time of year. It’s OK!

“BEING IN LOVE IS AN AMAZING THING; BUT BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND IS EVERYTHING!”

There seems to be a lot of gift giving this time of year, but celebrating your love for another doesn’t mean you have to spend all your savings. There are many ways you can show you care … I’ve listed some of my ideas below that you can totally steal and take credit for on Valentine’s Day:

Pamper Her
  • Breakfast in bed or meet for breakfast somewhere instead of dinner
  • Send her a sexy text message or tantalizing voicemail
  • Have a romantic Valentine’s Day picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting
  • Share a warm bath with scented oil or bubble bath
  • Together write your love story – how you met and fell in love. Don’t forget “lived happily ever after”
Spoil Him
  • Hide post it notes around the house with cute little sentiments
  • Mail a love letter to his office so it arrives on Valentine’s Day
  • Use lipstick to make hearts and XO’s on the rear view mirror or bathroom mirror. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner
  • Do something together, go skating or tobogganing – its fun, seriously!
  • Break out his favourite board game, puzzle or video game

Asbestos – What We Did!

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and for years prior to 1990 it was a popular in construction Canada wide.  Mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against wintry weather and noise. It has also been used, and, in some cases, continues to be used, in products like:

  • cement and plaster
  • industrial furnaces and heating systems
  • building insulation
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • house siding

Here we were, looking to renovate a townhouse that was built in the late 1970’s – we were pretty sure that there would be asbestos. Therefore, during our home inspection period we had a testing company come out and grab samples from everywhere that could potentially contain asbestos. We were right, they did detect 2% Chrysotile Asbestos (which is by far the most common form) in the drywall joint compound no where else. The company said that it was often added to the mud as a binding agent – I sure didn’t know that. Anyways, we negotiated with the seller some of the costs and were off the races.

So, you know, Health Canada says there are no significant risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are:
  • tightly bound in products and are in good condition
  • sealed behind walls and floorboards
  • isolated in an attic
  • left undisturbed

Well, we were definitely going to be disturbing those nasty little asbestos fibres, so next came abatement. We hired M.A.R.S. Environmental Services to do the work for us as we wanted it done properly and safely. It was going to take them 2.5 to 3 full days to remediate all the areas that were going to be affected by our renovation plans. That even included around each of the electrical plugs we were either going to move or replace/repair.

Did we learn a lot through the process? Yes. Was it a bit costly and time consuming? Yes. Was it worth it? YES!! The health of my family, and the ability to confidently say it has been remediated when we go to sell, is totally worth it.  I would say that if you are going to be renovating or flipping an older property, get the testing done prior to waiving your conditions for peace of mind and to ensure you still have a profit margin in that flip!