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Mid-Century Design for a 1970's Mountain Home

DECEMBER 14, 2017
Photo credit: Images via Elena Calabrese

We feel very fortunate to work with such an incredible roster of talented interior designers. We always enjoy seeing their creative and inspiring designs crop up in shelter magazines, in design blogs and on feeds. Recently we were excited to see Decorist Elite designer Elena Calabrese gorgeous spread in Modern Luxury Interiors for her Mill Valley, CA mid-century modern design project.

Now you can step inside this Northern California 1970's mountain home that overlooks Mount Tamalpais and hear first-hand some of Elena's design secrets. Known for her eclectic style and modern sensability, we asked Elena to share 6 tips on how to get this cool, calm and collected look.

1. Start with a neutral color scheme

I like to start with a neutral, clean slate and add in texture and color with furniture and accessories. When you pair crisp white walls with architectural mid-century elements instantly you create that modern look. For the main parts of the house, we used one of my favorite white paints, Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore. High contrast natural materials pop off crisp white walls. 


2. Incorporate old and new

Mixing modern furniture with vintage pieces gives a home a collected, curated look. We paired a sleek grey sofa and white sculptural coffee table with a classic leather Eames chair. The juxaposition of materials and styles adds interest and personality to the interiors.


3. Add pattern

Despite having a nuetral look, we wanted to add some interest and color through pattern. Geometric shapes in high contrasting colors make it interesting and modern. My client wanted a fresh, clutter-free envirnoment so we focused on monochromatic interiors, utilizing black, white and grey in a playful way.


4. Mix materials

The interplay of surfaces and materials is important when designing a home. Combine lacquer with shag, hide with woods for added texture and dimension. Despite having a white palette, the house still feels warm with the wood tones, natural fibers and pile rugs.


5. Use minimal accents, do not over clutter 

Keep it sleek and uncluttered. For accents, try a simple branches or leaves in an oversized vase to give a natural vibe to the space. Also, use varying textures—metallics, wood, leather, steel—in a sparsely furnished room such as in an entryway or even a bedroom to keep it clean and inviting.


6. Introduce subtle colors

When working with a neutral palette throughout a home, it is still okay to add some color especially in kids bedrooms and lounging rooms. The fun sunrise-inspired wallpaper adds to the overall California vibe of the house with metallic rose-colored poufs, stripped pillows and textural hanging chair.

Thank you Elena for sharing your helpful design tips. If you're feeling inspired and would like your home to have this cool, calm and collected look then start a design project with Elena today. Or you can work with any of our 400 + designers to create the room of your dreams—within your style and budget. Happy Decorating!



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