Patience pays off for Erin Bird and her husband when it comes to their 1955 home in Denver’s Harvey Park.

Harvey Park MCM living room
The clerestory windows help brighten the living room is this newly renovated 1955 home in Denver’s Harvey Park.

Homing In on Harvey Park

Erin and her husband moved from Chicago to Denver in hopes of owning an MCM home. They moved and rented for a couple years when Erin’s husband saw a listing for a 1955 Harvey Park home.

Harvey Park is one of Denver’s prominent Mid Century Modern neighborhoods and boasts the only Cliff May homes outside of California. While the Birds’ home is not a Cliff May home, it was inspired by builder Franklin L. Burns’ work on the Cliff May homes.

“My husband saw the listing for our house, but I wasn’t interested because it is only 850 sq ft. But, we looked at it and were happily surprised at how large the interior felt due to floor-to-ceiling and clerestory windows and a floor plan that maximized living space,” Erin recalls. 

MCM storage
With limited storage space, furniture pieces like this one are doubly important.

But clearly the idea grew on her. “We don’t have kids, so the storage works for us and keeps us in check about object accumulation. We also like having a smaller and more sustainable energy and waste footprint.”

tropical MCM bathroom
The Birds’ bathroom renovation was largely DIY–with the help of Erin’s dad.

Let the Renovation Begin

When the Birds moved into their 1955 Harvey Park home, they had their work cut out for them. “The house was flipped a few years before we purchased it, so it was turn key but not Mid Century Modern sensitive,” Erin says. “But this allowed us to live comfortably while planning and saving for renovations.

First up was the bathroom, which the Birds undertook themselves with the help of Erin’s dad. A tropical theme brightens the space and suits the MCM aesthetic.

MCM tropical bathroom
Flamingoes say both tropical and MCM.

Next up was the kitchen. Erin explains, “Originally, the homes had 3/4 height walls that separated the living and kitchen. When the house was flipped, the wall was taken down to counter height, but it still greatly closed in the space. We entirely removed the wall and reconfigured the plumbing to allow for a small dining table, wrapped the appliances around the back wall and added lots of storage with floor-to-ceiling cabinets around the fridge.

Harvey Park renovated kitchen
The kitchen renovation in Harvey Park removed partial walls to allow for a dining area.

We wanted a design that was clean and contemporary but reflected MCM design aesthetics. I salvaged the round chrome MCM hardware and we installed a pale turquoise sink as a playful nod to the 50s.

Harvey Park kitchen turquoise sink
The turquoise sink is a playful nod to the MCM palette.

For another Denver home’s renovation, see “This Post and Beam Denver Home is a Renovation Success Story.”

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