In this vibrant Michigan home, a colorful palette, bold wallpaper patterns and classic MCM features create an exuberant atmosphere in this new build designed for a couple longing to recapture the nostalgia of their childhoods.
For many, Mid Century Modern style has an inviting aura.
Such is the case for Andrea and Mark Brimmer, a couple that longed for a custom dream build that reminded them of their childhood homes.
“They both grew up in places with a heavy Mid Century Modern influence,” says Elin Walters, owner and principal designer of Exactly Designs. “The aesthetic takes them back to their childhood and makes them feel warm and happy.”
For the new construction, the couple chose an idyllic spot that boasts 200 feet of frontage and 2 acres on Lake Ponemah in Fenton, Michigan. Renowned architect Karl Jasinski had recently retired, but when asked to design the home, he agreed, making it the culminating project of a storied career.
Elin was also brought on immediately.
“I was most excited about being involved in the project from day one,” she explains. “Architectural plans had been drawn, and then I was called in to help pick out all the finishes, inside and out. Having this much influence on the entire home was very exciting!”
A Vibrant Michigan Home Designed with an Eye to the Past
Similar to Andrea and Mark, Elin also had a childhood imbued with Mid Century Modern design.
“My parents, who were antiques collectors and dealers, introduced me to the genre,” she says. “There is much to love about it. I personally love that Mid Century Modern design is clean, simple, geometric and full of natural light and warmth through the use of wood.”
Elin had free rein to design as she wished—with excited buy-in from the owners: “We collaborated as we went. They had some things they knew they wanted to incorporate, but they honestly were so excited with all my choices. Such a dream for me!” she says.
Walls of Color for a Vibrant Michigan Home
The owners’ wish list included high ceilings, expansive living areas and lots of square footage to host family and friends. Traditionally, Mid Century Modern homes are not quite as grand in scale, so Elin chose materials that were period-appropriate nods to the era. She also brought a historically sensitive creativity to the project and filled the home with unexpected uses of color and wall treatments.
“Color is ‘my thing,’ hence the reason this place is so alive!” she says. “And when I have an audience who appreciates it, I run with it.”
The colors are prismed through a variety of wall treatments, such as bodacious wallpapers and textured tiles.
“To me, wallpaper is equivalent to art on the wall. It brings color, pattern and energy to a room in an all-consuming way,” Elin shares.
The common theme of the wallpapers in this home is geometry; they provide a simple, balanced, mid-mod feel to the contemporary layout.
Elin’s design in this vibrant Michigan home is a remarkable addition to the Mid Century Modern canon. With its colors, wall treatments, warm use of wood and spacious layout, the home is a bold step into the future while honoring the past and Mid Century Modern style. For Andrea and Mark, the home has the nostalgia of their childhoods, along with a distinct, fashionable sensibility that’s all their own.
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