House tour: The Calgary Trend House
If you’re a fan of mid-century modern homes you’ll love Mike and Jennifer’s house. Their home isn’t just about the furnishings and the interior, it’s the whole package. Their bungalow was built in 1954, one of the first mid-century houses built in the city of Calgary, and has now been designated as a Historic Municipal Resource, which means it is protects and can never be torn down.
The TV show Mad Men certainly has helped promote mid-century modern design in the last few years, but this couple has admired and collected pieces of the period for over 30 years (well before the TV show became popular). I’m thrilled to give you a tour of this very unique house, and I’m proud to say that Mike is the Director of Design of our company.
I chatted with Mike about the special characteristics of his mid-century modern home. Here’s what he pointed out about each room. Let’s start the tour!
Starting with the outside:
The front is ranch style, one level, with an emphasis on strong horizontal lines. It also has clerestory windows – you can see them on the left of the brick fireplace tucked under the eaves.
The entryway features a raised built-in planter box that acts as a room divider between the living room, dining and kitchen area.
The house has an open concept floor plan, which is typical of the era. The dark grey porcelain tiles run through the main floor. They emphasize the seamless open concept, make the space look spacious and they’re easy to keep clean (two large dogs also live in the house).
The red cedar ceiling runs through the entire front of the house with exposed ceiling beams. The painted walls are all Douglas fir plywood.
The man in the blue coat sculpture is called “Pressure Treated Man” by Peter Kiss. It’s not a period piece but it’s quirky art that shows Mike and Jennifer’s fun sense of humour.
The brick fireplace wall extends from the outside to the inside of the foyer and living room.
Interesting fact: The pair of teak chairs were part of a living room set that Mike’s parents bought in 1968 and passed down to him. It sounds like the love for mid-century modern design runs in the family.
The kitchen layout is original and has a pass-through window that separates it from the dining room.
There are windows at the front and back of the kitchen, which is unusual for a home of that era, but they’re certainly appreciated as they flood the space with bright daylight. The kitchen sink faces the front of the house which is typical of the era.
Fun fact about this eight foot kitchen counter: Mike designed it long enough for two people to sit side by side with each a Calgary Herald newspaper fully open. This way, he and Jennifer can enjoy breakfast while reading the newspaper together at the same table.
Of course the morning ritual includes breakfast with Hazel, a Bernese Mountain Dog (at the back) and pup Riley, adopted from ARF Alberta.
The bedroom features a low profile headboard with art hanging in a straight line imitating the long horizontal line of the bed. Uncluttered teak furniture and a cool white IKEA Knappa pendant lamp give the bedroom a clean, soothing and modern feel.
The end wall (not seen in the picture) is all glass and shows off a beautiful view of the city.
What I love the most about Mike and Jennifer’s mid-century home is that they don’t restrict their choice of furnishings to only period pieces. They style their house with things they love; anything from quirky, modern items to vintage pieces that add personality and fun to their very unique home.
Thanks Mike for the tour!
Check out the following links for more information about Mike & Jennifer’s house:
The house has its own website, click here.
Inside Calgary’s 1954 Trend House
Calgary couple save a cherished ‘trend’ house
Request to preserve one of Canada’s last remaining ‘Trend Houses’ goes to city council
Are you a fan of mid-century modern homes?
Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating