A Mid-Century Dreamland
Inside Post and Beam Living
When I first discovered the Instagram account @postandbeamliving, it took my breath away. The quiet beauty of the architecture, the dramatic silhouettes of the furniture, and the comforting tones of the decor left me in awe. So, it was a true honor to speak with one of the style icons behind this account, Danielle, about her experience becoming a master of mid-century modern design, how she and her husband fell in love with the style, and how they’ve incorporated MōDRN designs into their space.
Their mid-century design fascination:
After discovering the Harvey Park neighborhood through a friend, Danielle and her husband moved into a rental—and began their mid-century modern love story. Even while they were in a rental, the 1950s history of the homes that surrounded them encouraged the couple to trade their bulky furnishings for clean-lined, functional mid-century modern designs instead. Then, while walking their dog, they came across a beautiful Cliff May house that happened to be for sale. The low profile, post and beam, clerestory window construction instantly drew them in. They worked with the previous homeowner to remove the carpets and uncover hardwood floors, removed a few unnecessary walls, and created a light-filled dream home. Later, they would move into their current house (another 1950s home), but this first foray into mid-century modern architecture—and how furniture from this same era enhanced it—resulted in a lifelong appreciation and love of this style.
How that house informed their style:
That first Cliff May house changed everything for them. In terms of architecture, they fell in love with the floor-to-ceiling windows and the natural light that mid-century homes provided. They also began to appreciate the variety of materials used to create these homes—exposed beams, tongue-and-groove ceilings, and interesting brickwork. Then, in terms of furniture and fixtures, the two fell in love with the timeless appeal of the clean lines and organic forms of mid-century design. Functional, beautiful, and high-quality. The transition to these modern looks was a no-brainer.
Misconceptions about their style:
When people see pictures of Danielle’s home (both the Cliff May house as well as their current residence), they’ll often say, “you live in a museum!” As someone who actually works in an art museum, it's a comment that Danielle can appreciate. However, it’s not at all the case at all. As opposed to creating a gallery of vintage items that can no longer be used or even touched, everything in her home is functional and durable. It’s one of the things that she loves most about mid-century modern designs: They’re long-lasting materials and craftsmanship. Some of the items in her house are 60+ years old—and they’re still holding up like they’re new. Even when damage does occur, the items can be easily restored.
Challenges of their home restoration:
In March of 2017, Danielle and her husband closed on a new 1950s home. They immediately began the restoration process. However, it was only a week into this new project when Danielle discovered that she was pregnant. They had already gutted the entire kitchen, so were forced to move up their timeline in order to get certain aspects of the house done more quickly. It was rough living for about four months until the upstairs was (mostly) completed. Now, their struggle is trying to finish projects—like the master bath—with a little one running around. Another big challenge is staying true to their preferred design aesthetic while also staying in budget. Their eyes are always richer than their pocketbooks.
Best part of their home restoration:
This one is easy: the relationship building. Neither Danielle nor her husband expected to fall in love with mid-century modernism as much as they did. It’s been a blast learning alongside one another and hunting for vintage pieces at estate sales. They’ve really bonded over designing the spaces in their homes. Also, during the process, they’ve been able to connect with the daughters who grew up in their current house. Through this relationship, they’ve been able to learn more about the home’s history, see old photographs, and hear stories about its earlier life. It has also been nice to get the former homeowners’ approval of all the work that they’ve been doing.
What is @postandbeamliving?
Post and Beam Living was created as a way for Danielle and her husband to share their passion with others. It began on Instagram in the summer of 2016 as a collection of images and stories about their first mid-century home. Now, it focuses on their second home through more of a design lens. They’ve connected to hundreds of mid-century and home design “Instafriends” who continue to inspire them—including giving Danielle the courage to pursue a website dedicated to their journey. The website serves as a space to document the renovation of their home and to share the rich history they’ve learned so far. It’s important for them to have a way to share their knowledge. They understand that someday there will be another caretaker of this home who values its history as much as they do. Danielle and her husband want to inspire as many people as they can, whether that’s through their design choices or by giving someone the confidence to transform their own home too.
Thoughts on MōDRN mid-century revival:
There’s no denying that the mid-century aesthetic has made a big comeback in recent years. This has definitely led to vintage pieces becoming harder to find—and more expensive. So, Danielle and her husband really appreciate that MōDRN has created a contemporary line that reimagines these pieces at an affordable price, while staying true to the quality and craftsmanship of the original mid-century modern design aesthetic. “I’ve had so much fun styling it into our home!” She tells us.
MōDRN mid-century revival in their home:
Currently, the couple has three MōDRN mid-century revival pieces in her home. They love to entertain, so the Dover bar cart was perfect for the living room. They love how spacious it is. Its size enables them to stock it with a large variety of cocktail mixers and glassware while still having room for some fun decorative elements as well. They also have the Virtue flatware and Art Deco dinnerware set. Both add so much character to the table setting, especially the plates which are definitely statement pieces with their gorgeous pops of color.
Mid-century modern design tips:
Mid-century design is timeless. It goes well with any design aesthetic, so it can be incorporated into your home easily. Her strategy is to go vintage with a few key “showstopper” furniture pieces—and then sprinkle in contemporary finishes (like they've done with the MōDRN mid-century revival collection). She’s very aware that vintage pieces are getting harder to find and are more expensive than ever. Still, she believes they’re worth the investment if you can afford them. However, she’s so grateful that people have other options if they’re on a budget.