Charlotte-based design firm House of Nomad has a refreshing straightforward attitude — just look at their FAQ! Founded by Berkeley Minkhorst and Kelley Lentini, House of Nomad’s designs are equally accessible – but take a closer look and you’ll realize the amount of thought and care that has created the welcoming space. Case in point: this recently completed project in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood. We talked to the two designers to learn more.
Tell us a little bit about how you two came to found House of Nomad?
Berkeley: Kell and I both have always loved art and interior design — but when we met, we’d followed life to responsible, corporate jobs in the business and design worlds. We realized after these years of working corporate jobs that they were not the best fit for our personalities. Truly, we were ready to start something of our own. Something that could help foster the creativity that we both had in us but weren’t tapping into.
Kelley: Overnight, we had filed for our LLC and had an initial consultation booked. We’ve never looked back. We are founded on the idea that travel fosters the best creativity, that it’s the best design school. Our designs allow us to travel for business — keeping us creative for our clients and sourcing along the way.
Who was the client for the home you are sharing today and what were their needs for their home?
Berkeley: Our clients are a young family with two boys who recently relocated to Charlotte from Connecticut. They moved into a charming, historic home in the Dilworth neighborhood and when our paths crossed, most of their spaces were filled — except the empty front living and dining areas. Because the historic home had an addition, which added a large living area off the kitchen, our clients couldn’t visualize how they wanted to use these spaces. The living room, which the front door opened to, was tripping them up the most.
Kelley: With two young boys and a neighborhood of kids coming in and out of the house, the room needed to be functional, durable and boy proof. So, no glass, tables with sharp edges and we designed around a traffic pathway for them to run to the back of the house.
Berkeley: As we talked, we realized the couple still wanted a sophisticated area to entertain in, but nothing formal or stuffy. This room needed to be mindful of kids but also be beautiful for inviting friends into.
What was the space like when you started the project?
Kelley: The spaces were empty and beige. All the walls were tan and they had one sofa and chair pushed into a corner with a small rug. In the adjoining dining room, there was nothing but a light fixture they didn’t like mounted to the ceiling.
Berkeley: To create cohesion, we carried the light gray paint in the back portion of their home into the front to combine the spaces. The historic house itself has great bones with beautiful original hardwood floors and a working fireplace.
With such a blank slate, how did you begin?
Berkeley: The entire project centered around us helping the clients articulate their unique design styles — and then discover how their styles could be combined. She was drawn to cool tones and transitional style, while he loved mid-century modern with a relaxed, California vibe.
Kelley: One of the pieces that inspired the overall design was the leather sofa we found at market with exposed wood sides. That piece, as well as the textured wallpaper for the dining and entry spaces, set the tone of the home and drove the color palette we used throughout.
See how the designers at House of Nomad created a transitional yet relaxed home.