Berkeley Minkhorst found herself returning to her roots when she and her husband bought this 1940s bungalow. It’s in the Charlotte, North Carolina neighborhood she grew up in! Though it has a lot of original charm, the designer made quite a few changes: walls have come down, the kitchen and bathrooms have been gutted and the space now wears her calm, collected and global vibe.
House of Nomad, the design firm she runs with partner Kelley Lentini, is known for the same globally-inspired aesthetic. The pair travel the world, sourcing unique decor from Mexico, Morocco, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and more. Many of those pieces, including large Otomi panels from Sayulita, are seen here. Every piece tells a story, whether it’s a family heirloom, a travel find or vintage piece reupholstered in a favorite modern fabric. In a recent chat, she told us more:
Tell us about your home. How long have you lived here and what do you love most about the space?
My husband Diek, Shelby (our pup) and I have lived in our home for over 6 years. The house is a very happy house and we felt that the first time we walked in. When we were looking for our first home, we saw 8 homes in one day. This was the last one we saw and we knew it was right for us. The location is great – I grew up down the street and we have walkability to lots of restaurants and shopping. I grew up in an older home and I have always loved and appreciated the character of older homes. This house was built in the 50s and I love all of the arched doorways, original hardwood floors and character that comes with it.
Did the neighborhood influence the design at all?
Being in an older neighborhood we wanted to stick to some of those roots. We have antiques and vintage pieces throughout that have been passed down to us through our parents and friends. Some to note are the side tables in the living room – these were Diek’s mom’s from when she lived in London and the demi looms in the living area were in my dining room growing up. At House of Nomad, we live to mix styles and pieces together to create something that is truly reflective of our clients and this is certainly an example of that!
What condition was the home in when you first moved in, and what were the first changes you made?
With this being an older home the house felt very dark with low ceilings and SO many small rooms. The first thing we did was cut down a large tree in the front yard as it was blocking all of the natural light coming into the home. After living there two years and really getting a feel for the best use of space we decided to open the house up. We knocked down the walls separating the living from the dining and the dining from the kitchen. We enclosed the awkward back entry way to become an extension of the kitchen so we could gain a casual bar area and extra prep and serving space. We made the small kitchen dining into our master bathroom and closet (the house only had 1.5 baths when we purchased) and opened the kitchen dining space up to what was a wasted non-heated sunroom area. To bridge these areas we extended the countertops and added more cabinets for storage along with a wine fridge – creating a designated “bar” type area. We reupholstered some vintage chairs and set them across from the bar as a little lounge area. After all the interior work was completed we painted the entire exterior white. We are now considering lifting the roof and adding a second floor as we love our neighborhood and neighbors!
For furniture and decor, are there any pieces that you feel really “make” or transformed the home?
There are very intentional bold pops of black and white throughout the house (a combo I will forever love) that creates some cohesion and personality in the house. The vintage chairs in the sitting area are a favorite of mine. My next door neighbor found them for me at a garage sale and I recovered them and restored them with my mom to take to college. Fast forward to now, they are dressed to impress in Schumacher Queen of Spain which will always be one of my most favorite fabrics. I also love the Worlds Away console under the basket wall in our living room – its so fun and love the layering it provides to the entire room.
See more in the slideshow.