Mid Century Modern Design in a Nashville Condo

I got an email a few months back from a client about decorating her new getaway condo in downtown Nashville. Nashville is booming and high-end, high-rise condo living is all the rage in the downtown area. Like my client, many people are purchasing these condos as second homes for getaway weekends or for hosting their friends and family from out of town. This week I got to see the final results of this design – and I even spent the night there!

mid-century design-02


This was my first visit to the new condo. Since this is a second home, my client needed all new furnishings for this space, which includes a living room and one bedroom.



She wanted warm and modern – which don’t always go together. When I hear people say they want both of those two things, it usually means they will be most happy with a mid-century modern design. With a lot of orange (cabinetry) and yellow (flooring) already in place, we built the color scheme from there. Here’s the living area after:

midcentury living room design


downtown view

Cree LED bulbs in the floor lamp


This is how the unit looked prior to the design, and notice the unattractive effect of the fluorescent can lighting onto the cabinetry:



You’ll see how the orange accents we chose tie in really well to the existing orange cabinets, making it feel warm and modern at the same time.

orange cabinetry


The angles in the ceiling and the textured concrete there were issues we had to deal with. The three colors I saw here chopped the room up visually – the gray concrete ceiling, the white lower ceiling that starts above where we put the sofa and extends into the kitchen area, and the wall. This made for an effect like colored stripes – do you see four?


My solution was to paint the same color on the wall and lower ceiling, all the way up to the concrete ceiling, so now there are only two changes in color, and the change is less jarring with the white removed from the scheme.

concrete ceiling

see next photo, too

Can you see how this is better? Now the focus is on the view and the furnishings of the room, not the weird ceiling changes.

mid-century living room

I like that the dropped ceiling it creates a coziness beneath it, making it the perfect place to nestle in the sofa.


mid century modern living roomafter

Now for the other side of the room. This is the wall opposite the sofa:



My favorite anchor piece for a television is a credenza, and this mid-century jewel is absolutely perfection for this space! One big frustration for my client was that the guy who first installed the television hung it way too high. Be warned: you gotta tell them EXACTLY where you want it hung, and in my book that needs to be 4-6 inches above the furniture that is below it.

modern television stand


Let’s move into the bedroom. It is separated by a wall that is about two-thirds the total height of the ceiling in the condo, so it’s somewhat open to the entire space. Here it is when I first saw it:


This space is all about clean lines and simplicity.

mid-century bedroom designafter

I absolutely ADORE these sconces, which are perfect for night-time reading and keep the side tables clear to place other items.

modern sconcesreading sconces

My client has heard me singing the praises of Cree LED lightbulbs for some time now. Corkscrew-shaped fluorescent light bulbs are particularly horrible for light fixtures where the bulb is exposed. In fact, she told me that she initially had other light bulbs in the multi-arm floor lamp in the living room and knew immediately she needed to go pick up some Cree bulbs!  Cree LED lightbulbs in soft white put off beautiful light, and they have the shape of the good old incandescent bulbs. Plus, you won’t have to change these bulbs for many, many years, which is particularly nice when you have can lights in the ceilings.

cree led light bulb

Here’s a shot of the entry where we placed a light-weight piece of art over the metal electrical panel. It can be taken down easily when access is needed. The woven bench is the perfect place to set down your luggage upon arriving for your weekend of fun!

condo entry

This is a piece of art I hung in the bedroom of the Nashville skyline:

nashville skyline art

But it doesn’t compare to the beautiful view of the Nashville skyline from my client’s balcony:

nashville skyline

it’s nice to have friends in high places . . . 

I took that shot on Wednesday morning while drinking a cup of coffee on the balcony. My gracious client knew I was attending a concert with my teenage daughter at a venue two blocks from her new condo, and she generously asked if we would like to spend the night there. We arrived Tuesday afternoon to settle in, have some dinner nearby, and get ready for the concert. Now my daughter has decided that she HAS TO live downtown when she grows up . . .

nashville design

And the concert? It was Def Leppard, with Tesla and Styxx opening the show. Total 80’s flashback – my girl’s got a little “retro” in her, just like her momma!

def leppard

I hope you enjoyed this Nashville design project as much as I did!

Just one month out from my next Expert Psychological Stager™ certification course and there are still a few spots left! Find out more here.

Thank you to my favorite light bulb company, Cree, for sponsoring this post. They light up my life, and I’m not just saying that.


  1. Beth

    Great idea to hide the electrical panel with lightweight art. Especially like this living room…..and Styxx, of course!

  2. Elizabeth Scruggs

    An impressive job as always- and what a perk to stay there too! I love how you gave her exactly what she asked for (a warm, modern space) which is not always easy to pull off- but of course you did!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Elizabeth – it was a great night, and so fun to spend it downtown 🙂

  3. Shelby

    I love it all! Could you please let us know the source for that wonderful little bench in the bedroom? Thanks!

    • Kristie Barnett

      That was from Target! Not sure that it’s available anymore though.

  4. Julie

    Love this! I scrolled slowly for the big reveal of where you put the sofa. Everything works together so well and it all feels so light and airy. Also, that rug is perfect.

  5. Joey

    I love that sofa! Looks great!

  6. Stephanie

    I’m usually not a mid-century modern fan but this condo is beautiful! What a great job! I love the artwork over the sofa. Please share the title of the piece and the artist. Thank you!

  7. Michele

    The Condo looks amazing. Could you please tell us the who did the painting over the sofa? I love it!

  8. Lynn

    Terrific job as always! I would like to know where you got the bench in the entry.

    I love Styxx too!

  9. Jo Galbraith

    Beautiful job! I always get great ideas from your posts Kristie!

  10. loroy

    I live in a more rural area of Maryland and would LOVE to have a second little place like that in downtown Baltimore. You did a great job… beautiful!

  11. Cynthia.Riegle

    Hi Kristi- love the walk through of this design. Can you share a few things possibly- I’m finally starting my staging business and wondered. Do you choose the design and furniture and then get owner approval? Where did you get the couch? An is this kind of job by our or estimate? Thanks very much!

  12. Sarah

    This apartment is such a warm welcome to a lovely city! I have a new love for Nashville since I spent a couple days at a conference there a couple weeks ago. My husband commutes to Cummins Station from Murfreesboro every day, so I should’ve remembered what Nashville is like — but I forgot! It is so beautiful! I’m with your daughter — I really think I need more Nashville time!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Sarah, this condo is right down from Cummins Station. I grew up outside of Nashville, and downtown is a world of difference to what I remember. So much fun.

  13. Megan

    What is the paint color you used here? Live the design. Its midcentury without being over the top.


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