An engaged couple with a passion for mid-century modern design created a South Charlotte home that feels like stepping back in time. They gave the Agenda a peek inside the restored home, as well as tips about their favorite local shops and coolest DIY projects.
Who: Merideth Helgeson (41) and Chris Villasenor (46), and their dogs Goose, Duncan, and Cooper.
Jobs: She works in legal for Wells Fargo and he works for automotive company, Race Technologies.
Their story: Helgeson, who is from Texas, moved to Charlotte in 2010 and Villasenor, who is from Missouri and California, moved here in 2014—both coming to the city for their jobs. The pair had been living in NoDa, but were looking for a new spot to make their own. “We found this house and knew it was a perfect opportunity to renovate a mid-century modern home,” says Helgeson of the 1965 home. “We saw this as a fun project.”
The home: The 3,200-square-foot home had three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms when the couple purchased it in 2017. After taking it down to its studs in renovation projects, the house now has an open floor plan with four bedrooms and three full bathrooms. The extensive renovations inspired the couple to launch the home’s Instagram account, @midmaude (they call the “Mod” home “Maude”). “We knew we were going to take a million pictures of the renovation process, and wanted to share that with our friends and family—and to connect to the mid-century modern community,” says Helgeson.
Bright light: “It was the style of the time to have compartmentalized rooms,” says Helgeson, noting that the one-story home originally included a front formal living room and closed-off kitchen. During the renovation by Height Design + Build they removed many of its walls. “Now we get beautiful light from both directions. We also put two sets of sliding doors and a floor-to-ceiling window in the living room, which gives us light and a view into the backyard.”
Original idea: The home still has many of its original period features. “We saved as much as we could,” says Helgeson. That included items like the light fixtures above the fireplace. Often, when items needed replacing, they chose similar options. The West Elm glass globe lights in the master bedroom are replicas of the original plastic versions, and the color of the bathroom tile is the same shade as the shag carpet it replaced.
Look up: In mid-century fashion, the home has deep, overhanging eaves. “We had to take the original material out because of rot and water damage, and as a replacement, we went with a stained wood,” says Helgeson. “You get peeks of it from different angles. I love the way it turned out.”
Shops and Inspiration
Paper project: While the original wallpaper couldn’t be salvaged entirely, the couple framed pieces of it and hung those in the renovated kitchen. “It’s a nod to what we had before in the house,” says Helgeson.
Top shop: Several pieces of furniture in the home came from Fos Restoration Co. in Huntersville. “They find vintage pieces and they do restoration on vintage pieces,” says Helgeson. The living room’s coffee table and credenza are from the shop, and the master bedroom’s bed and dresser were refinished by the store.
In the family: Two Joan Miró prints that were originally owned by Villasenor’s grandmother hang in the home’s dining room and living room. The couple found the dining room table set at an estate sale, but it reminds Helgeson of her own family. “It’s the same one that my grandparents had in their house when I was growing up,” she says.
Cool color: From the blue cement tiles in the bathroom to the bright orange front door, the home features splashes of the two colors. “I like blues and orange is my fiance’s signature color,” says Helgeson. “They ended up balancing out well. We love the way the color scheme turned out.”