Market by Modern Nest Blends Form with Function in its Organic Modern Decor
By Linda J. Barkman | Photography by David B. Moore
History: Jillian was a school teacher. Brendan was happily ensconced in the home-building career he became interested in at a young age. “I remember drawing floor plans of my dream homes as a child,” he recalls. As an adult he found various ways to utilize his passion for creativity and design. These included everything from renovating distressed, bank-owned properties and finding a niche in custom remodel work to renovating and flipping homes and, finally, starting his own design-build firm.
After suffering the loss of their newborn daughter, things took an unexpected turn for the couple. Because they were both grieving and wanted to be able to spend more time together, Jillian left her teaching job and began helping Brendan with his business. “In the beginning, I was handling the bookkeeping and admin side of things and helping with the design aspects when needed,” Jillian recalls. “As the business grew and we began doing projects together, I realized how much I loved working with my husband, as well as the design field.” As Brendan describes, “It was a twist of fate.”
The real turning point for the business was “when we decided to team up and put all of ourselves into our projects and really show people what we are capable of,” Brendan continues. As luck would have it, an investor saw their work and offered capital backing. This allowed them to buy high-end properties and take their business to another level. “We began building luxury spec homes in the Scottsdale area, and branding what we were doing under the name Modern Nest,” he explains.
Because the couple struggled to find pieces that would allow them to furnish their homes in a way that was in concert with their designs, they decided to open a retail store. Market by Modern Nest is the result of that need. “We never set out to have this full-on design, build and furnish company,” Jillian notes. “We just had a passion for what we were doing and enjoyed the process of having a bigger and better canvas to work on.”
Concept: The Phoenix natives sought to carry the type of things in their store that they wanted to put in the homes they built. They wanted a look that was not only curated, collected and timeless, but also warm, welcoming and authentic. “Timeless homes for the modern family is really our overall concept,” Jillian says.
Name game: “We were trying to put words together that would convey the feeling a modern home gives when it has that element of warmth. And putting the words ‘modern’ and ‘nest’ together seemed to work perfectly,” the couple agrees.
Philosophy: “We’ve been focused on creating inviting spaces that are creative, functional, livable and aesthetically pleasing,” Jillian points out. “You don’t have to sacrifice beauty and livability for function.”
The look: Lots of texture and layers; a neutral palette; high-quality natural materials; and a mix of old and new are key elements. “We have a lot of found pieces that lend visual interest and provide a comforting vibe,” Jillian says. “They have history and tell stories.”
What’s in store: In addition to a varied collection of time-worn found items, such as old terra cotta pots, vintage pillows, and wood pizza boards, goods range from a well-curated art collection to vintage kilim rugs, decorative objects, lighting, textiles, books and scents, all chosen to exude warmth and bring a home to life. Furniture on display can be special ordered, and they plan to add furniture online in the future.
What sets it apart: Market by Modern Nest retail space is set up to suggest the great room of a home, with living and dining areas, as well as a stylish kitchen, all appropriately appointed with merchandise to be used in those spaces. “It feels like a curated home, and it smells good and looks inviting,” Jillian describes.
Best sellers: Found items seemingly fly out the door. “We can’t get enough and can’t keep them in stock,” Jillian reports. “We also sell a lot of scents.”