Home Tours

Unclutterer {Home Tour}

March 5, 2008

As warmer days arrive and birds start singin’ their songs, Spring cleaning and organization becomes all the rage. We want to unclutter, neatly contain our chaos, send the dust bunnies packing, and make our homes sparkle. It’s almost hardwired into our DNA, we must start the season with a fresh, very clean, and organized slate. I’ve invited Erin Doland, the editor of Unclutterer, to take us on a tour of her mid-century modern home located just outside of Washington, D.C. so we can inspect her organization techniques and learn a few tricks from a pro. Here’s hoping this post will encourage us as we embark on the annual Spring clean-up!

Unclutterer {Home Tour}
First, a little about Erin’s home. A three-story home shared with her husband, don’t let the number of floors fool ya, it only has around 1,300 square feet of livable space. I think that’s enough for a married couple, but considering that both work full-time from home, you can see why they need to keep their home organized and clutter-free. Built in the middle of the last century, it’s architectural design was inspired by the international style. With plenty of light flooding the home since both the east and the west walls are predominantly glass, the north and south walls are a combination of brick and concrete on the exterior and your common dry wall inside. Ready to take a little tour? Erin will take it from here…

Unclutterer {Home Tour}
Erin Doland: A tiny bathroom is the only room on the first floor of our home, and was actually too small for me to be able to photograph effectively. Instead of showing you it, here is a picture of the hallway that leads to it. We’ve hung an art gallery system in this space and often swap the art as we feel inspired.

Unclutterer {Home Tour}Erin Doland: The second level of our home is a large, open space. Looking to the north, the bookshelves are Cubits shelving units and can be reconfigured into many shapes. On the left shelves, you can see that we’ve turned an Olivetti typewriter upside down in one of the cubes as a design element when it’s not in use. The fire hydrant and dog sculpted out of packing tape were made by artist Mark Jenkins and were used in his Storker Project. I feel that I should add that we purchased them as part of a Katrina fundraiser and didn’t just grab them off the street. The color scheme of the room — orange, green, and yellow — was inspired by the Metropolis poster above the fireplace. The poster was the first piece purchased for this room.

Unclutterer {Home Tour}Erin Doland: A south view of the living area is a small cubby where I store my pedal steel guitar, amplifier, and family photographs. The floating white shelves are from West Elm. The chair behind the guitar is a 1960’s Nakashima walnut Mira chair.

Unclutterer {Home Tour}Erin Doland: Standing in the kitchen, you can get a view of our dining area and the west end of our living room. The table was made for us by sculptor Michael Sirvet and is surrounded by eight different chairs of mid-century and contemporary design. The large pork poster is from the National Pork Board campaign that was launched in 2001. It is the only poster created for the campaign that wasn’t used in a public space and was what I gave to my husband as a wedding gift. We find it very humorous, but we’re not so certain our vegetarian friends do.

Unclutterer {Home Tour}Erin Doland: Standing in the dining area and looking south, you can see our kitchen. The west side of our house is glass, and you can see a piece of it sticking through in the upper corner of this picture. Since all of the chairs around our dining table are different, we replaced all of the kitchen drawer and door pulls with different glass knobs.

Unclutterer {Home Tour}Erin Doland: On the third floor of our home is the master bedroom, bathroom and our office. Pictured here is my husband’s desk. It has an Ikea Jerker frame and he’s replaced the Ikea shelves with high-grade baltic-birch plywood. You can read about his conversion on the Ikea hacker website. Above his desk, you’ll see a giant slide ruler that once hung in a math classroom. The slide ruler corresponds with the four-foot pair of scissors that hang above my desk, and the out-dated geography maps we use as window treatments. The room also has a 10′ long closet, which can be seen here on Unclutterer. I had hoped to picture our master bedroom, too, but we’re currently redecorating it. There isn’t much of anything to see in the space right now except for our new panel curtain system. I find a great deal of inspiration on decor8, and I hope that I have been able to provide a little inspiration to you in return.

Thank you Erin for touring us of your very organized home! For organization tips and tricks, visit Erin everyday over on Unclutterer.

(images from erin doland)


  • Reply PamperingBeki March 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    There are just so many great ideas here! I love love love that bright yellow wall.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente March 5, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Awesome! I love anything that has to do with uncluttering. We have a tiny kitchen, a tiny workspace for me and the tiniest entryway in the universe(I am not kidding)so, I am constantly trying to improve upon the storage and organization of it all! With two girls, two dogs and taking our shoes off when we enter our house always makes for lots of “stuff” trying to hang around. I am always so interested to see how others fix storage and clutter problems. Thanks Holly and thanks for sharing.

  • Reply SimplyGrove March 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    The dining area is my favorite!!!!

  • Reply brittany March 5, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Beautiful! I love the variety of chairs which brings so much color and interest to the space without cramming in lots of extra stuff.

  • Reply Anonymous March 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Where did you find the chair?

  • Reply Erin at Unclutterer March 5, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    @anonymous — Which chair??

  • Reply Stacy March 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve got to admit, that is the most awesome poster ever (from the National Pork Board campaign). How was Erin able to come across it? It seems like there’d be a good story behind it.

  • Reply Mme. Meow March 5, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    We ALL scream for LESS CLUTTER!!!

    (That poster is hilarious.)

    Wow– that’s a great use of space for a DC space.

  • Reply Michele March 5, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I love that you have so much functionality but it still seems light and uncluttered. You don’t have to get rid of everything to be uncluttered.


  • Reply MamaBird March 6, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Wow. I had seen your kitchen before on Unclutterer but sheesh, what an interesting, eclectic and organized house! Love your blog and getting to check out your space. Thanks for sharing it and for all of the helpful advice via UC.

  • Reply Geralin March 6, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Hello Erin,

    Your home is lovely; warm, colorful, interesting and inviting. I love it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I’m most interested in your office. Do I see a Big Boy on the right side of your hubby’s desk?

    One more quick question. What are the little things on the left side of his desk rail. Looks like magnetic tins full of . . .

  • Reply Erin at Unclutterer March 6, 2008 at 5:35 am


    The tins were intended for spices, but my husband keeps paper clips, rubber bands, erasers, and guitar picks in them. I think he got them at the container store in the kitchen organization area.

    The Big Boy on the speaker is actually a bank. It’s where he empties the change from his pockets.

    Thanks for the nice words everyone!

  • Reply Kristy March 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I love using the pork ad as art! what a great idea!

  • Reply Anonymous March 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Erin – that’s a nice young married post-student look. Real white bread to go with the white meat. Mmm Hmm.

  • Reply Seth March 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Just a note, the chair is behind the keyboard, not the guitar! :-)

  • Reply Seth March 12, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    oh, woah! That’s not a keyboard, that’s a guitar neck laying flat with table legs. Never mind on the last comment!

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