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Unclutterer {Home Tour}

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!


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…


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

Posted in Home Tours on March 05, 2008

An Angel at my Table {Mari Eriksson}

Mari Eriksson authors a beautiful blog called An Angel at my Table and though it’s in Swedish her more recent posts contain a bit of English so you can follow along. It’s filled with photos of her home and workspace that are nothing short of inspirational and lovely. There are so many things that I enjoy about her home, from the white wood floors to the industrial pieces living so nicely alongside modern country, chandeliers, and great vintage finds (like the lockers and her sewing machine). Isn’t this a glowing space?


Mari lives in Sweden and as I drool over her magazine worthy abode, I’m left to wonder what this obviously talented lady does for a living. A designer? stylist? photographer? She doesn’t mention it in her blog. Her home has lots of character and positive energy, everything is arranged so effortlessly chic!

Pairing unexpected things seems to be a theme here in Mari’s home. All of the furniture appears to have modern clean lines no matter what period it is from. Good tip to note when you try this look at home. Select furniture that coordinates by color/wood – select a few that you like, i.e. gray, white, and medium wood tones for instance, and then by style like clean modern lines (works best). If you have a curvy piece, you can add it to create a little tension but go easy on mixing curvy with straight because you won’t be able to pull off Mari’s look if this is what you’re going for. I’d consider one curvy dresser or desk and leave it at that.


I love the idea of using a bench along the wall in an eating nook. It’s a clever use of space because if you live in small quarters a slim bench is so practical. You can also look for one with a lift up seat to provide additional storage. My friend in Montreal uses a detailed vintage church pew (like this one only with a clear stain) that she purchased at a flea market and it’s topped with a simple white linen cushion. The detailed carvings and overall patina of the wood paired with her white-washed farm table and white Bertoia side chairs looks so nice.

Show of hands… How many would like to move in? :)

{1/22 3:48 pm update: Thanks to a few comments below, it was revealed that Mari is a photographer. Thank you Linnea and Annemeike!}

(images from mari eriksson)

Posted in blogs, Home Tours, travel on January 22, 2008

Mettes Pottery {Home}

We recently had the honor of visiting the workshop of Mette of Mettes Pottery in Denmark, but there’s more to enjoy from this talented lady: the home that she shares with her husband and baby boy.


When I was in Stockholm this past October, I met up with Swedish design blogger Emma and I remember her asking if I’d been equally impressed about an apartment she had blogged about around that time, but I couldn’t recall what she was referring to. But she was so enthusiastic about it that I vowed to check it out once I returned from my trip and had computer access again. Time flies and I forgot all about this conversation until last night when I stumbled upon it – the home of Mette over at An Angel at my Table – it’s the same one that Emma loves! I traced the post over to Emmas blog and sure enough, this is the one. Emma clearly has great taste and now I’m drooling over it. Notice all the details. You can learn more about apartment dweller Mette and her chic flat on her blog.


Thank goodness for design blogs and the access we have to viewing beautiful homes worldwide because sometimes I get tired of what I’m seeing here in America and so I’m finding Scandinavian blogs to be so refreshing right now.

Psst: Mette makes beautiful clothes for children too.

(images from mette)

Posted in Home Tours on January 22, 2008

decor8 Reader Spaces: Tour a Vermont Nest

Have you ever visited Vermont? We live less than two hours from the border so Tee and I try to get over there whenever we can, we usually visit Brattleboro since it’s the closest and has some neat little stores and a few galleries that we enjoy browsing. Vermont is a beautiful state, it’s definitely worth a visit for either skiing in the Winter or for visiting a working farm in the Spring (I really want to do this). And from an interiors perspective, it’s a pleasure to step out of the mid century modern or ultra contemporary spaces for a little Country Chic. Ready to visit the home of an Interior Stylist based in Shelburne, Vermont?


Nest Decorating is a small design firm and art studio owned and operated by the talented Tamar Schechner, a Parsons grad who spent twenty years creating photo shoots and spreads for several magazines as Stylist and Creative Director. Now Tamar is out on her own doing what she loves – decorating homes in Vermont, dreaming up crafty projects to sell in her etsy store (she also sells wholesale to stores), being a good mother, and blogging. As for her design practice Tamar’s mission is to, “Make my clients as comfortable as possible, to truly understand the way their home functions and to work around their needs and possibilities creating a great inspirational space for them to live in and come home to.”

The stairs once had a tired berber rug but when they purchased the home the rug was removed to reveal plywood (eek!) so they painted it a fun green.

Work studio space


Her mother’s painting, “Spring” (part of a series of four) installed above the back door. It’s beautiful above the door and yes, that is a pink door.

This Japanese kimono belonged to her mother when she was little, she was born in Shanghai in 1931 so this is a most cherished piece deserving center stage above her chest of drawers.

The patterned blanket at the foot of the bed is from Urban Outfitters, the chair cushion is a tea towel, and the red floral painting (in the black frame) was painted by her mother.

A clever way to display her earrings – a window screen repurposed!

Some of the things she makes and sells in her etsy store.

A cozy spot to read complete with a rug from IKEA and an old chair with fabric tacked onto it.

Looking into her kitchen.

A country kitchen is hardly complete without colorful dishware.

Thank you Tamar for allowing us into your country home today – it’s colorful, creative, and full of life, warmth, and positive energy. I really enjoy all the art in each room and the stories so many of your things can tell. That’s truly what makes a house a home. Thank you again!

(images from tamar schechner)

Posted in Home Tours on January 18, 2008

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