If you had to describe your overall décor style in one word, what would it be?
I’d say my overall style – in one word – is provisional. It needs to be both practical and sustainable, pieces that can be easily re-purposed in different rooms of the home, for different life stages and aesthetic interests.
What inspires you to make your home the best it can be?
My family! Children have been one of the most exciting design challenges to date – creating spaces that reflect my own personal style while allowing plenty of room for theirs, as well. I love creating a shared space for our family that truly works for all of us, even the pint-sized crowd.
What is your number one design challenge?
Clutter! I’m clutter-averse in every way, but my family isn’t. It’s a constant focus for me to create systems that encourage and inspire both organization and simplicity, but are easy to implement and stick to. In my entryway, we have an entire wall dedicated to hooks for keys, jackets, coats, leashes, hats, and totes. I’m forever reminding, “Pick a hook, any hook! Just hang it up!”
What do you like to do when you’re not designing or blogging?
Read! I’m a forever memoir enthusiast.
What is one piece of furniture you can’t live without?
A rocking chair, currently. Otherwise, I’d never get my baby to sleep!
What is your most prized possession and the story behind it?
I’m fairly detached to my things, so I can’t really think of a prized possession! But I do love a trio of tiny pencils I keep in my office. They’re from my grandfather, who always used pencils down to the smallest stubs before replacing them. Whenever I see them, I always think of his resourcefulness, frugality, and respect for the things he keeps.
What is your favorite room in your house and why?
I love our sunroom with big, open windows and doors. I used to love it for its form, but now I love it for its function – it’s often the breeding ground of my daughter’s latest musical and choreography obsession, and was the place my son first learned to catch a ball. We spend hours in there daily!
Where do you cut corners? What design rules do you break?
I rarely invest in a colorful piece unless it’s easily replaceable (throw pillows, blankets, artwork, a stool here and there). This means the bones of my décor are fairly monochromatic. But I find that when mixing styles, eras, periods, textures, and finishes, even the most basic of pieces can tell a consistent story – one of beauty and longevity.
As for design rules to break, I usually break them all! I’ve hung shower curtains as drapes, framed a hand-knit sweater as art, and used a cutting board as a jewelry tray. In design (and life), I find the broken rules to be where the beauty and story begins.
Erin is founder of the lifestyle blog Design for Mankind, author of “Chasing Slow,” and contributor to HGTV.com.