Making abodes comfortable and balanced is the biggest part of my brand. I love interior design fiercely, so intently that I'm compelled to interrogate locals and bloggers/readers and tell their casa's stories. Expect Before/Afters for this "Thrifted Homes" series, too. I crave honest interiors and real problem solving that magazine interviews often deny us. There WILL be nerd-houses! And weird spaces. Let's start with Eartha and Mr. Kitsch's gorgeous mid century modern vintage and kitsch filled ranch house. A dream house, I say:
Occupants: Eartha, Mr. Kitsch and four kitties (Mr. Kitten Pants, Pip, Sobu and Grandma Mishka)
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, y'all
Square Feet: 2000 square feet with a small patio and a completely shady yard
Space Type: One level rancher, owned
Years Occupied: Four years
Define Your Style: I try to be very streamlined but epically fail due to my tendencies for grandma style and kitsch. And weird books and knick-knacks and old bottles of floor wax. Honestly, I couldn't stick to one era or style if I had to. I love bright colors and anything that is vintage Western or wood grained. I'm a nut for knotty pine and am kind of a credenza and chair addict.
What Home Detail Inspires You the Most? Mostly the original details in our house. In my mind, it just screams for color to offset all of the original woodwork. And you can't decorate too seriously when you have a bright pink bathroom and gaudy faux fireplace in the living room.
Favorite Thrifted Find: Wow, that's hard! I'm guessing that at least ninety percent of everything that's in our house has come from thrift stores, estate sales and junk shops. My favorite find might currently be the old teacher's desk in my studio.
Favorite Home Feature: The flagstone wall with lighted niches in the kitchen. When we saw that thing for the first time, I think I hugged it and the Mister just kind of gasped. It's all a blur but it's a *good* blur.
Biggest Challenge: Finding contractors to retain and fix things in the house. Many of them just don't seem to get the fact that yes, we want to keep all of the old stuff. Yes, we DO realize that there is new stuff on the market but we don't want it. We've gone through quite a few bad apples before finding the good ones. We even had to force one guy off of our property!
Vistor's Reactions: They usually either think that it's a really cool house - or say things like "you guys are funny!" Our house is beautiful to some and a prat fall to others.
Biggest Embarrassment: Up until a year ago, we had a hole in the tile under the rug in the bathroom.
Proudest DIY: Repainting the entire inside of the house.His [my husband's] art degree helped on that front and thankfully he didn't snap when I kept trying to get this shade of aqua that could only be seen in my head.
Biggest Indulgence: Painting the trim on the house. The painters were almost done with the whole house when we realized that we really hated the color. We hemmed and hawed on just leaving it but in the end, bit the bullet and paid them to start back at square one. The old color glowed in the dark - no joke.
Best Money Saving Move: Lots and lots of research. We research everything down to the tiniest degree. It's good to know your stuff before a bad contractor comes in and tries to convince you of *his* stuff.
Best Advice: Don't move into a house and instantly start changing things. Live there for a while and see what really truly needs to be changed. There will be things that will grow on you and you can save money in the end. You'll also see how your family's flow works in a house and what might need to be tweaked a little. Also, don't try to follow the norm. Even if your friends and family don't like your taste, it's YOUR taste. Go with it and go hard. And don't feel like you have to explain your taste to anyone. When people stare at my vintage floor wax collection with question marks in their eyes, I just put my hand over my heart and say, "I love that stuff."
Van's Take-Aways: This Eartha Kitsch's Office is my Dream Space! I want it! Hell, I want the whole house! This house is full of fun details, yet streamlined. Goes to show you what patience, retraint, and sticking to a particular decade can do to make your home cohesive! I adore the displayed label collection, I'm a typography junkie, too. Check out Ranch Dressing with Eartha Kitsch,a hilarious kitsch-filled favorite!
What's your favorite thing in the Kitsch Ranch? By the way, I need locals, readers, and bloggers to interview! Send me an e-mail if you want to be featured on the next Thrifted Homes article.