Eric's Stylish, Sunshine-Filled House

House Tour

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Name: Eric Marshall, technical writer
Location: Clarksville; Austin, Texas
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years; Owned

Fans of adorable, well-organized and refreshingly decorated small spaces that open out onto green, tree-filled natural wonderlands might want to brace themselves. Boasting DIY projects, great furniture finds, daring wall colors and a bathroom so cute we want to pinch it, Eric's place is full of inspiration, and is every bit as envy-inducing as the photos might imply. 

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When you've only got 600 square feet to work with, living in a house built in 1929 with original wood floors, exposed red bricks and a backyard out of a fairy tale certainly doesn't hurt. But it's how Eric brought his style into the space that's so enchanting. Combining dark black walls with clean white ones, texture in unexpected places and a mix of industrial furniture, the result is a tightly curated space bursting with personality, but not competing with the amazing view of the outdoor area. 

You enter the house, situated on a hill, at ground level, but walk out of his back door onto an expansive, fake lawn-covered wooden deck (a product called SYNLawn) that overlooks the neighborhood creek. A set of rickety wood stairs leads you to a small lower garden level with a simple seating area (but from the leaves covering it, it's clear the action happens on the upper level). This wide openness to the outdoors makes Eric's small space seem absolutely endless, and the amount of light that floods in provides a nice counterpart to the darker design elements. He redid the tiny bathroom, adding charming white tiles and dark grout (genius). In the bedroom he transformed the original flat ceiling into a vaulted one, and added doors out to the deck (which was built in 2003, so the original bedroom only had sash windows). 

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Curated eclectic, with an emphasis on personal attachment to objects.

Inspiration: Nature. Prouve, Saarinen, Terence Conran, Paul Smith, Nick Olsen.

Favorite Element: The forest behind my house.

Biggest Challenge: Ensuring that every item I own has a home.

What Friends Say: “It's SOOOOOOO cute!” 

Biggest Embarrassment: Two cracked windows that I keep meaning to fix. 

Proudest DIY: My gold-”leafed” ceiling [in the dining room].

Biggest Indulgence: I. Love. Lamps. 

Best Advice: If you move into a small space, live in it for a bit. It will help you determine where to focus your design efforts. Avoid being in a rush. 

Dream Sources: 1stdibs.com 

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Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

  • Chalkboard paint from Lowe's
  • High gloss white from Lowe's 

ENTRY

  • Hall “closet” with mirror from PBTeen

LIVING ROOM

  • Rug from IKEA
  • Chesterfield sofa off of eBay
  • Factory cart coffee table from craigslist
  • Chairs from Pottery Barn and craigslist
  • Side tables from West Elm
  • Lamps from craigslist (Jielde) and Uncommon Goods 
  • Amp Lamp by Nik Willmore 
  • Pillows from CB2

DINING ROOM

  • Cushions from IKEA
  • Parsons table from West Elm
  • Chinoiserie chairs from Williams-Sonoma Home 

KITCHEN

  • Prep island with Corian top from Williams-Sonoma Home 
  • Shelving from Costco
  • Red trash can from eBay
  • Cow print by Julie Thigpen

BEDROOM

  • Storage bed from Pottery Barn
  • End tables from Williams-Sonoma Home
  • Desk from West Elm
  • Rug from Pottery Barn
  • Storage cubes from Pottery Barn
  • Black lamp from West Elm
  • Nun poster I found in my grandma's barn and had mounted (it was my uncle's)
  • Linens from Pottery Barn
  • Branch art I made myself.

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Thanks, Eric!

(Images: Adrienne Breaux)

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