Name: Lisa Price
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Size: 936 square feet
Years lived in: 10 years; owned
Imagine a house where the best of the best vintage and thrift store finds are arranged by color. Imagine really cool vintage furniture in really good condition. Imagine that almost every accessory and piece of furniture comes with a story (from a family member, a stranger at a flea market or a previous owner at a yard sale). Imagine having a home art studio with shelf upon shelf of neatly folded vintage fabrics, pristine white linens waiting to be printed on, a printing press, perfectly packaged merchandise waiting to be shipped worldwide AND a vintage closet full of prop styling possibilities. Welcome to Lisa Price’s home.
Lisa is a printmaker who creates vintage-inspired housewares. She works from her home studio and sells her line of creations, dubbed "artgoodies" in retail stores across the globe (as close as Grand Rapids and as far as Wellington, New Zealand). I first learned about Lisa and artgoodies when my relative purchased a squirrel stuffie at Minty Keen, a retro/vintage home décor store in Downtown Grand Rapids. Lisa also sells her handmade housewares online through Etsy, Amazon, Wayfair, AllModern, One Kings Lane and Joss and Main.
I was stunned when I first saw Lisa’s home studio. I was overwhelmed as I imagined trying to keep all the online orders on schedule. I was in awe of the organized shelves. And I was impressed that she built her brand in Grand Rapids and successfully expanded it across the world. Lisa and her artgoodies products have even been featured on the pages of Real Simple, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens and HGTV Magazine — plus a spot on “The Today Show.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic vintage. It’s all about classic to kitschy mid-century design, and most of all, color. I love mixing and matching items with the same or similar color scheme. In fact, every month on my blog, I have a color of the month vignette and table setting with vintage items from my personal collection and items from my vintage shop. I love doing monochromatic setups; it’s amazing how you can take pieces you would never imagine putting together, and they just work. They mesh together really well, creating an interesting color continuum and story.
Inspiration: I think there’s been a natural evolution to my decor. I’ve always been interested in certain color schemes, clean lines, kitchen items, textiles, and any random thing that brings a smile to my face. I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house growing up and I really soaked in the vintage color and aesthetic. There’s something about the design sensibilities from the 1940s-60s that have always grabbed me. I see this in my home and my artgoodies product line. I’m fortunate enough to have many pieces from family; they provided a great starting point and are loaded up with cherished memories. From there, I’ve added pieces I’ve found along the way mostly from estate sales, rummage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores.
Favorite Element: There are lots of things I love about this little house. My favorite element is the floor to ceiling bookshelves in the living room. I love that I can mix and match art, books, and collectibles together into little vignettes. It makes for an interesting display of items and I can easily rotate treasures.
Biggest Challenge: There was horrible wallpaper in the bathroom, kitchen, and spare bedroom when I moved in. When I went to remove it, it simply would not budge! I steamed, used Dif, a paper tiger, scraped, etc. and I got absolutely nowhere. I finally defeated the wallpaper with a new layer of a paintable variety. The kitchen got a nice thin stripe version and the bathroom got a plain version and an accent wall of 1960s striped paper. The spare room I actually painted over to save myself the agony.
What Friends Say: I’ve been told my house captures my spirit and personality which I think is a great compliment. Friends love the color, the coziness, and checking out all the unique pieces. They often ask questions about different collections and pieces, and I love telling them stories about where I got things or the meaning behind each item. My friends can’t believe what I’ve been able to find for next to nothing.
Biggest Embarrassment: Up until two years ago, my bathroom was really embarrassing. I had already put up new wallpaper, painted, stripped the vanity and added a new sink and fixtures, but I needed help with the ceiling. It had a drop ceiling which I pulled down, but the studs were visible above the shower as well as a big fluorescent shop light. I actually taped down the switch for the light so people wouldn’t turn it on and I’d tell them not to look up! I finally built out a frame and did a beadboard paneling ceiling. I also needed to do something above the shower, so I put some super retro patterned vintage masonite there. I literally ripped that off the wall in a basement at an estate sale. It didn’t even fit in my car and some super nice lady with a minivan was kind enough to drive it to my house!
Proudest DIY: I have a few, but I think I’d have to say the kitchen and back entry. It was so dark and dingy feeling. The cupboards were a deep dark brown and the tiles were slippery, cold, and starting to crack. I hated the floor tiles from the moment I saw them. The back entry had dark paneling and horrific dark green floral wallpaper. A couple years ago I put down some great Chilewich tiles. The texture prevents slipping, gives it an updated look, and they are fairly easy to install. I simply floated them over the old floor. I still hope to remove all the tile someday and get it down to the wood floor underneath part of the kitchen.
I gave the cabinets and paneling a nice coat of white paint, new cabinet hardware, and as I mentioned did a paintable striped wallpaper. The back entry area has become my kitchen nook. I love to have breakfast there, look out over the garden, and watch the birds and squirrels. It’s a great place to have coffee with a friend. I love how this tiny space that was used solely as a pass-through has turned into such a useable space and one of my favorite places in the house.
Biggest Indulgence: I’m going to have to go with vintage chairs here. The indulgence doesn’t come at cost but rather quantity. They’re great for extra seating for holidays and when company comes over. I even use them on the patio when I have a garden party. I’m particularly fond of shell chairs since they stack nicely for storage. I’ve sold some of my chairs, but they come in handy and I have some future design ideas for them. I’ve even hauled a simple, clean-lined, lightweight couch onto the patio and to a few art shows to use for product display.
Best Advice: Here are my top five tips:
1. Mix and match monochromatic color schemes. It gives you the ability to create a cohesive look with items, textures, or fabrics that you love that may not otherwise make sense together.
2. Don’t be afraid to shop estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. You may have to spend some time looking but you can find amazing pieces at amazing prices! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to curate a beautiful home.
3. Pick furniture pieces with clean lines but bold style or color.
4. It’s okay to mix and match styles. It will give your space an interesting and eclectic look.
5. Slowly pick up pieces to build a collection you really love instead of buying trendy pieces or items for instant satisfaction. It’ll be worth the wait and better reflect your own style.
· Furnish Me Vintage in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’ve been there and it’s amazing.
· The Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts. I’ve also been there. The variety and collections of antique and vintage are pretty incredible. You’ll be able to find pretty much anything you collect or want to collect there. Shoppers literally come from around the world and some fill train cars full!
· The Sturbridge Textile show in Massachusetts for vintage fabric. I’ve never seen so much amazing vintage fabric in one place.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
· Bedroom: Behr “Asparagus”
· Dining Room: Glidden “Willow Wood”
· Living Room: Behr “Corn Husk”
· Bathroom: Sherwin Williams “Verdant”
· Studio: custom color mix to go with some vintage tools
· Couch: estate sale
· Pillows (on couch): k studio and an estate sale
· Rocking chair, entry table, side table and ottoman: inherited from Lisa’s grandma
· Rattan storage container: estate sale
· Mid-century chair: thrift store
· Coffee table: from a childhood garage sale
· House pillow: artgoodies
· Curtains: from Lisa’s grandma’s house
· Vintage flokati rug
· Accessories: artwork from Lisa’s friends, family heirlooms and found vintage items
· Table and hutch: inherited from Lisa’s grandma
· Stereo/turntable: inherited from Lisa’s grandpa
· Wood chairs: from Lisa’s family cottage
· Fiberglass chairs: yard sale
· Mid-century credenza: thrift store
· Medical cabinets: yard sale
· Curtains: DIY with vintage fabric from a flea market
· Homecrest chair: estate sale
· Accessories: vintage finds from rummage and estate sales
· Flooring: Chilewich tiles
· Rug: The Company Store
· Curtains: thrift store
· Accessories: family heirlooms and vintage finds
· Table: inherited from Lisa’s grandma
· Chairs: yard sale
· Corner shelves: estate sale
· Wood stand: Home Depot
· Blue accessories: vintage finds from estate sales and thrift stores
· Sleeper loveseat: estate sale
· Green table: IKEA
· Color reduction woodcuts: made by Lisa
· Chair: yard sale
· Credenza: rummage sale
· Pillow (Squirrel): artgoodies
· Curtains: DIY with vintage fabric. Lisa split wider curtains, then sewed them back together for length.
· Accessories: vintage finds from estate sales
· Lingerie-chest-turned-file-cabinet: Target
· Ledge shelf: IKEA (cut to custom length)
· Portrait: by Patrick Dunning
· Rug: TJ Maxx
· Shower curtain, wallpaper, towels and accessories: vintage finds from estate sales
· Bed and dresser: inherited from Lisa’s grandma
· Ledge shelves and gray rug: IKEA
· Hutch top shelf: thrift store
· Herman Miller shell chair: rummage sale
· Yellow table: free on the side of the road!
· Duvet: The Company Store
· Night stand: Home Depot
· Curtains: spun fiberglass from Lisa’s family cottage
· Accessories: vintage finds from estate sales, thrift stores and antique shops
· Pillows (Succulents, Butterflies, Michigan): artgoodies
· Metal shelves/shipping station/wood top work benches: Sam’s Club
· Kitchen island (storing boxes below and fabric on top): IKEA
· Table and chairs: yard sales
· Recliner: thrift store
· Wood shelf: made by Lisa’s grandma
· Metal cabinets: from Lisa’s family cottage
· Accessories: vintage fabrics and items from estate sales, antique shops, thrift stores, flea markets and rummage sales
· Printing press: Conrad Machine Company
· Cube shelves: IKEA
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