Name: Liv and Jeff McMillan
Location: Long Beach, California
Size: 1644 Square Feet
Years lived in: 8 Months
Liv and Jeff are as fun and carefree as their artistic and handmade home. While Jeff finishes his painting in his studio, Liv is in her crafts room writing for her blog and hanging out with Friendly Yeti. Early this summer there will be a new little addition to the family and it isn't a baby yeti. Liv is currently in the process of putting together an inspiration board for a new nursery.
Liv and Jeff's home features many sentimental elements such as fabric flowers made from the tablecloth fabrics used at their wedding reception. Wedding presents and artwork from friends also completes the space. Liv is taking her time to pick out just the right combination of furniture and fabrics to make the nursery perfect. Stay tuned for a future before/after post of Jeff's new studio and their new nursery.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I'd say our style has developed into being an edited collection of eclectic, modern, handmade, and vintage pieces. I say edited because we came into our marriage with a lot of stuff. It kind of drove me crazy to have so many little chotchkies and knickknacks that were all over the place in terms of style. It's been a process of compromising and editing to really hone our married style. Of course a few things are non-negotiable for the donation bin, like my Siamese cat paraphernalia and Jeff's Be@rbrick collectible toy army.
Our house was built in 1943, but doesn't really fall into a specific style like Craftsman or Mid-Century modern or Spanish, which is what we were initially looking for. We fell in love with all of our home's little details right away though. The wide front door with the center doorknob, the ceiling molding, the vintage tile in the kitchen and bathroom, the little milk door pass through in the kitchen for milk deliveries; all just make the home a little more special. Because it's not so easily characterized as a specific architecture, it seems to work with just about any style of decor we bring in. I'm a little obsessed with Danish modern teak furniture so you'll see that everywhere.
Inspiration: It always starts with art. Jeff is an artist and we've been lucky enough to amass a pretty awesome collection of pieces from our friends that he went to art school with along with a few purchases we splurged on together. Each room started with a focus on the pieces that would go in that space and the textiles and other decorative elements would follow their lead. Our furniture will go with just about anything; so if we want to change up the feeling of a room it's easy enough to swap out art and whip up some new pillows or curtains to make everything jive. I think that's how we'll always live here, making small changes often to freshen the place up and make it relevant to our current interests.
Favorite Element: Our dining room, for sure - all of it. It started with the table of all tables. We picked it out, but it was a wedding gift from Jeff's grandmother. It's this huge slab of reclaimed wood pieces from torn down barns so you still see little swipes of old paint on sections of it. It is sealed and virtually indestructible and something we'll have forever, then pass down to our kid who will have it forever. We splurged big time with the Geoff McFetridge Dead Trees wallpaper in this room. This is the only room that doesn't have art up on the walls because the wallpaper itself is a work of art. People are constantly staring at it and finding new things in the crazy pattern that make them laugh. We love it. We're all about dinner parties with friends and family dinners every night; so our dining room was important and worth the investment.
Biggest Challenge: The plaster walls! These houses were built like bomb shelters. The walls are so crazy strong and we still haven't quite figured out how to properly sink a nail into them or screw a screw in without breaking a drill bit or making a silver dollar sized hole in the wall. It's a huge frustration with hanging art, so thank the heavens for Command picture hanging strips!
What Friends Say: We have the best friends in the world. We'd love them anyways, but they are always generous with praise and exclamations over the house itself. It was a short sale ordeal for us to get; so everyone close to us knew what we went through to buy it and what we've done to the inside. We don't get turned down too often on party invitations at our home either; so we think people like hanging out over here!
Biggest Embarrassment: Usually the inevitable cat puke that I missed cleaning up because it blended into the hardwood floors. We love our Blue Point Siamese cat Lily Mae to death, but she is destructive. It's why we have no rugs in the house (except for the one in the sewing room/library which is made from recycled plastic bottles and can be hosed down!).
Proudest DIY: As previously discussed, carpets are a no-go in our home so when we moved in, the only thing that needed to be done ASAP was to remove the carpet in the back room to replace with a laminate flooring. IKEA promised us we could do it ourselves, so Jeff and our amazing friend Jerod knocked it out in two days. I was impressed.
Biggest Indulgence: Tying closely for first place with our dining room wallpaper would be the indulgence of having my own room for sewing and craftyness. I have a full-time office job so the luxury of being able to come home and play in my own dedicated space is pretty great. It does triple duty as our "library" and guest room also, so it's a pretty functional room for us. Jeff works from home and his studio will soon be transformed into a nursery so we'll be converting the detached garage into a finished studio for him next.
Best advice: Buy a house! It really was a dream come true for us. All of the stars aligned, we had the best realtor ever, and we were lucky enough to be able to buy a house that is perfect for us. We can't imagine it any other way now.
- OC Modern: for beautiful and well-priced Mid-Century modern furniture.
- DWR: for so many things, but especially the Saarinen Womb chair, which I just have to own one day (nursery!).
- Purl Soho: for fabrics galore for curtains, quilts, pillows, you name it. They have such beautiful things, I get lost when I'm there.
- Heath Ceramics: for all their kitchen pieces and tiles. I secretly love my pink bathroom, but would tear it down if I could replace everything pink with Heath tiles.
Resources of Note:
- Frigidaire Refrigerator and Range
- Whirlpool Dishwasher
- Santomer Dining Table: Environment
- Teak Sideboard (vintage) in Dining Room: The Vintage Collective
- Metal Lawyer Bookcases and Teak Sectional in Dining Room: eBay
- Stenstorp Kitchen Island: IKEA
- Malte Barstools: IKEA (no longer available in black)
- Hans Olsen Frem Rojle Teak Dining Table and Nesting Chairs: Vintage
- Blue Metal Laboratory Cabinet from the University of California: Vintage
- Living Room Coffee Table: Brendan Monroe (custom)
- Danish Teak Vanity: H.D. Buttercup (vintage)
- White Dresser in Bedroom: Vintage
- Metal File Cabinets: CB2
- Metal Orange Bookcase: CB2 (no longer available)
- Malay Bench Behind Sofa: Cost Plus World Market
RUGS & CARPETS
- Bedroom Sconces: Anzfer Farms
- Living Room Lamp: CB2 (no longer available)
- Living Room Hanging Shade: Urban Outfitters (no longer available)
- Milk Glass Lamp in Bedroom: Anthropologie (no longer available)
- Wood Chandelier in Sewing Room: Urban Outfitters (no longer available)
- Sewing Room: Mythic Paint in Sidewalk Gray
- Dining Room: Martha Stewart Paint in Grappa
- Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Aura Paint in Nightingale
- Hallway: Martha Stewart Paint in Milk Flat Finish and Mythic Paint High Gloss in Soft Glow
- Curtain Fabric in Living Room: PS Tott by IKEA
- Aina Yellow Linen Curtains in Living Room by IKEA
- Danish Teak Bed with Attached Nightstands and Storage Drawers and Dresser from eBay (vintage)
- Tundra White Laminate Flooring: IKEA
- Wallpaper in Dining Room: Dead Trees by Geoff McFedtridge from Pottok Prints
- Art Deco Round Blue Mirror: Vintage
- Ribba Frames for Wedding Prints in Hallway: IKEA
- Flowers: We Like Flowers
- Vintage Chenille Bedspread and Other Vintage Pieces from Magnolia and Willow in Long Beach
Thanks Liv and Jeff!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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