A 100-Year-Old Dog-Friendly Michigan House Is Decorated With Gifted Art
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Name: Sara Reifman and Cashew the Frenchie
Location: Berkley, Michigan
Type of home: House
Size: 854 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I live in a 100+ year old ranch, which has been updated, but retains lots of character (e.g. original doors/door knobs, trim, French doors, coved ceilings). My house is in a suburb just north of Detroit. I grew up nearby, but I moved away after high school. After living in six states over 15+ years, I moved back in 2018 to settle in and be close to family. I work in the public school system as a speech-language therapist, supporting kids with significant needs. It is a demanding job, and I aim to make my home a soothing space to recharge after work.
My household consists of myself, many plants, and my 3-year-old French bulldog. Her name is Cashew, and she is the queen of our tiny castle! She has some special needs, and all design decisions take those into account. Cashew has access to a window from the couch to help ease her separation anxiety when home alone, along with doggie stairs to protect her weak knee, plus lots of dog beds and blankets.
These days, I’d call myself a recovering nomad. My home is a reflection of my journey, and also my steadily growing roots. Much of my artwork and furniture was found along the way (or as I like to think of it, they found me). For example, my credenza was found on the curb in LA the day I moved into my first one-bedroom apartment after 13 year of studios. My aunt found my dining table and chairs on a curb near her home around the same time, which she beautifully fixed up and re-upholstered for me. A lot of my quirky artwork belonged to loved ones who have passed, or was given to me at different points in my journey (including my outrageous and delightful sexy lady in my dining area). My home is very influenced by my aunt. Her house is eclectic, art-filled, and so cozy. It has always been one of my favorite places, and she subscribes to no rules when it comes to decorating. She is unapologetically true to her own taste, and I strive to do the same.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, cozy, personal, dog-friendly
What is your favorite room and why? With a house so small, I love every inch, but I have put the most effort into the living/dining space because that’s where I spend most of my time. I love the architectural details and all the light, which helps my plants thrive. It’s a nice, comfy space to lounge with Cashew at the end of the day. The big couch was a must for me! I also love my gallery wall, which feels like a visual autobiography for me since each piece reminds me of many different chapters of my life.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I most recently bought a painted sun/moon/stairs mirror for my living room. I saw it on Etsy and fell in love. It actually reminds me of a piece that belonged to my uncle, which was an homage to my grandfather, so it is personal in addition to being beautiful. I found in the Lucky Home Finds Etsy Shop, which I discovered in a Home Tours post!
Any advice for creating a home you love? Be true to yourself and what you like so your home truly reflects who you are. Take your time and embrace it as an ongoing process. Not every item has to be some rare find. I have been lucky to find some amazing furniture, but I also have plenty of not-so-special items, but everything seems to work as a whole.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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