Amanda & Matthew’s Nest of Collectibles
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Name: Amanda and Matthew (and Severus the cat)
Location: Ferndale, Michigan
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years; rented
While photographing Amanda and Matthew’s second-floor apartment, I tried to define the overall theme of their collection. I saw floral prints on oven mitts and furniture. I noticed animals – both stuffed and printed on textiles. There were bowls of Japanese candies and lots of colors. I finally asked, “What do you collect? Or what determines what you collect?”
“Anything cute!” Amanda said. “I like animals and art and cupcakes, but I especially like things that are cute. Why buy something that has a function but looks ordinary? I’d rather have an object that functions but is cute too.” Like a teapot that looks like a cupcake. Or a drinking pitcher covered in plaid hens. Or a rug patterned with stylized owls. The fun everyday objects throughout Amanda and Matthew’s home made me smile.
In addition to cute and quirky housewares, the couple collects art. Amanda has a background in art history and studio art. Matthew has an appreciation for art. The couple’s collection of artwork is displayed throughout each room in the apartment. Some pieces are from local artists, while other art is from people they met while traveling abroad.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Whimsical and sentimental. I really love animals and cute things, and a lot of our furniture and decor are either gifts or things we’ve collected in our travels. I definitely attach memories and feelings to objects.
Inspiration: This is a really hard question. I think we just buy what we love and we really love our home. We’re epic nesters.
Favorite Element: Matthew’s favorite is the grouping of watercolor portraits I painted for Valentine’s Day last year. I don’t think I can choose one element! I’m really in love with our whole apartment.
Biggest Challenge: Getting the couch up the stairs. Also, there wasn’t a lot of closet space to begin with, so we bought wardrobes from IKEA, which made storage a lot nicer.
What Friends Say: The first time our friends come over, they usually comment about how the space genuinely looks like us! And they want a dressing room.
Biggest Embarrassment: Matthew’s dresser. (A note from the photographer and author: I didn’t photograph Matthew’s dresser. Sorry! Imagine a medium brown wood dresser that looked like it was missing the top drawer.)
Proudest DIY: The bedroom curtains! I told myself making curtains would be super easy, and then I put it off for a year. Sewing machines are more confusing than I remembered.
Biggest Indulgence: The cat. We indulge Severus constantly. (A note from the photographer and author: Severus didn’t like the sound of my tripod being adjusted, so he spent most of the photo shoot in hiding.)
Best Advice: Don’t try to do everything at once. We still add things all the time. Nesting is a process!
Dream Sources: We dream of owning works by famous artists.
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