This Artist’s Memphis House Has Fantastically Hand-Painted Patterned Walls
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Name: Meredith, Andrew, ChiChi (our dog), Tobias and Trunks (our two cats)
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Type of Home: House
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years, owned
My husband and I were renting in this neighborhood before we bought this house. We loved the area so much that when it came time to buy a house, we only looked in this neighborhood, which is called East Buntyn. Most of the homes are from the early 20th century, and the neighborhood is full of young families and retirees. When we walked into this house, we knew immediately that it was the one.
Even before COVID-19, we have always spent a lot of time at home and we love to entertain in our house. The rooms flow nicely into each other, which makes having people over easy. Pre-COVID-19, we hosted so many wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, Christmas parties; we even had a wedding at this house! Though the house is relatively small, the flow really allows for large gatherings.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My style: It’s hard to pin down my style, because I like a lot of things. I’m definitely a more-is-more type of person. I love pattern and color and I am not squeamish about adding them to my home. It’s probably a blessing that most of the walls are textured or else I would have wallpapered every room! I’m a sucker for a beautiful pattern.
Biggest Challenge: The light! This space is surprisingly dark. When I first started decorating it, I had all white walls and was looking at large California houses and Paris apartments for inspiration. I couldn’t understand why everything fell flat in my space, but it was because of the light. Of course my house isn’t going to look like those houses, I simply don’t have the same light. Once I embraced the fact that this house was small and relatively dark, the decorating came together much more easily.
Proudest DIY: When we decided to put a projector into the living room, there was an issue with wiring. Also, the living room had popcorn ceilings, which I was desperate to get rid of. We killed two birds with one stone: we added beadboard to the ceiling and ran the wiring under pieces of trim. We did it all ourselves in three days. I still look at it and am impressed by our DIY skills!
Biggest Indulgence: Our recent bathroom remodel was way more expensive than I initially thought it would be. But it was totally worth it. This house has two bathrooms, but we were only using one, since the main bath was basically a cave. Now, it’s so light and bright, we both love using it.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? For the first few years, we had a designated guest bedroom. The issue was neither of us ever went in there, and we didn’t have overnight guests all that often. My husband’s music equipment was taking over the house, and he really needed a space to work on his music projects. So we ditched the guest bed and bought a fold-out sofa. The guest bedroom became a music studio. We can still have overnight guests, but now the space gets used daily as opposed to every month or so.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Every home needs good tools. Invest in a drill. Ours is a Dewalt cordless drill, and it is amazing. I use it almost every day. Also, a sewing machine is a must. Buy tools slowly as you need them, and buy quality tools.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Don’t be sentimental about objects. They are just things. When you live in a small house, everything must earn its keep. Purge often and question the use or value of everything. I love stuff, and I am definitely a maximalist, but I don’t love unnecessary things. If something is not serving you, or if a tool or gadget is not seeing regular use, get rid of it.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Always be looking at other people’s homes. Whenever I go on vacation, or to a friends’ house, I always move things around in my own home when I get back. Keep changing your home around and trying new things. Also, buy art. You can fill your house with cheap, bland furniture and have great art and you will have a fabulous home. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many young artists that are dying to sell you their work. Reach out to artists on Instagram, or go to student art shows at a university. An art collection is a wonderful way to make your home unique.
PAINT & COLORS
- Bed — Antique
- Bedding — Ralph Lauren comforter
- Shams — Pottery Barn
- Curtains — Ralph Lauren
- Sofa — Pottery Barn
- Rug — Antique
- Desk — Antique
- Walls — DIY pictures torn from ArtForum magazine
- Shower Curtain — Target
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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