Name: Erin Conway, Matt, son Finnegan, daughter Tallula, and dogs Cashew and Stewart
Location: Pacific Grove, California
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned
We live in the town of Pacific Grove California. A tiny beach town on the central coast. They film Big Little Lies here and in the surrounding areas so we're kind of a big deal haha! The house is '70s modern architecture and has loads of quirky angles. We have embraced all of its odd angles and work hard to embrace the style the home is instead of trying to make it something it isn't.
There are two living rooms, a dining room, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and of course, a kitchen. The kitchen is unfinished as are two of the three bathrooms. We purchased the home in rough shape and it is our live-in fixer-upper. We are remodeling it room by room as budget allows, which is why the most expensive spaces are still on the "to-do" list. We are a family of four with two dogs. My husband Matthew is 36 and a fire Captain with CAL Fire; we have been together 13 years and married nine of them. I'm Erin, a design blogger, product stylist and run a successful social media account, my son Finnegan is 6 years old and a total genius; he also has autism and is my hero. Our daughter Tallula is 8 months old and the happiest, most mellow baby; she rarely cries and her big brother is her favorite human on the planet. The dogs are grumpy old men who sleep all day and juggle each other; they are named Cashew and Stewart.
Finnegan and Tallula share the master bedroom. It is double the size of the other two bedrooms and has its own bathroom. We felt like giving the kids the best room that was more than large enough to be their bedroom and playroom was the right call because we only use our room for sleeping. Their room is the happiest in the house and we call it the cotton candy room. The style of it is a total departure from the style of the rest of the house; it is whimsical and playful and made for kids.
What is your favorite room and why? The family room because it is the most casual space. We spend most of our time in there and where we have our movie nights. Plus, there are six huge windows that frame our magical oak tree out back.
The master and guest room are done in a more neutral palette because we wanted them to be relaxing spaces. The downstairs spaces are designed to feel more casual and comfortable but still feel elevated.
The windows throughout the lower floor are the real show stoppers. They're enormous and angled and make it feel like we live in a treehouse because of the way they frame the outdoors. They rock.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Incorporate found or vintage pieces so everything isn't brand new. Try not to use sets of things. A matching sofa, loveseat, and chair set combined with a matching end table and coffee table set does not feel personal, warm, or thoughtful.
The coffee table doesn't need to match the end table; they need to "go together," not be twins. The sofa doesn't need to match the chairs, they need to play well together, not be in the same family. Same rules apply in all rooms. In a dining room, for example, a great antique table paired with modern chairs is an awesome way to give the space immediate interest and a story to tell.
Thanks, Erin Conway!
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