Erin & Ben’s Cliff May Modern

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Erin Davis and Ben Smithson
Location: Casa View — Dallas, Texas
Size: 1,498 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months — owned

We first met Erin and Ben this past Fall when they submitted their “Peacock” living room in our Room for Color Contest and we wanted more! Erin, who is no stranger to the interior design world, shows us how she and Ben flexed their decorating muscles in their newly purchased Cliff May home.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

With an interior design degree and a career with Global Views as a visual merchandiser, Erin and Ben’s home is a great nod to her visual skills. Modern, functional, and full of light the home reflects their artsy talents as a couple. One of my favorite elements of the home is the vintage metal sign in the backyard. I asked Erin where that sign came from:

“It’s a great story. It is a metal vintage sign from the 1950’s. The antique dealer I bought it from thinks it may have been from an opening of a suburb, like a “Welcome to Pleasantville” type of thing. I bought it in Atlanta at the Scott’s antique show (that happens once a month and is a MUST see if in the area). I had NO idea how I was going to get it back to Dallas until we remembered that one of our crates hadn’t left the showroom yet, so we were able to put it in there and ship it back with the rest of our Global View merchandise.”

To see more of Erin and Ben’s creative inspirations, check out their blogs:
Erin’s blog
Ben’s blog

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mod Grandma Chic. A mixture of antiques (refurbished), modern furniture and hand-me-downs.

Inspiration: We LOVE the open California ranch style of this Cliff May home. We wanted to keep it as clean and modern as possible while still infusing some of our own colorful flavor.

Favorite Element: The kitchen/living room/dining room. It is all one big room and we love to cook and entertain. This house is the perfect party house! The floor to ceiling windows and door opening into the back patio are genius for dinner party flow when it is warm or we are grilling outside. You are part of the party no matter what “room” you are in.

Biggest Challenge: We were very lucky that the house was completely remodeled in the style that we like. There was a new kitchen, bathrooms, and refurbished hardwood floors when we bought the house. So, really our biggest challenge was decorating the place and, fortunately for us, we have good resources.

What Friends Say: “It looks like a magazine in here…have you guys submitted this house somewhere yet?!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Our dirt pile of a front yard. We are working on getting a total landscape plan together, but until then we just have to get people to the front door. Once they get inside they are always pleased.

Proudest DIY: THE CURTAINS! We just about killed each other hemming, customizing rods and hanging the curtains in all the rooms. Although we love all the windows, they don’t offer the best privacy, nor the best insulation. Also, we have reupholstered two chairs and we’re slowly building up enough courage to reupholster the sofa ourselves.

Biggest Indulgence: Our dining room chairs. We went all out on the DWR Eames and Panton chairs. We have both admired them for a long time and think they fit perfectly with the style of the house and our lifestyle. We are saving up for the big daddy Eames white leather and molded plywood lounge chair.

Best Advice: Do what you love and don’t be scared. Our stuff seems to all go together because we like it, but we used the same color scheme all the way through the house to keep it cohesive and flowing like the architecture.

Dream Sources: Global Views, IKEA, Design Within Reach, Target, Dwell Studio, Salvation Army/Goodwill and thrift stores, West Elm

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Benjamin Moore: Chelsea Gray
    • Benjamin Moore: Spa Blue


    • Painting: Bill Gerton
    • Green chair: Salvation Army, fabric from Wal-Mart
    • Yellow rocker: Grandmother’s hand me down with vintage fabric from The Attic (Las Vegas)
    • Lamp: Goodwill
    • Vase collection: samples from Global Views
    • Cowhide: Texas State Fair


    • Sofa: Grandmother’s hand me down
    • Rug (turquoise Cosmos): Global Views
    • 3- legged white leather Mimi Chairs: Global Views
    • 1996 Jazz Festival Limited edition Poster
    • Vintage Stereo Cabinet: GoodWill
    • Sunburst mirror: Global Views
    • Driftwood lamp: sample sale


    • Table: IKEA
    • Eames Arm Chairs: DWR
    • Panton Chairs: DWR
    • Glass Cylinders: Global Views
    • Bench and white fur covers: IKEA


    • Peacock Bowl: Global Views
    • Vases in windowsill: gifts
    • Pendant lights: IKEA


    • Headboard: Global Views
    • Bedding: Dwell Studio
    • Dressers: Vintage gifts
    • Orange Mirrors: sample sale all repainted with a can of spray paint
    • Antlers: Thrift store
    • Bedside tables: Global Views
    • Table lamps: Antiques
    • Leather jewelry box: Global Views
    • Hand Hooks: Global Views
    • Curtains: modified from IKEA


    • Shower curtain: Dwell Studio for Target
    • Bathmats: Thomas O’Brien for Target


    • Green FatBoy: FatBoy
    • Couch: Goodwill
    • Wooden Mirror: Global Views
    • Nesting tables: West Elm
    • Brown Linen Wingback: Palacek
    • Cowhide: ABC rugs in Dallas


    • Frames: mostly from IKEA and West Elm
    • Stools: Target

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Erin & Ben!

Images: Erin Davis

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