Name: Sara Kate Eubanks
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented
On a Saturday morning, Sara Kate can be found rocking heels, a favorite shade of lipstick, thrifted denim, and a baseball cap. She's a confident woman who isn't afraid to mix things up—just so long as there is a little sophistication and class in every combination. For many designers, it's important that the purchase comes after the plan, but for Sara Kate (who also goes by S.K.), the pieces come first and their placement is decided later...and you can bet the end result will always be a fabulously fun blend of bold lines and flirty florals.
Because she is someone who knows what she likes (the Fifties and Sixties being her favorite decades), she only purchases things that resonate with her. Consequently, her home is furnished exclusively with pieces she truly loves. Even though she acquired most of them years ago—especially during her college years when she was living with her parents and had to put her finds in storage—S.K. says the pieces always have a way of coming together beautifully no matter where she lives. This time, her apartment is the second floor of a 1920s home with charming original fireplaces and trim details. Though the architecture feels more feminine than the Fifties-era homes S.K. is used to, it has turned out to be a glamorous foundation that accents her possessions.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mid-Century Modern
Inspiration: The 1920s architectural details. I am a mid-century modern girl and have always lived in more '50s/'60s homes, but there has been something so lovely about combining my furniture with softer, more feminine accents. It was my mother and her love of early American antiques that encouraged me to combine the two.
Favorite Element: I love that the apartment has all the elements of a house (living room, dining room, an office, and outdoor space) but the convenience and charm of an apartment. Other than the beautiful sunlight, my favorite decorative element is the use of white throughout the entire space. The paint color, trim, rug, chairs, pillows, bedding, bathroom, and porch all have predominantly white accents. Color is an easy way to unify your style and space.
Biggest Challenge: The bedroom because it lacks the charming architectural details that the rest of the apartment has.
What Friends Say: Friends love everything about it, but time and time again, everyone comments on how good the energy is and that it feels comforting and peaceful. They come in, sit down and effortlessly make themselves at home.
Biggest Embarrassment: Dirty windows. Being on the second floor, I have no way to clean them. To me, clean windows always make a home even more beautiful. It’s about the small details for me, and windows is one such important detail.
Proudest DIY: The kitchen. Before I moved in, the landlord had replaced the flooring and countertops, which was a great start, but there was very little storage and quite a bit of empty/unused space. I painted the entire apartment before moving in, and I knew I wanted the kitchen to be the only pop of color. I painted it three different times, with three different shades of pink (pink is very tricky!), all to go back to the shade I started with. I didn’t love it but decided I couldn’t paint it again.
Once I got all of my dishes and accessories in, I loved it. The cabinets were natural oak originally. Painting them grey coordinated with the walls and the 1960s motif (be sure to get high quality cabinetry paint if you do cabinets; it will go on more easily, smoother, and won’t drip in corners like regular paint).
The grey also pulled together the countertop and flooring. (It’s amazing what paint will do for a space!) I added in the stainless steel shelves for storage and to create visual interest looking into the kitchen from the living and dining room. I then completed the kitchen with the wall-mounted drop-leaf table. The space was too narrow for a kitchen table and chairs, so this was the perfect alternative.
Biggest Indulgence: Most of my pieces were not very expensive. The vintage bar and the dining room chandelier are probably the two items I spent the most money on. My most valuable piece, though, would be the white Milo Baughman sideboard in the dining room. I believe I purchased it for $500, which was a steal.
Best Advice: My best advice is to focus on finding and using things that you love rather than price tags or designers. If it resonates with you, get it. Money doesn’t necessarily buy you style. Someone could have lots of money and buy beautiful pieces of furniture, but their home may not feel as hip, cool, and stylish nor as loved as someone who thrifted all their beloved items. Most of my furniture I purchased years ago when I was in my 20s. I even started collecting in my early 20s while I was in college and still living at home. I stored them in my parents' basement not knowing what any of it would look like in a home. All I knew was that I was buying something because I loved it. Most of my furniture was affordable because it didn’t come with a designer label. The look was all that mattered to me. Over the years I have lived in six different spaces, and each time all the same furniture has come with me. It’s been such a delight to see how each piece gets incorporated into each home differently. They always work because my furniture is a reflection of me, of who I am, and what I love.
Dream Sources: Design Within Reach combined with Stuf Antiques of Asheville, NC
PAINT & COLORS
- Kitchen walls: BEHR Sweet Nectar
- Kitchen cabinets: Sherwin-Williams Mink
- All other walls: Sherwin-Williams Simple White
- Couch: Regeneration Station in Asheville, NC
- Cream chair: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Hawaiian lamp: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Black triangle side table: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Green Danish modern chair: Chatsworths Arts & Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Rug: bound carpet remnant from Leicester Carpet in Asheville, NC
- Travertine coffee table: left behind by homeowners when I moved into a past home
- Floor mirror: IKEA
- Floor lamp: Local Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Danish lamp: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Retro Victrola: My mom bought it and eventually I claimed it as mine.
- White pillows: Pier 1
- Round pillow: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Night Scape painting: Paul Jeanes of Baltimore, MD
- Asymmetrical drop-leaf table: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Dining chairs: Chatsworths Arts & Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Chandelier: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Retro bar: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Danish modern wall sconces: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Milo Baughman sideboard: Frank and Amy Beeson in Saluda, NC
- Gold and white retro lamp: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Tufted 1920s chair: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Mirror: a gift from my mom
- Pink 1920s floor lamp: Screen Door in Asheville, NC
- Painted floor cloth: made by me in decorative painting school
- Nude figure drawing: made by me in art school
- Abstract painting: Cindy Walton of Asheville, NC
- Small quilted mixed-media screen print: Luke Haynes on Los Angeles, CA
- Stainless shelves: IKEA
- Drop-leaf wall-mounted table: IKEA
- Turquoise stools: Riverside Antiques (no longer in business)
- New retro-inspired light fixture above sink: Etsy
- Love birds mirror: Goodwill
- Dish rack: IKEA
- Turquoise lamp: Magnolia Beauregard’s in Asheville, NC
- Flamingo print: I just can’t remember.
- Mixed-media screen print: Luke Haynes of Los Angeles, CA
- Black-and-white photo: taken by me
- Bed: Riverside Antiques (no longer in business)
- Side table: Riverside Antiques (no longer in business)
- Chest of drawers: Riverside Antiques (no longer in business)
- Polka dot lamps: Sweeten Creek Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Lucite round table: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Lucite footstool: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Yellow mirror: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Gold retro lamp: Sweeten Creek Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Cork lamp: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Black-and-white photo: taken by me
- White chair: Frank and Amy Beeson of Saluda, NC
- Mirrored standing ashtray: Screen Door in Asheville, NC
- Hamper: Goodwill
- Shower supply holders: Urban Outfitters
- Towel racks: IKEA
- Desk: Goodwill
- Turquoise club chair: Stuf Antiques in Asheville, NC
- Small black table: Bed Bath & Beyond
- Green lamp (my first purchase ever): Riverside Antiques (no longer in business)
- Houndstooth foot stool: Frank and Amy Beeson of Saluda, NC
- Retro clock: Christmas present from my Mom
- Retro love seat and chair: Eldorado Mid Century Salvage
- Bertoia chairs: Frank and Amy Beeson ofSaluda, NC
- White metal table: IKEA
- White lamp: IKEA
- Retro gold table: Goodwill
- Glass top gold drink stand: Goodwill
- Rug: Goodwill
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