LA House Tour: Erin’s Organized Collections

updated Apr 15, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Erin from Design For Mankind
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 2200 ft2
Years lived in: 3, Owned


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Erin from Design For Mankind was nice enough to let us in to see her organized home (perfect for the close of organizing month!). She’s definitely a collector, a thrifter, a girl full of projects, but there’s nothing out of place or cluttered about her home. She’s found a place for everything (and everything in its place). We loved peeking in to see how she organizes her collections and the things that she loves while maintaining a really inspiring and welcoming home:

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


Erin certainly seeks to inspire. She might be most well known for the dailies, peeks into people’s daily lives that she posts on her blog Design For Mankind. Now she’s expanding her blog to include downloadable inspiration e-zines using themes like vintage photographs and nature. Her home seems to be a collection of inspiration. From the fireplace hung with thrift store paintings (sideways and upside down) to the black and white objets that sit nicely and decoratively on shelves. We’re glad we got to take a peek before Erin and her husband move from this home to be closer to their families. Good luck Erin, can’t wait to see the new place!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

AT Survey:

How would you describe your style? Hmm, I’m a tough one, because it seems to change from day to day. Right now I’m really enjoying the natural light, so some Danish furniture and neutral color palette would probably make me swoon.

Favorite Room? My bedroom— hands down! It’s so homey, but still aesthetically adventurous.

Where do you get your inspiration? Oh gracious— everywhere. The inspiration for our bedroom was totally centered around The Viceroy in Santa Monica— I attended an event there and wouldn’t leave until I had seen every room! It’s absolutely gorgeous. My daily inspiration comes from silence; I use it to recharge and redirect my expectations and priorities.

Most talked about elements in your house? Probably the collage of paintings over our fireplace. Visitors stop and look at the paintings, cock their head and say “Ohhhhh, I see.” [hint: most of the paintings are sideways or upside down, b/c I liked them better that way!]

Most embarrassing part of the house? Ha. My garage. I have been hoarding vintage furniture that I hope to upholster some day… when I learn how to sew, that is! Needless to say, it’s a wreck down there.

Proudest diy? This would be my husband’s area of expertise. Basically, we both hate having the TV as a focal point of a room. It just screams to be watched when it’s always visible, and I find the TV absolutely draining. So my husband got to work using a projector and screen we had from our former apartment. He created a tiny little James-Bond-like switch in one of the paintings over the fireplace (it’s BARELY visible) so that the projector screen could retract with the flip of a switch! Even better? There’s a remote control. Guests drool, and I’m quite happy feeling a bit like the Jetsons for the day!

Dream piece of furniture/Favorite store? I would love to inherit an apothecary cabinet from a relative, or something with meaning behind. I’m a big fan of repurposed furniture and using items in creative ways. My favorite store is called Vintage Home; it’s a tiny shack filled to the brim with ephemera, just down the street from my home. I visit it daily for a breathe of fresh design!

Where you actually buy things? I’m a thrifter ALL the way. My bedroom was designed with a budget of $500 (I hate spending a ton of money on ANYTHING!). So, a lot of the pieces were from Craig’s List, thrift stores or handmade. When I’m in the mood for a splurge and I simply can’t find anything that works, I run to Anthropologie. I’ve been known to blow my budget on a bedspread or two there. 😉

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Best Advice? Plan the room before you start the design. Make notes, find photos of similar room layouts that you love. And don’t stop until you love what you’ve got. For my bedroom, I had originally chosen a teal/wooden theme, but I couldn’t take my eye off the black/white damask curtains that I’d found at Vintage Home. I fell in love and re-worked the design from there. It’s much easier to tackle a room when you’ve got a specific color palette in mind, or if you have a piece that you know you’d like to include.

Any Cleaning or Organizing tips?I’m not a big cleaner, but I organize like a manic person. My favorite tip is utilize household items for new ideas and don’t be afraid to mix it up. My paperclips are kept in a soap dish on my desk, my oven is a shoe rack and a plant stand holds my vintage hats. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Oldest item you own? One of the paintings over the fireplace was signed in 1882, with what appears to be quill ink. It was only $2 at the thrift shop, and I just had to take it home with me! 🙂

What you’ll miss most! (Erin is Moving!) Our house is currently on the market and we’re planning to move back midwest to be with our families. I’ll miss the sunshine that pours in through the MANY windows we have. It makes working on a computer all day a LOT less depressing!


Photos by Erin Loechner
And check our archives of ATLA’s past house tours HERE
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)