Natasha and the Plant-Filled Sunroom

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Name: Natasha Nyberg and Brad Sammut; children Lisette and Maxine; cats Matilda and Pickle; dogs Greta, Lotte, and Mr. Chips
Location: Garfield Park; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Size: 2,200 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Owned

Natasha and I met through Instagram. She began following my account and when I scrolled through her feed, I saw images of a very cool home: rich colors, objects with stories, and a refreshing indifference to trends. I had a hunch that she found me through Apartment Therapy, and based on her home, she would be a good House Tour candidate. I messaged her and we emailed back and forth. It turned out that Natasha was very familiar with Apartment Therapy, having participated/been featured in six different contests/articles over the years!

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(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Check out Natasha’s home in a flickr Find, the 2011 Color Contest, the 2011 Small Kids, Big Color Contest, a Color Inspiration gallery, the 2012 Room for Color Contest, and the Bedroom Retreat Contest and then compare those rooms to today’s tour. In the years since those publications, Natasha and her husband Brad have rearranged or swapped out artwork and furniture to accommodate their changing needs and styles. There are towers of books in the living room and a few new furniture pieces. The yellow little girl’s bedroom above the sunroom was converted back to a guest bedroom. The sunroom’s dining table has been replaced with a couch for sipping morning coffee, reading a book, or napping among the plants.

While reading through Natasha’s source list, you’ll learn that most items in her home didn’t come from a furniture store or catalog. Many objects are well-loved family heirlooms, generous gifts from friends, or lucky finds at thrift stores.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I’m very nostalgic, so I love surrounding myself with things that belonged to people who are important to me. I’m much more concerned with how things make me feel than with how they look.

Inspiration: My grandmother. We don’t have similar tastes, but I love how she always embraced her own style without regard to whatever was popular at the moment (or what her family thought!).

Favorite Element: The addition on the back, which includes the sunroom (downstairs) and the sleeping porch/guest room (upstairs).

Biggest Challenge: Stickers, glitter, and Perler beads. Everywhere.

What Friends Say: “Your house is so cozy” or “Is that Mom’s/Dad’s/Grandma’s/Grandpa’s old ____?” (It usually is.)

Biggest Embarrassment: Two dachshunds that are not 100% housebroken.

Proudest DIY: We aren’t very handy, but I did paint all of the interior walls myself – some several times!

Biggest Indulgence: My plants. Even weekly waterings take a while with so many, not to mention repotting most of them every spring, but it’s worth it to me because I love having them.

Best Advice: It’s your home, so do whatever you want with it! Fill it with things you love and make it personal.

Dream Sources: If Celerie Kemble and Hunt Slonem got married, died, and had an estate sale.


(Image credit: Mike Hetu)


All paint colors are by Ellen Kennon Full Spectrum Paints

  • Entry/upstairs hallway/guest room: Classic Marc
  • Living room: Caribe
  • Craft room: Luminaire
  • Dining room: Honeysuckle
  • Kitchen: Pumpkin Spice and Citrine
  • Sunroom: Peridot (walls) and Dusk (ceiling)
  • Bathroom: Shrimp
  • Lisette’s bedroom: Dusk
  • Maxine’s bedroom: Alexandra Blue
  • Master bedroom: Apricot
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Clock: Belonged to Natasha’s great-grandparents- she’s supposed to get it repaired for her dad, but it’s been sitting there for months. She’s not sure he’ll ever get it back!
  • Dresser: Target, painted with leftover paint from the kitchen
  • Oval mirror: given to Natasha and Brad by friends when they were moving
  • Gold mirror: thrift store
  • Rug: thrift store
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Oil painting above the couch: Gift from a friend- the piece is by local artist Steve Rosselet and came from Colline Patrimoine.
  • Armoire: World Market
  • Couches: thrift stores
  • Small desk/table: originally belonged to Natasha’s great-grandmother and was passed down from her grandma
  • Gold and glass coffee table: Brad’s mom
  • Wood and glass coffee table: Found on curb
  • Bird picture (above radiator): Brad’s mom (drawn by one of her college friends)
  • Hobo lamp: Brad’s grandpa
  • Vintage starburst clock: thrift store
  • Busts: Natasha’s dad, various thrift stores, garage sales
  • Mirror on mantle: part of a bedroom set
  • Watercolor on mantle: thrift store
  • Granny square afghans: various estate sales and Natasha’s neighbor
  • Zigzag afghan and pillows: gift from a friend
  • Hanging mirror: discovered in the garage a year after Natasha and Brad moved in- it was covering a window with the reflective side facing out.
  • Rugs: estate sales
  • Rocking chair: Brad’s sister
  • Ceramic Buddha: painted by Brad’s grandpa in the 1970s
  • Gwen Frostic bird prints: Natasha’s grandma (who was Gwen’s assistant in the 1960s)
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Table and bench: Natasha’s mom (it was built by a man whose kids she babysat as a teenager)
  • Butterfly table: garage sale
  • Rug: estate sale
  • Bust lamp: thrift store
  • Oil painting in front of windows: by Ellis LeVee, a street artist who used to go around painting outdoor scenes in northern Michigan. Natasha’s grandparents had this one painted of the view of Lake Michigan from their backyard, and gave it to her dad for Christmas in 1982.
  • Various Gwen Frostic prints: Natasha’s grandma
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Table: bought from a friend
  • Chairs: Conant Ball from a thrift store
  • Buffet: Craigslist
  • Vintage Marushka canvases (throughout the house): Brad’s aunt, thrift stores, garage sales
  • Chandelier: thrift store
  • Wooden mushrooms: from the kitchen in Natasha’s childhood home
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Table and hutch: family friend
  • Paintings: thrift stores
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Couch: IKEA
  • Quilt: Shipshewana
  • Rug: Overstock
  • Hanging light: thrift store
  • Macrame hangers: estate sale
  • Hanging crystals: Blue Door
  • Planters: Flowerland, thrift stores
  • Various shelves and stands: hand-me-downs from family members
  • Playstand: Palumba
  • Stool: built by Natasha’s great-grandfather, recovered by Natasha
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Small blue dresser: garage sale
  • Portraits flanking the bathroom: Brad’s parents in the sixties
  • Other artwork: passed down from family or found in thrift stores
  • Runner:
  • Round table: Brad’s grandpa
  • Playstand: Palumba
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Bird prints: torn from an old book
  • Shower curtain: Target
  • Curtains: made by Natasha from a vintage sheet
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Star quilt: made by Natasha’s grandma
  • Green and yellow quilt: estate sale
  • Bed: IKEA
  • Rug: IKEA
  • Chair: garage sale
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Headboard: thrift store
  • Bookshelves: Natasha’s dad
  • Horse lamp: Brad’s grandpa
  • Dog watercolor: Local artist (and Natasha’s neighbor!) Barbara Groat- she painted this for Lisette and incorporated a drawing of a dragon that Lisette gave her. The dragon shows up as a cloud in the sky.
  • “Lisette” prints: vintage French comic book covers from a book Natasha’s friends found at a flea market in New York
  • Quilt: vintage, a gift from Natasha’s dad
  • Afghan: thrift store
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Bed: garage sale
  • Quilt: vintage, a gift from Natasha’s dad
  • Afghans: thrift stores
  • Irmi lamps: thrift stores
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Dressers: Brad’s sister’s childhood bedroom set, painted white
  • Bed: Target
  • Desk: Sligh, from the 1970s, from Brad’s mom
  • Gwen Frostic print: Natasha’s grandma
  • Large oval mirror: Brad’s mom
  • Small oval mirror: Natasha’s grandma (who paid $5 for it in the 1960s)
  • Bedding: Anthropologie
  • Bird pictures above bed: Estate Sale Warehouse
  • Bust on dresser: Natasha’s dad (he brought it back from London in the 1970s)
  • Yellow afghan: thrift store
  • Yellow and white quilt: estate sale
  • Trunk: garage sale
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    Thanks, Natasha!