A Collision of Cool & Chic in North Carolina

A Collision of Cool & Chic in North Carolina

Tamara Gavin
Dec 20, 2016

Name: Erin D. Brittain
Location: North Asheville, North Carolina
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 5 years

Erin's home is a playful blend of her talents as an antique dealer, a seamstress, and an interior designer. This is evident in the fearless mix of velvet, ikat, plaids, florals, and geometrics of which she uses to sew her bedding, draperies, and pillows. Vintage chairs are made new again with custom upholstery and are frequently moved around the house or, if she sells them, replaced with something different, much like her evolving collection of art. Erin describes her style as feminine eclectic and loves that her ranch rental is a blank canvas for her to display her collections and projects.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Highly collected and eclectic. I don't stick to any particular style but my own. If I love it I buy it, and it ends up working because it's just "me" and it will always "go."

Inspiration: I pour over design magazines for inspiration and ideas, but most of my inspiration comes from antiquing and shopping. I love unearthing forgotten gems in dusty stores that can be reborn in new design projects.

Favorite Element: My art and pottery collection. It guides most of my design decisions from style to color in each room. They are my favorite things to find and arrange in my house. Collecting in general is a huge source of inspiration.

Biggest Challenge: Wall space (haha). It's hard for me to settle on one thing. I'm constantly being inundated with new fabrics and styles and furniture pieces, so I do move things around constantly. I find new pieces and let old pieces find new homes. It's kind of the joy of being a designer and a furniture/antiques dealer. You get to find it, love it, use it, pass it on.

What Friends Say: "Is that new?" They're always making fun of me for changing things.

Biggest Embarrassment: As much as I'm proud of my home and its unique style I sometimes get a little embarrassed when people make too much of a fuss over it. It's just my passion and hobby that brings me joy. An ever-changing canvas I get to play with. Lucky me.

Proudest DIY: I love the fact that I've been able to get every piece of soft furniture in my house custom upholstered. It's given me a lot of control of my color palette and feel regardless of the original condition of the piece.

Biggest Indulgence: Fabric and Art. I can justify fabric a little more because I use a lot of it for projects since I'm a seamstress. But I still hoard it. She who dies with the most fabric wins. Winning.

Best Advice: Buy what you love and ONLY what you love. Don't worry about it "going" if you love it. It will go. Somewhere. Somehow.

Dream Sources: I really love antiquing. The best finds are random. Like a treasure hunt.

Explore This Style:

More Resources:

  • Truly, most everything in my house was bought at either an antique store or a flea market.
  • The teal chairs in my living room are Milo Baughman from the 1960s, which I had custom upholstered.
  • I'm a dealer at the Screen Door in Asheville so the majority of my treasures are from there. Oddfellows Antiques is also a major go-to.
  • The green table by the front door came from an old estate in Virginia where I was born. I love mixing old pieces with more modern ones.
  • The China cabinet was my grandmother's.
  • The brass and glass box on the dining shelf was an old candy box from a country general store in Virginia.
  • The large painting in the dining room was found in a shed of a friend's after she bought a house in Atlanta.
  • The ink portrait of my dog Mitzi was painted by one of my favorite artists Brian Mashburn and given to me as a Christmas present by a friend nearest and dearest to my heart.

Thanks, Erin!

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