We recently visited Emily’s Brookside bungalow to photograph her minimal, mindful, and mood-setting approach to interior decorating. It’s easy to relax when there is no clutter, and her white-tone default is quite relaxing on the eyes. Pops of color and thoughtful arrangements really stand out on this muted canvas. We asked Emily to share her decorating approach and intentions for this small-space bungalow.
SH: What is the biggest transformation you made to your Brookside Bungalow? Which renovation was the hardest do make?
Emily: The biggest impact to me was taking all of that yellow paint (outside and inside) and painting it white. It’s amazing what white paint can do to freshen up and change the whole look of a room or a house. I think the hardest part was probably the kitchen – there was a dark yellow paint on the walls, grease stains above the oven, dark blue tiles and dark wood. It was a total disaster!
SH: Where do you like to shop for your decor? What’s your inspiration?
Emily: Mostly online! I love to shop while I am traveling for smaller home goods, but for the larger items looking online or in stores close to us – Most all the items in our house (aside from family hierlooms and traveling finds) are Target, CB2 or Crate & Barrel, IKEA, West Elm, Amazon and Rugs USA.
SH: What are your favorite pieces in your home? Where are they from?
• Our piano from my grandmother. It’s what I played on in middle and high school, and holds many special memories for me.
• Gold and white china from my grandmother and some beautiful gold glasses from Nick’s grandmother, which we used for a prosecco toast on the front porch when Nick proposed.
• There are some items I’ve picked up while traveling that also hold some special memories: an elephant art print and a small wood zebra from Ghana, some framed flower petals from a rose that a woman gave me while in Peru, and a shell from the beach on our honeymoon in the Riveria Maya.
• Our white couch in the living room – I reupholstered it myself. I purchased it when I first graduated college and wanted a couch in that French style, but didn’t want to spend thousands on it. I found one second hand and decided to re-upholster it, despite the fact I had zero prior experience. It turned out pretty well considering, but it was a lot of work!
• We have so many items from our wedding that have become my new favorites, I think because of the memory of who gave it to us. We received so many gifts from family and friends, and they are constant reminders of everyone who is a part of our lives.
SH: What do you love about your neighborhood?
Emily: We love so many things about Brookside! Our best friends are right next door, and it’s so great to be close to them – proximity is everything. We also love being near the Trolley Trail; Brookside Bario or Aixois are within walking distance for date night, or I can bike on it to get my nails done or to The Roasterie. The Country Club Plaza is nearby, and it feels like everything is about a 10-minute drive.
SH: Tell us more about your non-profit organization, The By Grace Foundation
Emily: The By Grace Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that supports the training of women in impoverished communities that want to learn a skill to support their families. So far, we have supported women in Ghana (where I grew up), India, the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and in Kansas City.
SH: Thank you, Emily, for welcoming us into your space and sharing your sweet and sensible approach to decorating a petite Brookside bungalow.
Are you interested in buying your own Brookside Bungalow or something similar? We love to help people find unique homes in the classic parts of town. Give us a shout!