Sara's Handcrafted Home

Today we're going to get to know someone who has become near & dear to the StyleMutt Home family. You've probably seen us praise Sara, the macrame genius behind The Forest Fern, and her work before; but today, we're getting to know her.

Sara and her husband purchased their traditional / mid-century combination ranch over a year ago and spent much of that time making the space inhabitable. From Sara: 

This house was such a mess when we moved in! We had no flooring in our main living spaces for the first six months, and my husband and I slept with our son in his room for three months until ours was livable. From broken windows to a leaky roof, we had it all.

But Sara used what seemed like a major inconvenience, if not a nightmare, to figure out what was most important to her. And tap in to her gift that we're all so lucky to witness. 

But really, this was a blessing in disguise. I was forced to get creative and started frequenting our local flea market and scouring Ebay for unique and affordable finds. I wanted to fill our home with plants and started making macrame plant hangers and soon moved to large scale wall hangings. Our fixer-upper opened up my creativity and helped me to create a home that really feels like ‘us.’

Now, I hope you're not thinking that Sara is a one-trick creative pony. If you are, I'm going to change that immediately. Sara's creativity can be seen all over her home - and even seems to be in her blood.

My favorite piece in our living room is probably the desk that I refinished. I found it on Craigslist for $10, stripped the original finish and then waxed it to seal it. I wanted to give the very traditional desk a bohemian edge, and I think that the raw wood paired with the clean brass knobs accomplishes that. The portrait above the desk was actually done by my mother when she was in high school and I just love it.

And I bet the same creative streak will continue in Sara's daughter, who gets to grow up in a bedroom that I would fight over even at my age. It's whimsical, bohemian, but still full of the color and stimuli that children so dearly need. And that adorable little desk? Another thrifty find. 


And last but not least, Sara splurges in a way that not only serves her and their family but also fellow makers. 

I think that quality really matters when it comes to textile choices. I’m not saying that you can’t find lovely vintage textiles for a steal, but in general, I’ve found that you get what you pay for. I love really love my handmade pillows from The Modern Farmhouse Co. and vintage Kantha quilts. They might be a bit more expensive but the finishing work is perfect.

And Sara, we think your finishing work is perfect, too. Thank you so much for letting us learn a bit more about you today! And style mutts, if you're not already following along with Sara, you now have no excuse not to! Mark her Instagram as a favorite as fast as you can.

See you all next week,

Reader Design: Lisa's Fashion-Forward Farmhouse

As I promised in my last post, today's reader design is a fun blend of fashion and bold vignettes.  With the life of a jet-setting fashion designer, Lisa's new-found happy place is her countryside home on outskirts of Seattle... I mean, just look at that view!


From Lisa:

I have been designing clothes for over 30 years in the Seattle region...  I have always followed interior design because it is so closely related to fashion and I love creating and advising others to create a unique home! My style is hard to define, but my approach and goal is to make my home a visual "experience" so I think I would call my style "experiential". I love to incorporate my fashion background and travels to evoke a sense of history, function and whimsy!!! (Framed garments are sprinkled around my home!) I want people to enjoy every corner in my home and get a design "fix" when they look around each room....I love it when my friends feel empowered to go home and change things up a bit in their own homes!

Her career has taken her to NYC, LA, Munich, India, Paris, London, Korea, HK, Montreal, Toronto and (Hong Kong 36 times!) - working with sophisticated brands such as Nordstrom's, Cutter & Buck, Annika Sorenstam's Collection by CB, Unionbay Jeans, Eddie Bauer and coat/ outerwear collections for Trina Turk and Pendleton.  Quite the resume I'd say!

We transformed a 1937 farmhouse into our current home. We stripped the house down to the studs [while]... my husband, son and I lived in a duck hunting lodge on our property for 5 months while we renovated this home!  I re-oriented the back door to become the front, with the expert help of an architect. During the warmer months we have hot air balloons floating by my kitchen window regularly! It's a treat to see!
In the Home Office, this mannequin is just "wearing" fabric that I draped and pinned on it ...I love having a pin board to see my lastest inspo ideas and tear sheets...I made the chalkboard from a old ugly print that I painted over, I loved the gold frame. My computer screen is huge so I can design multiple garments and get a big picture view of what the heck I am doing. I tend to get a little lost in my work at times and forget to eat, etc...I have an artist's personality and easily lose track of time!

This would be the office of my dreams Lisa!  A big visual board, comfy/cute chair, and adorably organized desk space... yum.

In the master bedroom, the [featured] artwork is a framed Chanel wool coat from the Paris boutique. I was lucky to buy this at one of our private Nordstrom "design sample" cost less than a couple lattes...heehee.   This wall was blank for 6 years until one day, I thought, hey, I don't wear that coat very often but I think it would be fun to hang on the wall...the rest is history!  I framed it with a black velvet trim and sprayed a hanger to match (recede to the wall) and voile' art!

Ooohh the perks for being a fashionists!  Tres jealous, Lisa.  But what a great idea to incorporate beloved sentimental pieces into your decor!

In the living room,  I made the coffee table from a wooden crate and thrifted mirror that cost me $5!  I love the natural elements, again on my mantel and the hide rug (a birthday gift from my hubby). Our floors are original to the home (1937) fir, they get "scars" easily as my husband would say...but we both like that well-worn effect, so shoes are welcome on them. 

I wish my hubby would get me a cowhide rug for my birthday *hint hint Caleb*

I hang branches everywhere in my home, I love the graphic quality and the expense!!!  And they are always available on our property, I spray them or paint them with white to freshen them up a bit...after I "de-bug" them of course!!!
For my kitchen island I chose to have in a dark wood finish to make it feel like a focal piece of furniture. I love the book shelves on one end and wine storage on the other. I also have this "thing" for butherblock tops...I LOVE WOOD. I love to polish this island with natural wood oil. My grandfather had an amazing woodworking studio in his basement and I loved to sweep up the saw dust when I was a little girl visiting my grandparents home. Even the smell of wood gets me! I think that's why all my candles are pine or wood scented!  Haha
I made the entry leaning mirror from our last home's bathroom re-model. I salvaged the mirror because it had a beautiful beveled edge and was HUGE....bought a hand saw and miter box, a sheet of plywood for the backing and cut and painted frame by myself. I own all the power tools in our home!!! Haha...

Welcome to the club Lisa ;)


That pheasant feather wall art was based off an actual feather Lisa's husband found at a friend's Montana ranch.  She cleverly printed a photo on architectural vellum and then paints over in acrylic and mounted it on wood to create our favorite faux pull-down chart art.


Thank you so much for inviting us into your home Lisa!  If you are as inspired by Lisa's fashion-forward touches to her home, be sure to follow her on instagram @ellegeestudio for more!

And remember my decor-loving friends, you don't have to be a well-traveled savant or even plumb trend-inclined to have your space featured here and on our Spaces page - just a home you love and your unique point of view.  Tag your pics with #stylemuttspaces on instagram or facebook and we'll contact you for more info.