sneak peek: michelle armas


our second sneak peek is into graphic designer/illustrator michelle armas‘s patterned atlanta home. michelle is yet another of our talented finalists from the lena corwin printing by hand contest. it was great seeing her submission photos, but so much fun getting a deeper look into her home. planning to buy a home – when the real project begins – in the next year, her goal was to make the place feel homey (on a budget), keeping purchases simple, sticking to craigslist, thrift stores, vintage and floor samples. i do say that she succeeded with flying colors! [thanks, michelle!]anne

Dinning room: Dinning chairs were such a score! 50’s woven leather and chrome chairs, 6 for $150 on craigslist. I felt kind of guilty paying so little for the, that girl just didn’t know how cool those chairs are…Our table is from DWR, we bought that in Brooklyn, it was my work desk and took up half of our living room, crazy.

Living room: our couch was ridiculously cheap, a sample at a boutique around here. The back cushions are not great quality so we replaced them with down pillows, much better. Green pillow from Pottery Barn, red pillow from Lena Corwin. The side tables are actually night tables from Victory Vintage, my favorite place to buy anything in Atlanta. The coffee table was a sample, not my favorite, but hey, it was cheap! I also printed the striped curtains in the living room. The home had these horrible, cheap blinds, and I wanted to replace them, but not spend too much, and be able to re-use whatever I went with. I ordered the fabric from my favorite discount wholesale fabric shop, made the print, and put them up with book binding rings, I can always use those, and you can’t tell. Later on, I can use the fabric to make something different.

I love all the windows in my office, they all look at the back of the house, with several 100 year old trees, actually it is kind of a jungle back there, and high up. At my desk I have an “office” phone because my actual day job is doing Spanish language sales for O’s business. I have a cute boss :)

We have a malm bed, and I hate to make it, actually, I hate making any bed. I make sure that we have interesting sheets, all mis-matched, but l like that. I dont fight my bed-making phobia, I work around it! I just throw out the sheets and the bed cover that was a gift from my mom in the morning and let them fall where they may, I kind of like it that way.

We put excess dishes on the chrome metro shelf from Container Store, it works here, but later, it can go anywhere, those baskets hide pots and table clothes and I like the contrast with the metal. The oil above it was made by some guy in 1974, it still smells like oil, and I love how 70’s it looks.

The West elm parson’s desk was a sample, I love that lamp, I got it for $15 at Marshalls! I have lots of things from artist Lena Corwin, and that is one of her plates there, we put mail on it.

I got the wooden chair on craigslist for about $100 from a prop stylist, and that pillow is from Lena Corwin.


  1. Elizabeth W says:

    i love all the mismatching! it think it all looks great together. i have got to know where you got the curtains by your desk – i saw them once before in some photos of a kitchen and fell in love, there’s something so late 50’s early 60’s about them that i love.

  2. love her blog. and her home is adorable — everything I imagined it would be. thanks! xo

  3. Kris says:

    Adorable—the layering of patterns against sturdy, reliable classics works every time. You need not underestimate the seller of the dining chairs: she may have acquired the chairs for next to nothing herself, and wanted to pass the ‘steal’-feeling along to someone else.

  4. laura says:

    so wonderful to see michelle’s home here.. she is a great designer and it totally shows.

    hey homie! your house rocks! and those chairs in your dining room are seriously cool.

  5. Esther says:

    Absolutely fabulous, I love all the colours and light that bathes the rooms. What a delightful place to live.

  6. Esther says:

    I should have mentioned the 1974 painting is great what a great addition above the metal buffet

  7. no1uno says:

    where did the bright blue stovetop espresso maker (cafetera) come from?

    I would love to have one.

  8. Michelle says:

    Elizabeth, I got that fabric at Ikea, It is a really thick and sturdy cotton. Thanks for your comments!

  9. Cora says:

    I have GOT to know where you 1) got the beautiful, gold-leaf curtains and 2) who made the painting on the parson’s desk.

    WOW! Stunning overall & such great details!

  10. DM says:

    What do you mean when you say something was a “sample?”

  11. Jules says:

    Hey fellow Atlantan, I am a big fan of Victory Vintage (as well as City Issue) and have gotten several fantastic finds there too. Kudzu is another great spot for mid century goodies. Love your little dog!

  12. themediatrix says:

    I want to live there.

  13. joslyn says:

    So pretty and bright and interesting! i’m such a fan of Michelle.

  14. Michelle says:

    Cora, thanks! I made all of the curtains, except the ones in my office, and I also made the painting, for sale at my etsy shop.

  15. Deborah says:

    I love the layering of patterns. You have a great eye. Where did you find the rug at the foot of your malm bed? I LOVE it.


  16. Michelle says:

    DM, I mean it was a floor sample when a furniture store has a sale.

  17. Michelle says:

    no1uno, I got that espresso maker for 4 dollars at Homegoods, it is like a Marshals for home things, great for cheep cooking supplies.

    I got the rug at Urban Outfitters, usually if you wash them first, they mellow out a little, this one looks much less brown, we like it now.

  18. Claire says:

    Lovely space. Uuuummmmmmmm….

  19. Kristan says:

    Can I just say that that desktop image is STUNNING? So vibrant. It totally grabbed my eye.

  20. Joy says:

    LOVE YOUR PAINT CHOICES!!!! Do you mind sharing what specific colors they are? I have been searching everywhere for the perfect gray/blue and the one in your bedroom is fantastic. Thanks so much!!!

  21. kati says:

    that bed is the best – i love the mox of fabrics

  22. magma says:

    are the gold leaf curtains available at your etsy shop!? I LOVE LOVE LOVE them…. and I also totally approve of mistmatched vintage sheets and refusal to “make” the bed. so my style;)

  23. cindy k says:

    i love it, especially the prints she made and her cute dog – woof!

  24. rhiana says:

    I must have those gold curtains! They are incredible.

  25. yvonne says:

    I love your home, what a comfortable place to be in! Any chance you would be willing to share where you got the large baskets on the metro shelving?
    Thank you!

  26. .Speck says:

    love the red and white polka dot pan in the last photo…do you know who made it?

  27. bianca says:

    PLEASE TELL ME WHERE YOU GOT THOSE GREAT PILLOW CASES! I am in love. cheers to mis matched bedsheets!

  28. alice says:

    i love your painting. great colors.

  29. Jo says:

    What a treat to look at these photos tonight ~ a really lovely home, just the sort of sneak peek I always hope to find on d*s ! Thanks so much

  30. Miranda says:

    What’s your “favorite discount wholesale fabric shop”?

  31. Michelle says:

    1. My favorite fabric place is Fabric Mart online.

    2. Bedroom paint is Naturalist Grey from Freshaire Choice paint, it is a low toxicity one. In morning light it looks sort of lavender.

    3. Red polka dot pan is actually a turkish coffee pot from O’s mom, I think it is from Dubai.

    4. The pillows on my bed are from a sheet set from GoodWill.

  32. angie says:

    The dining room chairs slay me!
    i am so jealous that i almost want you to feel guilty about paying so little, if it weren’t such an inspired find.
    beautiful eye you have.

  33. kyla says:

    just wondering what color you painted your living room, it looks very soothing and inviting.

  34. Jenn says:

    I would LOVE to know where you got your bed sheets and covers! I am always intrigued with how people can make mismatched textiles look so elegant. lovely. :)

  35. Yolanda says:

    I love the white and golden curtain. where could I get them??? thank you very much. your home is so beautiful.
    Yolanda (Spain)

  36. piper says:

    i love it! do you know where your mom found the bed cover?

  37. sulu-design says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely – Michelle, her work, and her home!

  38. Michelle says:

    I am considering making the curtain fabric by the yard, but I have to work on it to figure out a way to streamline the production of it.

    I believe my mother got the bed cover at Linen’s and Things about 10 years ago.

    Also, I don’t know what color the living room is, it was this color when we moved in, but I might be able to find out for you :)

  39. grasswire says:

    I just love the red ‘dzezva’ with white dots, the design reminds me of the enamel pots from my youth.
    I’m sure it makes a really good coffee :)

  40. very, very nice.. I love it

  41. Danielle says:

    I am CRAZY! about the living room curtains! If you do make the fabric I would love to buy some!

  42. Waw!!! this one is my favourite..I love the fabrics, the colors and the lighting aswell.

  43. Alice says:

    Michelle, what a terrific home! I was wondering where did you get the woven baskets on the metro shelving? Thanks.


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