sneak peek: charise harper


our final sneak peek of the day comes from children’s book author and illustrator charise harper can’t help but make you smile. it’s a fantastic example of mixing style and fun (check out the ruler stair rail and chalk board art!). she, her husband and their three children moved into their mamaroneck, ny home three years ago and have been working on it ever since. be sure to check out the entire set (with additional images) here, and all of our sneak peeks right here. [thanks, charise!] anne

[note: charise’s sneak peek continues after the jump so click here for the full post and pictures, or just click “read more” below the last picture. there were so many great shots i had a hard time editing them down!]

The ruler stair rail. Fun right?

I like the two blackboards under the self portrait on the stairs.  We change the drawings whenever we want, because they are just chalk.  Of course her face always stays the same. The artist is from Chicago but I have forgotten her name. The green box on wheels secretly holds some kid toys.  We bought it at Pier One and then put the casters on it.

Click here for more photos of Charise’s home…

My husband made the radiator boxes and I hammered the tin tops.

  1. Ellen says:

    I’m inspired and gladdened by your wonderful home!

  2. Bénédicte says:

    I really love this place!

  3. Karen Mowrey says:

    How fun! I have had you on my google reader for a while and had to stop by today to say I just don’t know how you do what you do but your inspirations and discoveries are so wonderful! Thank you for all the beauty!

  4. LS says:

    I love your house and I love your books!

  5. Wow! So many people love this – easily one of my most favorite homes ever. Much thanks!!

  6. Dörthe says:

    yes yes yes

  7. kelly jo says:

    love the giggle! love the fun! love the chalk body. bring it on!

  8. holly says:

    I AM IN LOVE….love it all. This one tops the charts. I adore everything in this post and agree…the award goes to…..CHARISE. I love design with a sense of humor, a soul, a conscience, and she nailed it. There’s such a feeling of LOVE & family when you look at these photos. COuldn’t be any cuter.

  9. Genevieve says:

    So cosy! I love that first pic.

  10. Lisette says:

    Who makes the paint you you used in your diningroom and what is the color name? I have been something just like it! Your house is wonderful!

  11. Amanda says:

    What a lovely space and home!

    I love the light grey ottoman in the bottom left corner of the first pic – been looking for one that is about that shape… where is yours from???

  12. Amazing. It’s fun and whimsical without being overdone or kitschy; the family’s personalities really come through. I love this sneak peek!

  13. I love it this is my dream house a lttle rustic, a little country and a lot of fun

  14. I want to move in! I’m currently looking for a rustic weekend place and hoping it’ll turn out a lot like this house. Thanks for sharing. I absolutely LOVE your Sneak Peeks.

  15. dg says:

    love this place

  16. What a beautiful, interesting and fun place! I love it!

  17. Melanie says:

    The napping room is perfect. Love the entire tour.

  18. Amanda says:

    Thanks for sharing your space Charise! You have some fantastic vintage pieces & a great eye. I love the yellow chairs with the numbers on the back, and think the blackboard art is fabulous fun.

  19. kristina says:

    love these photos…I love the idea of the portrait and the body under it. I have a chalkboard painted on the wall in my kid’s playroom – I think I’ll blow up pics of them and post above so they can add their own bodies every day!

  20. Jennifer says:

    This place is so homey and warm! I strive to have the same kind of place.

  21. Marie says:

    This is one of my favorite sneak peaks, too! Everything is whimsical, joyous yet efficient. I’m a mom, and I’m inspired by the possibility of having a beautiful yet kid-friendly house.

    By the way, where did you get the leather couch?


  22. Kim says:

    I love the multi-colored metal storage bins in the photo under “NOT SO” sign. So much better than generic plastic bin storage. I wonder what they’re called or where you might recommend finding ones similar? Thanks so much for the idea!

  23. angie Suarez says:

    Where did you get the bundle of lights in your stairwell that hang from the ceiling? Love every room in your home! When can I move in?

  24. I love it!!!! I am a firm believer in recycling, my home is full of things that had a precious life.
    We all should make an efford to reuse staff, not only looks amazing but help the environment!!!

  25. Lisette: the living room blue is Benjamin Moore Blue Porcelain

    Amanda & Marie: both the ottoman and the sofa are from Anthropologie. Ordinarily that sofa would have been way out of our price range but we got lucky and bought it clearance off the sales floor.

    Kim: the aquamarine bins are just from Pottery Barn; the multi-colored ones came from flea markets.

    angie: the stairwell lights are assembled from stuff out of the Home Depot electrical aisle. We saw something like this in a NYC restaurant and did our own version of it.

    Thanks for all the questions!

  26. Charise! It is your old friends from The Red Balloon Co. in Chicago! We miss you! Still LOVE your books. And now LOVE your home. What an eye (though we already knew that). Such a warm, inviting, playful space. Will you decorate our house? Come visit!

  27. sarah jane says:

    OH MY GRACIOUS. I am completely inspired. LOVE the pics, love sectioned chalkboard art; LOVE the woodwork in the house…I can go on and on. Thank you so much!

  28. emily says:

    i love this! how wonderful and whimsical. and what a small world…i work at the publishing company that publishes charise’s adorable books!

  29. Ansley says:

    awww… dream house… simple and pure

  30. ace says:

    Where did the ruler for the stair rail come from? Is it one ruler that spans the whole staircase??

    I’m extremely envious of the light bulbs pendant – it would be awesome to see a how-to, say on instructables.

    I love all of the quirky details in your home.

  31. Rona says:

    Your style says “HOME”! Love the sense of humor decorating style. Anyone with kids needs that!! So very creative and very comfortable. Absolutely loved your quirky edge. Who wouldn’t love being there?

  32. Pauline says:

    I just love these pics!! Everything looks great

  33. Ashley B. says:

    I want to live here! When I imagine my fantasy house this is just what it would look like– fun, personal, livable.


  34. This is by far my fave!!!

  35. Laura B says:

    I look at this sneak peek every day! Love the whole thing!! Charise, where are the lights above the DR table from? I looked at rejuvenation and some other places but can’t find the clear shade. Many thanks!!

  36. Laura —

    I can’t remember where we got them from but Sundance Catalog has carried ones virtually identical to ours — except these are hardwired… and were a little less pricey. Thanks!

  37. Sabrina says:

    Wow, so much light. I could live here.

  38. wow! My Dream place to live !
    decoration is superb. Really nice and
    Informative site.

  39. Holly says:

    A warm and beautiful home. I’m sure the portrait painting artist is Lake Strongheart – maybe someone can verify?

  40. Just curious about Lake Strongheart- does anyone know where to find this artist? Holly- do you have any additional info on Lake? Inquiring minds want to know!

  41. Yes! that is the artist for the portrait. I don’t know where she is. She was a friend of a friend.

  42. Holly says:

    Hi holly from livingston and porter,
    I went to school with Lake Strongheart at The Art Institute of Chicago but didn’t know her personally. She was a pretty prolific painter of self-portraits – each unique in style and all very compelling. I loved them then and it was a happy surprise to see one of her paintings here. I see that she is on Facebook, maybe you could contact her that way.

  43. holly says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU~ i live in Chicago so I am happy to know that she might have pieces available or in the area. WIll keep searching!

  44. maria says:

    Lake is in Portland, OR and she’s still painting! If you want me to contact her for you, I’m glad to. M

  45. melanie says:



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