interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: charise harper

by anne

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.

Suggested For You


  • There are so many great details in this home! I love the droog lamp in the middle of a more handmade vibe. The kids will have wonderful memories of home when they are adults.

  • it reminds me of home….Amsterdam. I think because of the old details of the house and the quirky objects.
    very nice!

  • What wonderful signage and inspirational messages around the house (Giggle is a great one!). My two favorite features are the magazine rack (a must have for our home) and the triptych on the landing on the stairs. …Once again, the sneak peaks rock my world.

  • Wow… I love EVERYTHING about this home, and that’s not something I throw around lightly! I’m especially curious about the cluster of lightbulbs in the stairwell…

  • It looks comfortable, like someone actually lives there! I get tired of looking at the minimalist spaces where not one piece of personal stuff is out where you can see it. Charise’s home is fun to look at, and has a nice design element to it.

  • Krista,

    The lightbulb fixture in the hallway was something we saw in a restaurant, and then tried to replicate at home. My husband is fairly handy so he was able to do the electrical wiring. The one in the restaurant was more finished and perfect, but I’m pretty happy with our little homemade version.

  • wonderfully fun and lovely. i loved the portrait with the 2 blackboards. some one very clever and creative thought of that.

  • Absolutely the best sneak peek to date. I love it when people have fun with their homes! I might have to try the portrait and chalkboard idea :).

  • I love this house–especially that lumpy little pillow on the couch…or is that a lumpy little boy?? Nothing cookie-cutter about this place, and there’s so much warmth and happiness in every detail.

  • Hi. I love your home. So cozy. I was wondering where you got your couch from? Thanks.

  • The portrait painting with the blackboard frames under it is a great way to interact with your art. Think I’ll leave a blackboard arrangement by my front door where guests can leave parting comments or rate their evening.
    Sounds dangerous and exciting!

  • The portrait painting with the blackboard frames under it is a great way to interact with your art. I believe in inter-active art. Think I’ll leave a blackboard arrangement by my front door where guests can leave parting comments or rate their evening.
    Sounds dangerous and exciting!

  • Denise, you stole the words right out of my mouth.
    Wondering what those mounted red and black things are. Industrial molds? Interesting not even knowing what they are. Thanks.

  • The blue couch is just from Crate and Barrel. It has a slipcover which is great when you have kids. And yes, those are industrial molds – good eye.

  • I absolutely love the way they hide the games and papers and all that other annoying endless childhood ephemera in that metal cabinet thing. so cool.

    the rest of the house is so wonderfully unique as well.

  • Really great sneak peak – as an eco interior decorator I always love salvaged/vintage pieces. This home incorporates found materials with a great sense of fun and whimsy!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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???

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?


  • Hi,
    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!

  • 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?

  • 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!!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

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


  • 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!!

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

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