amy azzaritointerior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: nancy aebersold & dana blumrosen

by Amy Azzarito

Three years ago, Nancy and Dana moved with their four dogs from a 1,000-square-foot 1920s bungalow into this 3,000-square-foot modern mountain farmhouse in the Santa Cruz Mountains that was designed and built by Greg Heitzler. Their furniture was California bungalow-sized — too diminutive for the new place — so they scoured Craigslist and worked with local shop owners Scarlett Reed of Saffron and Genevieve (Scarlett’s peek is here) and DeWayne Lumpkin of Home Economics to furnish their new space. The one thing they didn’t part with was their art collection. In fact, the work by the couple’s favorite artist, Michelle Stitz, who combines a feminine sensibility with an industrial edge, was actually a key inspiration for the space. (If you’d like to see more, all the sneak peek extras are on Facebook!) Thanks, Dana, Nancy and all the puppies! And thanks to Allen David Noonan and Ron Jones for the photography! — Amy A.

Image above: Our living room has a mix of all the design elements we love — midcentury chairs (Craigslist find) reupholstered in soft creamy corduroy; modern coffee tables made from reclaimed barn wood; more art by Michelle Stitz; a great old surveyor’s tripod turned into a lamp by DeWayne Lumpkin of Home Economics; some chippy, rusty outdoor metal chairs that swivel/rock and are surprisingly comfortable; and some fun accessories on the table.

Image above: This big, beautiful buffet was an old shop counter that we purchased at Saffron and Genevieve. It’s painted redwood with lots of great chips and nicks. The translucent resin forest painting is by Michelle Stitz. We live in the woods on two acres and have a few varieties of wild ferns on the property. Nancy likes to snip them and arrange them in old bottles that were recently unearthed on a mushroom hunting hike.

Image above: The dining room is off the open kitchen. Great old sign picked up at an Antique Collective in Grants Pass, Oregon (outstanding downtown antique area), and we wanted a big, casual picnicky-style table. We found it at Curran Online in cherry wood.

CLICK HERE for more of this dog-friendly house in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

Image above: Our entryway is just a fun collection of things we love. Dana is a photography hobbyist (in fact she took this photo) and we pick up old cameras (working or not) at flea markets and yard sales. The horse photo is an Etsy find from Jen Arthur (yes, Nancy was one of those little girls with horse crushes). The table has to be one of our favorite pieces of furniture — it was made from an old Chevy truck spring-welded together with some outdoor table parts. It’s another creation from DeWayne Lumpkin of Home Economics. Oh, and the oxidized wire sculpture was the first thing we bought to decorate our new house. It’s made by a reverend with magic hands from Gilroy, California, named Dr. C. Earnest Brooks.

Image above: Nancy grew up with a pool table in the basement. This collection of pool balls serves as an homage to her inner pool shark.

Image above: Who doesn’t love bowling? Couldn’t pass up this set at Saffron and Genevieve.

Image above: Rusty fence gate turned bulletin board.

Image above: Otie Mae hanging out in the living room.

Image above: We love earthenware crocks and pick them up whenever we can. The kitchen counter has wooden spoons, chopsticks and rolling pins displayed easily within reach.

Image above: Our bedroom is a calm haven and yes, we all (4 dogs + us) sleep in the bed. The hearts above the bed are bent, rusty wine-barrel bands that Nancy found at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. Nancy’s go-to place for interesting lampshades is Anthropologie. This one was plucked off a dusty sale rack. Score!

Image above: This is the seating sectional in Nancy’s office. The diptych is by Michelle Stitz and mirrors the warm woodsy view out of her office windows. Galbraith & Paul pillow from Room and Board and other botanical pillows from West Elm. This is where the dogs hang out during the day.

Image above: Nancy’s office. Long work surfaces were super important because she’s a “piler” not a filer. The long ship’s table in the center of the space is used all the time to organize documents and even fold laundry. The 8-foot table is foldable and is handily brought outside for parties.

Image above: The suitcases were an instant collection Craigslist find. Love the colors and leather handles and the mysterious travels the wear suggests. The globe is like a cherry on top, and of course the English destination roll in the background makes us want to pack our bags. Our buddy DeWayne is the go-to guy for destination rolls.

Image above: The den. We love the sectional — nights spent streaming movies with room for us and all four dogs to spread out. Heaven! Design discovery — cowhide rugs are the best floor coverings for dog owners. They can withstand all forms of wear — digging, accidents, scooting (if you own a dog you know what this is) — you name it! We’re also a big fan of sheepskin throws (thank you IKEA) and lay them out all over for the dogs.

Image above: The guest bedroom is one of Nancy’s favorite rooms. It’s perched up in the treetops and sometimes Nancy sneaks a nap in there just for fun. The artwork is a diptych by Mayumi Oda (one of the first “real” pieces of art Nancy purchased — on layaway — when she was in her early 20s. The banana pillow is of special significance — Dana is pronounced like “banana” so it’s an homage to her. Thanks Jonathan Adler!

Image above: When we visualized our “dream home,” the kitchen was always in the center. When we found this house, it was the first thing that sold us. The 16-foot island is substantial. It says, “These people take food seriously” . . . and indeed we do. Since moving here three years ago, we have had so many memorable meals with family and friends. We came with four counter-height Tolix stools that we found at a garage sale for $20 each and matched them online to complete the set. Our kitchen makes us want to cook.

Image above: The true pulse of our home is our dogs. Nigel (right) and Lyle (left) are best friends and love-muffins.

Image above: The crew coming downstairs for dinner (left to right: Pierre, Lyle, Otie Mae, Nigel).

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.