sneak peek: nancy aebersold & dana blumrosen


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).

Isabel

i LOVE everything about this house. All the beautiful antique finds, the colors, the furniture. The kitchen, in particular, is out of this world! BEAUTIFUL!

Jessica

This home is heaven!! Reading through it put such a smile on my face, especially with the shot of the dogs running down the stairs for dinner. If I lived here I would never leave!
Beautifully done.

joanie adamson

Love the design! So fresh and unique! Im a dog lover and have 4 dogs also. I create dog beds to match your style of your home, and noticed there were no dog beds for your spoiled pooches!

kara rane

absolutely fantastic art! and combined with white/light neutrals.. (no Way do your dogs sleep in that white bed!!-o boi our rescue buddies would luv that bed!)
so fresh, clean, and natural. thank you 4 sharing*

mllep

Gorgeous home – one of my very favorite. I hope all is well in the SC hills with the crazy amount of rain lately!

Raquel

I love this space! I may be tracking down the Reverend for a commission. This place has so much soul. Gorgeous still-lifes. Beautiful palette. Thank you for sharing this.

Amanda

One of the most original and beautiful homes featured here. Wow!

BeLighter

I’m seeing those old suitcases quite a lot these days! Is that like a new trend?
I actually like it!

Tara

I gasped when I saw the kitchen. It is amazing. Love this house tour – it is so calm.

mona

the kitchen made me a little light headed. absolutely gorgeous.

Danielle

love this home. so warm and inviting! as an owner of 3 dogs, i would love to know if nancy or dana has any advice on how to keep a house beautiful and still live in harmony with furry friends.

Sarah

So jealous of those suitecases! They are my design inspiration for my living room & I have been looking for some for so long.

Lisa Cole

I’m crazy about this house! (and the dogs are cute too!)

Biscuit

The bedroom is amazing, but seriously, I love every. single. thing in the house! What a beautiful place to live! I’d never want to leave =)

Scarlett Fiona Reed

Really the best house ever. Both Nancy and Dana have such a great eye. Love those drawings :) Congratulations you guys and thanks for the props! Much love!

April

I love the aesthetics of this place! It does NOT look like any dogs live there, though. :)

taylor

Your home is an inspiration that you can collect things without looking crazy! It all is so cohesive & well placed, I would shop from this if it was a catalog!

Angel@ {77+Love}

I totally want the picnic style dining room table! I love the idea of having a bench or all different chairs. great inspiration for my home :) The fireplace is beautiful too.

Chantel

So fresh looking! LOVE it. Lots of great little details that make me smile. Any chance I could find out where that wonderful light fixture is from hanging in the dining room? I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for one like that.

Becca

What a lovely home! And I do love the sweet cartoons. I’d love to have a happy, love- and puppy-filled home like this someday.

Nancy Aebersold

To all those looking for dog friendly living tips…here are my top few…
– Unscented baby wipes are essential (I buy them by the case load) and use to wipe paws and to keep fur fresh between washes.
– Jute and hide rugs are great. (Buy a product called “Host” a natural sawdust for any accidents on the jute…works great… http://www.hostdry.com)
– A quick Swiffering keeps floors fur free.
– Layer furniture with washable blankets and sheepskins and slipcover whatever you can.
– Install a dog washing tub. We had one made out of a galvanized farm tub and an industrial/restaurant dish washing outside our mud room and it makes washing them a snap.

E

I could move right in. Will have to bring another Nigel. Nigel the wonder tabby. Thank you so much for letting us into your beautiful home.

Nuha

oh my goodness I love it! so comfy and inviting! I love the vintage suitcases and the dress form lamp shade. Swoon!

Lisa Cole

I’m going to visit Saffron and Genevieve this week! Any other shops you’d recommend in the Santa Cruz area while I’m over there? Your furniture is so unique and fab!

Nancy Aebersold

Hi Lisa C.,
No one tops Saffron and Genevieve, however, a few other spots that I like to frequent and are worth a visit:
In Aptos area:
http://www.patinedecor.com – great vintage grain sack linens & other home items
http://www.villagefair.net – antique collective
http://www.yelp.com/biz/warmth-company-aptos – great bedding, some vintage some new items
http://www.wisteriaantiques.net – home and garden items
In Soquel/Santa Cruz area:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/crawford-antiques-soquel – importer of old farm furniture
http://www.soquelvillageantiques.com – antique collective, I always find something special here
http://www.yelp.com/biz/skyview-flea-market-santa-cruz (open on Fri, Sat, Sun) – been going here for 20 years and always find something fun. Friday is the best day for antiques and collectibles
http://www.diggardensnursery.com – great garden and home accessories
http://www.yelp.com/biz/attilias-antiques-santa-cruz – another antique collective
Happy hunting! N

Hannah

That kitchen nearly made me swallow my tongue! How completely gorgeous.

Would you mind sharing where your den sectional is from? It looks so comfy and like it holds its shape well.

Ren

Love your home!

Where did you find the green and white pillows on the bed in the guest bedroom?

Elizabeth

What a gorgeous home! I love the mix of personal objects with modern furniture- it creates such an inviting, soothing space.

Nancy Aebersold

Hi Ren,
Pier 1…but they are a couple years old. Don’t know if you can still find them, but P1 is a good source for colorful, low-cost pillows. N

Ms. Avery

Hi! lovely home.
I have the same lamps on the buffet (former shop counter) with the ferns- Q/ favor- where did you get the lampshades- I am on quite the quest for them… THANKS!!!

Elsa Johnson

There are so many things I love about this house I don’t even know where to begin!

The kitchen, the color scheme, the vintage luggage used as decoration…oh, and I love the wire turned bulletin board.

kim

This is HOME SWEET HOME for you so obviously and it shines through all of it at 200%

LOVE your pack of four-footed friends! Really like your buffet too:) xo

Meghan Thimjon

When can I move in! Your house is simply gorgeous! I love all the natural materials, love the kitchen!!!! I can’t wait to go and visit all the links you placed thanks!!!!
Do you need a dog-nanny or anything? I am in northern CA but a little bit aways from you!!

Lisa Cole

Thanks Nancy for the fantastic list of local antique spots. I’m looking forward to a fun day of treasure hunting now that the weather has improved!

Sandy

I love the photos DS posts. So many great inspirations for redecorating. The photos always make me smile!

shelley

One of my favorite Sneak Peeks EVER!
Your home is lovely. I especially love the suitcases…the fence as bulletin board…the cameras…the hearts above the bed…oh, heck – I love it all! When can I move in?
oh…and Nancy- thanks for the baby wipes tip for keeping dogs fresh…running out to buy some today!

Katy

Lovely!

I found an identical lamp to the ones in the second picture (of the buffet table with two white lamps and vases of ferns) at a thrift store for $4!! Does anyone know what kind they are?

Farmgirl Susan

You had me with the first living room photo, but when I finally made it down to the kitchen, I actually said Oh My God out loud.

What a gorgeous, love and treasure filled home. It’s wonderful. You two have fabulous taste – and your doodles (and dogs) are darling! Thanks for the dreamy sneak peek – and for making me realize what I am: a piler! :)

I’m in the process of moving into my new studio office and am planning to have a long table in the middle of the room. Now I need to scrap my idea of just using a painted door with filing cabinets underneath and find one as cool as Nancy’s instead. Lots of great inspiration in her wonderful work space – and my walls are almost the same color. ;)

Megan

Random question…I think I see a backgammon board on the table. Where did you find it?! I can’t find a nice set for anything. (I’ve been thinking I’ll just have to make one.)

Besides that…you have a gorgeous home

Nancy Aebersold

Hi Megan,
Yes, it is a backgammon set. One of our favorite games. I picked this set up at a great yard sale in Oregon. It’s really neat because the outside has a woven straw-like finish and the inside is painted cork. The pieces look like bakelite. I’d keep an eye on Etsy for one. – N

Meg

LOVE IT!

Nancy–how do you clean the cowhide rugs? I’ve wanted one forever and am so happy to hear they’ll work with pets.

barbara

hey girls… it’s barbara from Pennsylvania Street estate sale days! So good to see your beautiful home on my favorite blog site.. Hope you are both doing well, and staying happy happy in the mountains!! XO

Nancy Aebersold

Barbara! So good to hear from you!!! You’ll notice those Tolix stools I bought from you at your estate sale! Life’s good here in the woods. :) xx

Frances

Where is the ‘Cleethorpes’ print from? It’s my hometown!

Suzanne

Can you tell me about the floors? They’re fantastic!

Scarlett Fiona Reed

Frances I can answer that one about the Cleethorpes, I bought those at the Texas antique fair in Warrenton, at Clutter, one of my favorite places!

Judy

STUNNING!!! Nancy your home is absolutely beautiful and so livable. Can you please tell me where your sofa is from in your office? Thank you!

Sharon Stephenson

Hey guys, any time you want to swap houses in the UK with us, we are keen! We’re Kiwis but living in Bristol, UK for a few years and miss our dogs and our home. But there is so much cool vintage/retro stuff we are loving that. Great house guys….

Cheers

Sharon S

Janet Maines

This home is gorgeous! I especially love all the old treasured finds. Mixing them with splashes of contemporary is just my taste.

Jillian

One of my favorite homes to date. The kitchen is the most beautiful I’ve seen. You are blessed.

Heidi Sanchez

Absolutely love your style! Was wondering where you found the old fence gate you’re using as a bulletin board. It’s fabulous!

Morgan Bozonelos

Oh my gosh I LOVE your house. Especially The dining area! I think you actually own the house I live in in Denton, Tx. So suprised to find you on one of my favorite websites. Would love to chat!

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