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).

  1. mrs. french says:

    incredibly amazing! love it all…especially that kitchen! xo t

  2. Wow…started off picking out my fav spaces in this home. But they are all so fab that I lost track ;)

  3. Meghan Thimjon says:

    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!!

  4. Lisa Cole says:

    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!

  5. Sandy says:

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

  6. shelley says:

    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!

  7. Katy says:


    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?

  8. 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. ;)

  9. Megan says:

    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

  10. Nancy Aebersold says:

    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

  11. Rick says:

    Hi Nancy,
    I love the shabby chic look especially the dining table. I just purchased a similar one

    but I’m looking for a more rustic looking chair. Any suggestions?

  12. Meg says:

    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.

  13. Nancy Aebersold says:

    Hi Rick,
    LOVE your table! I had bookmarked these chairs a few weeks back…
    I like the idea of chairs covered with hemp or a natural edge linen with your table.
    Meg, cowhide rugs can be regularly vacuumed and spot cleaned with soap and water. Easy peasy. – N

  14. barbara says:

    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

  15. Nancy Aebersold says:

    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

  16. Frances says:

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

  17. Suzanne says:

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

  18. 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!

  19. Judy says:

    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!

  20. Nancy Aebersold says:

    Hi Suzanne,
    The floors are poured natural concrete that turned a nutty color when a linseed oil was applied to them. They have radiant heat underneath so are warm to the touch.
    Judy, the sofa in the office is from Room & Board. It’s very comfortable and petite

  21. 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….


    Sharon S

  22. Sandra says:

    I love the kitchen!!! :)

  23. Janet Maines says:

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

  24. Jillian says:

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

  25. NEAL TAYLOR says:

    Excellent kitchen and family room layouts. Good luck keeping that white furniture clean with pets

  26. Pam Wheelock says:

    Love. Always beautiful. Thank you for sharing your loving home.

  27. Heidi Sanchez says:

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

  28. Morgan Bozonelos says:

    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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