sneak peeks by 103

sneak peek: amy & erich mcvey


Three years ago Amy bought this home, located in Salem, Oregon. It sits on a hill surrounded by sweeping, breathtaking views of Pacific Northwest scenery. Although well maintained, it was in dire need of cosmetic renovations–it was a nightmarish hybrid of the worst of ’70s and ’80s decor, complete with mint green walls and bright blue shag carpet. Even though Amy and Erich were not yet married at the time, Erich saw this as an opportunity to impress his future wife with his handyman skills and took on all the renovation projects – from tearing out carpet and laying hardwood floors, to rewiring fixtures and painting walls. At this point, Amy described the house as design purgatory, where everything was nice and new, but lacking personality. Once they were married and Erich moved in, the space gradually transformed into their home. The one guiding principle driving their decorating style is: if it makes you smile, it’s the right choice. As a result, they’ve combined Erich’s rustic, Southwest aesthetic with Amy’s love for all things vintage and bright splashes of color. Erich is a wedding, editorial, and portrait film photographer. He travels frequently for his work with Amy by his side as film loader and assistant. She’s also the office manager and a talented photographer in her own right. Thank you Amy and Erich! – Shannon

Image above: Our fridge is a bit outdated to say the least. We decided to dress it up by painting the handle and various attachments in the same coral color as our living room wall. The Polaroid photos are from our trips, parties and adventures throughout the past year. The salmon chair was my dad’s desk chair growing up, and the bear cookie jar was found at goodwill and painted by Amy.


Image above: We found these mid-century Danish modern chairs at our favorite local antique store. Amy sewed the cushions herself.

See more of Amy and Erich’s Oregon home after the jump!


Image above: Amy painted this giant map over the couch! She’s never painted anything before. I was amazed. She painted linen fabric with watercolors, spray-mounted the fabric to Plexiglas and then my dad built a custom frame for the piece and installed LED lights behind the whole thing. It’s wired to our light switch, so in the evening we flip on the lights and it illuminates the map, lighting the whole room. It’s one of my favorite things in our home.


Image above: Amy’s family owns a number of farms, and with farms come barns full of fun treasures to be found. We built this coffee table using wood we found in a barn on her grandparent’s hazelnut farm. The postcards on the table were used in lieu of a guestbook on our wedding day and are filled with messages from family and friends.


Image above: We call this old kitchen table full of terrariums and potted plants “The Terrarea” and it’s one of our cat’s favorite places to inspect. They’re indoor cats, so it’s as close to the call of the wild as they can get.


Image above: Amy created the light above the dining table by hot gluing coffee filters to a Chinese paper lantern (she saw the idea on Pinterest). After 2,500 coffee filters, two full days of work and a dozen blistering hot glue gun wounds, it hangs in infamy. Amy and Pinterest currently aren’t on speaking terms. The silver antler is from Z Gallerie.


Image above: Our kitchen is very open, connected to the dining room with just the island separating the two spaces. We love enjoying time with family and friends in our home, and the open layout of this area is perfect for entertaining.


Image above: This bar table is from World Market and holds a random assortment of old and new with vintage flea market finds and our wedding china.


Image above: Amy discovered this 1960s oil painting at our favorite antique shop and eyed it for months. We didn’t know where we’d put the oil painting lady, but after Amy made this canopy for one of our guest rooms, it seemed like the perfect fit. Now she greets all of our houseguests and maybe freaks them out a bit, but we love her. The pillows are from Restoration Hardware.


Image above: We made our bed out of more barnwood finds on Amy’s grandparent’s farm. We created two sections for the headboard by attaching the boards to two pieces of 4×8 plywood and installing the sections to the wall using lag bolts. The reading light surface mounts are from Hippo Hardware and the metal cages are from Schoolhouse Electric. The bedding is from Restoration Hardware and all of the pillows and the curtains were handmade by Amy. Shout out to Will and Sally Bryant, whom Amy stumbled upon while searching the Internet for bed building tips. Will is a talented artist and Sally is a sweet Southern blogger. Sally’s blog documentation of their bed-building journey was a huge help to us. They don’t know us, but we love them (and we know that’s creepy).


Image above: Our nightstands were another result of our barnwood adventures. The carafe and glasses are from Schoolhouse Electric and the clock is from one of our many antique shop visits frequently made along the Oregon Coast.


Image above: This dresser is an old antique piece Amy’s aunt gave us. We wanted to add a few modern touches, including the silver gorilla piggy bank and the white votive candleholders, to keep the space from looking too rustic.


Image above: Our second, smaller guestroom we simply call “Rufus’ Room.” Here’s Rufus acting perturbed after being woken from his all-day nap. He can be found here the majority of every day and actually uses the pillow like a person, resting his head on it. It kills us. This bed was a Craigslist find for a photo shoot that we then transitioned into our home (we always have a hard time letting go of things after styled shoots), and the two portraits are yet another set of painting finds from a local antique shop.


Image above: We love this Moby print by Terry Fan. It’s a fun pop of color against the monotone wall/dresser combination. We purchased the dresser from Goodwill and then painted with the same paint as our bedroom walls so that it blended and made the room feel more open.


Image above: Amy has become obsessed with buying super weird oil paintings every time she goes antiquing. So far, we’ve had the wall space to handle the addiction. Fingers crossed it doesn’t become a real problem.


Image above: Here’s our other cat, Penny, in the living room. We found the vintage rug from Turkey on Craigslist, and used it as our “dance floor” for our wedding last year. We love having this rug as a reminder of our incredible day.


Image above: We loved the idea of displaying these wedding photos of various family members from the past and present in our entryway. My family has owned picture-framing stores for almost 30 years, and Amy and I are wedding photographers, so it was a fun way to display family memories with a nod to our trades as well. We made the pendant lighting out of old iron sculptures and metal hooks with simple pendant lights hung through them from the ceiling.


Image above: We always appreciate the few good months of weather we have here in Oregon, so when its even remotely nice, you can find us out on the deck eating, entertaining, reading, etc. My dad and I built this outdoor seating area, and Amy sewed the seating cushions. The table is another barnwood creation we made and the rug and pillows are from World Market.

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103 Comments

kara

love the coral color on the wall! can you share the name of the paint?

amy walters, aDESIGNdock

Absolutely charming and enchanting. I adore Amy and Erich’s decor philosophy that everything needed to make them smile. What a fantastic foundation to build a home around…

Anna

This home has so much personality! It inspires me to want to start from scratch on my own house, and have more fun with it. The entryway wedding photo collection is amazing.

Tammy

Mad props to Erich for infusing this post with humor! I read this blog religiously and never have I smiled more reading the text than today! Awesome! :)

Joanna

“Discovering” of antiques… they were in an antique shop. People don’t discover these antiques, they buy them. Discovering antiques is finding them in people’s attics, on the kerbside, in dumpsters, etc. Buying antiques from a place specifically selling antiques isn’t discovering, it’s just shopping.
Lovely home, but for some reason it’s not pushing my buttons like it should – I normally love these kinds of home. Perhaps the blogosphere is getting a bit saturated with homes filled with “antiques”, polaroids, retro-made-new, terrariums, oil paintings, etc. Nice home though, I’m sure people enjoy visiting it, but I think it’s time for the interior world to move on a bit from hipster homes. Just a bit.

Alaina

Such fun and creative ideas! I love the wood used throughout and pictured fridge. I must steal that too :)

Amber

I enjoyed this tour so much. Thank you for sharing. I think the map art/lighting installation is my favorite piece of your delightful design puzzle.

brigitte mcQueen shew

would also *really* love to know that name of the coral paint… it’s gorgeous!

Sam

This house is incredible, it makes me so excited and inspired for when I have my own space!

Carina

Oh this post just made my day. I love the story about the coffee filter fixture. Too good and a beautiful home!

Chloe

I am utterly infactuated with those bedroom curtains!!! They’re fantastic! DIY directions pretty please!!

Annie

What a stunning home – stylish and comfortable. Thank you for sharing.

Danielle

I saw the McVeys house before all of the beautiful renovations and it is incredible what they have done with the place! I love the personal touches with all of the photos! Great work guys!

Bérangère Bouffard

Okay, loved this post! Erich’s humour was charming and helped with the tour. LOVE the coral detail on the fridge (swoon) and I’m not even a coral fan. Love it covered with pictures, the map, the so awesome bed and curtains, the Terrarea’s perfect curated vignette… I could go on. There is a genuine feel to everything, no predictable artifacts here. Love it! Quality space that makes you smile! Also sneaked on his site and blog and wow! Had to show my husband what this talented photographer (and handyman can do). I also bow down to Amy for having the courage to take on the challenge of the coffee filters lamp! I’m still hesitating. Love it! The perfect cure for Monday’s blahs.

Holly (The Apiarist)

The watercolor map is one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile! As a fellow Oregonian, I understand taking advantage of those few lovely months and spending as much time outside as possible. Your view is so fantastic–thanks for the tour!

Pamela

As wedding photographers, the entryway display of family wedding photos must be especially meaningful to Erich & Amy. What a creative and welcoming touch to their gorgeous home.

heather

I love the MAP – WOW!!! it is beautiful and functional – my favorite combination. Also love the coral and all of the other lovely handmade items throughout You guys seem well matched – congratulations and enjoy!

Courtney

This is one of my favorites! I love all of the quirky pieces, and how they fit right into such a clean and bright home. Really unique and so beautiful.

Renee

I really love this house! It has tons of character and is unique & refreshing to look at!

rachel

This is one of my FAVORITE homes featured on d*s. The colors are fantastic. Seamless and soft. Makes me want to live there, I could move right on in!

Kiti

i love the pale color walls of this house, it’s so relaxing and beautiful, just perfect!

LVN

1) Very impressed by the map artwork – it is beautiful!

2) My dog also uses pillows to rest his head on just like a person…and it kills me too.

Patty

Such thoughtful decorating..from the reclaimed wood pieces to Amy’s handmade items…not to mention the lovely photographs. Simply touching and beautiful!

Jenifer

Love this home and the fun ‘tour’. I, especially, love the wedding photos framed together. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jeanette from Fig&Sparrow

Love the wedding picture collage. I’ve wanted to do something similar for sometime now. And also the fridge!!! LOVE it. We need more snap shots laying around these digital days.

Kim

Wow that map is so amazing! Never painted anything before……..that took some major planning to put the light in too. I bet it makes it so warm and inviting

Nina

I love LOVE love LOVE this post!!! What a gorgeous home! Love how many handmade elements there are to this house, and the design is GORGEOUS. Amy & Erich are an insanely dynamic duo!

Annie

Those links to Will and Sally the bed builders don’t work. Would it be possible to repost them please? About to embark on a big barnwood project ourselves and can use all the help we can get. TIA!

David

The variety of styles and ideas that all seem to interact and fit together here is incredible! It takes something special to blend the looks of an adorable bear jar and a cow skull into one welcoming home.

Spoon Carrey

Stunning space, with so much detail and personality….LOVELY <3

Anne

Only from Amy and Erich, seriously beautiful but with all their personality built in. Erich, so handy and Amy you have a creative field in your mind! Wish this was my place.

MG Atwood

I don’t find the oil painting people as creepy as I was being a voyer in your home! Great style, love the old and new and how you have incorporated family in different nooks and crannies. Thanks for letting me sneak through your home.

Lynne

What a wonderful home.It relects Amy and Erics love of family and creative talents.

MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv2.5

I love the sense of humor that erich conveys in his writing…so affectionate and funny at the same time. And this was design purgatory? It’s darling now. It just needs some hand-knitted items.

Sarah

The house is fresh and cute, and it has some great little touches, but it looked very staged to me, like they collected all these things trendy to create a shoot for a design magazine layout….maybe that’s because they are photographers…and that’s what they do naturally.

I guess for me, it just doesn’t give me a sense that it’s really…lived in…
This one lacks a glimpse of imperfection we all have in our homes that makes it genuine…I am missing the sneek peek aspect….They seem like fun people… I wish we could have seen more of their personality shine through and less of a showcase of what is hip and trendy now.

Michaela

Everything is beautiful and I love that they truly did create and build their home together. I love the gallery wall of black and white photos…and that dining light fixture is just amazing. Worth the glue gun burns :)

Mollie

I want to live in this home. The coral color looks very similar to what I painted my dining room and it is Valspar Crystal Coral. It might be a tad lighter but very similar.
I think my favorite part is the rug. I love the memory of that.

Amy

Wow… thank you so much for all the kind words! Here are answers to all the questions we’ve seen so far. Let us know if there are any we’ve missed. We’re happy to help – even if it means talking you off the ledge once you attempt the coffee filter light project. :)

Paint colors (all from Sherwin Williams):
Coral in living room – 6874 Ardent Coral
Blue in Rufus’ room – 6516 Down Pour
Grey in our bedroom and on dresser – 7640 Fawn Brindle

Chloe – I wish I had a cooler DIY story regarding the bedroom curtains! I just cut and sewed them from fabric I purchased at Hancocks Fabric. I never caught the name of the fabric – it was in the huge discount bin, and cost a total of $15 or something ridiculous like that. Curtain miracle. :)

ALICE @ COLLECTABLEPRIDE.COM – The large picture above the potted plants is a canvas print of Mark Tobey’s “Broadway 1936.”

ANNIE – Here’s a link to Sally’s blog post about their bed: http://mrsfancypantz.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/building-of-the-bed-frame/ and here’s a link to Will’s site just because (he’s a really fun, talented artist!): http://www.willbryant.com

Thanks again for all of the sweet comments. Made our day reading them!

xo
Amy

amber peters

Wow!! Gorgeous home and incredible photography! This is pure eye candy!

Hannah

Really gorgeous colors, love that a lot of the pieces are made from or have personal history, very inspiring. Like the comments to the pics too, made me laugh (in a good way)

Emily

This is my absolute favorite sneak peak yet. I love everything!

Nancy D

The color palette is absolutely beautiful. Looks like a calm, serene place to live. Very inspiring.

Julie

I love this house tour! The color palette is amazing! The descriptions the house owners wrote are really entertaining also.. I want to be friends with them.

Hayley D

Holy high bed batman!!!! I love this house tour. One of my faves. It’s so creative and full of love. Thanks for sharing!

Rita

Your house’s feeling is so light and joyful. I bet anyone would be happy there! Congratulations! Love it.

Fiona from Korea

I like the way to decorate and arrange your house in every section! I could get some useful ideas from your pics. Thank you!

annette

This is my first introduction to Design Sponge, and I have to tell you, I’ve spent half the day exploring it! I love, love, love this home! I can only dream that I might have results like this with some DIY handiness, clever shopping, creativity, and a LOT of inspiration! Thank you for this gift!

Jamie

I love your navy & peach/pink color combo, which i haven’t seen a lot. Really beautiful and fresh. I don’t think your home is just like anyone’s.

Tricia

Gorgeous! This is the most functional use of vintage pieces in someone’s home that I’ve seen in forever. Erich & Amy have created a comfortable & beautiful living space incorporating all the things they love. Bravo!

Anthony

This is my favourite sneak peek in a long time. Its restrained without being minimal, and i love that so many of the items were DIY projects. Your home is SO something to be proud of Amy & Erich McVey!

Adventures in Dressmaking

What a beautiful home!! I almost could tell it was in Oregon before I read the descriptions. I love the natural elements combined with clean modern lines and calming pastel colors. So peaceful! And I love seeing fellow Oregonians’ homes on here!

Allison

I love that paint of the map you did!!!! Please make more and sell them so I can have one :o) So many great ideas – love the idea of hanging the wedding pictures of various family members! It’s all so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!!

Amberly

Wow! I don’t even know where to begin, there is so much to love! You two are obviously some very talented people! I love all of the DIYs and stories behind the things you own (esp that Turkish rug!). A great tour, I got so much inspiration. Thank you for opening up your home to us!

writer

Luv your place, the love you have for your wife, and that you waited to move in until you got married.

Najia

Aww! Such a perfect place to live in! and nothing’s more pleasing than a house decorated with love and when people modify it nicely! love your place :)

Marina

I love the amount of time and effort you have invested in your home. Most people (including me) just look for ready made options at the fanciest decor store. I really believe yours is the best way to set up a home. Your home made me smile !

Melissa de la Fuente

What an absolutely gorgeous home! So warm and welcoming. I love the pink/salmon touches throughout and so many of the diy projects are really awesome. Truly a unique & gorgeous home. Thanks so much for sharing!
xo
Melis

Elise M.

I am absolutely obsessed with the entryway photos of your relatives’ weddings and I am actually in the process of doing something similar. What size are the photos and frames you used?? Thank you!

Elise M.

Amy

Elise M. – So fun you’re doing a similar wall in your home! They are 8×10 prints with a 7×5 matt (to make them 15×15 squares) in 15×15 white wood frames.

CanadianMango

Amy and Erich, your home is so warm and welcoming.
I love everything about (especially the view and the location). The vintage Turkish rug makes me drool.

Cynthia

I am so inspired by the creative map with lights behind it in the living room! I want to see it while the lights are off now! You are so creative!!!!

Melanie

Idea: Why don’t you switch your fridge handle to the other side of the door so it opens up into the room instead of having to smash against the wall to get things out?? Just saying/ :)

Very fun home! My mother-in-law has photos all over her fridge, I stand there and look at them and it brings back a lot of good memories.

Karen

I just keep rereading this sneak and every time I do, I fall deeper in love with your house. The map is absolutely incredible and would love for you to post some kind of tutorial…not that I could come close to accomplishing something like that. How wonderful that you could use some of your grandparents’ wood in your home, too. I’m bookmarking this! WOnderful job, you two….quite the team!

Yvonne

Just incredible!!! I love the ingenious ways you have made so many things yourselves here!! Inspiring!!! Congratulations to you both!! Oregon is one of my favourite places to visit with our 4 kids. I think my hubby and I could move there from vancouver BC in a heartbeat!!!

Laura

I’ve revisited this post several times to refresh myself. One of my own New Years resolutions this year is to personalize my home more. I love this unique style. Thank you for the inspiration!

Kim

This is so beautiful! We are renovating and I see several ideas I’d love to incorporate. Not the coffee filters, though, that would do me in! Thank you for listing your paint colors! Do you happen to know the name of your granite in the kitchen? I am looking for granite and I love that one, it is similar to one other I found but can’t track down a slab.

adele

This was the most amazing home tour I have ever seen. The DIY map is beautiful. I would love to know the details on how that was made. And the wedding photo collection was my other favorite. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Lisa

What a gorgeous home!! LOVE the wedding photo collage…. Can you share the frames sizes? Beautufully done….

sac longchamp

I probably would not look forward to getting mugged with the headphones as soon as I buy them and i’m seen making use of them.

emily

hello! you’ve inspired me to build benches for our deck :) can you give me the dimensions of your benches?

Bee

I’m in love with your deck seating area! (and the rest of your home!!) I’m trying to make something like it for my own deck but haven’t found any good how-tos… could you possibly send me a brief step by step of how you built them? Thanks!

Denis

Absolutely amazing! The idea of entryway photos is so cool, we had on in Dubai! Thanks for sharing! Love x

Steph

Beautiful and unique! Can you tell me what color you used on the wall in the entryway?
Thanks for sharing!

Jessica

Wedding photo collage is perfect! Where did you buy the frames with mat? What size is the total frame? What size is the picture?

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