Interiorssneak peeks

A Georgia Home Filled with Love, Art and Plenty of Pets

by Grace Bonney

Today’s home tour felt like the perfect follow-up to Caitlin’s essay about learning to love and embrace your home for all of its quirks and imperfections. Artist Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object and her wife, Edurne Sarmiento, chose their Decatur, GA home because of its proximity to Edurne’s new career. After leaving their Savannah apartment, Sarah and Edurne found this 1949 home and loved that it would allow Edurne to walk or ride her bike to work every day (she is an RN in a medical intensive care unit) and have enough space to give Sarah a home studio with a separate entrance where she could welcome clients. Neither Sarah nor Edurne were ready to settle down and choose a forever home, so they embraced this space as their somewhat temporary home and turned it into a bright, open space that suits all of their needs. “We know we’ll probably need to move again in a few years, so that means that we’ll live with cabinet knobs that aren’t our favorite, or wallpaper we’d rather replace or flooring that should be swapped out. But when you know you’re not changing everything, you learn to work around it.”

Sarah and Edurne have lived in their Decatur home for four years now and, despite some early difficulties like hanging chairs that ended up falling out of the ceiling and a giant hallway closet that holds a huge unusable tub, they love the space they’ve built together for their family (which also includes four adorable pets, Chloe, Charlie and Oscar Pants (cats) and Milton (their dog). “We aren’t fussy people,” Sarah says. “We want our home to function and be comfortable. We want to look around and see the things that remind us of each other, where we’ve been and who we love.” It’s easy to see how much love, family and friends have played into the creation of their beautiful home and I’m so happy to share it here today. Stay tuned for a peek inside Sarah’s home studio later this week! xo, grace

Additional Sources:

Living Room
Credenza from Target
Couch and Wicker chair from IKEA
Eames Rocker from Design Within Reach
Hanging lamp from Home Depot

Island from IKEA
Drafting Stool from City of Atlanta

Dining Room
Chairs from City of Atlanta
Bookcase from an antique mall that has now closed
Hanging lamp from Home Depot

Office/Guest Room
Bed from Craigslist
Dresser from Decatur Estate and Way Back Antiques
Lamp from IKEA

Bed from Pottery Barn (we think, it’s about 10 years old)
Dressers from IKEA
Wardrobe from an antique store in Georgia

Items are from IKEA or school district sale in West Columbia, SC

*Re: Paint: Sarah explained, “Sadly, we didn’t paint any rooms, so we have no idea what their colors are or where they are from.”

The happy family inside this Georgia home: Sarah (holding the cats, Charlie and Oscar Pants) and Edurne (holding their dog, Milton).
Sarah and Edurne's home didn't have a doorbell, so they added a bike bell! Milton always hears the bell and alerts the house when a guest has arrived. The front door's decal is from Shanna Murray and reads, "You are loved."
The floor plan of Sarah and Edurne's 1949 home.
Edurne and Sarah's living room: The table lamp, handmade by H. F. Dyson, came with an inscription on the bottom that reads, "May your light forever shine." The painting above the television is by the couple's dear friend Amy Karol. The volcano print is by Mat Daly and was purchased on the first road trip Edurne and Sarah took together to New York for The Renegade Craft Fair. The crochet stool is by Wood + Wool and the poster on the left is one of Sarah's featuring The Little Small Clothespin people she used to make. The pillows were sewn by Sarah and the quilts were made by Sarah, Sarah's mom and Amy Karol.
The wooden figure on the living room credenza is from the Philippines, where Edurne was born and raised. The vase is by Elizabeth Graeber who lives in DC and was a Valentine's Day gift and "happy everything" gift. Sarah and Edurne were legally married in DC, so they have a special place in their hearts for "the state with no voting rights," particularly because of immigration issues which all changed once they could be legally married. The orange rocker was the first gift Edurne gave Sarah.
The house has two dining areas, one inside (pictured here) and one out on the porch. These chairs were from a huge sale the city of Atlanta had before it turned the Sears Building into what's now the Ponce City Market. The large wooden piece was a mail sorter purchased at an antique mall in Columbia, SC. Sarah's mom was a media specialist in an elementary school, so the record player came from her when they sold off all their players.
The framed artwork in the dining room is actually a tote bag with a design by Junko Maegawa that Sarah and Edurne both love.
This is the kitchen area into the central hallway. Sarah noted that the top cabinets are not perfectly level because they're part of the more recent addition to the home. The Pray for CATL piece is by R. Land (Ronnie Land).
The kitchen island and stool are from IKEA. The rolling chair is from the same city of Atlanta sale. The suitcase on top of the fridge is Charlie and Oscar's bed. They don't enjoy it when other dogs come over to visit, even though they aren't phased by Milton.
Sarah said she and Edurne were, "So overwhelmed by the amount of cabinets in this kitchen! I have to say that it looks like way more than it feels like but having all the countertop space is incredible. Plus, when we have people over we're all in the same space together, which feels fantastic."
The cuckoo clock in the hallway was Sarah's grandfather's clock. He was an avid golfer and it was purchased in Helen, GA on one of his trips many years ago. This interior door was salvaged from another house and Sarah and Edurne added it after they moved in. While it's an exterior door, the windows are great, and the door buffers some of the noise from Sarah's studio.
This room is the guest room and Edurne's office. The bed is a vintage find from Craigslist and the pillows and bedskirt were sewn by Sarah. The left hanging piece is a pieced quilt block from a quilt swap Sarah never finished and the photograph is by Jason Travis.
The guest room's dresser, with one of Edurne's favorite posters on top.
Sarah said, "My wife's love of The Smiths runs deep." The painted antler is by Cassandra Smith.
The master bedroom has a beautiful quilt hanging on the headboard, which was an excellent eBay find. The photograph above is by Abby Powell.
These photographs are by Jade McCully, who shot Edurne and Sarah's engagement photos. The "Good Luck" box was from their wedding at Mistletoe State Park (before they were legally wed in DC). Pray for ATL is from R. Land and the mobile over the bed was from the couple's first plane trip together to Portland, OR. The wardrobe originally belonged to Edurne's mom.
These IKEA dressers were Sarah's parents' gift when she and Edurne were living in Savannah with no closet space. Sarah explained, "We're set now."
Charlie lounging in the master bedroom, below a hanging piece from the Philippines made from the abaca plant (also know as Manila hemp).
The screened-in back porch off of the kitchen area. This is the cats' favorite place - and Sarah and Edurne's - now that it's getting warmer.
Sarah and her mom made the cats this cat tower in the hopes of avoiding an eye sore in the house. Oscar is on the top shelf and Chloe is second down from the top. *Chloe is getting older so she got a pass on the earlier family portrait.
The other side of the porch has a swing and a shelf so the cats can look out the screened-in windows.
What Sarah and Edurne love most about their Decatur home...

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  • Hey neighbors (sort of)! Always lovely to see an Atlanta home on DesignSponge. How did y’all hang the bike bell up? My cabbagetown house doesn’t have a doorbell either and I have always wondered how to fix that.

  • Oh, my! That family photo is too cute!

    I love that this home has meaningful purchases from events and trips. My husband and I try to bring something back (for our home) from each trip as a memento and a way of being surrounded by the happy memories that the item reminds us of.

  • Stephaniez – The edging around our door had a lip which allowed us to access the backside of it. So the bell was mounted as you would on a bike (with a bolt and nut).

  • What?! Sarah, you are like my neighbor (not really, but close enough) and I had no idea! I have been a big fan of your work since forever. So cool to see your home featured here. It’s lovely!

  • stephaniez I recently installed a remote doorbell for my work. It has a standard looking doorbell button that can be mounted with sticky tape or screwed in to make it more secure, and two battery operated receivers. not as adorable as a bike bell, but probably more functional, especially since you can move the receivers around with you (handy if you’re out back doing yard work). They’re pretty cheap on Amazon.

  • Great home tour! And those are the best IKEA dressers I’ve ever seen. Anyone know the name of them? They must be discontinued because I can’t find them on their website.

  • I LOVE this house and the personality in every room. I especially enjoyed the R. Land pieces – I used to have a huge one and am now kicking myself for giving it away…

  • Hello. What a bright, beautiful home! The photograph in your bedroom of a woman’s hands crossed in front of her…could you tell me where that’s from? I had that image many, many years ago but only as a digital file. I lost it a while back, and I’d love to have it again. Can you tell me where to find it? It was something that I just came across in my internet wanderings, and I have no idea how to find it. Thanks!

  • Edurne, thank you for the work that you do. Love the family portrait, and the home is lovely. Can I ask where you got the plant hanger in the guest bedroom?

  • If this is an example of the new direction for DS, that was hinted at, then WOW! This family has embraced what the home offered them and made it work beautifully and memorably.

  • A dear and beautiful home ! And the family shot is the best. Thank you for sharing.This was a great way to start my day.

  • Yay Sarah and Edurne! This post made me smile tons, especially the cat nooks, and Helen, Ga getting a mention. I was lucky to be booth neighbors with The Small Object many years ago at a craft fair in Athens, nice to see those faces again!

  • I almost never comment, but this is one of my all time favorite home tours. Everything is so carefully considered, interesting, yet completely at ease. Beautiful family and home! Great post!

  • Clearly a happy home – cudos on the home and on solving immigration issues in a happy way.

    …had to chuckle at the “master” bedroom, though…

      • Perhaps Aleanor is poking fun at the old-fashioned, male-dominant and heteronormative diction of “master” for the bedroom of a beautiful, Queer, non-male couple?

        It’s definitely time we came up with a new term for such a space, not just to neutralize the gender of “master” but to get rid of the nasty connotations of class subjugation as well. “Main bedroom”? “Family bedroom”? I’m sure others can come up with better, wittier, and more inclusive terminology than I can.

  • Such a great house with very cohesive & interesting design elements. You two have amazing style. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • So many high fives from one Smiths-lovin’ RN (ED) to another, lurve your place, especially that sweet porch, your quilt ‘headboard’ (stealing that idea with my favourite auntie-made quilt), the light and levity, the inclusion of floorplan (more of this please) and darn it if that isn’t just the cutest family portrait. ever!

  • HA! Best family photo ever! I really enjoyed seeing a great rental place too, since that is also my current situation. You’ve both done a wonderful job making a homey space, thanks for sharing.

  • What a lovely family and a great home! I especially like the quilt over the headboard. I’m headboard-less right now, but have the perfect quilt in mind. It was made from flour sacks during the Great Depression by my great-grandmother! This has also inspired me to figure out how to make a cat tower for my cats. Theirs is wearing down to shreds (literally) and an eyesore. Any chance a tutorial might be coming?

    I went to college in Decatur and think it’s such a great place to live. I get so excited whenever gets mentioned places :)

  • My wife’s family is from Georgia. Her sister lives right in Decatur with their dog. I love that town!!
    I make pet portraits – I bet this house would look great with portraits of Chloe, Charlie and Oscar Pants and Milton! Come check my portraits out at The Renaissance Pet :)

  • Hi from nearby(ish) Athens! Definitely the cutest family featured on design sponge, which is saying a lot because this site features a LOT of cute families and cute pets.

    I love the quilt on the headboard idea! I also have a vintage-style steel bed and am so inspired to try the same thing.

    What color white paint did you use? It is so fresh and clean looking. Is it BM Chantilly Lace?

    Congrats on a beautiful, adorable home.

    • Oh, I see now that you don’t know what color white it is. You really lucked out–it’s the perfect bright white for the space!

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