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Category: erin’s house

The Down low on Bungalow

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your kind comments on my very hasty post last week. I must confess that running a mini PR blitz focused on me me me left a bitter taste in my mouth. I worked super crazy hair pulling hard to get everything ready for the Bungalow feature, so I’m on cloud nine that the shoot turned out well (and is over!). I read and savored every single sweet word sent this way… but putting my name in flashing lights and hoping for cheery facebook comments and instagram pats on the back is not really where my heart is at.

My heart is in the story. So let’s talk about the shoot and subsequent interview. Let’s talk about how intimidating and nerve wracking it is to know a fancy photographer (Buff Strickland), stylist (Ann Lowe), and writer (Tolly Moseley) will be scrutinizing you and your home. I’m a one stop mom and pop shop, and when I post tours of my place I take the pictures and do the styling and tell the tales. It is HARD to give over control to other people when you are an OCD nightmare.

bungalow buff strickland

Can you see it on my face? That is fear. That is the face of a cornered wild animal attempting to play it cool. IT’S NOT WORKING.

So the day of the shoot, Buff (aka photographer for House Beautiful and every other shelter mag on the planet) and Ann (stylist to stars like Tribeza and Camille Styles) show up at my doorstep with a boatload of equipment and gargantuan buckets of flowers. Holy panic attack, I am not a flowery flower kind of a girl. But look:

bungalow buff strickland

bungalow buff strickland

I am a changed woman. The importance of a few well placed flowers can not be overstated. I am obsessed with those orange gladiolus.

For those of you wondering where the green chairs went, fear not — they are safely stowed in the attic. They do not look as good with orange gladiolus.

bungalow buff strickland

Buff and Ann were probably wondering why I sat watching them the entire time like some old lady who thinks whippersnapper rapscallions might knick the knacks from her shop, but I couldn’t help myself. Beyond just feeling like a nervous weirdo, I was really interested to see what happens behind the scenes. And what happens is heavy furniture gets moved, flowers are constantly rearranged, and pillows are replaced from shot to shot:

bungalow buff strickland

 Goodby peach and ikat pillows, hello leopard.

bungalow buff strickland

Lamp cords are magicked away.

bungalow buff strickland

For this shot Ann reimagined the playroom as a cocktail lounge, which is frankly fitting. Because at the end of a long hard day negotiating lego wars between two boys, a good old fashioned G&T goes down right smooth like. You can see the rest of the room in a tour I shot HERE… man now that I’ve seen Buff’s stuff I should seriously fix my old dark pictures.

bungalow buff strickland

Those of you who followed the One Room Challenge might remember my dinette makeover… and no the wall color here is not the result of fancy photo editing. Yes, I did repaint it AGAIN… five days before the shoot. And yes, Sanders chose the color.

bungalow buff strickland

bungalow buff strickland

Not much has changed in Luke’s nursery since I shot the last tour HERE. I really like Ann’s styling — it’s effortless, and that ain’t as easy as it looks. Oh I did buy a cute mobile from Furbish. You know I love me some hot air balloons…

bungalow buff strickland

I lugged the chandelier from Ike’s old room to our new house because it turns every room into a sweet fantasy land filled with sparkles and rainbow kisses. I need to shoot a full tour of this space because there are a lot of good nooks and crannies, if I do say so myself. I thought Buff did a super amazing awesome job here. This is a really really really hard room to shoot. Which is why I haven’t shot it yet. And maybe never will…

bungalow buff strickland

I do, on the other hand, plan to shoot a full tour of my bedroom makeover. Blood, sweat, and tears people. I wrung my hands over whether I could transform our old master bedroom into this during the two (!) weeks that elapsed between when Bungalow asked to shoot my house and the shoot date… But I’m so happy with the way it turned out and I want to show you the other side of the space where my fancy Jenny Andrews Anderson jellyfish painting reigns supreme. It’s sick.

bungalow buff strickland

I owe Buff and Ann a huge thank you for double shooting the naked lady pillow and gold pillow on every single setup… I just couldn’t decide if naked lady was too risque. HA. Oh, also the quilt is too short and they had to cheat it from side to side in every shot. Let no one ever say that photographers and stylists don’t work hard for their money, because they do. Also photographs lie, so don’t ever beat yourself up for not looking like a magazine.

Honestly Buff and Ann are two of the nicest, most talented people imaginable. I can’t think of two lovelier ladies with which to spend an afternoon biting my nails into the quick. And look — I was so busy worrying for nothing. They did an AMAZING job.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not highlight the fabulous Tolly Moseley, editrix of one of Austin’s oldest blogs Austin Eavesdropper, for writing a kind and insightful article to accompany the pictures. That girl is a gem. Adorable.

I hope you all have a chance to check out the magazine, and to look at some of the other features. Meredith Pardue‘s house is definitely worth the click over.

So there you have it. Thank you, Bungalow for inviting me into your network of talented people. It feels good to gush about someone else besides myself.

And thank you out there for continuing to read and comment on Design Crisis after all these years…

You guys helped make this happen for me, and I am eternally grateful.


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I’m Featured in Bungalow Magazine!

Big news, friends. My house is featured in Bungalow Magazine! Bungalow is a new Texas shelter mag and you can read all about me and my house HERE, including some secret redecorating I’ve been undertaking. I’m planning to do a full post next week all about the shoot and interview because it was a really interesting experience, but I am currently bouncing a cranky baby, making 800 client mockups, and managing my social media “empire” (ha). So for now please be satisfied with a few of my favorite shots. Then get yourself over to Bungalow and check it.

erin williamson design

erin williamson design

erin williamson design

Come back next Tuesday for the full scoop! You know you want to hear all about the seedy underbelly of magazine styling and photography.

Anything could happen.

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One Room Challenge: Week Six — REVEAL!

Hi everyone! Welcome back for the final installment in the One Room Challenge series, wherein I and a host of talented bloggers aim to transform a space in six extremely short weeks. Feel free to catch up on previous posts HERE. Before we get started, I just want to give Linda of Calling it Home a big shoutout for organizing this challenge. Without the threat of public failure, I probably would have flaked a month ago.

So who’s tired of looking at an empty green box where my dining area should be? If you’ve been following along, you know that I started with a fleshy peach disaster of a charmless room that housed sad chairs, a hideous table, and wicked dirty grout. I planned to push myself into designing something bright, edgy and polished, yet still breakfast casual. I had big dreams to resurrect my cracked marble Saarinen table in hopes of creating greater seating flexibility, but that plan failed and I was left bereft. What’s a tableless girl to do when the world is waiting for a dining area makeover?

arsenic austin interiors

Bust out the sandpaper and spray paint, that’s what. I waited and waited for St. Craig to reward my fervent prayers with an oval top for my leftover tulip base, but Frankensaarinen table was not to be. I investigated many fabrication options but was stymied by cost and lead time. So my sad, flaking, peeling old table got a coat of semi gloss black paint on the apron and legs. Then, we sanded the top finish off and wiped on about five coats of dark walnut Danish oil.  It actually looks not too shabby, and I love the matte quality of the finish. Plus the fruitwood inlay really pops now.

That left me with the art conundrum to solve. This was a toughie. I really have too many choices and I like them all for various reasons. What I chose surprised even me…

arsenic austin interiors

Say what? Maybe it’s because it was PITCH BLACK and pouring on shoot day, but the acid yellow of this 70s abstract painting appealed to me. Let the sunshine in!

arsenic austin interiors

I tried lots of art in multiple situations with tons of different styling options, and somehow this dark horse ended up the winner. When I paired it with the crazy Clarence House fabric I used to upholster this vintage ebay bench, something clicked into place for me and I saw things differently. It really is so important to shift your perspective and keep an open mind. Wine helps.

arsenic austin interiors

I know I kept saying I was going to use that red Robert Allen fabric — I do love it and I even ordered a yard. But me and Clarence House have a thing going on. Don’t tell Robert… I don’t want him to be jealous.

arsenic austin interiors

So far the brassy bench is popular seating — like elbow your baby brother out of the way popular. I’m pretty happy with the way it opens the dining area to the kitchen, in that it feels less fenced off.


And then there is the vintage head vase… it’s 80s deco eurovibe o’clock up in here, with a Fornasetti twist. Say that 20 times fast.

arsenic austin interiors

Everything on the table is thrifted — from the $5 flatware to the fringed napkins, cobra commando candlesticks, glassware and Bavarian china.

arsenic austin interiors


I have TONS more china, flatware and glassware, but I just put way too much work into the table to completely cover all that sexy woodgrain up.

arsenic austin interiors

In case you were wondering, the other half of the room still exists…. Of course my ugly door has been properly rejuvenated with a shiny brass doorknob. And what’s that on the kitchen side of things?

arsenic austin interiors

Oh, it’s just a creepy haunted mirror. No biggie — apparently I have to showcase something haunted in every room. I have no idea what this thing is, but my hunch is turn of the 20th century central European. The hammered brass vase came from Round Top and it is far cooler than pictures give it credit for.

arsenic austin interiors

This picture is supremely awful… it was the end of a (literally) dark day and the kids were (literally) three seconds from walking through the door, but I wanted you to see the whole humble setup.

arsenic austin interiors

Even the china cabinet got a mini restyle. Notice all the gold glassware that didn’t make it to the table…

arsenic austin interiors

I bought the unicorn for a client kid room, but little Susie may have to live in a land of shattered dreams. Or maybe I will let it go… I am a giver, after all.

And that’s about it for my teeny tiny dinette makeover. Let’s have a proper before and after, shall we?




arsenic austin interiors

arsenic austin interiors

arsenic austin designer

I think I accomplished what I set out to do. The room is functional and finished, plus there are a few surprise moments. Nothing like a little shock and awe to go with your morning cereal, right? By relying on thrift stores, craigslist, and ebay I was able to keep the budget in check. The bulk of my funds was spent on simple window treatments and a cowhide rug that can be used in different decorating schemes. Content to play supporting roles, neutral basics allow color and quirky accessories to take center stage in the dinette drama. And of course I can always switch out the cheapie flashies when my fickle side takes hold.

As Leonardo da Vinci said: art is never finished, only abandoned.  I read that in Parent’s magazine or something. Hey, I’m no snob — inspiration comes from everywhere.

It’s been a blast hanging with you fine people throughout the challenge! Thank you for your support and comments — they have been the wind beneath my wings. I read each and every word and I love them all, good or bad. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about what you think of the new old dinette. Maybe you can even talk me into doing the kitchen next… Maybe.

Please don’t forget to visit the other participants to see how their rooms resolved. There is some amazing work taking place!

one room challenge

It’s been real. Signing off and taking a nap.

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One Room Challenge: Week Five — Twas the Week Before Reveal

And all through the house, not a project was finished… it was time to get soused. The rest of that ditty can take a hike, except for the bit about martinis dancing through my head. That is how the poem goes, right?

So friends, we find ourselves near the end of the One Room Challenge (catch up on earlier posts HERE). Let me say that six weeks is quite the grueling schedule to decorate, shoot, post, and completely redesign a room. But in all honesty, it’s good to have deadlines… without them I might have lived in a Triple XXX peach dinette forever. Or at least until my husband threatened divorce. I’m pretty sure that was on the horizon, so a huge thank you to Linda of Calling it Home for organizing this challenge!

This past week was fraught with obstacles like kid sickness, parent sickness, and mental sickness. ‘Tis the season for sharing, you know. Let it be known that I battled a veritable river of bodily fluids to bring you updates. Because I care.

erin williamson orc

I am kind of being a tease here because a fair amount of choices have been made, but they are still top secret hush hush. Anticipation is the best part of… well, everything. Except for martinis. Anyway, I do have a table but I’m still working out seating and this represents just a tiny fraction of the options I have stocked in the garage. My husband is thrilled about this.

Thonet chairs and stools on top of stools on top of stools, oh my. I am having a lot of conflicting thoughts about seating right now. Some strange perversion of the mind has taken hold and is forcing a philosophical rigor upon the situation wherein I only like chairs that speak to the chairness of chairs. You know, like Plato and stuff. Somehow no cantilevered, nor panton, nor frankly any kind of not-plain CHAIR will do. This is a weird turn of events because I normally love all of those things — just not for this space at this time. I may have to do a bench or stools to get around this self imposed hurdle.

erin williamson orc

Oh hey, did you notice that I got new blinds? Someone is probably going to say they look like the old blinds, but that is incorrect.


The old blinds were this shiny orange monolith too heavy to be drawn up and down on a whim. So I got myself to Lowes and had some stick blinds custom cut, et voila!

erin williamson orc

I think they look light, fluffy and neutral. Plus they hide my ugly window clips. I like them a lot.

I also got a new fancy door knob from Rejuvenation for the ugly arched panel door I hope to replace someday. It’s a bit like gilding a stinkbug, but there is is.

erin williamson orc

Sexy black porcelain and unlacquered brass, yum. I’m going to let it get all dirty and patinated so it hides jelly smeared fingerprints. And then when I get a new door this baby is coming with… No one gets left behind! Except for ugly doors and blinds.

erin williamson orc

I have also been steadily accruing a huge amount of thrifted accessories for my table setting. I’ve never really put together a big girl holiday table before, so that is high on my to do list. This year, retinas will be seared and eyes will be generally blinded by all manner of scintillating wares. I have enough gold, crystal, and glossy porcelain to make Kate Spade cry uncle into her polka dotted napkins.

erin williamson orc

Hello $5 gold Florentine flatware! Rope-a-dope, people. I’m in it to win it.

Now if only I could figure out what to do for seating, decide on my ding dang art already, and nail down the overarching direction of styling and mood…

Maybe I’m just in it to finish it. Wish me luck.

As always, please do visit my lovely co-challengees to see how they are faring this week.

one room challenge


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One Room Challenge: Week Four — Art Show

Hi friends, welcome back to Design Crisis for my latest installment in the One Room Challenge! If you’d like to catch up on previous weeks, please click HERE. If you’re already caught up, then you know that last week hammered nails into the coffin of my marble Saarinen dinette dreams. Keywords: fire, brimstone, inferno. I was pretty bummed, but you fine people left so many kind comments and suggestions that I just want to thank you from the bottom of tired and overwhelmed heart. Know that I am cooking up multiple scenarios and basically decorating three rooms simultaneously until I know for sure what will work out in time, but rest assured that the finale will include a table… or perhaps just a Moroccan style pile of floor cushions. I kid, I kid. Or do I???

Let’s not talk about my dumb table, or lack thereof. Let’s talk about art. Let’s talk about how I have 26 pictures worth of stuff to show you, and that’s AFTER I edited the selections down. I need to edit again, and obviously I really need to clean out my garage.


While other things are busy falling into place (I hope), I decided to browse my ginormous collection of art to find the best and brightest selections for the room. This lady is one of my favorites. The frame weighs at least 500 pounds and the vintage needlepoint is magical in its softness and coloring.


I just wish it were bigger… It doesn’t fill the space as well as I’d like, but the mix of old and dirty with new and crisp does it for me.


So pretty. So sweet. I so do not have a daughter, and I bet my two sons are jealous of this beatific mother who does not look the least bit haggard or unkempt. I suspect she dares not feed her child cereal for dinner, either. There are words for moms like this.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, I have this vintage Vasarely poster in dire need of reframing. Acid trip acid wasp, for sure.


Yeah, baby. I can feel my brain getting all swirly and I like it.


Meanwhile, how j’adorable is my vintage Mark Sabin print with that nutty Robert Allen fabric?


I think at the very least I need to reframe so it doesn’t infringe on the curtains… also not loving the horizontal on a vertical wall.


Then again, I’m not loving this vertical abstract painting either. It veers a little too Palm Beach against that wall color.


Old dirty prints. I’m down with ODP (yeah, you know me), but maybe these are a trifle too old and dirty to command such a central space.


These on the other hand… these are cray. I bought a set of vintage Alan Davie lithographs off ebay for a song, and they’re pretty awesome. The framing would be tricky, though.


But are they too cray? Will that flying, ahem, object disturb the digestion of my more delicate dinner guests?


Speaking of, is this too much? I do think that a grouping of small pieces provides a nice foil to the low hanging blobbiness of the chandelier.



 Another random ebay purchase, this portfolio of prints from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair shows depicts the evolution of science over the ages. These prints are WEIRD. The print quality is superb, though.


And finally, I have this behemoth of a mirror designed by Gio Ponti. It goes with my Italian Sciolari chandelier and Italian chairs, but is it too… Italian?



That’s not even possible, right? This sucker is very large and very heavy, though. Securing it to the wall would be a challenge. And is a mirror the best way to finish the space? Do I go for more light or more color? Does the pretty arched panel of the mirror look weird with the ugly arched panel of the door?

Also, I have two other stellar mirrors (LaBarge!) and tons more art. Anything could happen, and everything is dependent on the dreaded table and seating and fabric choices. It’s the decorating domino effect.

Out of curiosity I’d love to know your thoughts, but please don’t be offended if I don’t take your advice. If our government is any indication of speed and efficacy, then decorating should not be a democratic sport. I aim to run something more of a benevolent dictatorship. It’s for the greater good.

So that’s what I’ve been working on for the week. Please stop by my fellow challengers to see where their projects stand. There are only two more weeks left to go…

one room challenge

 Calling it Home

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