This is the first in a series of interviews with homeowners in the East Lansing area. The purpose of this series is to learn more about our neighbors and create a sense of community that can exist both online and out in the world!
Erica and I became friends when we had children at Marble Elementary School. We formed a book group to share our interest in organizing (her) and decorating (me). Eventually, we began working together in her professional organizing business, Your Organized Space. Erica now owns and operates two creative businesses: an Etsy store called Eloominate Designs and The Little Fabric Shop. Her tagline is “A Modern Fabric Shop for Joyful Sewing”, which perfectly embodies my wonderful friend!
Now to the interview….
Tell me about yourself, where you live in East Lansing, and who you live with.
I live with my husband and two teenagers in the Glencairn neighborhood. My son is a freshman at the University of Michigan studying engineering and my daughter is a junior at East Lansing High School. We live in a 1947 brick house. This house has an addition that was built in 1980. When we purchased the house, everything from the 1947 part of the house was pretty much original and same with the 1980’s side. I remember laying on the floor of the living room looking up at the cracked plaster and painted green ceiling and saying to myself, “What did we just do?”
What brought you to East Lansing?
We moved to East Lansing for the school district and also we wanted to live close to the high school so the kids could/can walk to school. I grew up in East Lansing and went from kindergarten through high school and then graduated from Michigan State University, so coming back to my hometown was both familiar and comforting.
How long have you lived in your home?
We have lived in this home since 2011.
What drew you to this house – did you have the feeling of “this is the one” when you were house hunting?
Well, we really didn’t have many options. We made an offer on this house a few days before Christmas 2010. There were only two homes in this area in our price range. Both needed a ton of work, so we picked the one that we felt had the best bones. Some of the features – original plaster crown moulding, large-paned glass windows, original doors, and a traditional two-story layout really charmed us.
What’s one project you thought you would do before you moved in? Have you done it – why or why not?
We knew that we were going to remodel and update everything. Yes, everything. The biggest project that we expected we would have finished by now was the back patio. It was already cracked and starting to crumble when we purchased the house, but as with an old house, we have faced quite a number of “surprise” home projects. We had planned to replace the back patio last summer, but then our front porch started to break apart and we lost the front step, so we had a new front porch installed last summer and we have the back patio on the calendar for this coming spring.
What has been your favorite project (or purchase) so far?
My favorite finish is our living room fireplace and small hallway tile. We commissioned Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to create flooring and fireplace tile. It was such a fun experience. We met with a designer to discuss our space. After selecting the color and texture of the tiles, they handmade each one for our home. I love how the spaces turned out and the Michigan connection within our home.
How has “Stay Safe at Home” affected your daily routines? Now that we have been home for over half a year, is there anything you wish you could change about your home?
Having everyone at home is definitely different. My husband and I changed offices. He is on the phone all day long and needs a space with a door. I miss my cute little room in the back of the house, but it has been so nice to not listen to half a phone conversation all day long.
One thing I would love to change is our laundry room. It is a great size, but I would like to reconfigure it to utilize the space better, improve storage, and even add a folding island. This project is on my wish list for now.
What are some of your EL favorites?
There are so many things I love about East Lansing. Having Michigan State University in our backyard allows us to enjoy college sports, university programs, and of course, the beautiful campus just steps from our house. We love to do take-out from Crunchy’s, and Tasty Twist is a weekly visit.
How do you spend an ideal Saturday at home?
My ideal Saturday is sewing. I love to make quilts and bags. Starting and finishing a project on the weekend is such a nice way to enjoy something I love in a space I enjoy.
Which would you say you are: handy, crafty, hostess, or cook? Crafty
Can you fold a fitted sheet? Yes
Favorite simple treat? Club Crackers
Best organizing hack? Box in the garage for donations. When it’s filled, we take it in.
When I say hygge* you say…. Huh? So, I had to look that one up. So, now I can say hot chocolate
Thank you, Erica, for sharing your home with us! If you would like to be featured on the Real Houses of East Lansing, please send an email to the editor, Carrie Sampson, at mrscarrsamp (at) gmail (dot) com with “Real Houses of EL” in the subject line. Thx for reading!