A House Chock Full of Personality

Amanda Brooks (former creative director of Barney’s and author of I ♥ Your Style and Always Pack A Party Dress )has her England home featured in the new Arch Digest and it’s such a fun, personal, collected space that really speaks to the beauty of individual style.  I love that this space looks lived in, loved and decorated over time.  Nothing too perfect or precious, just a gorgeous celebration of this family’s particular brand of cool.  I’m so over perfection. In so many ways.  In a world ripe with Pinterest-worthy everything and Instagram-filtered reality I crave more realness from people.  This home is a nice example.

This makes me a tad obsessed with the idea of getting a striped chesterfield sofa for some reason.

Love the mix of rustic, modern and natural.


That stove and those windows!




ADORBS x 1,000


Beams and boots for days.


Heavenly.  Doesn’t this look so peaceful?



Ok, so they are perfect. *Sigh*


I tried to gather some items to create a space with a similar vibe…. but a look like this can’t be bought. Only created over time.


1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12.// 13. // 14.

On the other hand, when I saw this home in Elle Decor I screamed “WHAT IN THE GOLDEN GIRLS RETIREMENT VILLAGE HELL IS THIS?”


I recognize the hypocrisy of this reaction with my statement above, but in all seriousness… Elle Decor? Really???? I just so don’t get this look.


  1. Ooh! I have been looking for a slim profile chair for my entryway and I think that West elm dining chair might fit the bill! Thanks Erin.

  2. Isn’t that Elle Decor room a nightmare? I saw it and had the same reaction. What a hodgepodge, I think someone owed their grandma a favor.

  3. Woooo…that Elle Decor room is the entire year of Country Living circa 1992 all piled into one room.

    Not entirely on topic, but did you check out the Traditional Home cover this month? The simplicity is just lovely. I can’t wait to see what’s inside.

  4. Amanda Brooks has a great instagram too! One of my faves. And will never forget her gorge Jcrew cover…

  5. That first room is wonderful, but I can’t decide whether it’s wonderful because of everything or because of just the beamed ceiling and books.
    I’m not crazy about any of the bedrooms, including the last one. I like more serenity, less pattern and stuff going on, in the bedroom.

  6. Elle Decor–I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I believe the homeowners are male. MALE!

    Seeing Amanda’s place in AD made me feel a lot better about my family’s Victorian mountain cottage, which is “decorated” (using that term loosely) with a hodgepodge of furnishings collected by family members over the past 100+ years. It tends to drive me crazy when I spend any amount of time there because it is so cluttered and NOT decorated following any current trends, but seeing Amanda’s place made me realized that it could be tweaked down the road (when my siblings and I inherit it) and actually look pretty cool.

  7. at the risk of hurting someone’s feelings…. i mean it’s lovely how they styled their bedroom with symmetry and the things they love. I don’t have a problem with that. but it doesn’t make it magazine worthy. there are billions of “better rooms” out there

    1. The problem I have with the ED bedroom is less the actual stuff in it, and more the color combination. There are no dark colors to ground it, and no negative space to give the eye a place to rest.
      And that lavender with lemon and baby blue is just a bad nursery scheme.

      For more Amanda Brooks type wonderfulness, Google Ben Pentreath.

      1. I think you’re exactly right, Matilda Joyce – no difference in value with the colors in that ED room – if it were a black and white photo it would all be monochrome! I live in a historic neighborhood, and I drive by this one house almost every day and same problem – shades of pink and blue, but no contrast – makes me wanna run and paint something dark blue or something when they’re not looking!

  8. Elle Decor has been letting me down more and more. I understand that everyone has different tastes, but for years Elle Decor’s tastes aligned so closely with mine. As of late it’s the exact opposite. Perhaps my tastes are changing too, I’ll admit that. Still, I think if I pulled out an Elle Decor from two years ago and compared it to a recent issue, it’d be shocking to see the differences. Almost as though their target audience has changed. Not sure how to pin point it.

  9. I have an easy explanation for the ED bedroom-from-hell.

    Look up to the ceiling. It’s an enemy, alien space capsule heading back to outer space, having just completed their mission: Make earthling women crazy.

  10. OK, I love Amanda’s room and not the Elle Decor room, but I want to understand why! No dark colors anywhere, too much pastel blue and yellow, but what else?

    I’d like to know three things to change in the ED room that would make it a classic, beautiful bedroom!

    1. Yes, I love this idea. Hoe to take this room, tweak/edit to be more…right. I feel like it is trying to hard to hit and just misses. I mean It seems like a perfect example hoe how hard it is to pull of an eclectic look mixing styles

  11. Gosh, I don’t know why it was necessary to be so mean about the ED bedroom. It’s not my thing, but it is obviously someone’s. Your feelings are hurt when people leave vitriolic comments — why would you be callous about someone elses’ feelings? I guess I’m just old-fashioned, but it seems this election season is just making everyone that much nastier. I know that my grandmother, who was well-known for her style, would never have shamed anyone in public like that.

    1. i can certainly understand your feelings. .. that being said, i think we all come to this blog to see interior design done well and interior design gone bad. Obviously it’s just a matter of opinion. taste is subjective and some people are Very sensitive.. uncluding donald!

    2. I agree, but in Erin’s defense I think the people who read her blog have similar taste to her. I know I like her taste. That’s why I read it. So didn’t find her comments offensive. I actually thought it was really funny and I agree. I couldn’t tell if it was a child’s room or an old lady’s room. It looks crazy.

  12. Hi Erin,
    Collected is a great word to describe this home and I love it! Such interesting window treatments in the bedrooms too, they just add to the charm. I could easily live in that little cottage in the backyard! I agree with your assessment of the golden girls throwback room, I think the quilt is a major factor, among other things……

  13. omg Amanda’s house is amazing no? she and her (adorable) family were sitting next to us last week in NYC at our fave breakfast spot (il buco alimentari). they looked like they were so enjoying one another’s company. i love being a voyeur sometimes!!

  14. Beautiful house! I can’t believe how perfect the outside is. You did a great job gathering pieces. Love that sofa!
    And yeah that last picture is frightening. Just no.

  15. Great post! Amanda’s living room is swoon worthy. And I love your point about how a really successful room is collected over time. The houses I love best are the ones that really, truly reflect the lives of the people who live there.

  16. Haha regarding your last photo. I had the same reaction. Rando apartment. I really don’t get it at all. And to do all of that to a leased apartment?? Makes no sense.
    I also had the same reaction to the charming English country home. Of the interiors featured in that issue of AD, this was by far my favorite. So charming.

  17. Am I the only one who doesn’t love the window treatments? I’d rather see relaxed Roman shades or something similar. The bones of the house itself, however, are stunning.

  18. I have been thinking about Amanda Brooks’ house ever since your post and went out to get AD last night just so I could see it and read it myself. I have read the article 3 times and it’s all too perfectly wonderful. That is a look only time could bring to a home. It reminds of the English house in the movie “About Time” which is just as wonderfully mix-matched and worn. I love the thought of a home being stylish but comfortable and I agree on the striped chesterfield. Thanks for bringing this story to your blog!

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