This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by the South Florida home of Amy Gross. A minimalist’s nightmare, her eclectic home feels like a wondrous curio cabinet filled with miniature treasures and natural artifacts. There are beautifully combined vignettes and collections covering every surface of Amy’s home, and her incredible dollhouses deserve a home tour of their very own.
Amy is an incredibly talented artist specializing in surface and textile design; she also dabbles in painting, photography and jewelry making. Check out her website for a tour of her mixed media masterpieces, and stop by her blog, Amy Looks Closer, to learn more about her inspirations. Visit Amy on Flickr to browse many more photos of the treasure-filled home she shares with her cat, Solomon.
[Clockwise from top left: Cloche with Vintage Water Nozzle by therhubarbstudio; Jumbo Red and White Mushrooms by VintageJoysAndJewels; Birds Nest by Boo25; Feather Butterflies by BlissfulSilks; Little Bird Soft Sculpture by ohalbatross; Vintage Microscope Set by Mylittlethriftstore.]
Describe your home decorating style.
I guess the best answer to that is eclectic, but curio cabinet style may be more accurate. I’ve always been interested in found objects, but my things have never been expensive, so I’ve had very little trouble altering and adapting them and including myself in their stories. My home is a bit like the antique shoe I bought at a flea market when I was eleven: I couldn’t afford the pair, but the dealer saw how much I loved them and sold me one. While I couldn’t wear it, I could turn it into something else (a vase, actually). Adapting and embellishing became my decorating style.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Cram’s World Globe by margosmuse; Mid Century Lounge Chair by Hindsvik; Kilim Pillow Cover by turkishnomadic; Meditating Buddha by YogaReflections; Handwoven Kilim Rug by KilimLand ; Birch bark covered glass vase by NHWoodscreations.]
Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
It’s definitely been an evolution, which explains why each room in my home has a different feel. My bedroom furniture came with the house I grew up in; being close to a hundred years old, it has always dictated the style of the rooms it is in. But the rest of the apartment was a slow process, influenced by the houses of my parents’ artist friends, by curiosity cabinets, and by the colors in a piece of pottery.
Sometimes the evolution is pushed along by starting a collection; once I began collecting old globes and Frankoma pottery, a lot of later decisions became easier to make. Sometimes my cat gets into the act. My strange doilied sofa was my desperate attempt to cover up Solomon’s scratchings. Once you stitch tea-stained doilies to your sofa, the need to make everything look just so completely evaporates.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Handmade Storage Cabinet by ajaradecor; Metal Alloy Vintage Hand Tray by CherryBerryVintage; Classic Lundby Doll House & Furniture by rstevet; Vintage Globe with Stand by vintage19something; Slate Top Coffee Table by ClarkBrosFurniture; Vintage Modern Pottery Vase by TheGrooveVintage.]
Where are your favorite places to shop for home items?
South Florida has a lot of wonderful flea markets, consignment shops and antique malls. Twice a year, my mom and I haunt the Giant Garage Sale at the fairgrounds. I passed on a six dollar papier-mache figurine of a cat wearing a suit, and it still haunts me. I love pottery, and I live close to a university where art students sell their amazing work to the public. My favorite rug is from IKEA, but I love it as much as if I found it somewhere exotic. I’m not too fussy about where I find something; if it talks to me, I bring it home.
[Clockwise from top left: Painted Cottage Chic Shabby White Dresser by paintedcottages; Green Star Lantern by MightNeedThat; Vintage Cottage Chic Mirror by smallVintageAffair; Vintage Andrea by Sadek Floral Plate by PrettyPaulaProducts; Marble Table Lamp by DesignSalonShop; Kwan Yin – Goddess of Mercy by PhenomeGNOME.]
What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
I’ve always needed to be surrounded by objects from nature: a hawk’s feather dropped on the lawn, snail shells, bits of hornets’ nests — they’re an inspiration for my artwork, so I need them around. And I love the idea of the naturalist’s laboratory — rooms filled with bell jars and wooden file cabinets, glass cases filled with ephemera. I sometimes long for a room that I can clean without having to pick up and put down a hundred things, but I know that’s not me — never will be.
[Clockwise from top left: Brass Decorative Birdcage Mini by BambisTreasure; Dancing Lady Orchid Terrarium by MissMossGifts; Ceiling Pendant Lantern by davincisattic; Rattan Chair by RhapsodyAttic; Birdcage Candle Holder by FlameEssence; Succulent arrangement by EcowiseSucculents; Ornate Tin Lantern by AllVintageMan; Mid Century Bamboo Shelf by pearlsvintage; Pair Lucky Chinese Trees by mywonderfulthings.]
What is your favorite part about your home?
I love how my home tolerates me and my ever-changing taste in wall color, my towering piles of books, and my hanging and rehanging of paintings. I will always have too much stuff and it will always be too small, but we’re the best we can be for each other, and that’s all right.
[Clockwise from top left: Red Book Collection by charliesnest; Curio Cabinet Shadowbox by TimelessCuriosities; Red Metal Tricycle Planter by SFKvintage; Floral Pillow Cover by kyoozi; Victorian Boot Decoration by CocktailsandTagSales; Dolls House Storage Cabinet by Artistique. ]
Does your home hold any strong memories?
It will always be the first place that was mine and where I started to make art again. It became that intrinsic “place of my own” that helped me find my creative self again. It holds my memories through the objects it contains: dolls that belonged to my grandmother, my mother’s kid gloves and her first suitcases, and most importantly, my father’s paintings. I lost him two years ago, but I can look through his eyes every day and see the world the way he painted it. That may be why I love looking at pictures of people’s homes; not to see what they have (or what I wish I had), but to see the world the way they experience it.
Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in this Flickr pool.