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Tour This Designer’s Black-and-White Oasis

Jul 26, 2016

by Alison Feldmann

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

As a visual designer who creates colorful, imaginative experiences for brands — and who’s also created a powerful brand for herself, centered around her love for graphic minimalism, high-contrast pinks, and fearless dancing — you might expect self-described “happy human” Meg Lewis to infuse her home with splashes of bright, bold color. But you’d be wrong: “There has always been a weird disconnect between my happy personality and my colorless living spaces,” she says. “My work is often very colorful, and I use it to evoke emotion. But when it comes to my home and my personal life, I find that the lack of color makes me feel calm.”

Meg and her husband (and fellow designer), Brad Evans, recently relocated from New York City to Minneapolis, where they’ve created a relaxing sanctuary composed of black, white, wood, and greenery. Despite its streamlined look, there’s still plenty of silliness that goes on in “the House of Nonsense.” We got in touch with Meg to talk about her new-digs wish list, how to create a cohesive personal aesthetic and her favorite songs for dancing.

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Name: Meg Lewis
Occupation: Designer and founder of Ghostly Ferns
Where you live: Minneapolis, Minnesota
How long have you lived here? 6 weeks!

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Your aesthetic is so distinctive, both in work and in life. Did it take you a while to develop your style or have you always gravitated toward minimalism in your home? When did black and white become a thing for you?

I am so attracted to colorful things, weird things and oddities. For many years I was collecting strange vintage pieces and putting them everywhere — my space was always a mix of patterns, textures, and colors — but it was making me feel discontent, and I couldn’t place why. Once I started removing color, I immediately felt more at ease. It’s important for me to have my home be a relaxing sanctuary that soothes my mind.

What are three words you’d use to describe your style?

Fun, happy, friendly.

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You recently moved from New York to Minneapolis and purchased your first home. What excites you most about your new space?

My husband, Brad, and I had been in NYC for a few years and absolutely loved every minute of it. We’re both fairly independent people who need personal space, and that was so hard to get in New York. It was time to move somewhere quieter and finally become invested in a community. We both felt Minneapolis had values similar to our own, and we were right!

What’s your approach to decorating your new space? 

Goodbye, color! I removed all color and replaced it with plants and greenery. Brad and I gravitate to more masculine interiors, so we wanted to make sure we used black, wood, and white as much as possible.

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You’ve dubbed your new home the #houseofnonsense. What inspired this name? 

There was an old amusement park, Wonderland Park, in Minneapolis that shut down just before our house was built in the ’20s. The amusement park had many attractions, one of which was called the House of Nonsense. I just love that name so much and thought it would be a great way to pay homage to the community and the past — and also, it’s fitting because there’s a ton of nonsense that goes on here.

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What are your go-to sources for design inspiration?

Pinterest, obviously, has been super helpful as a collaborative tool between myself and Brad. I also channel Minneapolis buds Wit & Delight and Breanna Rose.

Because we’re Etsy, we gotta know: Who are some of your favorite Etsy designers? Are any items in your home from Etsy sellers? 

I have this Crane Light from Andrew Neyer in my office and I love it. I’ve also recently been into swapping out legs on my cheap furniture to better legs. I have legs from Covet Modern Design that I just love.

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You work from home for your design business. What do you love most about it (or wish you could change)?

While it is still fairly colorless, my office has a lot of high contrast and pops of bubblegum pink and a heck of a lot of weird ‘n’ fun stuff. My space almost feels like a coloring book, allowing me to fill it in with my own vibes for the day. It’s a space that’s 100% just for me and no one else, and it’s a perfect reflection of my personality. I’ve waited for an opportunity like this since forever, and I’m so glad to finally have it.

You clearly love to dance, and I love watching it. What’s your favorite song to dance to right now? What purpose does dance serve in your creative process?

Shamir’s “On The Regular” has been my dancing jam for the past year! I started dancing by myself as a way to get energized and I find that it’s a great thing not only for self-care but also for my health. There is no better feeling than giving it 100% while no one is watching. That dumb phrase, “Dance like no one is watching,” is so true! Dancing by myself is something I do just for me. It makes me feel powerful and good. It makes me feel alive and happy. It makes me feel unstoppable. Once I’m done, I feel on top of the world!

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 Vertex Chandelier by Lucent Light Shop, $499
Tell us about some of the other artists, designers, or Etsy sellers whose work you admire. Is anything on your wishlist for the House of Nonsense?

My favorite thing on Etsy right now is lighting. I have been dying for this chandelier from Lucent Light Shop (saving up my money now!) and I’m so in love with everything that Triple Seven Home makes, especially this wall sconce.

What’s your best tip for creating a signature style?

Get down to the core of your personality. What makes you unique? What do you like that most people don’t? I like to find those things in myself and dial that up to 100. For me, I love Mr. Bean, sarcastic sayings, weird oddities, and cocktails. It was important for me to reflect those funny tidbits and translate them into my space. It creates an environment unlike anything else, because it’s reflective of my weird quirks and not a generic catalog.

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48 comments

  • PrimCountryCurtains

    Francine from HomespunHeartofMine said 1 year ago

    What a RELAXING home!!! i LOVE the rugs...they tie the entire decor together!!! :D

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 1 year ago

    I love this simple clean home. All the plants did a great job to brighten up the house. Beautiful.

  • ValentinaKnitwear

    V S from MyKnittedAccessories said 1 year ago

    Beautiful home, story and shop!!! Congratulations on the feature!

  • cinnew

    Cinne Worthington from CBanningAccessories said 1 year ago

    Fabulous post and your dance made my day, thank you!

  • ArtisanSoapInVegas

    Cristy Ramos from ArtisanBathandBody said 1 year ago

    Very aesthetic home! I am in love, and the dance was fun to watch ♥ Great picks too. Thanks for sharing!

  • SWISHandWAG

    Michelle and Jay from SwishAndWag said 1 year ago

    Congrats on your feature! I love your taste and I agree with living in the black and white space when your work is colorful! It is really smart! I am a painter so I make sure not to be in a colorful space when I work. :)

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 1 year ago

    Awesome look! Great decor!

  • work2gather

    Deborah Martin from work2gather said 1 year ago

    I came to see the message on one of your desk shelves -- Less Cool and More ??? -- turned out to be Less Cool and More Boring :-) loved that idea, but have to create my own meaning for it.... sounds like a blog post to me !! haha I also liked the reminder "Nothing is on Sale" ... :-) I liked the house size... big rooms, lots of space. It is hard to find anymore. I didn't read all the text, but wanted to see the photos of your interior designs... black and white create a stark contrast, more than any colors. I want to focus on pictures in black and white for that purpose. When you add color, it really stands out, too. You can change the whole design by changing your "accessories." If you like winters, snow, big city life, you should like Minnesota.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 1 year ago

    Amazing interiors. Not at all boring.

  • PrimCountryCurtains

    Francine from HomespunHeartofMine said 1 year ago

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! Meg you are a riot!!! I just watched your dance video & I have a fluffy (not fat!!!) orange cat just like yours that walks around while I'm working out (or dancing) too!!! Your video made me laugh out loud!!! :D

  • tlpjenpierce1

    Jennifer and Gary Pierce from LoftAtticEarth said 1 year ago

    Love your use of plants for color! Your home is warm and inspiring!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 1 year ago

    So beautiful!

  • Souly25

    Custom Style from CustomStyleCo said 1 year ago

    wow i thought i was alone. all i want to see when i get home is white, dark woods and grey!

  • suemako

    Sue from SuesAkornShop said 1 year ago

    How lovely! Congrats on the feature.

  • littleliagraphic

    little Lia from LittleLiaGraphic said 1 year ago

    Gorgeous! Really love the working space :D

  • andymike01

    andymike01 said 1 year ago

    What a lovely house, decor and home. Interesting commentary on neutralizing color.

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    TreasuredMemoryLane from TreasuredMemoryLane said 1 year ago

    Very neat interiors! Thanks for sharing!

  • ongoodroads

    Ana R. from ongoodroads said 1 year ago

    Love your home and your style! Great work! I made a treasury with some clean, simple Etsy items....maybe you'd find it helpful?? https://www.etsy.com/treasury/NDYzMjk4MTh8Mjg2NDg0MDI5Mw/be-simple-be-clean?index=0&atr_uid=

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute said 1 year ago

    Although I'm all about surrounding myself with color, I love the clean & modern look of your home & work space. Keep on dancing...it was so fun to watch & see your kitties make a cameo appearance as well!

  • emaxtees

    emaxtees from EmaxTees said 1 year ago

    I want a home like this, thank you :)

  • lambater

    Greg and Mary from LightingAlchemy said 1 year ago

    This is AMAZING! Congratulations!!!

  • VERONAART

    JOANNA from BUSTANI said 1 year ago

    So beautiful!

  • CarolineRoyceDesign

    Caroline Royce from CarolineRoyceDesign said 1 year ago

    This house is my DREAM. And somehow just by flipping through the images I knew it was a Minneapolis home. They have distinctive interiors I guess.

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 1 year ago

    Great space! I love it!

  • teerasakborkam

    Teerasak Borkam from TribalAndHarem said 1 year ago

    Amazing home

  • DelilahsAttic

    Madeleine Keller from ThoseGoodVibrations said 1 year ago

    this is an awesome piece, I love the dancing :) thanks for sharing

  • myrnaberryhill

    Myrna Berryhill from BabyBunnyTails said 1 year ago

    Great decorating. I love white!!! I love your floors in the bedrooms. Great!!!

  • indealeo

    indealeo from LillabeeBaking said 1 year ago

    I love everything about you space! So crisp and clean! Any chance you would share some of your wall colors?

  • 1StopSteampunkShoppe

    One Stop Steampunk Shoppe from OneStopSteamShoppe said 1 year ago

    Great images and style!

  • hajiragibb

    Hajira Gibb from HajiraKG said 1 year ago

    Congratulations... This is so beautiful

  • ADORNMENTSCOLLECTION

    LYNETTE from ADORNMENTSCOLLECTION said 1 year ago

    Beautiful -- congrats!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 1 year ago

    I love your work....Your place looks amazing! Thanks for sharing....

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 1 year ago

    Beautiful! Simple and Modern!

  • barismil

    Tahir Ismail from Barismil said 1 year ago

    really nice designs. I like the white it makes space look more spacious and relaxing

  • LaurenAscencio

    Lauren Ascencio from SweetLittleSnuggles said 1 year ago

    Your house is perfect! I love every aspect you put into it! Looks so inviting and cozy.

  • pipingplover

    lisa from TreehouseCraftsLLC said 1 year ago

    So much goodness in this feature. The dance moves, the cats, the decor and style. Wonderfully inspiring. I think I will go crank the tunes and start my day off right. Cheers!

  • secretgardentwo

    Nicola Pearson from secretgardentwo said 1 year ago

    Love this. White is the new colour.

  • nadinebriggs9

    nadine briggs from ColorExsitesMeasions said 1 year ago

    Creativity at its best. I agree less is more. Keeping excessive color to a minimum allows the natural tones to come alive, stand out and control the canvas.

  • mangachekamal1

    mangache kamal from motify said 1 year ago

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/motify?ref=hdr_shop_menu

  • mangachekamal1

    mangache kamal from motify said 1 year ago

    you will be intersted in this store https://www.etsy.com/shop/motify?ref=hdr_shop_menu

  • rachelungerjewelry

    Rachel Unger from RachelUngerJewelry said 1 year ago

    I absolutely adore your space! I often daydream about going to a strictly neutral colorway for my home. If I do I would want it to look like your home! I love your kitties too. I also have a ginger and a blackie!

  • HavokDesigns

    kristen from HavokDesigns said 1 year ago

    i reallllly dig this as it is basically my brand personified in a home, ha!! the black, white, wood, and green is such a great combo, and i love implementing it into my house and studio space as well! so cool to read this and get your story!

  • sammielanescloset

    Van White from SammieLanesCloset said 1 year ago

    'love the use of natural wood. I love the creative process dance, too!

  • loribethclark4

    Loribeth from MomentsOfArt said 1 year ago

    Very pretty! I would find it very easy to be creative there!

  • garykin

    Kfir from KinArtBoutique said 1 year ago

    W E L L D O N E !

  • 4oldtimesandnew

    Ann from 4oldtimesandnew said 1 year ago

    So I'm a bit behind in reading posts! I enjoyed the tour through this home - a real home that reflects its inhabitants! I could tell that it was very intentional. My taste, nor my husband's, has never been minimalist, but lately I'm finding myself wanting to have a quieter, more cohesive space, so I totally get where Meg is coming from. So many simple/minimal/black and white or monochromatic homes come across as being soulless, but I must say this featured home is certainly not boring or lifeless - it is so filled with personality, and I love the name! Thanks for sharing!

  • deardearArt

    deardear from deardearArt said 347 days ago

    I Love black & white~~ Great home decor!

  • InstantDownloadArt1

    Christa from InstantDownloadArt1 said 269 days ago

    Fantastic home-the story and the shop! Happy New Year!

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