At Home With...

At Home with Erin Wasson

At Home with Erin Wasson
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While this is her first “grown-up” house, Erin Wasson talks about it as if she’s a little kid on a sugar high. She’s excited: “I love the big beams and doorways!” She’s giddy: “I finally have a place to host my family for the weekend.” She’s in awe: “You can get lost in this house—wherever you go there’s a sense of privacy.” For Erin, her home is the final move to adulthood. It’s the first time she has an office, a spare bedroom, and space to breathe—an important factor for the former New Yorker, who spends a lot of time residing in hotel rooms when she’s working.

The bones of the home, purchased from ’90s chanteuse Sophie B. Hawkins, set the stage for a carefree approach to decorating. In tune with Erin’s wildly eclectic style, the architecture is a cobbled-together mash-up of tiles from around the globe, quirky light fixtures, carved mantels, and soaring arched doorways. “There’s a lot of idiosyncracies,” Erin says. “The previous owners created a spirit that moved me—now their aesthetic and mine have bled together.”

Among Erin’s obsessions are typography, works by her numerous artist friends, and Masonic ephemera, like the wall hanging above her living room mantel. She made the coffee table base in a welding class; it’s topped with wood she found while living in New Orleans.

Among Erin’s obsessions are typography, works by her numerous artist friends, and Masonic ephemera, like the wall hanging above her living room mantel. She made the coffee table base in a welding class; it’s topped with wood she found while living in New Orleans.

The Art of Improv

Erin calls her style “flea market makeshift.” A seasoned collector, she believes you should buy what you love because in a home, those things will naturally work together. “If I found it in the trash, it’s going up,” Erin says. From needlepoints to 1960s bumper stickers to Fornasetti plates, her art arrangements have an anything-goes attitude. Even her method has a touch of the madcap: “Anywhere I’ve lived, I start banging into the walls first,” she says. “I don’t believe in a home that feels too precious. People overthink it, but decorating should be an organic experience. I don’t want to feel like I’m living on a set.”

Erin loves anything that had a life before her, like this chair. Her worn leather pieces are a neutral contrast to the lively walls. She jokes that her pitbull, named Cream, is the Pantone book for her furniture choices—the burnished bronze of the living room love seat, for instance, matches his coat.

Erin loves anything that had a life before her, like this chair. Her worn leather pieces are a neutral contrast to the lively walls. She jokes that her pitbull, named Cream, is the Pantone book for her furniture choices—the burnished bronze of the living room love seat, for instance, matches his coat.

The first time I walked through this property it felt like my past, present, and future all in one space. It had such a rad spirit.

— Erin Wasson
Erin’s living room essential? A bar cart. “They come in every shape and can go superluxe or old-school Hollywood.” This one houses her coveted record player—so music and drink are at the ready when friends turn up.

Erin’s living room essential? A bar cart. “They come in every shape and can go superluxe or old-school Hollywood.” This one houses her coveted record player—so music and drink are at the ready when friends turn up.

Ambience is Key

“The most important thing about a home is music and lighting,” says Erin, an avid record collector. “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t have a candle to light and a needle to drop.” Her aim is to make people feel like they want to “get cozy and hang out” the moment they walk in the house. For Erin, a successful dinner party ends with lots of wine and someone breaking out a guitar—her garage, after all, is a former recording studio.

Erin is a self-proclaimed garbage picker, and this peacock chair is one of her treasured finds. “I carried this thing home,” she boasts. A 1960s rose lamp lights the space at night. Even outdoors, the vibe is warm, comfy, and unfussy.

Erin is a self-proclaimed garbage picker, and this peacock chair is one of her treasured finds. “I carried this thing home,” she boasts. A 1960s rose lamp lights the space at night. Even outdoors, the vibe is warm, comfy, and unfussy.

Work the Rooms

Erin is currently working on the relaunch of her jewelry line, Low Luv. “It’s a game changer to have an actual place where your printer, scanner, and mood boards all exist in one place,” she says of her first home office. She credits her interest in design to her “very creative” father and travel. “There were years when I wasn’t in one place for more than a month. I started putting scarves on lamps in hotels just to give me a sense of home and stability,” she says. In her house, those rooms meant for work feel just as homey as those meant for play.

A lacquered wood dining table serves as Erin’s desk. It’s strewn with found objects and flanked by a pair of cacti—housewarming gifts from a friend. “I painted the walls white so that my work would be the main attraction,” Erin says.

A lacquered wood dining table serves as Erin’s desk. It’s strewn with found objects and flanked by a pair of cacti—housewarming gifts from a friend. “I painted the walls white so that my work would be the main attraction,” Erin says.

Piles of bijoux inspire Erin while she works. “I believe in osmosis: If you surround yourself with things you love, they subconsciously become part of your design process,” she says. A dive into this jumble can usually cure a creative block.

Piles of bijoux inspire Erin while she works. “I believe in osmosis: If you surround yourself with things you love, they subconsciously become part of your design process,” she says. A dive into this jumble can usually cure a creative block.

Erin holds brainstorming meetings in her dining room, where a library of design books resides. “I’m drawn to pottery from the late 1960s and ’70s,” she says. During dinner parties, the pieces are used to create a self-serve buffet.

Erin holds brainstorming meetings in her dining room, where a library of design books resides. “I’m drawn to pottery from the late 1960s and ’70s,” she says. During dinner parties, the pieces are used to create a self-serve buffet.

Cook and Garden

A native Texan, Erin has a down-home sensibility well suited for California living. She does all her gardening herself, sourcing pots and plants from the likes of Topanga Canyon and Palm Springs. She laid down the Astroturf on her rooftop herself. Erin is also a seasoned cook. “Cookbooks are like my bible,” she says. Traveling to local farmers’ markets and as far as Joshua Tree to buy small-batch coffee, she’s serious about her ingredients. Even on the go, Erin packs her lunch in a vintage wicker picnic basket. “I refuse to eat airplane food,” she says.

Tiles from around the world pervade Erin’s home, here adding color and pattern against the stark white 1970s cast-iron stove. While she’s unsure of provenance, Erin thinks these beauties may be Guatemalan.

Tiles from around the world pervade Erin’s home, here adding color and pattern against the stark white 1970s cast-iron stove. While she’s unsure of provenance, Erin thinks these beauties may be Guatemalan.

“You want to create intrigue with plants,” says Erin, who sourced for her rooftop garden one-of-a-kind pots and an unusual mix of flora that can sustain full sun. The carved wood mirror adds allure.

“You want to create intrigue with plants,” says Erin, who sourced for her rooftop garden one-of-a-kind pots and an unusual mix of flora that can sustain full sun. The carved wood mirror adds allure.

Erin’s father said this curio box, made by a Texas artist, reminded him of his daughter. When he gifted it, he stuffed every nook with bubble-wrapped items for endless surprises. It now hangs in a guest bathroom.

Erin’s father said this curio box, made by a Texas artist, reminded him of his daughter. When he gifted it, he stuffed every nook with bubble-wrapped items for endless surprises. It now hangs in a guest bathroom.

Erin’s Vintage Directory

Here she gives us the lowdown on some of her fave spots for unique finds.

Los Angeles: Merchant in Santa Monica, Gibson in Fairfax, and Galerie Sommerlath and Surfing Cowboys in Venice Beach

Dallas: White Elephant Antiques Warehouse in the Design District and Dolly Python in East Dallas

New York: Johnson Trading Gallery in Queens 

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