100 Year Old Dog Friendly House in Michigan | Apartment therapy

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Name: Sara Reifman and the Frenchman Cashew
Location: Berkeley, Michigan
Type of accommodation: House
Size: 854 square meters
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

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Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I live in a 100+ year old ranch that has been updated but retains lots of character (eg original doors/handles, trim, french doors, vaulted ceilings). My house is in a suburb just north of Detroit. I grew up nearby, but I moved away after high school. After living in six states over 15+ years, I moved back in 2018 to settle down and be close to family. I work in the public school system as a speech therapist and support children with high needs. It’s a demanding job and I aim to make my home a calming place to recharge after work.

My household consists of myself, many plants and my 3 year old french bulldog. Her name is Cashew and she is the queen of our little castle! She has some special needs and all design decisions take them into account. Cashew has access to a window from the couch to help ease her separation anxiety when she’s home alone, along with doggy stairs to protect her weak knees, plus plenty of dog beds and blankets.

These days I would call myself a recovering nomad. My home is a reflection of my journey, and also my steadily growing roots. Much of my artwork and furniture was found along the way (or as I like to think of it, they found me). For example, my credenza was found on the curb in LA the day I moved into my first one-bedroom apartment after 13 years of studying. My aunt found my dining table and chairs on a curb near her home around the same time, which she beautifully arranged and reupholstered for me. A lot of my quirky artwork belonged to loved ones who passed on or were given to me at various points in my journey (including my outrageous and lovely sexy lady in my dining area). My home is very much influenced by my aunt. Her house is eclectic, art-filled and so cozy. It’s always been one of my favorite places and she subscribes to no rules when it comes to decor. She is unapologetically true to her own taste and I strive to do the same.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, cosy, personal, dog friendly

What is your favorite room and why? With a house this small, I love every inch, but I’ve put the most emphasis on the living/dining room because that’s where I spend most of my time. I love the architectural details and all the light that helps my plants thrive. It’s a nice, comfortable place to relax with cashews at the end of the day. The large sofa was a must for me! I also love my gallery wall, which feels like a visual autobiography to me as each piece reminds me of many different chapters in my life.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I recently bought a painted sun/moon/staircase mirror for my living room. I saw it on Etsy and fell in love. It actually reminds me of a piece that belonged to my uncle, which was a tribute to my grandfather, so it’s personal in addition to being beautiful. I found in Lucky Home Finds Etsy Shopas I discovered in a Home Tours post!

Any tips for creating a home you love? Be true to yourself and what you like so that your home truly reflects who you are. Take your time and embrace it as an ongoing process. Not every item has to be a rare find. I’ve been lucky to find some great furniture, but I also have lots of not-so-special stuff, but everything seems to work as a whole.

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