Therese Sterling Little (right) lives in Minneapolis with spouse SL and 4-year-old daughter Henrietta. She and SL (using the pronouns “they/them”) lived in Brooklyn for years until she decided to move back to her hometown in Therese to be closer to her relatives. Three years later, the family settled into a new community and bright home. Look around…
About Color Splash: Before moving in, I spent a lot of time watching house tours, many of which were in neutral shades. Following that inspiration, we started painting the walls white. Immediately regretted. it’s not us. White quickly gave up, but the living room was already finished. She wanted some color, so she decided to paint the inside of the bookshelf. Benjamin Moore’s Angelina — Purple is our favorite color.
About pandemic shopping: These chairs were purchased at a real estate sale in the Minneapolis suburbs. they were so cool and pure white — as if the couple had never sat down. The sale took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, so everything was virtual. I thought, “I have to buy it!” and bid on it online. without ever seeing it first hand. But it worked!
Painting: Vintage, Via Etsy.
Advantages of fake: The fireplace used to burn wood, but when we moved in we found it would cost us $15,000 to get it working. So I replaced it with a gas insert. This is great. It heats up quickly and the logs look pretty real. I love that it’s ready to use on cold days just by turning it on.
In the chillout zone: We watch TV in this large and comfortable section.great for watching tv and fall asleep; and is sturdy enough for kids to jump on.
About hidden hacks: This wooden cabinet is actually a laundry chute. It’s been here since we moved. It is very convenient for cooking because you can immediately put it in the laundry just by throwing dirty kitchen towels. There is also a toilet upstairs. we love them
About drama: This fabric wallpaper has been here since we moved in. When people came to us for a paint estimate, they all said, “Of course you would.” this was dropped off. I was like, “No way!” We envisioned hosting a spectacular dinner party in this rich and dramatic space. At that time, the ceiling was white and the bottom of the wall was green. cow blood paintwas inspired by the colors used in the wedding bouquet.
Dining table: IKEA. Chair: Facebook Marketplace.
At the family table: We eat here during the winter months and also use it as an art station for drawing and painting. I was hoping for a white dining table, but it’s hard to find one without terrible reviews and at an affordable price. That’s where I discovered this IKEA product. this is perfect.
About Lean In: We decided that if we were going to leave wallpaper, we would look to flowers. We found a French chandelier covered in roses (all roses individually screwed!) on Etsy, from a lovely couple in New Jersey. It’s my pride and joy.
Weave: Fallon Feiner. Chair: Vintage (“This is called a ‘gossip bench’. It tickles me a lot.”)
About the closet makeover: When we moved in, the downstairs bathroom was literally a toilet in a closet. nothing else. We found the smallest sink we could find and SL did the trim, laid the floor, wallpapered the ceiling and painted the walls. We know a lot of people avoid black in tight spaces, but we think it makes it look edgy.
About the Consolation Prize: I was about to buy a sofa at a luxury real estate sale, but I lost out to another couple. Then the person running the sale said, “Can I put the art on the sofa?” So when I went there, she just handed me this Japanese screen.
About camouflage: I love to paint on appliances and other functional things to make them match. I know radiators are hard. Because you have to get into all the little nooks and crannies. I shouldn’t really talk about how hard it is, but I have to ask my spouse.
About Optical Illusions: This vanity is a trick! My aunt found a white wicker table in her friend’s garage and brought it over. We spray painted it black and then SL painted the wall arches behind it. Next, I placed a mirror in the arch and installed a battery-powered sconce. Just turn it on, sit down and apply your makeup.
About sharing: Every house has “stuff”, but this bathroom is ours. When we were looking for a house, he insisted on two full bathrooms, but he ended up with one. The bathroom is large for a house built in 1918, but it’s still cramped for the whole family.
About Grandma’s Room: This is a guest room, but it’s also Mimi’s room. Mimi calls Henrietta a visiting grandmother from Missouri. The furniture here is a bedroom set that SL inherited from her own grandmother.
Top priority: As for the bedroom, Henrietta wanted her own dressing table like mine. SL found this at a thrift store. It was an adult size, but they cut the legs and changed the size for Henrietta. So now we have our own vanity with each other and she’s excited. We recently went on a trip for the weekend and she looked around her rental house and said: “Where is our dressing table?”
About family: When we moved from New York State, SL recommended that we adopt Henrietta. They were already on the birth certificate, but now we are working hard with our lawyers and rushing to get everything in order before our family is legally challenged. What is happening in this country and in the Supreme Court is overwhelming. As a woman, it’s horrifying to see governments banning critical health care. I myself had to take misoprostol because my miscarriage prevented my body from expelling the tissue. And as a queer family, it’s terrifying to see judges try to overturn cases involving other rights, such as same-sex marriage rights.
Moving forward: Minnesota is a purple state and the Twin Cities are very blue. But while this place is better than many, it doesn’t make much sense. Access to housing is a big problem here, as is police violence, which became even more apparent after the murder of George Floyd. I try to reflect on how I am doing in the community and how I can do more in the future. I want to use all the power I have to save my daughter from having to go through such a terrible experience. That way we can thrive as a family and think about pleasant things like home instead of basic rights and dignity.
Thank you very much, Therese!
Other home tours, including a Connecticut home with PS chickens and an Atlanta home with great DIY projects.
(Photo courtesy: Win Ho for jaw cup)
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