Raleigh, NC-based Erin Wheeler — best known by her interior décor and lifestyle blog and popular Instagram account, Sunny Circle Studio — is a designer, wife and mother of three (one son, one daughter and one puppy). Although Erin started out professionally as a graphic designer, she switched over to the interior side of things after her family moved into their current late-’80s/early-’90s cul-de-sac home, which the self-taught designer and decorator has been constantly fixing up and updating ever since.
Erin’s fondness for vintage furniture, particularly the Mid-Century Modern variety, is no secret. Which is why our circa 1960-1969 Nils Jonsson Highboy Dresser was the perfect gift for this self-proclaimed lover of estate sales, vintage/antique stores and thrifting. Check out Erin’s blog to see how she styled this vintage dresser in two unique ways for her beautiful home, and read on below for more insight into Erin’s design style, process and inspiration. And don’t forget to check out all the Mid-Century offerings currently available on Sotheby’s Home.
What are your biggest sources of inspiration in your design process?
I get a ton of inspiration from history and age and pieces that tell a story. I love mixing together old and new to keep things fresh and also interesting.
What are your tips for mixing design styles when you’re decorating a space? Do you tend to mix styles in one space, or do you like to focus on one design style per room?
I think as long as you can keep a pretty consistent color palette, you can mix away! Also, make sure there is a balance in both old and new to keep your home from feeling dated and one-note. I’d say a bit of both. I think a home should feel cohesive but not be too matchy-matchy.
Style 1: Classic + Casual
When you’re looking for vintage furniture and accessories, what are the biggest qualities you keep an eye out for?
I’m a sucker for Mid-Century Modern, so any teak or Danish style will immediately have my attention. Also, colors and tones can really set a piece apart—like the perfect vintage Persian rug with all the right muted colorways or a vintage portrait with soul.
Do you have any do’s or don’ts of decorating that you live by?
Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Don’t take things too seriously. Do have fun!
What is your go-to color palette? Do you go for sleek neutrals or fun pops of color?
I love, love, love dark and tonal blues. And peach, coral, muted pinks and emerald greens, mixed with plenty of neutrals for balance.
Style 2: Minimal + Scandi
What is your favorite piece of furniture or décor at home right now?
My cane cabinet from the 1950s!
Why did you choose the Nils Jonsson Highboy Dresser from Sotheby’s Home? What peaked your interest in this specific piece and how do you plan to style it?
I love love the teak and the clean and simple lines to the dresser! I’m planning to use it in my bedroom for storage, and can’t wait to layer some art and objects on and around it!
Feeling inspired? Find your own Mid-Century marvel to take home with you on Sotheby’s Home.