Morgan Satterfield has an impeccable eye for style, a sense of humor and is able to capture her evolving vision of her home in beautiful photos. On her blog The Brick House Morgan shares her experiences with thrifting, home improvement, DIY furniture restoration and the ever-evolving design — both interior and exterior — of her Hemet, California home. Her DIY tutorials are a must-see.
TheBrickHouse is definitely a Home Improvement/DIY blog — it seems that you are constantly in the middle of projects. How do you stay inspired?
I go through phases of being really inspired and phases of being incredibly frustrated. The non-existent budget and our admitted skill limitations force us to constantly come up with creative solutions or learn how to do things ourselves, which can be either a super gratifying or total soul-crushing experience. There’s definitely a finish line, but progress feels like a slow struggle and sometimes I have to remind myself of how much we’ve already accomplished. Reading other renovations blogs and seeing how people work through their problems with clever and great looking solutions is incredibly helpful and keeps me motivated.
How would you describe the The Brick House style?
Mid century Californian modernism undoubtedly creeps in because of our location and our homes architecture and I’m a giant fan of Scandinavian, French and Japanese design. I just love the solid construction and character of vintage pieces from that period. I guess the style has evolved into something a little sparse and neutral with an emphasis on warm natural textures and materials. There’s probably a touch of strange dark humor when it comes to my taste in art and accessories. Hopefully it’s frugal without looking like it.
What home improvement project has had the most impact on your life?
Probably the wooden slat screen we built on the front of the house. It really helped cool down the interior and gave the house a bit more architectural interest and presence. I think it sort of made me take every other project more seriously.
How has blogging impacted your life? What opportunities stemmed from your online life?
Blogging has introduced me to unbelievably talented folks and like-minded people from all over the place that I couldn’t have met otherwise. Countless opportunities have come out of doing the blog, I get to design amazing interiors with clients, work as a stylist and set decorator and have started offering vintage pieces through my shop.
Surprising Post: Could you give an example of a Brick House post that surprised you — either by being crazy-popular, crazy polarizing or surprisingly lame?
I was really surprised by how people responded to the plumbing pipe shelving unit. It’s still the one DIY that fills up my email with reader questions and pictures and even ended up on HGTV. I’d have never guessed that it would be such a hit or that something I built and had in my house could end up on a network that I watched obsessively.
One of the exciting things about blogging is getting reader feedback in the form of comments and email — do you have a favorite example of some of the feedback you receive?
I appreciate it when people take the time to email in to give feedback or send tips. I know it takes a real effort when folks are so busy and I’m always surprised by how genuinely nice and generous people are. I think my favorite stuff is actually when people get it really wrong, like I’ve been contacted about my house keeping services or I’ve been proposed to by folks thinking I was an older man. In fact, I get the older man thing pretty frequently (I’m actually in my twenties and a lady).
What are your favorite sources of inspiration? Blogs, books, artists, etc.?
My background is in fine art and curation and I’m always inspired by artists like Andrea Zittel, David Shrigley, Guy de Cointet, Peter Doig, Raymond Pettibon, Neo Rauch, Jason Rhodes, Luc Tuymans, Lawrence Weiner, Donald Judd, Martin Kippenberger, Elad Lassry, Mark Flood and hundreds more. I read countless blogs and research tons of designers but when I’m feeling stuck I get tons of inspiration from visiting astonishing vintage shops like Reform Gallery, Lawson-Fenning, Galerie Sommerlath, Amsterdam Modern, Hedge, Orange and Studio 111. Seeing rare and unusual design in person and being able to touch and see how things are built gets me super motivated.
Dream Project: What project have you wanted to do but continue to put off?
The landscaping. It’s a complete weedy wreck and I hate plants and gardening and all the maintenance that goes with it. I really despise trying to keep plants alive and have terrible track record succeeding in doing so. Also, getting soil all over me and the bugs and mess makes me crazy. Landscaping is also very expensive and involves a bunch of manual labor and steps that ends with me killing a bunch of plants. I dream about doing, have it all designed and budgeted out, but keep putting it off each year.
You can see updates from Morgan on The Brick House.
Images: Morgan Satterfield