At first glance, this bright and happy home looks like it belongs to a veteran interior designer with years of professional experience. Think again! It, in fact, belongs to Erin Wheeler of Sunny Circle Studio, a graphic designer turned interior design fanatic. Erin is completely self-taught and loves to experiment, dedicating nights and weekends to creating these picture-perfect spaces. Erin is hard to pin down in terms of her design aesthetic and vision, and that might just be part of her secret. She describes herself as an equal mix of traditional, happy, Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian, vintage, eclectic and coastal. The end result of this mash-up of styles is something truly unique and refreshing.
When she and her husband bought their home in Raleigh, North Carolina four years ago, it was a late 1980s six-bedroom—a big adjustment coming from a small craftsman home with heaps of character. What this home lacked in charming details, it made up for in size and potential. She acknowledges that the home bears some less-than-ideal relics from the era, but recognizes it as a well-built, sturdy home that can hold a growing family, something she is ultimately very grateful for. Erin’s been able to successfully transform the home into an ever-changing symbol of her newly discovered passion for design and decorating. She invites readers to partake in her journey, continually sharing her spaces on her blog and on Instagram, where she has a loyal following.
As a busy mom of two working out of her home office during the week, Erin mostly spends her “free” time in the evening crafting up her latest interior design challenge. She strives to create spaces within her home that feel lived-in and have plenty of soul. She mixes old with new, doesn’t shy away from bold accents, and follows a cohesive color palette that makes the space feel relaxing and cozy. That natural light flooding every inch of her home doesn’t hurt either! Take a tour of the her home below.
“Hi, I’m Erin. I’m a former graphic designer turned stylist, interior enthusiast and style blogger. I grew up all over (was an army brat) and have always loved design from a young age.
“We live in a late 80’s/early 90’s home on a cul-de-sac (hence the sunny circle part…) and we are constantly fixing/updating/styling as we go. I kinda throw the rules out the window (for the most part) and style and design my home with a bright and happy aesthetic. I love modern design, but I’m also drawn to traditional, coastal, Scandinavian, boho and a bit of modern farmhouse. In general, I am very much inspired by old things from the 1920’s-1960’s and I love mixing the old with the new in my home.”
Erin’s overall goal when first walking into this blank slate was to “create a happy, modern and open feeling home that is also very functional and practical for life with young kids and animals.”
She explains that she remains acutely aware of the challenges of adding charm and style to an 80s/90s home because, she says, “who loves 80s home design?”
Her ongoing goal is for things to feel not-too perfect, with plenty of soul and character. “Luckily, the home was built very well and has some charming aspects that I try and highlight (high ceilings, lots of windows and nice details).”
When asked what her favorite aspect of the home is, Erin says it’s family. “It feels comfortable and happy.”