There’s something fascinating about peeking into an interior designer’s home. After all, they spend each day surrounded by beautiful things, with their finger on the pulse of the latest decor trends. With that in mind, we jumped at the opportunity to talk to Dallas-based interior designer Erin Sander of Erin Sander Design about her own gorgeous abode in University Park. From a custom-designed coffee nook to a vaulted, red-brick annex that serves as a study, this is one home you’ll want to look to for inspiration!
Located on a quarter of an acre in Dallas city proper, Erin Sander and her family occupy a 5,000-square-foot estate with four bedrooms and five baths. “We built it from the ground up,” Erin explains. “There was another home on the property. In this part of town, older homes with no historical relevance are frequently taken down to host a new house. So we tore the house down, and then I drew the floor and architectural plans for this house.”
Erin designed the home to be casual yet elevated, contemporary yet functional, serene with a subtle edge — hallmarks of her signature style. “Our brand design is ‘relaxed, refined luxury,’ so that was the basis as I was building this new house,” she tells us. “As I was researching different styles, the ‘Belgian farmhouse’ aesthetic really aligned with our brand and my personal aesthetic. So that’s the direction we went.”
The home is awash in natural light with beautiful elements around every corner — understated details that make a grand impact. “As a designer, there are a lot of things that draw my eye on a consistent basis, so I’m constantly getting inspiration from travels, other projects, and things out there in the design world,” says Erin of her inspiration. “There were definitely some architectural features that I wanted to make sure we incorporated, such as the long hallway that terminates in the window, with steps leading up to the second floor. I wanted to have a few moments where there was a beautiful termination, and you can see through the house.”
As you enter Erin’s home, the first room you’ll find is the annex. Formerly her office, the space now serves as the family study. “It’s a vaulted story-and-a-half space,” Erin says of the room. “Initially, before I had our firm in an office space here in Dallas, I officed from that space. It has great storage, vaulted ceilings, beams, and also more privacy being by itself in the eastern corner of the house.”
The kitchen stands out with beamed ceilings, rift-sawn white oak flooring, and pale blue accents. An oven range from French manufacturer Lacanche adds a splash of color in just the right spot. “This is one of the pivotal points that went into the kitchen,” says Erin of the high-end piece. “I wanted to insert a little bit of color, and their offerings are broad but not overly broad. Choosing that blue color for the range set the tone for the other blue accents. They also take about a year to procure, so it’s something we had to decide on very early.”
Fixtures in a hand-hewn brass finish, custom-made by Urban Electric Company, are suspended above an eye-catching island with deep-set planking on its sides. Stools in a simplistic Scandinavian design offer practical, easy-to-maneuver seating, and various decorative bowls offer a lovely focal point and a glimpse of Erin’s passion for ceramics.
“You’ll see a bowl of fruit in the very back,” she offers. “That’s a vintage bowl from my grandmother’s collection, and I use that frequently with styling. It’s one of my favorite pieces.” She also references the bowls in the foreground. “They are by a ceramicist out of California, Sara Kersten,” she relays. “I’ve been collecting her pieces for years.”
The countertops, made of honed marble, were an experiment for Erin. “I frequently have to advise my clients on the materiality of their countertops for their kitchens and baths,” she explains. “I wanted to use the marble so I could see the highs and lows of living with it.” Additionally, though it’s tough to spot, the café curtains are made of hand-blocked fabric by Galbraith & Paul out of Philadelphia.
Boasting vintage chairs and various collected art pieces, the dining room melds an intimate space with cozy-eclectic decor for a contemporary edge. “The chairs are vintage McGuire — I love to use McGuire pieces in our work,” says Erin. “I just love the texture and the warmth that they bring. I had the seats recovered in a Peter Dunham fabric, and the art piece is from an artist named Addie Chapin. It says in Latin, ‘deo gratias.’ The tallies signify counting our blessings.”
An affinity for coffee led to one of the home’s most memorable nooks — the coffee station. With a La Spaziale espresso machine (featuring walnut panels from Clive Coffee out of Portland), custom open shelving, and a beautiful backsplash from Ann Sacks’ Savoy series, the space is a go-to morning staple that’s both charming and pragmatic.
“Our family has a longstanding love for coffee,” Erin tells us, “so detailing out this coffee bar was something my husband and I enjoyed doing together. Besides being aesthetically pretty, it has some great, practical components. The refrigerator drawers on the left house all the things for morning coffee. This area gets a high level of use for us. We get beans from all over the country!”
In the primary bedroom, a fixture from Oly Studio offers a whimsical focal point. “It’s a flock of birds, and it’s such an interesting thing to look up at every evening!” says Erin. Other standout features include vintage cabinets sourced from Juxtaposition Home in California and custom lamps from a maker in Roundtop, TX. Pale pink chairs add tranquil warmth, as does the custom-made quadrille bedding.
In the master bath, custom white oak vanities add a natural element, while hand-cut limestone floors bring in a dose of character. “We laid it in a pattern that I drew,” Erin explains, “and then interspersed this tiny blue celeste marble mosaic. The blue celeste is what’s behind that freestanding tub as well.”
Designed to make use of a variety of materials (one of this year’s prominent design trends), the home’s exterior is flanked by live oaks and potted olive trees. “We were able to have a lot that has a bit more width for this area of town,” Erin tells us, “so I wanted to create something that wasn’t all two-story. I wanted it to be a little bit more approachable. That perspective from the street of having a small courtyard of trees as you pull up was a priority for me.”
A special thanks to Pär Bengtsson for the photography.
For more inspiration from interiors across the South, check out our HOME FEATURES ARCHIVE.