Five Favorite Things: Erin Stanley
All Photos by Kathy Tran
Favorite Five is a new series where we’ll go into the homes of some of Dallas’ coolest kids and document their five favorite things. Know someone worthy of a nom? Type it in the comments below.
Erin Stanley is adorable and so is everything about her — her house, her dog, her husband and all of her things. And all of those things, minus the husband and the dog, are vintage and thrifted — furniture, art, sculptures, ceramic figures, jewelry and clothing. All clothing? Yes. Underwear? No (and that’s a hard “no” on underwear), but everything else in her super cute, lemon-yellow cottage came from local thrift stores, five-and-dimes, flea markets, eBay and the preferred online resource for people with brains, etsy. Stanley discount shops hard, son. She used to live within walking distance of the Goodwill on Greenville and she stopped by every single day. If you’re a millennial, that’s called dedication. If you’re a baby boomer, that’s called gumption. Not really, but that’s a fun word. At any rate, Stanley loves to dig. In the toy section on one of those daily trips she found a set of mounted stuffed animal heads from Russia made with real fur. And for clarity, they were the heads of stuffed animals and not real animals that happened to be stuffed, because if that were the case, the real fur bit would be way less impressive.
Oddly enough, Stanley didn’t get into the secondhand scene until after college, and considering the impressive collection she has amassed, that makes her a freaking savant of frugality. If you have a house to decorate, but aren’t big on breaking the bank, keep reading and you just might steal some gently used tricks.
Brass Ram Sculpture
This mid-century beast was made in India. It’s either solid brass or, most likely, brass-plated. Stanley can’t say for sure, but it’s heavy as hell plus it has sharp points, so it’s perfect for a toddler home. JK. Stanley said it’s most def NOT for a toddler home, which is cool because her house has two adults and a dog named Pistol that is completely capable of avoiding sharp objects.
On her hunts, Stanley always looks for something odd or unusual, a real conversation piece that typically starts with “What the eff?” This German vase with a centaur pulling a well-to-do lady in a carriage pretty much checked all the boxes. Stanley suspects it’s from the 1940s or 1950s and was also drawn to it for the Eastern European design, color and patterns.
Stanley loves these little guys. She calls them her tiny treasures and loves their tiny faces and eyelashes. Not to mention their stereotypical takes on the western world. (They’re from Japan.) They’re almost all male, and even though quite a few are Christmas themed, they stay out year round because they’re so freaking cute. Sorry not sorry, y’all. Stanley keeps her collection in a shelved mirror that she painted black because she’s both thrifty and crafty. A total two-fer.
Years ago, Stanley found her first enamel bracelet at Goodwill and became obsessed. It wasn’t stamped and she had no idea where it was from, but a friend told her it looked like it was enamel, which led to a Google search that said they were made in Austria. With that bit of knowledge, Stanley has been able to build a collection of over 20 bracelets. You can find them on eBay and etsy and the most notable designer is Michaela Frey.
This hand-carved bear is from a secondhand store by way of Hokkaido, Japan. It very clearly says “Bobby Dickey,” and when Stanley’s husband, Blake McWhorter of These Machines Are Winning, saw it, he knew she’d flip and brought it home immediately. As Stanley was going through her home and pointing out her favorite things, she noticed a familiar pattern. “For a couple of vegans, we really seem to like predatory animals.”
Tips from E to You
The weekend, before we stopped by, Stanley and McWhorter put up a collage of pictures above their sofa. “It was a nightmare and I highly, highly recommend tracing every picture on butcher paper, cutting it out and pinning it up for a dry run. Otherwise you’ll wind up with a wall full of mistakes.” Do it, ya dinks. No one likes a hole-filled wall. Except people at truck stops. HEY OH. Working blue this week I guess.
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