I visited some old friends yesterday. Tony and Avis Erickson have spent years crafting their home. I went to high school with this couple and have maintained sporadic contact with them over the years. They have worked as teachers and landscape gardeners and in nursing homes, so they have had a limited income with which to operate.. They have substituted enormous artistic creativity for money and put together a truly remarkable series of rooms. Let me give you a tour.
The flash on my camera over illuminated many of these shots. Here is what the place looks like below in the subdued lighting they use. The materials came from big box home stores and architectural salvage. Ordinary off the rack tile and millwork are used in unusual ways to give the look of period luxury.
They bought a strange house that was two prefab units like house trailers with a frame structure bridging the space between the two. The room you see here is a sunken living room with 14 foot high ceilings. They have worked for years wallpapering and carpentering to create a stylish Victorian fantasy that looks like it was lifted from Dickens. They say it is a work in progress and have dozens of separate projects going at once. They know it will never be finished.
Here is a room off to one side of their kitchen. Notice the arches on the doorways and cabinets. A large stained glass window hangs above the entrance.
Above and below are chandeliers they have fashioned from cast off strips of brass, toilet chain and prisms scrounged from discount lumber yards. Every bit of the house is like this. They told me that creating these chandeliers was one of the most fun things they have ever done together.
Here is a cabinet in the bathroom with old silverware bent to form pulls for the doors.
Below is a shelf in their bathroom with bracketed shelves.
Below is a crib Avis constructed, with its gate closed .
Here is the same crib with its gate opened showing it's elegant interior.
I am so enchanted with this home that I come to see it nearly every time I am in Minnesota. My photos really don't describe the level of detail and textures that make this house a work of art.