Alicia Alferman of Mayfly: Show & Tell Home Tour

Sheri Reed | Apr 20, 2010 Home & Garden

  • Meet Alicia Alferman

    Alicia Alferman

    Hello, Alicia

    Meet Alicia Alferman of the pretty blog Mayfly. Alicia is a full-time wife and mom of two and a part-time muralist and photographer.

    Today, Alicia gives us a Show & Tell Home Tour inside her home in Overland Park, Kansas.

    Come on inside...

  • Alicia's family & home

    entry way

    This coat rack is in our entry way. I'm so happy there aren't any heavy coats on there anymore!

    Alicia, tell us a little about your family and your home.

    My husband Brian and I live in the same neighborhood I grew up in the northern part of Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, with our two children, ages 9 and 5, and our little old dog. We've been slowly remodeling our 1954 home ourselves since we moved in 7 years ago. We live across the street from a park and just around the corner from my parents. It's a terrific place to be.

    Brian is the director of the Habitat ReStore here in town, which I mention because we get so many of our remodeling supplies there. When good things come in, he'll email me photos, even if the item is for a project fairly far in our future. If I approve, he'll buy it right away and we'll save it in our basement until we need it. We jokingly call our home the ReHouse, but the store is a seriously great resource.

  • Decorating style

    living room

    Everything in our home has a story. My mom gave us the old rocker. The drawing over the mantel is by Russell Ferguson. Brian built the little glass top table out of salvaged ReStore materials.

    How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?

    Someone once told me my style is lived-in modern. I kind of like that. I'm usually going for something with a modern twist, but with the accessibility of flea market finds.

    I'm an artist and my husband works for a nonprofit. To some degree our career choices limit our income, but we're not complaining! We love our simple life. Needless to say though, our most important considerations are budget and durability. It is possible to pull together a warm and beautiful home even on a tight budget. It just takes time, some creativity and a little elbow grease. Our home is full of secondhand finds, hand-me-downs, even treasures we've pulled out of trash piles! We've worked hard on our home, and it feels comfortable to us.

    Washability is also key. All curtains must be washable, slipcovers and seat covers must be removable. Even when they try hard not to be, kids are messy little creatures.

  • Built-ins hide kid clutter

    girl  built-in cabinets

    The built-in cabinets in our sun room are full of toys, games and books. A friend found the Eames-esque chair at a garage sale for us. We had it recovered in durable vinyl. I sewed a canvas slip cover for the secondhand couch.

    You have two young children. How does their STUFF influence the look and feel of your home? 

    Oh boy. They have a lot of STUFF! I have always been the kind of person who likes the toys stashed out of sight when they're not in use and at the end of each day. Fortunately we have built-in cabinets in various rooms, and we've assigned space in those for each child's toys. The rest they keep in their bedrooms. I also try really hard to keep their toys well edited. We clean out closets and toy cabinets often, donating the ones they've gotten tired of or outgrown. Less clutter in the house means less clutter in the mind.
  • Girl's room

    shelf girls room

    A little shelf in my daughters room. The bird painting is by me.

    I do try to let the kids express themselves in their own rooms. My daughter is a girly girl who thinks the pinker and brighter the better. She'd rather keep everything and sprinkle it with glitter.

  • Boy's room

    boys room teepee

    The tee pee in my son's room was his Mommy-made Christmas gift last year.

    My son, on the other hand, is more of a minimalist. He's happy to get rid of something as soon as he's done with it, and he likes neutral calm colors. He does have a few collections he likes to display.

  • DIY project: faux wainscoting

    feather collection

    The faux wainscoting in my son's new room and his feather collection on display on top of the dresser I used when I was little.

    Tell us about a DIY project you have taken on recently and love.

    We recently had two dormers added to the second story of our house to bring some much needed curb appeal. We decided to finish the inside on our own to save money. My sweet husband has been toiling away in his free time to get them finished.

    One of the dormers is in our son's room, and we had to do a little remodeling to make it work. To add interest to an otherwise plain room, we added little strips of trim to the walls to create a sort of Cape Cod wainscoting. We then painted it all the wall color. It works really well in there, and he is loving his more grown-up room.

  • Favorite family space

    sun room

    We spend a lot of family time in this sun room. The Danish coffee table came from my parents.

    In which room in your home does your family congregate most often?

    Our sun room for sure. It's right off of our dining room and has windows on the south and west sides. The French door opens to our back patio. It's the room in which we read, watch television, relax and play games. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, it's a great place to curl up in the sun. In the summer, our big trees provide shade and the sun is higher in the sky and doesn't shine directly in much, so it stays pleasant.

  • Back patio love

    back patio table

    My mom made us our big patio table out of the lumber from the loft bed I used in college. The retro fireplace is one of our favorite finds ever. The play set was in the "free section" of the classified ads.

    A close second favorite spot, especially this time of year, is our back patio. We have lots of seating (a little iron couch- a trash pile find, an old glider from my mom and dad, and several old vintage chairs.) We eat out there almost every day in the Spring and Summer. The kids play soccer in the yard or on their play set while we relax and read or grill dinner. We build fires in our retro fireplace turned chiminea. We entertain friends while the kids run wild. We love the patio.
  • Buying second-hand

    patio furniture

    Every piece of furniture in this photo was found on big item trash pickup day! I altered some Target clearance cushions to fit the little couch.

    Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?

    Thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and big item trash pickup day! Secondhand items not only save money, they are good for the environment. With patience and a keen eye, I am almost always able to find exactly what I'm looking for. And if it's not quite perfect, I'll fix it, paint it, or slip cover it.

  • A room of one's own

    work table

    What is on my studio work table right now: jeans to embellish for my daughter (not pretty enough, mommy!), a little painting by my son to varnish.

    You are an artist/muralist and a photographer. Do you have a room or space of your own? 

    I do! We are lucky enough to have an extra bedroom that I use as my studio and office. There's plenty of room to spread out and work, my work table and sewing machine are there, and my computer is on my desk for photo editing and a little web design work I do.

  • Everyday ritual: evening meals

    breakfast room

    We eat most of our meals in the breakfast room. I still plan to paint the miss-matched chairs. So many projects, so little time.

    What is your most important everyday ritual at home?

    We sit down and eat together every evening. Some nights are busy with soccer or baseball practices, but we always manage to squeeze in time together at the table. I cook from scratch nearly all of the time, so I spend a lot of time in our kitchen. I like to make meal times special for my family. Although it can often be frustrating to cook for an unappreciative audience, and of course not every meal is perfect, I think it is important. I hope they'll look back and remember with pleasure, and carry on the tradition with their own families. It worked for me!

  • Chores

    kitchen mom

    My daughter sets her little table in the breakfast room as I rinse dishes in our long galley kitchen. Clean floors though!

    What household chore do you hate? Any household chore you love?

    Laundry. How I hate laundry. I often let it get out of control and then it takes days of constant loads to catch back up. I do enjoy the summer when I can dry some of the laundry on the line. At least that makes it a little more enjoyable. I wouldn't say that I love it, but I'm a little obsessive about sweeping and vacuuming. It's a pet peeve of mine to feel anything crunch under my feet. Our home may not not always be tidy, but our floors are usually clean.

  • Indulgence: good food


    Cutting up veggies for a picnic. We painted our kitchen cabinets olive green. It was an unusual choice, but we still love them.

    In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?

    Hmmm... I'd have to say food. We are strong believers in high-quality, unprocessed food. We buy local and organic whenever we can, which reminds me -- our farmer's market opens this weekend. Hooray!

  • Alica's favorite stores

    jars fruit

    My thrifting weaknesses: jars with cork lids, baskets, and vintage linens.

    What are your favorite stores to shop for home?

    Thrift stores, garage, and estate sales are definitely my favorite way to find home goods, and I frequent them. It makes me feel good to buy second-hand. It even makes me happy knowing something has a past. I try to imagine the folks who sat at our garage sale dining set eating dinner and doing homework, the child who secretly wrote her name on the under side.

    I like Anthropologie and Toast for inspiration, but sadly I never buy anything. I visit TJ Maxx and Marshalls for clearance household items once in awhile. IKEA is great; we always load up when we visit Brian's sister in Dallas.

  • Alicia's inspiration favorites

    dining room

    Setting the dining table for breakfast Easter morning. We bought the table and six chairs for $20 at a garage sale the weekend before we closed on our first little house.

    What Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?

    I love My Scandanavian Retreat and Plastolux simply for the eye candy. Of course, I look at Design Sponge and Desire to Inspire occasionally, but I find I have to take them in small doses or I feel a little overwhelmed. I'm actually much more of a browse-the-books-at-the-library kind of gal.


    You may take a peek at Alicia Alferman's wonderful murals and enjoy her photos and  snippets of her daily life on her blog Mayfly. You may also see more Show & Tell Home Tours.

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