Personal Space: Danielle Erb and Frankie Muriel
Their open, loft-like space and minimalist decor make this Dogtown couple feel at home.
Sometimes its easier to start from scratch and do your own thing than to try and make an existing space fit your needs. Thats what led Frankie Muriel and Danielle Erb to design and build their own home in Dogtown four years ago. Danielle had a previous bad experience with a “fixer-upper” and had no desire to go through a gut rehab again.
The first thing you notice when you enter the home is the sense of space. The first floor is airy and loft-like. That wide-open feeling, attained by dropping most of the interior walls from the original floor plan, is enhanced by the minimal accoutrements. The kitchen features mostly open shelves instead of cabinets, the baseboards
are simple, clean rectangular strips and there are no trim pieces around the ceiling or windows. The walls are white, and the windows have shades but no additional treatments. All this contributes to clean, sharp lines and saved the couple money for other things like furniture and artwork, says Frankie.
But modern and clean, in this case, doesnt mean sterile or stark. The space is warmed up by strategic placement of interesting artwork and antiques. Portraits hang all around, from an oil painting of an anonymous 18th-century dandy (nicknamed “Phillip”) in an elaborate gilt frame to an oversized painting of Mick Jagger by artist Sebastian Kruger. Windows abound. The whole house is suffused with light, and each floor boasts a view of the Arch, thanks to the prime hilltop lot.
The couple likes to haunt local purveyors like Jon Paul in Clayton and TFA in South City, and because both travel so much professionally (Danielle as a model and makeup artist, Frankie as front man for local rockers Dr. Zhivegas), they often come across plum finds on the road. Frankie discovered a genuine Warhol print at an estate sale held in a Vegas hotel, which now hangs proudly in the living room. Danielle found a great, if initially grimy, ornate side table in a barn at a photoshoot she was working on. The pair makes an annual pilgrimage to Paris, and this year Danielle says shes keeping an eye out for interesting interior additions.
While they had a definite plan for the layout of the home, the decor came about organically, Danielle says. They didnt start with a theme or specific idea, but let their individual style take over. Her credo: “Buy what makes you happy.”
Danielle and Frankie
See the original Andy Warhol?
Unique Art: 18th Century Dandy
His nickname is Phillip
Mick Jagger by Sebastian Kruger
Simple and chic lines complete their kitchen
Photo credit: Photography by Jennifer Silverberg