At Home: Karissa Eifert
THE LIVING ROOM
As we first entered Eifert’s home, she informed us she rents.
“I wasn’t sure how long I would be here, so I haven’t gotten too crazy with my home style quite yet,” she said.
The living room is monochromatic with shades of grey in the furniture, walls, and even the throw blanket strewn about the couch.
Accents of it come through in the framed artwork and couch pillows, which also showcase her love for pops of color. The star of the that particular room? Yellow.
“I think it’s important to have neutrals for your larger pieces, like a solid navy, black, or grey, and then you can bring in your color and interest in other areas,” explained Eifert. “Sometimes, I think people get nervous about how to do that.”
One of the prominent pieces of interest (that also brings in the yellow) is a fashion illustration by Eduard Erlikh hanging in the corner.
“I love fashion illustration. I have a bunch of pieces,” she said.
She has two hanging at the moment, but has more tucked away. One was from her parents for Christmas 10 years ago.
“It’s a reproduction of a Vogue print ad,” she said.
Eifert chatted about “fan-girling” over that particular artist, Jessica Durrant, via Instagram (jessillustrator).
She bought another piece from Durrant’s Etsy account, which is a watercolor of the state of South Dakota. Durrant painted a state a day for six months and put the prints up for sale. Eifert was ecstatic she nabbed one.
“I love this, because I think it really does look like the South Dakota sky at night,” said Eifert.
The rest of the front room showcases her love for “mismatching” different styles and furniture. One of the standout pieces is a reupholstered chair with patterned white and pink cushions, and the frame of it painted a bright teal.
“I’m constantly trying to give everything a face lift, so you can keep it around longer,” she said.
In regards to all-around style?
“I would say mine is pretty eclectic. Professionally I lean more modern, but because of the style of the home and how it caters to it, I mix modern with lace and girly – it’s a conglomeration of both.”
Taking advantage of all of her windows, Eifert has many house plants “that grow like crazy.”
“I try to journal. I love writing and wanted to be a writer, but I hate journaling. You’re supposed to journal for 20 minutes every day.”
To the left is a small and narrow kitchen, which Eifert says includes the original flooring and cabinets.
“Since the kitchen is original, you’ll notice quirky things, like some of the cabinets don’t shut all of the way,” she laughed.
The white cabinets and walls help bring in natural light from all of the windows
“There are a ton of windows,” said Eifert. “Sometimes you’ll get home at night and you’ll almost feel like a fish bowl until you get everything closed up.”
While the countertop space is sparse, Eifert loves to cook and have people over. Just down the narrow kitchen is a nook for the dining room table.
“[The nook] is cute to look at, but it’s really small, so when you get people in there you have to commit that you don’t move until you’re done eating,” she said.
It’s in the kitchen that you notice little tchotchkes sprinkled throughout the home, like little Buddhas that appear on the counter, shelves, and other locations.
“I love ‘Laughing Buddhas,’ so they’re everywhere,” she said, pointing out a Buddha butter dish. “I get them from a little bit of everywhere. Some of them are from Japan; I went to Japan when I was 14. That’s where it started.”
One area of the kitchen is special to Eifert and her heritage. A Dala Horse serving dish leans against the backsplash that she found at a Scandinavian store in Bismarck, N.D.
“I’m Swedish and Norwegian, so I really like that stuff. My great-grandparents used to do rosemåling and paint Dala Horses,” she said.
Walking over, she shows us Danish pottery she also purchased from the store. Some belonged to her mother, who passed away in 2007.
“My mom and I were collecting sets together, so these blue pieces were the start of her set, and the ones with pink flowers are mine,” she explained.
“I love this bed frame so much, I would never get rid of it. It’s from Kara White. When you get something from another designer, usually it’s a pretty cool hand-me-down.”
“This is where I do all of my designing. It spills out into other areas of the house, too,” she explained as we entered her home office.
A dog bed sits right next to the desk for Hooper. Her companion has a dog bed in each room for lounging.
“I call him my office assistant,” she smiled.
While there are cork boards filled with pinned inspiration, it’s hard to ignore the massive library of sample books.
“This is all fabric. I’ve got wall covering books, too, and carpet,” she said. “We’re so far removed from places [in South Dakota] that I have to keep a decent sized library here.”
One is her particular favorite: “Kate Spade is my jam.”
Her desk has even more trinkets, like a French Bulldog tape dispenser from her sister.
“I just have things around my house that make me happy,” she said. “There’s no other rhyme or reason for it.”
Next to a framed Etsy artwork is a print Eifert got from an American Advertising Federation (AAF)-Black Hills event.
“Our chapter had Aaron Draplin come speak a couple of years ago, and he created this before he came,” she said. “He creates them for each state. You can order them on his website.”
With all of the materials Eifert needs for her career, we asked how she stays so organized.
“I feel like I’m always cleaning up and moving things around and tearing down,” she said. “Once it starts to feel full and crowded in here, I donate whichever [sample book] I haven’t looked at in a while.”
Along with keeping organized, Eifert has had to learn to effectively work from home. To help focus, she said, “All of the cheesy advice is true.”
“You need to get up and get dressed and put on your grown-up clothes. Even days when I don’t have meetings I get ready. Otherwise it will be 11 a.m. and I’ll still be in yoga pants,” she said. “I think the hardest part is turning it off at the end of the day. It’s hard to not work on things at night.”
While getting into a routine is good, she said it’s also important to remember to leave the house.
“I was just joking with my friends the other day that I became an accidental hermit, because I work here all day and don’t see many people except my clients.”
When it comes down to Eifert’s home style, she said she is a prime example of how there is no hard rule on how to design your home.
“That’s what I like to tell people. I don’t think you need to hone in on one style,” she said. “If you get things you genuinely love, it all ends up working together. You don’t need to worry about only being traditional, only mid-century modern… then you end up looking like a sale for a furniture store. My style changes all of the time.”
Eifert also has a podcast, The Lavish Podcast, with designer Kara White.
For more information on Epiphanie Interiors, visit epiphanieinteriors.com.