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light. “I love natural light, and I love bright
spaces,” Sterling says.
On any given day her kids may curl up
with a book on the window seat or sprawl
out for a nap. “This is my favorite space in
the house,” says Sterling.
Adjacent to the eat-in area, “a West
Coast feel on the East Coast” predominates, with double doors that open to a
large ipe deck. Designed without railings,
the deck a;ords an unobstructed view of
the verdant lawn.
In the designer’s compact home o;ce
just o; the kitchen, a skylight casts a sunbeam onto Sterling’s white desk. “Being
able to have a home o;ce is a bit of a privilege,” she says, noting family life is important to her and working from home gives
her more time with her children.
The dining room is furnished with black
Danko chairs cra;ed from recycled seat
belts paired with a bench and table stained
charcoal brown from West Elm. Above an
oak sideboard, Sterling hung African juju
hats — white, feathery headdresses she
bought during a trip to South Africa and
stu;ed in her suitcases to bring home.
On another wall, a tribute to American culture complements the South African souvenirs. A print from Andy Warhol’s
Campbell’s Soup Can series, signed by the
artist, brings a bold pop of red to the space.
A small powder room where the din-
Room to Experiment
ing room meets the kitchen is covered in
Botswana Trees, a wallpaper designed
by fellow South Africa native Mally Skok
of Mally Skok Design in Lincoln, Mas-
sachusetts, that mimics faraway, silhou-
etted trees. Above the sink is a trough bowl
repurposed into a bathroom mirror. When
Sterling is in the kitchen, she says, “I leave
this door open and I can just see the trees
in the distance.”
Upstairs are the master suite, the
children’s bedrooms and bathroom, and a
“It’s fun — it’s just a nice way to test things
out,” Sterling says of designing in her own
home. The designer uses her house as a place
to experiment. Once she has lived with a
piece or product, she says, she can give more
insight to clients. For example, Sterling can
now recommend something similar to her
long window bench and cushion, with
drawers underneath to hide clutter, because
she knows how it functions in everyday life.