It’s minimalist- prairie for an antiques dealer who prefers to keep things simple in her California home.
“” I’M VERY DRAWN TO WHITES, STONES AND GRAYS,
color AND FROM THERE, I ADD A LITTLE WITH ART, PILLOWS AND SMALL FURNISHINGS.
Sandra Linderman loves nothing more than to find old furniture and restore it to its original glory. The problem is deciding what to keep for
herself, what to swap with friends and what to sell as a dealer.
Because Sandra favors a sparse look, she is happily faced with
these decisions on a regular basis. In the lovely Thousand
Oaks, California, home she shares with her husband, Jeff,
and their grown children, Jeff, Sara Beth and Emily, cherished
items that have made the cut are exhibited in a most thoughtful
and uncluttered fashion.
In keeping with Sandra’s orderly and open aesthetic,
creating more space was key when Jeff, a builder, took on the
task of remodeling much of the house that the couple has lived
in for nearly 30 years. Updates to the 1966-built home included
expanding the master bedroom and garage and making the
“I only buy things that I love and would want in my home,” Sandra says. Favorite sources for new and old things include The Mart Collective in Santa
Monica (where she shares a booth), antiques shops and flea markets, Anthropologie,
and of course, the homes of her ever-trading friends.
kitchen and dining room into one spacious area—perfect for
cooking together, entertaining and even impromptu dance
parties. White walls, strategically placed mirrors and undressed
windows keep large rooms sunny and filled with dappled
views of the outdoors.
In room after room, Sandra’s trademark style of pale
neutrals and interesting textures abounds, always punctuated
with accents in dusty hues. Not quite able to define her style,
Sandra offers terms like “eclectic,” “Americana,” “French” and
“Swedish.” “I like to begin with a light, simple background,”
she says. “From there, I can always add color with pillows,
rugs, plants and our artwork.”
Art has long played an important role in Sandra’s life. “My
mother was always drawing and painting,” she explains.
“When I was young, we would be going somewhere, and my
mom would say,
‘Stop the car! I have to sketch that barn!’
And a month later, that line drawing would become a painting
hanging in our living room.”
Today, that inherited reverence for beauty is evident at every
turn. Like her mother, Sandra has a sense of urgency when she
sees something she admires. “Only buy things that really speak
to you and make you happy… and part with the rest!”
OPPOSITE: A simple pitcher of fresh blooms heralds Sandra Linderman’s pure style. THIS
PAGE: Objects of varying heights, including the tall Swedish Mora clock, keep the lofty living room interesting. The bench adds timeworn character; Sandra had always regretted selling it and was delighted when she spied it years later at an antiques show.
A prized antique
Louis Philippe mirror acts as a window, drawing light and movement above the fireplace
that Sandra’s husband, Jeff, built.
OPPOSITE: “Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to keep and what to sell,” Sandra says. “But I do part with a lot of things that I would like to keep because I prefer a simple look.” THIS PAGE, LEFT: Items sure to catch Sandra’s eye include pieces made of old raw wood, worn paint and linen. BELOW: Storied possessions such as artwork, old books and horse figures are an ongoing passion, as are plants, flowers and candles.
The Lindermans remodeled the kitchen and expanded it to 680 square feet to accommodate their enjoyment of cooking together. With ample storage and a large island, the couple can now work side by side. Decor inspiration stemmed from the movie
Something’s Gotta Give, but Sandra’s downto-earth imprint makes it more Homestead than Hamptons. Effective touches such as mismatched seating, galvanized buckets, painted firkins and vintage warehouse lighting serve up utilitarian style. A wellplaced peg rack over a small bench keeps denim jackets and handy sacks at the ready.
ABOVE AND RIGHT: Eye-catching vintage signage visually connects the large kitchen and dining areas while lending a culinary feel with a fresh graphic punch. A stately blue hutch—a traded piece— currently provides a protected showcase for some of Sandra’s coveted linens and whimsical keepsakes. “My mother was an artist, and she loved scouring antique stores looking for hidden treasures. Some of the things I collect today are things my mother had in our house when I was young,” Sandra says. Tall topiaries, stacks of old books, soft pillows, and a cascading throw convey warmth. BELOW: A simple meal of crusty bread, strawberries and preserves is even tastier when plated atop a French grain-sack runner.
Topiaries flank the large windows in the sun-filled dining area; vintage linens are used and enjoyed daily.
Upon entering the Lindermans’ home, guests are treated to sunny views of the family-style kitchen just ahead and up a few steps. Antique collectibles like a Steiff pull-toy cat, chalkware dove and horse statue imbue lighthearted personality into Sandra’s decor mix. “Almost everything in our home is vintage,” she says. A gently worn cabinet spotted by a friend at Round Top in Texas provides plenty of storage and is a pretty perch for jugs of just-picked posies. A cornflower-blue bandanna adds rural appeal. Most walls are painted white or Stone by Ralph Lauren.
The blue-and-gold Federal-style mirror perched on the wellworn cabinet brings light and movement to the long entryway. Large jugs add extra shimmer.
“My daughter Emily and I paint together often in our studio,” Sandra says. “It’s our sacred space.” Two sawhorses and a plank of wood are unified by a whitewash of paint to form a no-frill work surface.
TOP ROW: A collection of drawings and paintings by Sandra’s mom are lovingly on display. “I have all of my mother’s old paintbrushes,” says Sandra, who also collects vintage paint palettes. Sky-blue cubbies hold tubes of pigment and other essentials. Bouquets of brushes fill vessels throughout the studio. BOTTOM ROW: An oversize frame makes a striking inspiration board. Vintage linens add subtle design, while the chandelier provides necessary lighting as well as romantic allure. The lighthouse and boat paintings were done by Sandra.
“” Old linen
DRIVES ME CRAZY! I WANT TO BUY SOME WHENEVER I SEE IT
flea market. AT A SHOW OR I PRETTY
MUCH COVER EVERYTHING WITH IT!
ABOVE: The master bedroom is a perfect example of Sandra’s streamlined take on prairie style, where comfort, simplicity and restraint rule the day. Like one of her blank canvases, the room is a study in oyster whites and stone grays, with gentle strokes of her favored chalky blues adding interest and allure. As with much of the home, wall decor is limited to bold architectural pieces and the beauty of the hardwood floor is permitted to take center stage. No-nonsense furnishings in the bedroom are mismatched but united by their clean lines, worn finishes and abundance of storage. “I love worn, chipped pieces; old cast-iron urns; lots of plants; coral; seashells; and books— lots of books— stacked everywhere!” Sandra says. Old grain sacks and linens outfit the bed and tufted bench in a clever mix of modest meets sophistication. As Sandra knows, if a piece of furniture has good bones but the upholstery is worn, having it re- covered will do the trick. An assemblage of soft pillows in a variety of cases serves as headboard. A handcarved piece displayed high over the bed works as a focal point and echoes the curves of the nearby topiary, candlestick and lamp. TOP RIGHT: Bedside vignettes are studies in finishes and textures, with items like the silver
loving cup filled with pale pink tulips and a bust that once belonged to Sandra’s mother perched on a short stack of books. BOTTOM
RIGHT: An apothecary offers ample storage as well as display space. “I love pieces with lots of drawers,” Sandra says. Blinds are the perfect compromise for keeping windows accessible yet private. A French champagne basket once used for picking grapes keeps extra blankets within reach.