Megan & Her Home
Megan Schlachtenhaufen‘s Wisconsin abode is a modern bohemian lover’s dream. Lush green plants, envy-inducing textiles, colorful artwork and unique wall hangings created by Megan herself accent nearly every room. An unabashed work in progress, Megan and her husband affectionately refer to their home as “the money pit.” Turns out that it has taken quite a lot of devoted effort to transform this delightful fixer upper into what you’ll see today!
Luckily, Megan’s sunny outlook on life helps her see a room or a piece of furniture’s potential rather than its limitations. She’s not afraid to tackle a DIY project (check out her fireplace makeover if you want proof) or make the decision to simply throw a sheepskin blanket over an imperfect chair until she finds the ideal piece, most likely on Craigslist.
Today, Megan welcomes us into her heart-filled home and lets us in on all of her personal styling tips and tricks. Get ready to be inspired!
First off, we can’t get over your amazing last name! Is there a story behind its origins?
Schlachtenhaufen is my maiden name; can you believe I kept it? I love my last name! It’s German and has changed a little over time. It doesn’t translate into anything particular anymore, but don’t tell my dad I said that because he tells everyone it means “great warrior.” The most common line that a Schlachtenhaufen hears is, “I bet it took you a long time to learn how to spell that!” I assure you we all learned to spell our name as quickly as the next kid. We always get a good laugh when we compare comments about our name.
Describe the process of finding your current home. How did you know it was the right place for you?
The market was crazy tough for a buyer when we bought this place. We would look at a house and there would be four cars in the driveway by the time we were done just waiting to see it next. It took some convincing to get me to put an offer on this place because it’s basically a fixer upper without a fixer upper price tag. We did put in an offer though and it fell through at the last minute. We had already sold our house, so we ended up renting a duplex. We looked at a ton of houses that weren’t right for us, each worse than the last. About a month into our duplex life, the owner of this house got back to us and said the other offer had fallen through and we were back in the running for the house. We were ecstatic and realized this house was meant to be ours. We jokingly call it “the money pit” because we have so many big projects ahead of us, but we have a beautiful two-acre lot, and the longer we are here, the more potential we see.
I’m a gardener, so spring is magic to me. Prepping, planting, watching last year’s work come up through the ground—it’s always a magical time of year!
What’s your personal approach to home design?
Baby steps. We don’t have much room in the budget for design, so we save slowly and intentionally for big projects. So far, everything we have done here has been DIY, which is always a money-saver and something we are proud of. We have an eclectic style and live by the rule that if we like something we’ll make it work.
Our taste in décor was so different when we met, but 10 years of sharing spaces has kind of blended our styles pretty well, I think. I usually start with a neutral base like a rug, add in the furniture we already have and throw in some unique lighting. Textiles always make a space for me, especially when I am stuck with furniture we don’t love. A good sheepskin covers an ugly chair, and the same goes for pillows and throws. It’s all about making what you have work until you can afford to replace it with something you love.
What inspired the paint color choice in your master bedroom?
The wall color is Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore. We used it in the dining room of our last house and loved it. We knew we wanted to use it again somewhere in the new house, so we painted our bedroom on a whim. I’m so glad we did; it’s so cozy! The color has so much depth and ranges from a deep gray or dark navy to almost black depending on the weather or time of day. It’s always beautiful and lends itself so well to textiles and pops of color.
Take us through the design process of your fireplace DIY project.
A fireplace was high on our list of requirements in a new house, but this one was too ornate and typical-looking for us. We tore off all the ornamental details and rebuilt the mantle to give it a more modern, streamlined look. We wanted to try a concrete look, so I found a concrete feather finish product. Basically, it’s a concrete powder that you mix with water to a pancake batter consistency and then you paint it on. I think I painted on three coats with a brush and sanded any imperfections I didn’t like. It was a super easy and inexpensive project that made a huge difference in the overall look of our living room. The only problem is that the product is kind of addicting and makes you want to concrete finish everything!
Your textile game is on point! Where do you like to shop?
This is a list that could go on forever! I mostly shop small; I’ve met so many talented makers on Instagram. It feels good to support them and to have unique textiles that everybody and their brother doesn’t have. My go-to shops include Habitation Boheme, Flea Market Fab, Cowboy Kate, The Ivory Gull, The Forest Fern, INDIEbungalow and One Affirmation. Bigger brands include Target (of course), West Elm and Anthropologie.
We jokingly call it “the money pit” because we have so many big projects ahead of us, but we have a beautiful two-acre lot, and the longer we are here, the more potential we see.
Who are some of the designers you admire and who influence your style?
This is another subject I could go on and on about. Here are my current faves:
How do you keep your house plants looking so fresh (and alive!)?
I’ve always had a bit of a green thumb. I love to garden, but living in Wisconsin doesn’t provide a ton of growing time, so I turn to indoor plants. I live down the street from a great greenhouse, so that’s always a huge temptation when I’m bored. I try to research a plant before I buy it to make sure it’s not too picky. The truth is, I water everything but the cacti and succulents once a week on the same day and if a plant doesn’t like my schedule it simply doesn’t make it. I also have a lot of repeat plants that I know will make it on my schedule. I dust the leaves of all my plants once a month or so. I think that makes a big difference in keeping a plant healthy.
Where do you find budget-friendly, good-quality furniture?
I use Craigslist when I am looking for something unique or if we need a cheap but interesting space filler. We also have a lot of great hand-me-down furniture from both sides of our families. Overstock has good stuff sometimes, like our dining room chairs. One Kings Lane is always a good spot to look, and Target has been killing it lately in its home goods line, which is always on trend. Eclectic Goods is a new website that will be launching soon. She has a great Instagram account previewing her eclectic goods to come. I am obsessed with everything she posts.
Tell us about the custom wall hangings you create and sell via @shop.undecorated.home.
It’s just another part of my textile addiction. I created my first wall hanging to fill an empty spot on our wall when I couldn’t afford to buy one. I immediately started getting questions about selling them and I realized that there were a lot people in the same situation as me. I started making more with the intention of keeping them affordable. In the beginning, I sold them on my Instagram stories and eventually I had so many orders I had to create a separate Instagram account to keep up with everything.
I love making them. I’m the kind of person who always has to be doing something so it fills my down time with something I love to do. My favorite thing about making them is seeing where they end up. Sometimes my clients send me pictures of my wall hangings in their space—it’s always a proud moment for me. I’m honored that they would choose to have my work decorate their walls! I do a lot of custom wall hangings, which is fun because I am always making something new that will specially work for someone’s space. Maybe someday I’ll open an Etsy shop or something, but for the time being, I only sell through my Instagram account.
What brings you the most joy as a mama to two girls? The most heartache?
Seeing them grow so close over the years brings me so much joy! My girls are 3 1/2 years apart, but for the most part they get along like best friends. It’s so comforting to know they have each other.
Heartache? Mean girls. My older daughter comes home upset sometimes and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. All we can do is build her up and help her see the good in herself. I want my girls to be brave and strong. I want them to know deep down how wonderful they are, that no one can take away their light and that they can do absolutely anything they put their hearts and minds to!
If you could live in a different time period, which would you choose and why?
My daughter was asking me this same question the other day and I struggled because I’d like to experience every time period! I’m about a quarter Native American—Blackfoot to be exact. I think I’d like to go back to the very beginning of Blackfoot history and meet my ancestors. Spiritually, I feel a connection to them and I think a lot of my nature-loving self comes from that part of me.
I want my girls to be brave and strong. I want them to know deep down how wonderful they are, that no one can take away their light and that they can do absolutely anything they put their hearts and minds to!
What do you love most about spring?
I love everything about spring! The smell of the air after it rains—it’s the best smell on earth. I’m a gardener, so spring is magic to me. Prepping, planting, watching last year’s work come up through the ground—it’s always a magical time of year!
I suppose my very favorite part of spring is the soundtrack that nature provides. This is our second spring in this house. The silence of winter is deafening out here so we are very in tune to the sounds of spring. First come the birds, all kinds. Then the frogs and toads. We have a kind of frog called a spring peeper here. They sound like baby chicks peeping in chorus. There are so many and they fill the air with song all day and night for all of April. Next come the prehistoric sounds of the sandhill crane family that live in a pond nearby. The father is almost as tall as me, so I keep my distance.
Favorite beverage to enjoy after a long day: go!
Red wine in the cold months, and beer on the warm nights. Oh, and I’ll take a mojito any ol’ day!
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I’d probably pick someone cooler than I actually am. Someone who loves music and gardening, someone who knows how to laugh at themselves and isn’t afraid of a good party. How about a sarcastic Drew Barrymore?