At Home with Eric Grant
Eric Grant refuses to write in third person. He was elated, of course, when Lauren Mitrick Wood told him he would still be included in Olive Well's team home tour series after changing career paths. After all, Eric prides himself in his taste for mid-century modern design, and has worked hard over the last few months to stylize and curate his new apartment. And while he has loved writing the profiles for the team members, local business-owners and Olive Well clients, it felt wrong to write a profile about him in a manner that suggests somebody else crafted it. Eric feels like it’s almost lying to the audience, something those in the real estate profession tend to want to avoid (for legal reasons). No, he simply won’t do it. Eric won’t write an entire profile on himself in third person.
“Doesn’t it seem so self-aggrandizing?” he asked Lauren. “At least if I write in first person I can explain to the audience why it is that this is the only personal profile on the entire site.” Eric always had an ear for dialogue. A precocious child with a propensity for dressing up in suits when going out with family friends at age eight, Eric spent much of his early years listening intently to the manner in which people spoke; the cadence, the rhythm, the preferred words and turns-of-phrase depending on someone’s upbringing. Heart surgery at age five meant Eric couldn’t participate in contact sports, so he devoted himself to writing, often joking that his “love language” is storytelling. At The University of Michigan, Eric earned a Bachelors in Film and Screenwriting, with an honorary degree in Playwriting from the School of Theatre. He moved to Chicago to build a career in theater, and from there was fortunate enough to show off his writing skills while working for Olive Well. Raised on a healthy diet of dad jokes, cast albums, John Waters films, and plenty of dogs, Eric’s style exists in a Twilight Zone between eclectic and classic, campy and sophisticated, thrifty and oh-no-how-will-I-ever-afford-this.
Eric is drawn to the ways in which art and furniture can make people feel. His best design tip is to trust your gut: if something grabs your attention, walk away from it, and if you can’t help but return to it again and again, then it’s the right piece for your home. “Throw out the stuffy design rulebook about the color wheel, it’s nonsense,” he says to himself writing this interview. “I knew a woman who covered her entire house in nothing but purple, then one day decided she wanted bright green. And she rocked it! Simple neutral tones with pops of color are tried and true but never let a style guide make you feel bad. If you’re bold and confident in the choices you make, it will always serve you well, because people love boldness (in a non-threatening context).” To find unique additions, Eric recommends haunting local antique stores such as Edgewater Antique Mall. He holds his antique 1950s desk near and dear, having found it in a vintage store when he first moved. It’s the first desk Eric has ever owned, and it has become a sacred space: he never sits down at the desk unless he’s writing.
Five Quick Questions for
Favorite style? Mid-Century Modern
Favorite local restaurant? Bavette's
Designers whose work
you'd love to own? Charles & Ray Eames
Go-to museum in the city? Art Institute or the American
Artists you can find in your home? Keith Haring & Jonah Strub