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Home Design Goals: A Space for Music

American Idol alum Erika Van Pelt embraces minimalism in her distraction-free music and rehearsal room

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Long before the nation was charmed by her singing prowess, South County was well aware of the many talents of Erika Van Pelt. Although being a top 10 finalist on season 11 of American Idol shot her to reality TV superstardom, the Rhode Island native had already established a full-service mobile DJ company, VP Entertainment, in between hitting the high notes with successful bands throughout the region.

Today, with a thriving solo career, Erika undoubtedly needed a space in her home dedicated to creating and recording music. “The room contains all of the essentials including computers, sound equipment, instruments – and my yoga mat. It’s really all I need,” says Erika. The unfussy approach keeps the singer focused. “This is a practical space for doing administrative work, playing music, working out at home etc., so we try to keep it as uncluttered and functional as possible,” she says. “I think it reflects the duality of being a creative person but also a bit of a minimalist.”

Erika and her partner wanted the space to be cool while simultaneously serving a productive purpose. “I have to be careful about having too many distractions in the room, otherwise I would never get anything done!” she explains. But there is one piece in the room that gives away Erika’s cool, kid-at-heart persona: a Batman mirror. “Most people that know me understand that I’m a pretty serious Batman geek,” she laughs. “While I was on American Idol, I ended up with a collection of about 10 pairs of custom-made Chuck Taylors with art that was Batman themed or inspired. I’ve since donated all of them, but they were a lot of fun!”

Erika keeps the simple, sun-drenched space tidy and is mindful of its purpose. “I find that my brain works to its fullest potential when the room is clean and laid out to be a good working space,” she says. “ When you’re in there, it’s business time. We are there to learn, to practice, to better ourselves.”