I need to start this by saying that I am so honored and excited to be the very first Realtor blog contributor for the new Danberry Design House! Maybe you are already thinking, “Why should I listen to this girl tell me what to do with my own home…??” Fair enough. I get it. Listen, just like Jon Snow, there are a lot of things I don’t know.
I can’t sing.
I don’t know the basic rules of football, (I have three brothers…I’m not proud).
I have no sense of direction or geographical whits about me.
Now that I have established a fair amount of pity from you, we can begin. I’m not good at everything…but style? Style I KNOW. I have always had an innate sense on how to put things together. For example, I will post a pic of my precious daughter playing with play doh on facebook, and I will get one comment on how adorable she is and 10 about my home in the background.
Sorry baby girl.
Here are a few tips for creating style magic in your own home.
Be Fearless in the Art of Mismatch
I am not a matchy-matchy person. I regularly wear black with navy without a second thought. I love to put things together that compliment but are not a perfect match. My favorite place to do this is on a sofa. You know those pillows that came with your sofa? There are always four. Maybe two different patterns, but all the same shape, size, and fabric? Throw those puppies away. Better yet, burn them so you won’t be tempted to chicken out and dig them out from the bottom of a closet. A couch is such a great blank canvas. I love to mix not only colors and patterns, but textures, and shapes as well. They do not have to match; they just need to pull from somewhere. Maybe two pillows match your rug, and one matches a piece of art you have on the wall. It is such an inexpensive way to switch up the feel of a room with the seasons. Myself, I have my eyes on a few velvet and faux fur pillows for when the weather turns chillier.
Don’t Buy the Set
You know when you walk into a furniture store, and they have the little vignettes set up? A sofa, a loveseat, 2 matching arm chairs, and a matching coffee table and end tables?? Yeah…don’t do that. So boring! Mix it up! Buy accent chairs that compliment your décor but are not part of the set of the same name. I love to mix shapes, too. If you do a rectangular coffee table, do round end tables, or vice versa. With your tables, you can mix metals and wood. In the dining room, don’t buy the chairs that come with the table. I think a little piece of Nate Berkus’ soul dies each time someone pairs a big ol’ dining room table with the matching wooden chairs.
Settle Down on the Gallery Walls
Gallery walls can be stunning works of art. BUT, as a realtor, I see this done in so many homes and not always to great effect. Instead of throwing a bunch of stuff at a wall and hoping something sticks, pick just a few beautiful things. I like larger scale art to hang on my walls because I feel that it gives a greater impact than 10 small frames. And don’t be afraid to hang something that is not a framed picture. Hang a tassel, a basket, or a large wooden beaded necklace. Make it interesting!
Pick One Bold Piece and Build
I recently redid my daughter’s bedroom. It has kind of a cool bohemian vibe. I had a friend ask, “Where do even start when you make over a room like that…?” My short answer? I pick one bold piece that I love and build a room from there. I find the easiest way to start is with a rug. My home is very neutral with the walls and furniture. So I like to be really playful with the rugs. I have a fuchsia rug in my living room…that takes guts. I get a lot of “How does she do that…” comments because most of my furniture is white, (and I have two small children…). Kinda crazy but the minimalist nature of the furniture lets the accessories steal the show. You just need one showstopper in a room to make it pop.
Bring It to Life
You have heard of Crazy Cat Ladies. Well. I’m a Crazy Plant Lady. I love houseplants. LOVE. Every room in my home has a plant. I think there is nothing that really gives a space that final finishing touch like greenery does. I know a lot of people think that they can’t keep a plant alive. I was one of them. But there are so many good plants that thrive in low light, indoor conditions. I swear I have plants in my house that I just wink at once a month and it keeps them alive. Even faux plants have come so far and look SO good that unless you touch them, you can’t tell the difference. The best part? Plants are inexpensive!
Edit like it is Your Job
My Mom always told me “Less is more.” I think she was referring to my wanting to wear purple eyeshadow up to my eyebrows to school in 6th grade…but, whatever, it stayed with me. I live for a minimalist aesthetic. A home should look collected over time and not necessarily have a theme. It should be fluid and always evolving. To do this, you have to edit, edit, edit. I only buy something if I absolutely love it. I don’t buy things just to fill a space. I have walls in my home that, three years later, I am still looking for the perfect thing to hang. If something doesn’t feel special and is on a shelf just as a space filler, get rid of it. Shelves filled with knick knacks just means more dusting. Keep it simple, but have the items you display tell a story.
My home is my sanctuary. I love walking in the door. It makes me happy! It is a space filled with things that I love and it has been carefully curated over several years. A home with style takes time. Don’t rush it, have fun, throw some things away, and buy some plants 😉