Introducing: Interior Talk, a monthly conversation about home style, decorating tips, and creating a space you love to live in.
I can’t believe I haven’t thought to do this before… I love this game! And while I have gotten questions about our home consistently over the years, I realized I have never felt more connected to my readers than I do now. Catching up with my DM’s is my top priority on Instagram. Keeping you updated on the latest posts and happenings, of course, but the fun and rewarding part is the connecting. My inbox is more full than ever and I can that tell people feel comfortable asking me anything… which makes me really happy. This series will be an easier way for me to dive into your inquiries with more thought and detail.
I am an open book, so reach out anytime. I started collecting your home questions to use for these series, so thank you for sending those along! I’m excited to help. I LOVE when my girlfriends shoot me texts asking me advice or even better invite me over for wine and shelf styling or room rearranging. So, this will be a fun new way to talk interiors. I am always game.
The questions that popped up were so good! I hope these help/inspire you with your home in some way, and if you have any other ideas come to mind please feel free to email me! I tried to answer some of the questions I left out this time within answers… so here we go.
What is your interior design secret weapon(s)?
*Good lighting // I prefer lamps over overhead lighting… and with warm light bulbs. I also have multiple lamps in each room, I am a lamp hoarder. // *Plants! They give life to a space. We have a Birds of Paradise and Monstera plant and they are the easiest to care for, too. I water them once a week and they flourish like crazy in our apartment! We got ours from a plant delivery service called Leon & George. // *Neutral foundation… and then you add textures, colors, character.
What are your favorite affordable shops?
This changes for me. Similar to how I feel about fashion retailers I like to browse, I go through phases of where I look based on the selection. Sometimes I am loving what I see, and sometimes it’s not for me. A couple affordable retailers that I think are doing an incredible job right now. CB2 and Zara Home. Of course always eBay and ETSY, too. I also always suggest going to flea markets. Take some time before and build up Pinterest boards with styling ideas, and so when you head to the flea you have ideas in mind.
CB2 is killing it right now. Case in point:
Where do you draw interior design inspiration from?
There really is inspiration everywhere. Coffee table books, Tumblr, Pinterest, interior designers on Instagram, movie/show sets, magazines. I would suggest Pinterest though to really feel out what your eyes gravitate to! Make a board (or a few) and dive into a rabbit hole of inspiration. Go to my interior board and sift through it all. If you like an image… if you click it and scroll down, Pinterest shows you similar style photos. I say it’s all about getting lost on these platforms and building up your own library and guide book for decorating based on what you love! Also, check out interior design firm websites you admire and save photos from there. I did a post about DISC Interior here, which is always a favorite.
What do you do when you have ugly blinds/shades in your rental?
The honest answer is you take those down right now! I have definitely had that situation in past apartments and I either took them down and stored them until I moved out, or asked the property manager if I could replace with a pretty window shade or curtains. I feel you!!
Did you start with certain pieces and add? Or mostly have it planned out first?
Up until this past year (moving into our current apartment) I have always been a woman of ‘winging it’, which hasn’t always worked out for me. But that’s why I am here to help guide you past my mistakes, haha. I have learned in the process that the investment pieces we carefully decided on are our focus and that there’s no rush in reaching completion (which I don’t think even exists). My advice is to slowly build.
Where do you like to shop for coffee table books?
Whenever I see beautiful coffee table books online or in person at design shops (think The Line, local interior shops, etc.) I make a note and check Amazon. They are always cheaper there! I have a whole board of my book collection here and a few below!
How do I create cute vignettes in a smaller home?
Vignettes are perfect for smaller homes. You basically start with a piece of furniture, mirror, or art, and build off of it. You can get a small width console table, a side accent table, stool, bench, or accent chair to start it off. Layer with books, decor accents, a lamp, a piece of art hanging above. I have a post coming on Sunday that speaks to vignettes a bit more with ideas and inspiration, so stay tuned!
Do you have any tips for moving in with your significant other?
Going to be totally honest here. I had a really easy experience because Matt (is an angel) knows how much I love interior design. I remember we packed up my apartment first and then we went over to his (which he had lived 7 years with roommates) and he decided to toss a bunch of his stuff since they were old hand-me-downs he had since college… AKA he knew me very well after a year of dating me, haha. But really, we both wanted to start fresh and build a new home together. I didn’t have a too much either at the time (remember the old Target bar cart?).
My advice is to not feel the urge to have everything feeling complete immediately. I’ve done this so many times and end up selling or getting rid of things because they were quick decisions. This is your first home together, and you guys should create it slowly and meaningfully so that it feels like home and not a cluster of random purchases. Start with what you have… add some plants(!!), and begin to collect.
In terms of decorating together, Matt and I started a tradition when we first moved in together where we began collecting home souvenirs while we were on trips. We also now have a few growing collections over the past few years that make up a big part of our home style. Our glassware collection, records, and cookbooks!
How do you style a place without books (from a Kindle fan)?
Books are totally not necessary for styling and this is coming from a book hoarder! My dream is to one day have a big library shelf wall in our future home where all of the books we’ve collected will live. So, eventually, I don’t plan on having book stacks everywhere myself. Just remember my mantra: collections on display. This is whatever you do love and want to surround yourself with. Ceramics, matchbooks, candles, curiosities. But I also love a pretty vase and flowers as the main focal point, too.
Thoughts on the power of two and needing to achieve symmetry with lamps, side tables, etc.?
I love the looks of two lamps on a long console, sure, but there are no rules! What I have learned about interior design, is that it’s all about experimenting and just trying things out. Sometimes you move things or style things and you immediately realize it was a bad call, but other times your eyes light up because you can’t believe how much that change impacted the look of the space. Those magic moments are so fun, so why not keep thriving to rearrange until you hit that jackpot feeling?
A room definitely needs balance, though, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to two of something.
How can I decorate with your style, but on a budget?
Flea markets, Craigslist, eBay, ETSY, and the affordable retailers I mentioned in question 1! Also, be sure to keep an eye on my home style guide each week (it’s under “style guide” on my menu bar). This is a whole page dedicated to home posts, inspiration, decor, styling tips and more. I’m making interior content more of a priority this year as I love helping people with this topic!
The post we all didn’t know we needed!! Thank you!
So happy to hear that! I was hoping my answers were helpful. 🙂 I appreciate you reading! Have a great weekend, Ellie! x