Reader Design: Sarah's PNW Masterpiece

As most of you know, I recently moved from the East Coast (DC) to Seattle, WA - and man is the Pacific Northwest living up to my expectations. Everything is so welcome, cozy, and calm here! 

Today, we're headed to Portland, Oregon to check out Sarah's stunning home. Are you ready? When I say stunning, I mean it! 


Sarah's home, which she shares with her husband, is a modern glam lover's dream. It's as if you've stumbled into the coolest little hotel in LA or Paris, but it's rented out privately for you...forever. Since Sarah and her husband are both creatives, it was key to them that their home be inspiring creatively and completely true to them. 

From Sarah: 

It is important to us to live in a home that inspires us and those that visit. I basically wanted our house to feel like a glam boutique hotel, similar to some we have stayed at on our travels!

This means lots of swoon-worthy textiles (shout-out to all my velvet couch lovers out there), organic elements like plants, and brass accents. 

Besides our incredible couch, the coffee table is my favorite piece! I drove an hour to pick it up from someone selling it on Facebook Marketplace and when I got there, the guy selling them gave me a matching console table and side table! They are Karl Springer and I got an AMAZING deal. I feel like anything brass and glass is very “me”.

Sarah has played around with various inspirations outside her "travel-inspired chic boutique" theme, including the "jungalow" style we've all come to admire - with its wicker and bamboo, tons of plants, and bright colors - touches of which are easy to spot in Sarah's design. 

In general, I stay away from trends and only buy and use what I truly love and could live with for years. But there are some trends that are just sooooo good! For me, it’s been wicker/bamboo. The “jungalow” style is so amazing and I am really drawn to many aspects of it, but ultimately, I’m more comfortable with the minimalism and glam of the style I’ve created.

And this style doesn't necessarily have to break the bank either! Sarah stalked the beautiful brass mirror in the dining room at a vintage store until it was marked 50% off; she recovered a basic Joss & Main headboard with green velvet for the master bedroom, and her mom helped her sew the bedskirt. DIY for the win! 

I am ALL about finding a good deal. I will spend big bucks if I know I’m getting the best deal. But like in fashion, I like to calculate the cost per use, so I am willing to splurge on super practical items that will get a lot of use.

The complete product is one of the most interesting and gorgeous homes I've seen; Sarah, we salute you! Thanks for the tour. 

Follow Sarah along on Instagram @homegirlpdx for more!

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Reader Design: Kristina's Evolving Home

Kristina's Edmonton, Alberta home is a perfect balance of trendy and lived-in. Her style is recognizable enough to welcome you in, to feel familiar, but there are still plenty of surprises to keep things interesting. 

My home style is honestly ever evolving. But at the moment, I’m in love with mid-century modern, with some Scandinavian decor to pay tribute to my roots! My family is mainly from Sweden and Norway, so I tend to gravitate to the style I grew up seeing around me.

Harkening back to her heritage, Kristina has figured out what works for her aesthetically but also is comfortable and homey for her family. It's a far cry from when she first started out and fell prey to something I'm sure all of us know well: opting for mimicery and copycatting to create something "on trend" without much regard to our personal styles. Perhaps those style were not yet part of us, or maybe the hype of Pinterest was too hard to resist. 

As Kristina shares: 

When I started decorating my first home, I got pulled into that shabby chic trend since it was all over Pinterest! And I really struggled with it because it truthfully wasn’t me! Over the years, I started to figure out what trends I could get behind (hello white walls!!) and which ones I could let go. I still love being influenced by the trends of course, but I’m getting better at fine tuning my own style.

In the living room, Kristina's favorite piece has become even more special since the birth of her son. 

My favourite piece in the living room would have to be my Nana’s piano. It has been in the family for many, many years and took quite the journey across provinces to get here. Even though I don’t know how to play, its presence in our home brings me so much joy, especially when I see Jack sitting on someone’s lap, plunking away at the keys.
In our bedroom, I absolutely love our DIY dresser, which I did on a whim with my husband. Little did I know that simple makeover would be such a hit with so many people. It’s my little success story that I’m really proud of (especially since I’m not the biggest DIYer).
In Jack’s room, I love our vintage dresser that I spotted on a trip through BC. It was exactly what I was hoping to find - mid century, wood, clean lines - and is the perfect piece to have as he grows and changes.

Every space in this home feels perfect for a young family - it's cohesive, calm, and perfectly curated. Kristina, thank you for showing us around; I can't wait to see what's next! 

Follow Kristina along on Instagram @inspiredbylynne for more! 

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Fashion Guide From Someone Who Has To Wear Clothes Now

Hello there, friends! I know, this is crazy. A fashion post on a home decor site - it's nuts. I've had this post in my head for a while but kept pushing it back thinking what in the universe do I have to share about clothes. Because that's a thing now - sharing about clothes. And there are some seriously well qualified people out there doing a darn good job of helping us all get ourselves dressed in the morning! But I've discovered a new perspective on my wardrobe that maybe some of you can relate to. You see,

I work from home. Like this guy:


Yup. I can work with anyone anywhere in the world right from my own living room, and it doesn't matter a squawk what I wear.

But there's been a changing wind comin' around since the Fall started! Seems this is the season for a decorating refresh as the StyleMutt Home team has been busily responding to daily inquiries about our design services. I've been scheduling and handling each consultation and lunch meeting on behalf of the team and its been almost one every day. And sometimes the clients are individual home owners/renters, other times they're an entire production network, building management company or corporation. As someone who's first post college job was personal training, followed by staying home to raise our three babies, followed by this work which my soul LOVES, I haven't had a lot of need over the past decade plus for particularly nice clothes. I LOVE fashion and being creative with putting outfits together, but I've never ever had a need for 'creative professional' attire. So, to all you friends recently entering a different kind of workforce - the work from home and sometimes in front of people force - I'm sharing a quick round-up of 5 days worth of presentable, not too businessy, comfortable, multi-functional outfits.

1. Casual Networking

I'm easy, guys - it takes one hand to count the number of individual pieces I leave the house wearing on a typical day, (I count the hair as one), and social-professional gatherings aren't much different for me. We get invited to a lot of local events at some of our favorite shops and meet-and-greets with other designers in the area, so it's helpful to have easy-on outfits like this that I can comfortably mingle in.


2. Laid Back Client Consult

By laid back, I mean the client. If the client is a fellow casual bohemian, I let my earth Mama come out. This one is my favorite and feels the most 'me'. It's my natural style; simple pieces, simply styled, let the hair down and namaste. LOL! Seriously though. This is my comfort zone.


3. Get In the Game

Moving on, this is my least favorite outfit of the bunch. It just doesn't feel 'me'. But in this day and age of "You do you!", I'm calling BS. If you own a business, particularly a creative business where you are virtually selling your own self, you have to be willing to play the game, or at least ride the bench. Hear me out - Yes, you want to represent you, and your individuality and unique style. But if your unique style is so far out there, it can push people back a bit. This wouldn't be such a big deal if you didn't need those people to trust where their money is going. Your presentation, personality, pricing and portfolio, (I swear I didn't intend the 'p' thing), aren't strong enough to stand on their own. It doesn't matter who you are or how amazing your work is, (unless you're Lady Gaga); you must look like you care. You must appear to be a responsible adult who knows how to show up and get stuff done. If I don't know a lot about the potential client I'm meeting, this is what I'm wearing, or some variation of it. It's safe, which perhaps is the problem I have with it, but I doubt anyone else will so I'll wear it.


4. Step It Up Client Consult

If I'm ever facing a potential design project that challenges my confidence, this is what I'm wearing. Because I know I can deliver what the client is looking for, I just need their trust. And nothing says "trust me, I can get the job done" like a shift. I mean, if Hillary Clinton had just shimmied herself in a shift...But seriously, a well fitting shift helps me lift my head a little higher. And well fitting, by the way, doesn't necessarily mean stiff. This one's made of jersey!


5. Installation/Photoshoot Day

And you'd better believe there are snacks packed in that satchel! Unhealthy ones, no less. This is a tricky one because on installation day, (and even when I'm just taking pictures!), I sweat. It's usually fast paced work and I don't want to intrude on a client's space any longer than is necessary! I'd rather wear an old race tee and running pants, to be honest. But the next best thing is trusty jeans and a tee. Denim with a bit of a stretch so I can move free is a must, and a couple layers up top so I can pare down when I start getting warm.


That's a wrap, folks! I don't know if this was helpful for anyone but it sure was fun for me! Hah! I think photographing a few favorite outfits and defining out loud how they are a useful tool for this business has helped me at least get a clearer sense of my own professional style. If nothing else I would highly recommend this exercise yourself, even for private documentation, so you can find a comfortable direction for your professional style.

Thank you all so much for coming by today! This was by far my most vulnerable post, but you guys are a fun group and I thought we could AT LEAST laugh about the dude in the first picture together!