Reader Design: Laura's Minimalist Boho Home

Today, we're off to a place that has recently felt like my second home: California. Fun fact: I worked so many hours for my day job in California in 2017 that I'm fortunate enough to get to file taxes there - yay! 

Specifically, we're headed to Dana Point, CA to Laura's family home, which is both perfect for a family and full of personality at the same time. 

Making our home feel comfortable is something that’s always been very important to me. I never want to evoke the feeling of a museum-home, where “don’t touch that” is the motto. We have little kiddos that love to make messes and I want to embrace, enjoy, and live in those messy moments with them. I want our family and our friends to always feel relaxed when they’re here.

That doesn't mean she just lets to house go though. In fact, Laura has a self-proclaimed aversion to clutter. That's why keeping it simple with her minimalist bohemian decor is the way to go.  


One of the keys of minimal decor is ensuring purpose of the pieces in your home. Now, the purpose doesn't have to just be functional; it can be sentimental, too! Often, those become the most important pieces of all, and even if they're small in size, they can make the space feel perfect and complete.

Take the item in Laura's kitchen for instance, which at a distance may be hard to find. 

The small cactus figurine was given to me by my husband when we were engaged. He’d been gone on a trip and came home with it for me and it’s just been a cute “I missed you” momento that I’ve always loved.
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In the Living Room there are two things: One is a vintage record player that belonged to my late grandparents. Though I never knew my grandpa, my grandmother and I had an extremely close relationship and this hand-me-down is one of the most meaningful things that I own. The other sentimental piece is the longboard on the wall. It’s a vintage board that was shaped by my husband’s favorite surfer, Phil Edwards. It was one of the last boards he shaped before he stopped shaping.”
We definitely are true to our coastal southern CA roots. My husband, Jason, grew up surfing and there are hints of beach culture throughout our home.

All those special elements make this house a home, and it's an honor to get a peek inside. Thank you for showing us around, Laura! You can follow along with Laura on Instagram at @helmick_hacienda. See you next week, Mutts.

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Reader Design: Erin's Perfect Midwestern Digs

Happy Labor Day weekend, Mutts! This weekend, people all over the country are celebrating what many deem to be the last weekend of summer. I, for one, can't wait for Fall - but I'll be celebrating like the rest of you in one of my favorite Midwestern cities: Chicago, Illinois. 

Another favorite? Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the brains behind today's reader design hails from. Welcome to Erin's Perfect Midwestern Digs! 

I found Erin via Instagram several months ago and continue to fall in love with her aesthetic with every post. Her home manages to be light, bright, simple, and durable - something that is increasingly important in Minnesota to withstand all of that cold and precipitation (and whatever those other three seasons bring). 
From Erin:

I’d describe my style as “handmade modern.” I love visually clean, modern spaces that have been softened by traditional architectural elements and handmade pieces. Though I’m drawn towards bright, modern spaces, I still want our home to feel approachable and “undecorated.” Using a mélange of handcrafted and vintage pieces really help to reinforce the relaxed and casual vibe.

Let's talk about the oven nook. What a place to bake a chicken pot pie come this Fall! I can't be the only one fantasizing about this, right??  Erin's favorite part of the kitchen are the cabinet doors below the sink. They were actually salvaged from the original kitchen in the home, just simply refinished with paint and hardware!

I love how they give our inexpensive cabinetry a custom look, as well as help pay homage to the home’s 90 year old bones.
I think personal style, interiors or otherwise, is born from simply figuring out what it is you are repeatedly drawn to. What do you find beautiful and why? I’m always trying to surround myself with inspiration, because I think style is something that develops slowly over time and never stops evolving.

I definitely pay attention to trends, but I try not to design my home around them, unless either I’ve loved this element long before it became popular, (i.e. my affinity towards the color blue), or I feel as though the trend will still have legs long after its heyday has passed, (i.e. classic subway tiles).
I really wrestled with whether or not to paint the wood trim in our living and dining room. I love white enameled trim, but throughout my childhood, my mother, who adored her beautiful Mid-Century woodwork, always taught us never to paint the trim. I had a bit of an internal struggle about it at first, but after seeing how weathered our 1930’s trim was, especially the sills, it made it a lot easier to go for the enameled trim.

Another beautiful original element of the house is captured in 1930s-era rounded archway. Erin expertly blends straight mid-century modern lines with romantic curvatures throughout her space. And then there's the dining room light fixture - woah. 

Whether it’s a vintage rug or sculptural light fixture, I’ll always be willing to splurge on one statement piece within each space. The perfect piece can make the entire space pop without much effort, so I’ll pair the statement splurge with affordable or thrifted finds to help balance the budget. My advice though would be to really make sure you love the piece (and will for years to come) before you buy. This is not the time to buy based on trends!

Erin, all I can say is BRAVO! Your space is perfect. Are you sick of hearing that word yet? Follow Erin along on Instagram or on her blog, Francois et Moi, for more inspiration!

Mutts, until next time! 

Reader Design: Iris' Peaceful, Coastal Home

Boy, what a week! When the blog is quiet it means one of two things - we are either on vacation or busy being! In Cate's and my case on this particular week, it's been the latter. And what better a way to treat ourselves and all you hustlers out there than with a gorgeous Reader Design by a beautiful friend! I mean, do we know how to celebrate Friday or what?!

We've mentioned Iris before - the kindred spirit who nominated us for the Liebster Award after receiving it herself over at Around the Watts House. It's been a privilege getting to know this sweet soul through Instagram and to call her a friend, (you can follow her @irisnacole). At left is just a peek of the goodness on her Instagram feed. So refreshing! 

As soon as she revealed her newly finished entryway and living room, we just couldn't wait to share her from-scratch job here!




From Iris:

"The new year has brought with it my confidence in knowing what I want out of a home.  I have come to the realization that I don't have to stick to one style, which is something that I love about StyleMutt.  They show that as long as you are creating for yourself, you can't go wrong.  My tastes vary, but at the heart of it all I have found that coastal décor brings me so much peace."


"I tried to pull in as many natural elements into the space as possible.  The agate print on the wall has such calming colors which is what initially attracted me to it.  It pulls double duty, because it also reminds me of the ocean.  A few more touches of coastal décor, such as using a glass hurricane to hold coastal vase filler, and placing a starfish figurine in the glass box finished up the space for me. "

After an entrance like that, aren't you just dying to see the rest of her home?! Let's roll!!

Living Room

"Completing my family room has been something I've been looking forward to for about a year now.  Back when I first started building my entertainment center, I couldn't have ever known that it would end up like this.  I really hadn't "found my style" yet, and I'm sure that if I had completed it back then it would have ended up being something I would have wanted to redo soon after.  Luckily life happens, and other projects took priority, so I had time to learn about décor, and really get in touch with my own style. "

"Once I took the time to do that, I came to the conclusion that coastal décor really speaks to my heart and makes me feel comfortable and relaxed.

Because this room is on the second floor, and really only seen by family, I wanted to go all out with this theme.  My biggest goal was to make the space comfortable for the three of us, but to also accommodate other family and friends that may come to visit.  This meant making sure I had plenty of seating.  The couch we found is a three seater and fairly deep, because who wants to sit straight up watching tv?  Not this slouch!  I found a great striped chair to add to the mix.  It's not only pretty, but very comfortable to sit in."

As you might know, kids come with a million toys.  I just can't seem to keep them contained to his play room, so I can easily scoop them up and store them away if I need to.  We have ample storage in the media unit, as well as the bookshelf in the back of the room, and I brought in a bench that I placed behind the couch, and a small stool that I added to the main area.  Both of them open up to store things too, so that was a plus."

"Luckily for a home décor enthusiast like myself I had a lot of shelves to decorate.  I brought in previously owned coastal items, and when I found that I needed more, I hit up Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's for the rest.  Each store is packed with items like this right now, so it wasn't a huge burden to go and look for stuff."

Duly noted!!!

"We've had the room put together for a few weeks now, and we love it.  Rordan rides his little car though the open spaces, as John and I watch movies, and it really brings a new level of excitement for family time."

Isn't this the best tour to share on the first day of Spring?! It's got me counting down the days to our beach trip. :) Iris, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and hard work here! What a treat!

Remember, all are invited to share their homes here! If interested, please share pictures of your creative space to our Facebook page or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram and we'll contact you with further details. Our desire is to draw inspiration from one another and have a place for all style mutts to share their home. Find this and all past Reader Designs on our SPACES page!

Thank you so much for stopping by and have yourselves a wonderful weekend!