Reader Design: Katie's Midwestern Oasis

Now before you say it, I know what you're thinking. "Midwestern" and "oasis" are two words that don't typically go together. Those fly-over states aren't always known for their restorative or relaxing natures, but after a visit to Katie's Cincinnati, Ohio home, that reputation may be forever changed. 

Now, perhaps this is because Katie isn't exactly drawing inspiration from her surrounding geography:

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That’s why I pull from many different geographic locations for my design inspiration and aesthetic. I love the light and airy boho vibes of the beaches of Southern California, but I love to reign it back in with the warmth and coziness of a mountain craftsman out West to achieve a light, but lived-in design style.

The result is a space that's mid-century bohemian - those lines we love from the 50s & 60s tempered by the whimsy and light-heartedness of boho elements.

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When styling my space, my goal is for it to feel curated, relaxed, and homey. Nothing too stuffy or fancy.

My favorite article in my entire home is my large antique Persian rug that lives in my living room. It is my most prized possession, aside from my children, of course! Vintage rugs, in my opinion, are worth splurging on because each one as so much history and they’re all one of a kind.
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I couldn’t live without plants surrounding me at all times in my home. I love incorporating them into every room, not only because of how visually stunning they are, but also because of their purifying and restorative properties. They have the ability to ground a space, no matter how big or small. Having plants around helps me create a calm a relaxing oasis, in a way that is unable to be achieved by anything else.

Follow Katie along on Instagram @asformyhouse for more!

I hope you all enjoys a week of love next week; we'll see you back here!

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Reader Design: Jo's California-meets-Canada Home

Today we're off to a location in Ontario, Canada that has seriously the best name: East Gwillimbury. How fun is that?? Don't you wish you lived there? Jo is showing us around her California-meets-Canada spot, which is a perfect mixed bag of boho, modern rustic, and traditional design elements.


Jo's home brings the Cali elements we've come to love - natural wood, white walls, leather, and pottery - to our neighbor to the north. The home doesn't feel like a replication though; it has a clear sense of family and individuality. 

I want someone to walk into our home and know who lives here right off the bat. I love that we have a mix of big-box + thrifted + antique pieces which gives our home that curated vibe. I love adding unexpected items on selves and mixing textiles so there is always something interesting to discover.

While the home doesn't have the open concept that we've come to know and love, the spaces still feel cohesive. That hasn't, however, come without difficulties. 

We are constantly trying to come up with layout ideas and seating arrangements. I tend to go for the side that is visually pleasing (and Instagram friendly!) while my boyfriend is very practical and wants the space to have maximum use.

I’ve also tried to keep trends at an arms-length, because if you get caught up in everything that’s being thrown at you, you will always be in a state of flux trying to hit on the next thing. My boyfriend recently told me I need to design slow – meaning I really need to take the time to think things through until we make the best decision, which usually means going with more permanent ideas/concepts vs. fast trends.

Jo and her boyfriend navigate any differences they may have by bringing in meaningful pieces, like the harvest table in the dining room that came from her boyfriend's grandparent's farm.


In the office, Jo has gone way above and beyond with her shelf styling skills. Her favorite element is the old slingshot sitting on the shelves. 

We were at an antique tool show and I bought this off of the cutest old man in history – complete with suspenders and all – for $1. While it was missing the actual sling, I just threw some wood beads on a string and set it up. It has the original paint chipping off but looking at it makes me happy + it’s a great random addition to a shelf.

Both the master and guest bedrooms are stunning rooms, full of vintage pieces, fresh textiles, and white and bright hues. Even the leather headboard was a vintage find from a local buy-and-sell.


Jo is clearly an absolute expert on thrifting and vintage shopping, so today, we'll close with her tips. 

1. Go often and don’t get discouraged. I usually go to three different thrift stores 2-3 times a week. Sometimes I buy nothing at all or come away with a seriously amazing find. Persistence is key, especially when you are spending hours hunting and coming away with nothing. Once you find an amazing item you realize its totally worth it.
2. Go with your gut. I never have a plan when I’m at thrift stores. I usually just hunt and if I get that lurch in my stomach when my eyes hit an item, it goes in my cart. Even if it isn’t totally my style, I’ll pass it over to some of my friends.
3. Always buy the vintage books, the pottery, and anything that makes you happy. Whether it’s on trend or not, if you love it you will most likely find a spot for it in your home so snatch it up.

Jo, thank you so much for showing us around. We seriously love your home, and I think I speak for all us mutts when I say that I'd love for you to visit my city to teach me your thrifting ways.

Follow Jo along on Instagram at @jmwearing for more; seriously, do it. 

See you in September! 

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Reader Design: Lara's Canadian Hide Out

Hello, dear friends! Today, I'm writing to you all from my new home: sunny (yes, sunny... for now) Seattle, Washington. I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Canadian border, which we're headed across for today's tour. 

Meet Lara and her eclectic home in Ontario, Canada.

Lara is a style mutt through and through and describes her own style as a mishmash of tastes. 

From Lara:

I am a child of the seventies, and that is reflected in my home. The house I grew up in was all earth tones with lots of wood, and that is something I am still very drawn to.

And plants, of course. I’ve been decorating with houseplants since I was a university student living in a dorm twenty years ago. It’s come as something of a surprise to me that houseplants have made such a huge comeback after years of being relegated to granny status! But I love it.

It's hard to remember a time when plants weren't 'in' - who could even imagine passing on all the huge benefits of having greenery in your home!? Thank goodness that, eventually, everything comes back into style. Lara has actually has over 50 plants in her home and definitely takes after her grandfather who was an agronomist for the Canadian government.


Lara's home evokes major #calihomevibes, despite the fact that she has yet to visit the state. It's "light, bright, and casual, with a bit of edge." After a recent trip to her home country of Latvia, Lara realized that she's subconsciously been pulling in some European elements as well, with the focus on earthiness and comfort. Like many homes in both locations, Lara has created a space that pulls you in and invites you to stay a while. 

First and foremost, I want my home to feel welcoming and homey. I want people to feel comfortable, but also, hopefully, a little inspired. I love a home that exudes creativity and reflects the personalities of the people who live there, and I hope that my home does that.

Now, it just so happens that these tendencies of Lara's are totally 'on trend' right now... but Lara assures me that she's been decorating her home this way for years!

It’s funny because I don’t think my house has ever been as on-trend as it is now! My style has been very similar for many years, but the “jungalow” look has never been as hot as it is now!

Things break away from the laid back and neutral scheme a little bit once you reach the bedrooms, where Lara is open for lots of color exploration and pattern-mixing.

As much as I love earth tones, I also love color, and the kids’ rooms are where I feel I can really let loose with that.

The bedrooms also show off Lara's thrify side - from the band posters used as art, to the clearance sale mid-century dresser that Lara's husband Rob miraculously brought back to life. 

The rooms are just fun - lucky kids who get to call those home!

Lara, thank you so much for showing us around. Your home is clean, simple, but perfectly reflects your sweet family. 

Follow Lara along on Instagram @thehydeoutblog for more inspiration, courtesy of our neighbor to the North. And thanks to Kiely @kielyramosphoto for capturing Lara's home so beautifully.