Reader Design: Ashlee's Calm & Comfy Home

After a bit of a hiatus on these reader design features, we're back and headed to sunny California! Ashlee is a sweet mother-to-be and talented interior design who draws inspiration from the calm and comfortable Sacramento surroundings.


From Ashlee:

I’m a true California girl, and my personal style and interiors style, I think, are a reflection of that. I would have to say one geographic place that describes my homes aesthetic would be Venice or Ojai, just that simple modern California feel. I love evoking feelings of calm and comfort. I want my home to be a place where people just want to hang out for long periods of time and can truly zen out.

The home is classic and soothing, but still entirely on trend without it being too much. That's the California way, isn't it?

I have to admit I have dabbled in a few trends myself. Brass being one that is seen in my space. When making the decision to add some more trendier elements in my house that I know may not be around forever I kept it to a few select things (lighting, coffee table). It is easy to get carried away, but if you keep them to a few select items you can always switch them out later.
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Amongst the brass and plants are plenty of older and vintage touches. Take the dining room for instance.

While not a piece of furniture, the built-in element of our apartment is a total favorite. The building we live in is over 100 years old and recently went through a complete renovation. They kept the charm of the molding, built-ins, and doors that I truly love and appreciate. Plus I fill it with treasures that represent us as a couple.

It's a home that's as classic today as it would have been years ago - and will for years to come. Ashlee, thank you for letting us in and showing us around!

Follow Ashlee along on Instagram at @ashlee_berry. And for more gorgeous photos, follow photographer Nicole at @nicoledianne.

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Reader Design: Janie's Timeless Traditional

Janie was ready to trade up from the small rental she shared with her boyfriend plus a roommate in Los Angeles, California. First on the list, for Janie and so many of us city-dwellers, was space. Space to spread out, space to be. 


From Janie:

My style is dictated by creating a beautiful space that is our haven from all that life throws at us. This meant our home had to feel clean and fresh while balancing form and function. Our home is not a “McMansion,” but it definitely is a huge step up. So the above philosophy made it easy for me to find my style rather than falling for trends since we really had to take into consideration the space available.

Then, Janie made use of those clean, minimal lines this 1950's traditional has to offer to the best of her ability.
She considered the light during their airy renovation:

As much as I would love to have dark forest green cabinets in the kitchen, it just wouldn’t make sense since our goal is to open up the kitchen and make it bright to make the space feel bigger.

She considered the needs of her family: 

And as much as I love the look of having poufs on our living room floor, it just won’t work for us with our dog. She’s a Pomeranian, meaning lots of shedding!

And then, it was time to focus on style. The design is timeless and traditional just like her home but still packs a punch by incorporating some "on trend" elements - namely, indigo and brass.  

One design trend I absolutely love is the use of brass in homes. I had to make sure not to go overboard with it because originally I wanted to use brass fixtures in the bathroom and bedroom but eventually I let our bedroom take the spotlight. It’s all about taking trends in moderation.

This home is intentionally simple - and makes for a perfect landing place to recuperate and relax in between Janie's avid traveling. Thank you, Janie, for letting us in! 

For more design and travel inspiration, follow Janie along on Instagram @janiejoyfuleigh

See you next week!



Reader Design: Katie's Calm Casa

After a two week hiatus for the holidays, we are baaaack with reader designs - have you missed them!? I spent 13 fabulously refreshing days with my family in Richmond, and while settling back in to the pace of DC isn't easy, I sure am glad to be back with you all! 

And man, are we back with a vengeance. Allow me to introduce you to Katie and her stunningly simple Minneapolis home, photographed by her talented sister. 

Katie's home reflects a couple of things: her physical surrounding - the simple landscape of Minnesota and its 10,000 lakes, which take on a total starkness in winter; her Norweigan and Finnish roots; and her own personal beliefs on what home design really means. 

From Katie: 

If the room can communicate peace and invite relationships to develop and grow in it’s space, then that’s when I know I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do. My personal style of clean, cozy-modern is usually what gets me feeling all zen.

I don't know about you guys, but just seeing photos of this home give me the zen-ness I need to make it through the work week! 
Katie and her husband cultivated this calm home using a simple, natural color scheme and items of importance - 

  • the granite coffee table in the living room, which Katie dreamt up and serendipitously found a slab for for only $40... take that in... $40!! 
  • a mountain painting that Katie decided to hang sideways, just for fun!
  • a found item from the lakes of Minneapolis
My husband and I were walking along one of our favorite lakes one spring evening and I found a dry piece of drift wood along the shore. Minnesota’s harsh winter had smoothed it’s surface and left it exposed. When I saw it, I immediately saw beauty. It’s so simple, yet so beautiful. I love that about design; often, it’s about being creative! Everything certainly does not need to be from a high end boutique to be the perfect piece of decor.

It's because of this loving curation that we hardly realize that there really isn't any bright color; and while it may not seem like an important decision to many, it's one Katie definitely considered. 

I’ve struggled with the use of color! I often want to incorporate more color...because for some reason I think I “should.” Though, if I’m honest, I back away from strong and commanding colors. Instead, I find that I prefer an earth tone palette. The more I allow myself to be “ok” with using less color (aka, allow myself to just be me), the more I love my home.
Trends definitely impact design. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing all the time. Trends can be informative; they can help lead the way to your own personal expression and/or galvanize new and different creative ideas. With that said, I believe that beautiful spaces are created when one simply trusts their gut and decorates in a way that is most authentic to oneself. My sense of personal style arises from my gut and is also informed by the endless source of inspiration that comes from interior design blogs, Instagram, as well as beautiful spaces I encounter out in the world.

Katie, we applaud you for owning what makes you happy and centering your home - your most special and protected place - on those things. 

For more inspiration, follow Katie on Instagram.