Reader Design: Elizabeth's Intuitive & Natural Home

We at StyleMutt love supporting others in our design community, so today, we have quite the treat! We're touring the home of Elizabeth Bear, a designer based in Colorado.

Elizabeth started her business with the encouragement of her friends; as they watched what she did with her own home, they encouraged her to bring her services to others. It's a story that many of us know well but few have the courage to act on.

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From Elizabeth:

When I moved to Colorado, we purchased our home and spent a lot of time renovating it. Once again, friends took notice and asked me to help them design their spaces. When I discovered Instagram, I began using it as a platform to showcase my style. Little did I know, my Insta community would grow to over 10,000 people in less than a year. Now I combine my passion for interior styling/designing with my newfound love: working with brands. There are no rules to designing a dream home it’s just a matter of figuring out the best path to get there.
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What started as a barrette and accessory business in 2003, after Elizabeth left the corporate world, soon became a full-time job. It grew to artwork, pillows, pillowcases, and placemats, all handmade by Elizabeth. Her business took off from there, with her style evolving as life led her through twists and turns of its own.

I got married a few years after college and our home had things given to us from our families all of which were more traditional, sprinkled in with things we purchased that were more contemporary. After my husband passed away unexpectedly four years later, I sold my house and everything in it that didn’t speak to my soul. I only kept my favorite things. I renovated a three-story townhouse taking it from dated and old to modern and bright and it only contained the things I love. It truly felt like me.

Two years later, my path crossed with my college sweetheart, who was living in Colorado, and we got married. When I moved there everything that came across country with me was my current design style. It’s interesting because this style is what I was drawn to when I was a teenager. Somewhere in the midst of adulthood this style got lost. When I moved into the townhouse I sold everything, but my most favorite pieces. Claiming my new home resurfaced my love of modern, orderly, clean lines, light, bright, white, welcoming, peaceful, less is more.
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Her home is a reflection of everything life has brought her, and it's a stunningly beautiful reflection indeed. She's created a home that is natural, intentional, intuitive, and warm. It's a 'Goldilocks' home - not too much, not too little, but just right. There are clean lines mixed with nostalgic pieces, and everything is functional. 

In the dining room, the freestanding white hutch steals the show.

We had it custom built by our kitchen company to match the custom cabinets flanking the fireplace, in our kitchen and the built-ins in my husband’s office. Because we have an open floor plan, it was soothing for me to have all of these built in cabinets be cohesive. This hutch adds visual beauty in the room as well as wonderful extra storage space for my collection of pottery, which can be seen through the glass doors.

It opens right into Elizabeth's biggest splurge and the heart of the home - the kitchen.

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In my kitchen my favorite thing is our large island which seats six people and is the heart of the home when we have a party (large or tiny) and actually when it’s just us. My husband and I love cooking together so this provides plenty of space to do it on - giving us ample room to make a mess and have fun!

It's a home that's made for memories. And Elizabeth, we are so honored to share it with you! Thank you for showing us around - and congratulations on the home you've made and the business you've built.

Find more about Elizabeth on her site and on Instagram @elizabethbeardesigns.

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Reader Design: Bri's Cali Cool Home

It's Friday!! Finally. After what feels like the longest week. I don't know about you guys, but I am in serious need of a good vacation. 

Thankfully, today we are touring Bri's Cali cool home; right in the middle of Southern California in a little town called Aliso Viejo, every day just has to feel like a vacation for Bri right? Her home is certainly relaxing enough to make you think so! 

What you wouldn't necessarily guess, though, is that this open and airy space is also home to Bri's husband and two children. That means that functionality is right up there with appearance. 

From Bri:

I want our home to be comfortable because we have two children, but I also want it to look rad. Many of my textiles are vintage items that have already withstood many years of use, so I feel pretty confident that they can handle being used in fort building and pillow fights. I’ve recently switched to a lighter color scheme in our main living space because I wanted it to feel light and bright even though our home gets very poor natural light. I love mixing wood tones within my home too because of the warmth and sense of comfort they can exude. Overall, I just really want our home to feel like you can kick your feet up on the furniture, because we are fine with that...maybe take your shoes off at least since we do have a white sofa, but nothing is too precious.

That means that Bri decorates by being, in her words, "a little bit of a lot." She mixes lots of styles together, in small increments so that one aesthetic doesn't overtake the whole space. She also mixes and matches when it comes to price points, pairing pricier mid-century finds or local textiles with flea market steals or Target items. 

In the dining nook, that meant Bri flexed her creative muscles to add doors to Ikea toy benches - a simple change that gets big functionality and style points! 

And the style keeps right on going into the bedrooms. 

In our bedroom, I have to say I love my hat wall. That may sound so silly, but I truly just love the warmth the shades of brown add to the room and that they also serve as wall decor. It’s a simple storage solution that makes a big impact.
In my kid’s shared room I love their accent wall that I stenciled. You can see this wall when standing in our kitchen, looking through the living space so I knew I wanted it to standout.

Bri, thank you for showing us around. I have just one final question for you -

When can I visit? 

Follow Bri on Instagram @brimoysa for more, and I'll see you all next week!

Reader Design: Amy's Inspired Family Home

If you've been paying attention, you know it's been a busy week over here at StyleMutt Home! We're ringing in the holidays with holiday tours, fantastic flips, and, of course, a home feature with an Insta #mustfollow.

Cue Amy, a small business owner and mom from Massachusetts. Amy's home takes a lot of its inspirations from blogs and social media - and with her creative, professional photographer eye, she executes to perfection. 

Amy, her husband, their three kids, and two dogs moved in to this Dedham, MA home in August and since then, it's become the ultimate family home. They've taken a big home - with six fireplaces... I mean, c'mon - and made it intentional, with each space serving a special purpose. Take the living spaces - it's actually one long room that is an easy design stump for many people (oh to have the problem of too much space!), half of which is a neutral haven and the other half of which is alive with color. 

This room alone is a perfect illustration of Amy's spoken style.
From Amy:

My style is a combination of simplicity and bold splashes of color. I love a modern look with mid-century lines. While finding a style that is truly mine, I realized my house reflects my photography. Clean and bold.

Amy is also a MAKER . 

I have a slight obsession with textiles. I like to change my throw pillows like some people change their socks. I have a hard time spending a ton on a pillow. Some I found on Etsy, but all of the mudcloth and shibori pillows, I made out of Ikea shams! For the mudcloth look, it just took a little fabric paint & a ruler!

Amy definitely believes in budgeting, but not at the expense of style!  

I can honestly tell you that everything in my home is completely accessible to anyone on any budget! All it takes is an imagination and some elbow grease. I find nothing more satisfying than creating something beautiful with little to no money. Anyone can decorate a house with an unlimited budget, but creating a gorgeous space on a dime is a labor of love.

Her family moved into this Colonial to be closer to school back in August, but kept their original home as a summer escape - and just about every room proves there's a way to save! ... Every room except the wallpapered powder room, which Amy's son insisted he could have replicated with only a Sharpie. Anyone brave enough to take on that challenge??  

Now, she did let him use that creativity in this amazing comfy & cozy living room! 

I feel like I have kind of mastered Ikea-chic. My 11 year old son is very creative and loves projects. He and I found all sorts of Ikea hacks on Pinterest and we went to town. His proudest piece is the mid-century TV console in the family room. He made it himself from 2 Ikea cabinets, pretty pegs legs, and some pine boards that he carefully measured and stained.

Now for the kitchen - that was a splurge area, but with something so classic, why not spend a little to make it great? 

The master bedroom, with its dressing room complete with a fireplace, and guestroom both feature some of Amy's favorite pieces. 

I knew I wanted a MASSIVE round mirror in the house. I love this one [in the bedroom] from CB2. The bench is a knock off of the Herman Miller Nelson bench, the pillows are DIY mudcloth, and the blanket is one that I made myself with thick thick wool and needles the size of my arms!

In the guest bedroom, the statements are those pair of prints from Etsy, which Amy was able to print professionally thanks to her photography business! I don't know anyone who wouldn't be tempted to longgggg overstay their welcome in this space.

Amy, how you pulled off this home in just four months is beyond comprehension; thank you so much for inviting us in! 

Follow Amy along on Instagram or on her site. And guess what?! If you can't get enough of her pooches, Charlie and Chloe, you can follow them along on Instagram too. If today isn't a win-win-win, I don't know what is!