Reader Design: Laura's Homegrown Nest

Here is the first thing you need to know. Laura has SIX children, and they all live in this home. Keep that in your brain, because what you're about to see defies the odds. This is a family home that is both minimalist and eclectic, full of interesting pieces and clean lines to keep the clutter at bay.


From Laura:

I would say my style is Minimalist with a mix of traditional, mid-century modern, and global influences. Anything with calm, clean lines and a bit of pattern thrown in. I don’t want to my house to be heavy, stuffy, or imposing. I want it to be open, airy, comfortable and casual. Also uncluttered. I really like my house to feel restful and calm. I’ve got six kids so anything I can do to tame the chaos is good!

In this case, assuming that minimalist also means an absence of color would be flat-out wrong. It would also be wrong to assume that her penchant for minimalism is simply "on-trend." Nope, it's all authentically Laura.

I’m drawn to color, but I also love the all-white spaces I see, so I have tried to do a balance of both styles with a mix of white and black plus color. I know that I do best in a minimalistic environment but once in a while I’ll see a well-done non-minimalist house and I will try to trick myself into thinking I could live like that. I also have to watch it that I don’t feel like I have to have or do all the new trends—-I get really pleased with myself when I realize I’m still using lots of the furniture and accessories I have had for more than ten years because the temptation is strong to keep up with what I see on Instagram. I try to use my basic more traditional things in new ways instead.

Now let's play a round of finding the most meaningful items. In the piano room, the family uses art and maps they've collected from their many moves (to California, Florida, and Malaysia, to name a few) to decorate the space.


In the family room, there's another one:

I found the church bench on Craigslist. It was 14 feet long, and we had to cut it into two pieces just to get it home. My husband re-attached the sides to make the bench for the family room and we use the other part of the bench without arms in the rec room.

In the bedroom, Laura focuses on using mirrors and throw pillows to make the space. They know they'll only be in the home for 4 years, so they opted for small items that can really "make a space" instead of heavy-lift changes. 


Laura, thank you so much for letting us in! We love what you've done with the place and hope you and your family enjoy it as much as possible during the time you have left in it. 

Until next week,

McKenna Sig.jpg

Reader Design: Nicole's Thrifted, Gifted & Collected Haven

Happy Friday, style mutts! As this beloved eclectic community continues to grow Cate and I are constantly in awe of the amazing things people are doing with their homes out there! We've got a bangin' Reader Design today from a super style mutt that we've had the wonderful pleasure of getting to know on Instagram. Welcome to our bud, Nicole!!!

Nicole is a thrifting genius and has an amazing knack for high style impact using smart, thrifty purchases. Take a look!

From Nicole:

The light that floods our entry is a welcomed contrast to the rest of the house! The vintage rug from Ecarpetgallery is the statement piece here that anchors the massive chest of drawers. Bonus, I won the rug!!! The custom color the is most frequently asked question I receive and unfortunately I don't know the combination.

A top secret custom colored rug. Well isn't that just the cats meow!

The dining room is connected to the entryway, commanding attention. With the exception of the drum pendent, each piece in this shared space is thrifted or gifted; Everything from the silk Potterybarn curtains to the B&W buffalo check bench I had reupholstered. 
My oldest daughter's monochromatic bedroom is also a collection of thrifted pieces. The metal vintage bed requires a step stool for my petite girl and a small army to move it but worth every cashed in favor to get it in this space.

I'd say!

A bold gallery wall featuring my daughter's artwork is the only color on the white walls and the (hot pink spray painted) HomeGoods Toro is the crowning jewel for this Toro cheerleader.
Inspired by my design hero Anissa from HouseSeven Blog, the Sharpie Marker feature wall was a labor of love...for my husband, the muscle behind Grace in Magnolias! 

Fun fact, Anissa was inspired to create this wall after seeing it on Vintage Revivals here! This is what it's all about - sharing inspiration and watching the evolution of an idea go around!

Moving into the master bedroom, Nicole translates her eclectic, boho style in a soft, monochromatic way with layered neutrals and cozy textures.

If natural light is an issue in any space, find pieces that will bounce any available light around! These mirrored chests are both glamorous to the eye and functional for stretching that natural light just a little bit further! High gloss paint finishes work the same way if you're looking for a painted piece.

I mean, this swing is a total necessity in our book.

Nicole, you're amazing, girl! Thank you so much for opening your home and inspiring the heck out of it. So many ideas to take away, where to begin! Please find Nicole on Instagram @graceinmagnolias! She's such a joy to follow as she shares ideas, DIYs and new finds on the daily!

We're looking for more tours to fill up the rest of Fall and into the holiday season! No design experience necessary to share here - you don't have to have a blog or any form of social media to participate! This is an open invitation to ALL to join in and pass some inspiration around. We welcome all styles from all parts of the world. There are three ways you can express interest in sharing a Reader Design: 1) Post photos to Instagram and tag #stylemuttspaces. 2) Post a photo or two directly to our Facebook wall here. 3) Email us at

We hope to hear from you soon! Have a cozy weekend, friends!

DIY Mess-Free, Pretty Placemats

"SON! Don't. Touch. Your placemat."

This was totally me as soon as our Mason joined us at the table from his high chair. He is by far our messiest eater as he doesn't stop squirming for one second at the table. For a while I had used those circular woven placemats that you can get for cheap at Target because they're versatile enough to use year-round.

See, not too shabby. Not like, 'oh my gosh, where did you get those placemats?!', but not bad. Yep, these were doing us just fine. As long as no one touched them with dirty hands, dropped food on them, or spilled their milk... I was always telling our little guy to stop touching his placemat. I mean, of all things!

One day we got home from church and were hit by a wretched smell as soon as we walked in our home. I checked the kitchen and all the rooms, but it got better the further I got from the dining room. It was in the dining room. I always wipe down the table and floor after every meal because, you know, kids; so I was kind of dumbstruck. Then I found the culprit - the placemats! Even though I wiped them down after every meal, they stank so bad. It was time to move on to kid-mess worthy placemats.

After a discouraging search for decent looking plastic placemats, I turned to the age old art of lamination. I've actually never had anything laminated in my life! It was quite exciting, indeed.

I took a quick trip to PaperSource and came home with two sheets, (20x28), of this:

To make four placemats, all I had to do was tear these in half and then get all four sheets laminated!

Since all the edges were uneven and frayed, I tore each large sheet in half rather than cut with scissors:

Then I took my four sheets to a FedEx print shop and had each piece laminated. When I picked them up I had placemats!

Gotta loooooove that plastic! In a few years I'll be moving on to pretty fabric placemats, or none at all! But for now, I appreciate this totally kid-friendly alternative.

And guess what? Yesterday at lunch Mason dropped peanut butter from his apple on his placemat. And I smiled, wiped it with my finger, ate it myself, and kissed his chubby cheek. Any little thing that brings a bit more peace to these chaotic, messy days, I'm game. :) 

Carpe the mess!

Thank you all for stopping by! XO