Reader Design: Lisa's Scandinavian Style

Let's take a field trip to Canada and Lisa's neutral, simple, and modern home. It's the kind of place where you can relax but also feel like you're in an upscale hotel - possibly one situated in an urban Scandinavian city. 

Growing up I spent a lot of time in Denmark visiting family, and I was definitely influenced by their modern, simplistic and practical style. I remember being surprised by the bright, open spaces and simple decor. It contrasted so much with our own 80’s home that seemed dark and congested in comparison. I haven’t been back in ages, and now that I have a better understanding of modern design I think I would be in heaven.

Sometimes Scandinavian or minimal style can read as cold, but Lisa still finds a way to make it warm and inviting for her family. 

More than anything I want my home to be a comfortable and inviting place for my family. I don’t think we get that feeling when a space is visually cluttered. On the other hand, too few things can make a place seem sterile, so I try to create balance by adding warm, natural elements like wood, leather, plants and textiles. I also prefer a neutral colour palate which creates a sense of calm. I recently purchased a couple of rugs for my home and they both have a rich colour to them, but work well with the surrounding neutrals. Textiles and artwork are two categories where I will make an exception to the no-colour rule.
I try to avoid anything too trendy, preferring instead to invest in pieces that have been around for decades and have staying power. Also, for me, design has to be practical first, then stylish, not the other way around. I once purchased some gorgeous bedside sconces from a well known company, but when I turned them on they cast such a harsh light in the room. I was sad to return them, but there was no question about it.

Morale of the story? Focus on timelessness, balance, and authenticity in the design. You will not get it right on the first try, but that's why stores have return policies, right? And eventually, you'll strike the perfect match with pieces like last, like this 85-year old Iranian bedroom rug from @rugandweave.

Great work, Lisa! You'll clearly created a home that works for your family - and that's quite the accomplishment! Thanks for the tour. 

Follow Lisa along on Instagram @lisafogt for more great design!

See you next week,

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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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Mark Your Calendar!

Hi Friends! Jumping on to share a really quick announcement with you today - on January 10 I will be over on Roomhints sharing tips, tricks and fixes, for any and all pesky home decor questions you may have! Whether you're trying to find the right layout for a particular space, which paint color to use, or what size sofa to purchase, I'll be available with decisive advice to help you move forward! I sought this opportunity as a way to offer help for those who don't necessarily need a full design package but have questions that are beyond the expertise of their Joanna-Gaines-obsessed coworkers. Sometimes we just need a few experienced pointers to be well on our way, right? The process is three simple steps:

  1. Register with me, Chelsea Bieber, for $49, (a fraction of a full design package)
  2. Upload photos of your space to the Roomhints app, (you'll be directed how to do this, it's very easy)
  3. Ask away! Let me know what's nagging you about that space and I'll respond with 5 practical tips, pieces, ideas, etc!

When the holiday buzz has quieted and you've swept up the last of the dried Christmas tree bristles, it's a perfect time to re-think your space and hit the reset button. I would love to talk it out with you and lend my help so you can love your home that much more in 2018!