Reader Design: Abbie's Layered Look

Off we go to California! Abbie's home is layered with textiles and fun finds, but all of it cohesively ties together for a home that's consistent with it's Southern Cali location.


From Abbie:

We are influenced the the beach community around us. There’s a certain lifestyle here that promotes approachable interiors. We have a large indoor/outdoor space that we use for get togethers and family events. When we remodeled to create a dining room, so many people questioned why we would want such a “formal space.” It actually isn’t formal at all. Our dining space is a common room that facilitates our lifestyle. We love design and modern living, but it has to be approachable. I would also add that the “cool” part of our space is the approachable, laid back feel. We want friends to visit and not be afraid to touch things or sit on things.
When I’m designing and decorating my home in particular, I always want to feel that our space is fresh and not too on trend. I love the look of a well-curated, well-traveled space. I want each item to feel like it has a story behind it, not just some piece that was acquired to fill a spot. The more time we spend here and the more places we travel to, I think the better our home will “age.” I also think it’s important that our space reflect comfort as well as spirit! I want our home to have a personality!
I love to mix textures. I’m big on sticking to a neutral color palette but then layering that color with various textures, materials, and patterns. I’m a true textile lover being that I have my own line of pillows and blankets. I’m always on the hunt for unique textiles to liven a space. I also feel that my space is a true reflection of high and low as well as collected items. If I’ve purchased furniture from a larger company, I make sure that my smaller furnishings are unique and special to me. That means that I try and collect items from my travels to incorporate into my space. That personalizes a room so much!

A perfect example of Abbie's use of textiles is right in the living room. All those pillows are stand-outs on their own, but when paired together, they create what may possibly be the most inviting couch I've ever seen! 


In the office, one of the best elements has to be the polished concrete flooring, which speaks the same language at the floors throughout the rest of the home but adds a surprise element.


In the nursery, Abbie picked out this wallpaper from Ferm Living before she chose anything else, even though she was aiming for a neutral space. But let's be honest... slate-navy wallpaper is pretty much a neutral and makes for a pretty stylish nursery! 


All these details have come together to create a truly perfect family home. It certainly didn't happen overnight, but it was absolutely worth it.

We closed on the house on our wedding day and went into renovation immediately. It was a 1960’s original. We pretty much gutted it all, and it was a labor of love. Last May, we did another remodel, turning our outdoor pergola into a dining space. We also added 4 feet off the kitchen to make a cozy breakfast nook. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with our little one starting to walk (and now run).

Abbie, thank you for showing off your space - you have a lot to be proud of! Follow Abbie along on Instagram at @anaberdesign for more.

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Reader Design: Kelly's Transitional Bungalow

We're headed to the Midwest today, checking out Kelly's Iowa City, Iowa 1940's bungalow. Get it while it's hot, friends, because Kelly, her husband, and their two precious pups are actually moving to Virginia soon! 

This rental brings the charm, and Kelly has carefully and lovingly filled it with meaningful pieces from all different phases of life. It blends trends and aesthetics in a way that feels effortless - and it must have been effortless to actually do, since Kelly didn't have a particular style in mind when decorating! In fact, she had to 'phone to friend' to pinpoint her style. 

I believe every style has it’s own unique beauty and I tend to love them all. I asked a friend how she’d describe our current residence and loved her answer: ‘playful transitional, with a splash of casual glamour/ Hollywood Regency, and some southern charm peppered in.’ Sounds about right to me!

You can feel hints of Kelly's Texas upbringing and time in California for college throughout the home - with the cowhide in the dining room or the midcentury media stand. I have to say though... my favorite pieces are more New England in style. I just adore those nautical framed prints in the living room. Kelly, your in-laws are seriously on-trend - what a great gift! 


Another meaningful piece is prominently featured in the bedroom.

In our bedroom, the white buffet brings back so many memories. My husband and I found it while we were living in California at a thrift store. It was sponge painted in blue gold and, needless to say, quite a sight. Together we painted it white, replaced the drawer pulls, and stained the wood top. I definitely think it’s one of our ‘forever’ pieces, for not only the look but for the nostalgia as well!

This rental sure is a great find, and Kelly, I'm sure you'll miss it (but mostly this adorable screened-in porch) when you move! You managed to create the warm, comfortable, and welcoming home you set out to make, with exactly the right amount of glam. Hats off, Kelly. 

Thank you for letting us in! And you must let us know when you're settled in my home state - we'll invite ourselves over for a virtual visit. 

Follow the fun along with Kelly on Instagram @pearlpappashome

Reader Design: Kiel's 'Scandifornian' Home

I am so excited to share today's feature with you all! I know you're all probably curious as to what Scandifornian (a term Kiel himself coined) means - but fear not, you will quickly understand once you see what this home is all about. 

Their Milwaukee, WI home was built in 1951 and was slathered in orange and brown paint when they found it. Kiel, an architect, and his husband, an apparel designer, were clearly the perfect buyers for this fixer-upper and quickly got to work making it their own. 

We love the neutral, minimal qualities of Scandinavian/Nordic style, which also delicately balance modern, traditional, and rustic sensibilities, but we also go after the light, airy, organic qualities we loved from our Californian lifestyle. We have shoved all of those into a Cape Cod in Middle America and feel that it’s a recipe that lends to a very happy life for us.

Both having backgrounds in design, Kiel and Andrew each had strong opinions on the direction they wanted to follow for their home. Andrew gravitated toward color and pattern, while Kiel preferred neutrals. They used a familiar favorite for designers and amateurs alike, Pinterest, to curate their inspiration. Surprisingly, they quickly realized they were pinning the same images and landed on their aesthetic: "bright white spaces with minimal-leaning appointments."

They stuck to their guns, even when others questioned their decisions, and used social media inspiration to pull off the look. 

Our all-white rule is often not understood by Wisconsin locals, who rightfully question how we could possibly want to spend the Winter months, when the ground is covered in snow four months out of the year, trapped inside a white box. But we counter by reminding that those same four months are also very grey and dark, and that our white rooms maximize what light there is and bring to us a great amount of peace and serenity.

The couple took their time picking finishes, large-scale items, and accents alike, realizing and appreciating the importance of each choice. 

The mobile lighting fixture in the dining room was the first thing we bought for the house, and we feel it set the tone for us to add some streamlined accents in this very traditional house.

One of the most difficult decisions was that of the tiles. Kiel was drawn to the look of graphic painted concrete tiles and even placed a huge order. But they eventually realized that it was time bound trend, and their money would be better invested elsewhere. They instead to decided to focus on creating a home that would make them happy for years to come. 

My personal favorite space in their home is the master bedroom. The shiplap detail and white painted floor created a space that is immediately restorative and serene. As Kiel says, "It's an incredible room to wake up to in the morning!" ...I'll bet! 

This entire home is just full of memorable and beautiful design moments. Kiel, hats off for a job well done, and congratulations on owning your first home! Thank you for inviting us in. 

Follow Kiel along on Instagram @kielaaron for more!

Until next time,