Reader Design: Sara's Approachable Rental

It's December 1. Where has 2017 gone?! 

While I sit here and reminisce, let's take a trip to DC, where I lived at the start of this year. We're off to explore Sara's rental in our nation's capitol. Sara's one-bedroom spot is a step-up spatially from the studio she once had - the same spot that inspired her to start sharing her design tips in the first place.

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I started my blog because I didn’t find enough resources for studio apartment decorating and living when I first moved into my own studio apartment in DC a 4 years ago. I’ve since upgraded to a one bedroom, but after living in studios and apartments under 800 square feet, I really enjoy the process of designing a space on a budget and that’s entirely renter-friendly. It will probably be awhile before I own a place, so the challenges of making a rental your own are really fun. If your home or apartment is a rental and a place where you spend a lot of time, it should make you happy and reflect your style. Whether it’s new paint, changing out the hardware, adding art or anything else- I believe every home can be beautiful- rental or not!

Sara has pulled together the perfect home base escape, with mid-century, Parisian, and Cali cool vibes throughout. 

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I strive for my home to be inviting, stylish, yet approachable. I want people to admire the space, but also feel comfortable to sit anywhere and put their feet up. I don’t believe any space should be too ‘stuffy’ or so ‘perfect’ that guests are afraid to touch anything. I also have a dog (who is allowed on the furniture) so everything must be pet-friendly, too!
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In her home, Sara keeps things simple and calm with neutral tones and subtle pops of visual interest, using color, patterns, and texture. 

The images all over pinterest and instagram constantly give me the urge to paint every inch white and go very scandanavian and remove all color from my place. However... I don’t think I would realistically like that long-term. My apartment is fairly neutral but I do like a pop of color here and there. My bedroom is all white and muted pink accent of the rug and metallic elements keep the space calm and neutral and it’s really relaxing to come home to each night.

Since the room is rental, Sara still keeps her design budget-conscious and smart.

I’m always willing to splurge on bigger staple pieces that I know I’ll use for 5-10 years or more. My bed frame and my sofa were both on the higher end of the price scale but I know they are quality investment pieces that I’ll use for years to come. I try to save on accessories and other elements in the apartment- scouring thrift stores and craigslist for great vintage finds.

Sara, thank you for showing us around your home! And thank you, Laura, for the stunning eye candy.

Follow Sara along on Instagram @studiostyleblog for more! Follow the talented @laurametzlerphoto for photos like these and more!

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Reader Design: Lisa's Eclectic UK Pad

We're going trans-Atlantic today with a reader design tour in the United Kingdom. Lisa and her family moved to their Georgian style home in York three years ago; but while this home is the perfect period place, Lisa has an amazing eclectic aesthetic that makes it entirely her own! 

Lisa first started sharing her home via Instagram several years ago, and needless to say, mutts of all kinds were immediately drawn in! 

From Lisa: 

I am totally addicted to thrift, vintage and recycling and love mixing old and new together. The juxtaposition of the two makes me really happy. I adore midcentury furnishings and styles and this is reflected in many of my rooms. I would describe my style as eclectic vintage with a bit of London cool.

What I love about Lisa's home is that it is just. so. her! Now of course I only know Lisa through the magic of the interwebs, but I can feel and understand her when I look at this space. Do you all feel it? Can you all see what's important to her? The spirit of individuality, the authenticity of self? It may be "just design," but that's not to be overlooked! 

I feel that the only person who should dictate a trend in your own home is yourself. My home is filled with things that I love - if I don’t love it, I don’t have it. So my style reflects my ideas and personality. I don’t bring things into my home based on whether they will ‘match’ or blend and I like to clash and mix textures. It’s taken years for me to realize that you should just go with what you like, whether it’s ‘on trend’ or not.
Via my Styling Workshops, I encourage other interior obsessives to go with their gut instinct when choosing decor and furnishings. If you like it, have it. We’ve moved on from the ‘matchy matchy’ colour themed interior design standard viewpoint and especially in our post Brexit economy, people are more inclined to recycle and buy vintage than they ever have been before.

Lisa practices what she preaches - listening to what you want, reusing found or vintage materials when you can (hey, it's financially responsible and it looks pretty cool too!), and making your home into something you really, truly love. Her best illustration of all of this is her kitchen, which she renovated on a simple couple hundred dollar budget. 

I revamped my kitchen myself on a super small budget. My favourite piece in here is the steel neon above the cooker. It’s a Pink Floyd track called Shine On You Crazy Diamond and it was made by an amazing local artisan called Light Up North. My dad died unexpectedly eight years ago and he was a guitar player in a band, this was his favourite song so I feel that even though he never got to see our home that there is always part of him here.

Now, I'll leave you with the one statement Lisa aspires to be - and which I think she's totally nailed. 

Rock chick cool art mixed with vintage pieces and midcentury thrifted finds is my idea of perfection.

Follow Lisa along on Instagram @_lisa_dawson_ or via her blog

Kesslyr's Artistic Flat

Mutts: Allow me to introduce you to Kesslyr. She not only has an incredibly unique name (as a 'McKenna,' which went from unique to fairly mainstream in the world for 4-year-old girls, I'm very jealous) but is also a wonderfully unique and inspiring artist - check out her website which has its soft launch TODAY! 

        Images source: Kesslyr's Pinterest

        Images source: Kesslyr's Pinterest

And her home in Brooklyn, New York is the perfect backdrop to showcase her work! 

Here's an important piece of information for you all to keep in mind as you read this post. Kesslyr and her husband moved in to this space in June. Of this year. I'm not telling you that to make you feel bad - but WOW! 

Now, over to the artist herself: 

For us, we start firstly with bringing life into a room; in our case, this means plant life. Then we add a few pieces of necessary furniture, then sit back and let that soak in. Its easy for a space to get cluttered, so we take our time in choosing the mood of the room. The older we get, the fewer things we like to share in our spaces. So simplicity is key.

I know most of our Mutts have cultivated impressive green thumbs recently, but ladies & gentleman, Kesslyr's skills in this area should be taken seriously. Very seriously. 

Our Brooklyn home is pretty small, and [I would describe our style as] simple & modern with an eclectic touch.

Throughout our home, we have tons of locally crafted pieces from our own art to pottery. One of our favorite spots is our office nook. Super cosy little nook with frosted windows that give off warm light throughout the day. The clash of stainless steel from the mirror and brass from the sconce is a unique contrast.

Green Thumb Badge EARNED, Kesslyr. 

Now, if I had you all guess where Kesslyr and her husband got married, do you think you could do it? I'll give you some hints: the natural plant life, the mid-century influences, the welcoming 'stay a while' vibe. Anyone guessing Palm Springs? GOOD! 

We are constantly evolving as people and with that, so does our taste level. We are loving the feeling of modernity but not overtly sterile. We want our home to feel warm and still have character. Some modern homes can feel like museums and make you feel like you cant disturb anything or even sit on the couch. Which is the opposite of what we are going for.

After only three months in this home, it feels so loved - and that is no small feat. 

Its about collecting those quality in pieces that are timeless; lamps, mirrors and art seem to be what draw us in. Its a small collection that builds slowly and methodically and will be enjoyed for years to come.

Kesslyr, thank you for letting us in! And Mutts, show Kesslyr some love and follow her along on Instagram for more design and art inspiration! Now, everyone, go enjoy your weekends!