Reader Design: Rhiannon's Family Farmhouse

We're off to a home that's right after Joanna Gaines' shiplap-lovin' heart. Side note: is anyone else mourning the final season of Fixer Upper like I am? 

Thank goodness for Rhiannon and her Spotsylvania, Virginia home. It may help fill the void a little bit, at least for today! She calls Chip & Jo some of her biggest inspirations, so it makes sense that her home has the same lived-in, cozy comfort that we've come to love so much.

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They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if that's true, then this heart is alive, well, and full of love. Rhiannon and her husband took on a lot of projects themselves to turn this into their dream.

From Rhiannon:

Our open shelving is my favorite. I originally wanted to make the entire wall at my sink to be windows, but the expense was going to be too much. So this was my second choice, but it makes our space feel bigger, and I can completely redecorate them at any time and create a whole new feel in the room/space with the seasons.

When redoing this space, they were conscious of anything too trendy or generic; even still, though, the heart wants what it wants.

I always joke with my husband, “are our children going to make fun of the way our house looked in pictures 30 years from now?” But I’d like to think that subway tile, oak woods, and great neutrals will never go out of style.

With such a beautiful, neutral backdrop, switching up the decor is something Rhiannon likes to do often - and let's be honest, I think it's something we're all guilty of. We can't stop those creative impulses! Luckily, we get to see this home decked out for the holidays; Rhiannon makes the most of every space and brings the festivity. 

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Even when it's not the holiday season, this home is always a place of welcoming and peace.

I want it to feel cozy and comfortable but clean and minimalistic. I can’t relax in clutter. I’m always striving to find a good balance of simplistic but lived in. I never want my home to be the kind you walk into and your afraid to get dirty or mess up the pillows on the couch, I want people (as well as me and my husband) to feel relaxed and welcome. I think having a nice place to come home to where you genuinely enjoy your surroundings is so important and makes such an impact on day to day life!
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And while Rhiannon calls some areas, like the master bedroom, 'works in progress,' she has a surefire trick for instantly updating a space. Any guesses based on what you've seen?

They're fluffy, pretty, and easy to move around....

THROW PILLOWS! I think we all know that throw pillows have the power to dramatically transform spaces, and Rhiannon has that trick nailed. 

I like the ability to change the feel of a room with each season or mood I’m in, shelf decor and throw pillows are the easiest and most affordable way to do that!

Rhiannon, thank you for hosting a tour today! We're wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons in your home. Follow Rhiannon along on Instagram for more at @rhiannonmlawson.

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Reader Design: Erin's Perfect Midwestern Digs

Happy Labor Day weekend, Mutts! This weekend, people all over the country are celebrating what many deem to be the last weekend of summer. I, for one, can't wait for Fall - but I'll be celebrating like the rest of you in one of my favorite Midwestern cities: Chicago, Illinois. 

Another favorite? Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the brains behind today's reader design hails from. Welcome to Erin's Perfect Midwestern Digs! 

I found Erin via Instagram several months ago and continue to fall in love with her aesthetic with every post. Her home manages to be light, bright, simple, and durable - something that is increasingly important in Minnesota to withstand all of that cold and precipitation (and whatever those other three seasons bring). 
From Erin:

I’d describe my style as “handmade modern.” I love visually clean, modern spaces that have been softened by traditional architectural elements and handmade pieces. Though I’m drawn towards bright, modern spaces, I still want our home to feel approachable and “undecorated.” Using a mélange of handcrafted and vintage pieces really help to reinforce the relaxed and casual vibe.

Let's talk about the oven nook. What a place to bake a chicken pot pie come this Fall! I can't be the only one fantasizing about this, right??  Erin's favorite part of the kitchen are the cabinet doors below the sink. They were actually salvaged from the original kitchen in the home, just simply refinished with paint and hardware!

I love how they give our inexpensive cabinetry a custom look, as well as help pay homage to the home’s 90 year old bones.
I think personal style, interiors or otherwise, is born from simply figuring out what it is you are repeatedly drawn to. What do you find beautiful and why? I’m always trying to surround myself with inspiration, because I think style is something that develops slowly over time and never stops evolving.

I definitely pay attention to trends, but I try not to design my home around them, unless either I’ve loved this element long before it became popular, (i.e. my affinity towards the color blue), or I feel as though the trend will still have legs long after its heyday has passed, (i.e. classic subway tiles).
I really wrestled with whether or not to paint the wood trim in our living and dining room. I love white enameled trim, but throughout my childhood, my mother, who adored her beautiful Mid-Century woodwork, always taught us never to paint the trim. I had a bit of an internal struggle about it at first, but after seeing how weathered our 1930’s trim was, especially the sills, it made it a lot easier to go for the enameled trim.

Another beautiful original element of the house is captured in 1930s-era rounded archway. Erin expertly blends straight mid-century modern lines with romantic curvatures throughout her space. And then there's the dining room light fixture - woah. 

Whether it’s a vintage rug or sculptural light fixture, I’ll always be willing to splurge on one statement piece within each space. The perfect piece can make the entire space pop without much effort, so I’ll pair the statement splurge with affordable or thrifted finds to help balance the budget. My advice though would be to really make sure you love the piece (and will for years to come) before you buy. This is not the time to buy based on trends!

Erin, all I can say is BRAVO! Your space is perfect. Are you sick of hearing that word yet? Follow Erin along on Instagram or on her blog, Francois et Moi, for more inspiration!

Mutts, until next time! 

Reader Design: Amber's Peaceful Backdrop

Hi friends! As Summer and Fall seem to be in a bit of a tug-of-war here in Northern Virginia, this coastal inspired home tour seems pretty perfect for this 80 degree Friday in November! Amber, (Restless Arrow, @restlessarrow) has been a beach lover her whole life, but more recently began using it as her primary inspiration for decorating her home. After a good run with loads of color, she's found her nitch with creamy neutrals - and it suits her young family just right!

From Amber:

My first living room had one brown wall, yellow walls and black and red furniture! I used so much color and used it so wrong! Now, please know: I absolutely love color and so many of my friends do it so extraordinarily well. But me?  I’m much better with soft whites and neutrals. Our white couches stand up to the test of our wild boys, yet provide the perfect backdrop for my love of neutrals.

Fact - White slipcovered seating is incredibly easy to keep clean. Zip off, toss in wash with a bit of bleach, and it's new again. NEW I tell ya!

This mantle was dark, dark wood and one day, I finally got the nerve to paint it white and I never looked back!
I found this table at Goodwill when we began the process of renovating our foreclosure. I painted it white, of course, and then added stripes since I can never find a tablecloth long enough.

Well there's a fun trick - paint on a pattern rather than use a tablecloth!

I love this little bench in the corner because, again, it provides just a few extra seats for any surprise guests.
Our kitchen is by far the biggest transformation in our entire home. Tearing down a chimney and ripping out all of the walls allowed us to start from scratch. Laminate counter tops, stock cabinets and open shelves helped us achieve this look on a budget. A DIY hood my dad made and butcher block counter tops as our island made our kitchen complete.

Can't you just smell the salty air of the beach from looking at this space?!

As the story of our yellow house evolves, we fall more in love each day. It seemed the more I started doing what I loved and not what I thought I was “supposed to do,” I saw my style evolve. What worked for us turned out to be comfort first then style. And somehow, for us, it ties together perfectly. Not for anyone else, but for our wild family of young boys and a little girl on the way. It may not look perfect but it welcomes a basketball team on Saturday mornings and a group of girls every Tuesday morning to gather around this imperfect little ottoman and stained couch cushions. And that, we would not change for the world. The story of our house is a true story of love at first sight. A relationship that certainly took way more than it gave for the first three years of the journey, but today, it is our dream come true.

We sure love a happy ending - thank you, Amber, for sharing yours!

If you've got some time to swoon, head over to our SPACES page where we collect all our Reader Designs for your viewing pleasure - and then tag your own home so we can feature you, too! Tag #stylemuttspaces on Facebook or Instagram, or email a few photos to


Thank you so much for kicking off your weekend with us! Have a good one!