Reader Design: Meredith's Simplified Space

It seems like the whole country is experiencing some crazy sunshine this week! But no place gets more sunshine than the location of today's reader design location: Denver, Colorado. Allegedly, this city gets a whopping 300 days of sunshine, and you can tell by the lightness and brightness of Meredith's home.

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When we bought this home, it was filled to the brim with bold paint colors, glossy finishes, and bright accent walls. My first goal was to lighten everything up and make the rooms feel more cohesive. We used the same light gray paint color (Silver Drop by Behr) in almost every room, and it’s done wonders for making our home feel light and bright and so much bigger! From there I tried to arrange furniture and decorate so our home feels welcoming and cozy but still simplified and clean.
— Meredith
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My style and DIY skills have definitely evolved over the past 10 years of home-ownership. Our first house was an 80s ranch in Arkansas, where we learned to scrape popcorn ceilings, add recessed lighting, and paint lots and lots of wood trim. I started collecting mid-century modern furniture pieces there because they fit the style of the house, but over time, mid-century furnishings became part of our style, too. Now those same pieces seem to fit our very non-ranch second home in Colorado because they are a reflection of us.
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Our family room is full of more favorite pieces. The credenza was a $40 Craigslist find that I spent hours sanding down to bare wood and refinishing. That thing will probably outlive me! The gold arc lamp was an estate sale find that took three adults to load into my car (with two carseats installed). And of course, our West Elm leather sofa is the most durable, comfortable thing ever. It was our only brand-new furniture purchase after moving to Colorado and it was worth every penny.
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One design element I will always be willing to splurge on is good lighting. In both of our homes, we replaced horrible wood-framed fluorescent lighting in the kitchens with recessed lights. We’ve also updated almost every single light fixture throughout our home. I don’t necessarily need something high-end if it’s a good design. I tend to prefer simple globe pendants and sconces, except for in our girls’ shared bedroom where I added the most girly floral chandelier ever!
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Over the past year, my husband and I have strived to simplify the way we live. We’ve emptied out our unfinished basement, decluttered our kids’ toy collection and our closets, reduced the number of decor items out at any given time, and even put half our dishes and flatware into storage so our kitchen stays cleaner. Our home feels lighter and bigger and we spend much less time cleaning and tidying! I’d love to be a true minimalist, but I have to balance a love of adding interesting textures and pops of color, too. Lately I’ve learned that keeping the pieces you feel most passionate about and letting go of the rest is a pretty great recipe for a home you love.

Meredith, thank you so much for giving us a tour! Follow Meredith along on Instagram @welcometoheardmont for more!

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Reader Design: Lara's Canadian Hide Out

Hello, dear friends! Today, I'm writing to you all from my new home: sunny (yes, sunny... for now) Seattle, Washington. I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Canadian border, which we're headed across for today's tour. 

Meet Lara and her eclectic home in Ontario, Canada.

Lara is a style mutt through and through and describes her own style as a mishmash of tastes. 

From Lara:

I am a child of the seventies, and that is reflected in my home. The house I grew up in was all earth tones with lots of wood, and that is something I am still very drawn to.

And plants, of course. I’ve been decorating with houseplants since I was a university student living in a dorm twenty years ago. It’s come as something of a surprise to me that houseplants have made such a huge comeback after years of being relegated to granny status! But I love it.

It's hard to remember a time when plants weren't 'in' - who could even imagine passing on all the huge benefits of having greenery in your home!? Thank goodness that, eventually, everything comes back into style. Lara has actually has over 50 plants in her home and definitely takes after her grandfather who was an agronomist for the Canadian government.


Lara's home evokes major #calihomevibes, despite the fact that she has yet to visit the state. It's "light, bright, and casual, with a bit of edge." After a recent trip to her home country of Latvia, Lara realized that she's subconsciously been pulling in some European elements as well, with the focus on earthiness and comfort. Like many homes in both locations, Lara has created a space that pulls you in and invites you to stay a while. 

First and foremost, I want my home to feel welcoming and homey. I want people to feel comfortable, but also, hopefully, a little inspired. I love a home that exudes creativity and reflects the personalities of the people who live there, and I hope that my home does that.

Now, it just so happens that these tendencies of Lara's are totally 'on trend' right now... but Lara assures me that she's been decorating her home this way for years!

It’s funny because I don’t think my house has ever been as on-trend as it is now! My style has been very similar for many years, but the “jungalow” look has never been as hot as it is now!

Things break away from the laid back and neutral scheme a little bit once you reach the bedrooms, where Lara is open for lots of color exploration and pattern-mixing.

As much as I love earth tones, I also love color, and the kids’ rooms are where I feel I can really let loose with that.

The bedrooms also show off Lara's thrify side - from the band posters used as art, to the clearance sale mid-century dresser that Lara's husband Rob miraculously brought back to life. 

The rooms are just fun - lucky kids who get to call those home!

Lara, thank you so much for showing us around. Your home is clean, simple, but perfectly reflects your sweet family. 

Follow Lara along on Instagram @thehydeoutblog for more inspiration, courtesy of our neighbor to the North. And thanks to Kiely @kielyramosphoto for capturing Lara's home so beautifully.

Reader Design: Bri's Cali Cool Home

It's Friday!! Finally. After what feels like the longest week. I don't know about you guys, but I am in serious need of a good vacation. 

Thankfully, today we are touring Bri's Cali cool home; right in the middle of Southern California in a little town called Aliso Viejo, every day just has to feel like a vacation for Bri right? Her home is certainly relaxing enough to make you think so! 

What you wouldn't necessarily guess, though, is that this open and airy space is also home to Bri's husband and two children. That means that functionality is right up there with appearance. 

From Bri:

I want our home to be comfortable because we have two children, but I also want it to look rad. Many of my textiles are vintage items that have already withstood many years of use, so I feel pretty confident that they can handle being used in fort building and pillow fights. I’ve recently switched to a lighter color scheme in our main living space because I wanted it to feel light and bright even though our home gets very poor natural light. I love mixing wood tones within my home too because of the warmth and sense of comfort they can exude. Overall, I just really want our home to feel like you can kick your feet up on the furniture, because we are fine with that...maybe take your shoes off at least since we do have a white sofa, but nothing is too precious.

That means that Bri decorates by being, in her words, "a little bit of a lot." She mixes lots of styles together, in small increments so that one aesthetic doesn't overtake the whole space. She also mixes and matches when it comes to price points, pairing pricier mid-century finds or local textiles with flea market steals or Target items. 

In the dining nook, that meant Bri flexed her creative muscles to add doors to Ikea toy benches - a simple change that gets big functionality and style points! 

And the style keeps right on going into the bedrooms. 

In our bedroom, I have to say I love my hat wall. That may sound so silly, but I truly just love the warmth the shades of brown add to the room and that they also serve as wall decor. It’s a simple storage solution that makes a big impact.
In my kid’s shared room I love their accent wall that I stenciled. You can see this wall when standing in our kitchen, looking through the living space so I knew I wanted it to standout.

Bri, thank you for showing us around. I have just one final question for you -

When can I visit? 

Follow Bri on Instagram @brimoysa for more, and I'll see you all next week!