Does the thought of sticking to one and only one design style leave you feeling constrained? Are you drawn to rooms featuring an effortlessly layered look that by the nature of its diversity feels well lived in and full of personality? For me, I’ve always been jealous of my sister and brother-in-law’s home. Somehow they’ve turned what in my hands would be cluttered chaos into an eclectic collage of vintage-modern masterpieces. I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are born with this innate gift (or is it a super power?) for mixing and matching disparate pieces of decor. Design Star winner Emily Henderson and HGTV favorite Erinn Valencich are masters of mix and match. Others of us can learn. If you, like me, adore but are slightly intimidated by this approach to design, then you’re in luck. Mix-and-match is hot right now. And by breaking down an eclectic space design layer by design layer, it’s possible for us mere mortals to pull of this cool trend. Here are four mini-lessons.
1. Farmer Chic, Living Area Designed by Gregory Augustine
“If you and Vern Yip just happened to be chatting over a cup of coffee right now, what would you ask him about his work designing the 2011 Urban Oasis?” That’s what our senior editor Mary Graff wants to know. Submit your questions for Vern Yip on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2011 blog, and Mary will pick several for HGTV’s famed designer to answer! By the way, design work has begun on this year’s Urban Oasis, located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago. Mary says, “Vern Yip plans to decorate the space with an eclectic mix of antiques, architectural artifacts and contemporary decor that reflects Chicago’s heart and soul.”
I used to live in Chicago. A-MAZ-ING city. And with Vern Yip answering the Q&A in the form of a slide show, it’s sure to be packed with cool photos and impressive design insights.
Submit your HGTV Urban Oasis questions for Vern Yip now!
Hands down one of my favorite episodes. (Missed it? Click here for my full episode of Modern Urban Beach: Secrets From a Stylist.) Many of reasons why. First of all, you all didn’t know this, but i am friends with these folks. (They auditioned and got on without any word from me, by the way.) She was 9 months pregos, and I felt so bad for her, because she was tired. Not exactly great timing. And it proved to be extra not great timing by the end of the week. That’s right, she had the baby before we finished shooting the episode. Whoops. They felt so sorry, and i was like, ‘SHUT UP! YOU ARE HAVING A BABY, AND THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ANY OF US’. I was sooo excited for them. Long story short, i designed their new house, they had a baby and it all ended perfectly.
Their combined style is ‘Modern Urban Beach’ and their house (that used to be a guest house) looked a little something like this before:
The Before: Well, at least I have a fairly clean slate!
But then i came along, and now it looks like this:
The Big Reveal
Lauren and Andre were tricky. They were a great example of not knowing what they want, but upon seeing something they hate, they had really strong opinions. So there was more guess work than before. (If you missed this one or need a refresher, here’s an easy-peasy way you can watch the whole episode of California Spanish Mod: Secrets From a Stylist.) Here are a few pictures from Domino I showed them. (I find that if i bring GOOD magazines, people choose good things. If i tell them to send me pics, then i get UNinspired pics because most people are not obsessed with design blogs like i am. So finding beautiful, inspiring pictures is hard for them.) Here is what they both liked:
She loved the mirror (which i did find, for $1600 at MIX) and they loved the colors. They both loved the coffee tables and the colors…which is why i started getting the ‘modern organic’ thing. It’s rustic, but more refined.
The Looks + Their Reactions
Meet Amy and Mike’s place. Mike loves all things rustic; Amy loves it clean and simple.
The Before: No personality and so NOT them
if that’s not them, what is?
Neo-southern modern scottish re-belle. Really Emily? That title was long but it totally made us laugh. Nick was terrified that i was going to do all their furniture in plaid. He works in TV so he knows that a lot of these shows try to create conflict and do so by going really over the top for the audience (If you missed it, you can watch or rewatch the full episode of Southern Roman Scottish Charm: Secrets From a Stylist). I totally messed with him about it off camera, with little ‘hope you like neon plaid’ comments here and there.
And Clark liked her title but i think she was thinking it would be super traditional matchy-matchy, where the drapery matches the sofa which matches the pillows kinda thing. So she was a little scared, too.
See Their Inspiration Rooms
We’ve got a juicy sneak peek of the first makeover from Design Star winner Emily Henderson’s new series, Secrets From a Stylist, premiering on Saturday, February 26 at 9p/8c.
Emily’s also been putting her design know-how to work helping readers discover their personal style. Upload photos and videos of items that represent your personality for the chance to have Emily diagnose your design style.
Isn’t that couch bonkers?
And here’s your invite for our Twitter party during the show!
Live Twitter Party with Emily Henderson (@em_henderson) during Secrets from a Stylist Premiere
Sat, 2/26 from 9-9:30pm ET
For the first episode of Design Star Dan Faires’ online show, DanMade, he shows how to create a high-end upholstered headboard without breaking the bank.
All you need: plywood, a painter’s canvas and some carpet tacks.
See Dan in Action
Dan Faires, winner of the Design Star season 5 fan favorite vote, shares a sneak peek of his upcoming online show, DanMade.
Well aren’t I a little rebel. Just because I’m a little preppy doesn’t mean that I’m a prude. And yes, I do have a membership at a country club….a country club for filthy rich, rebellious and extremely fashion-forward intellectuals, not accepting applications right now. Or ever. All full. Sorry.
I drink Old Fashioneds while sitting in my perfectly worn Chesterfield, smoking Virginia Slims, ironically of course. I read Sartre and Nietzsche, and prefer European men and purebred dogs (Weimaraners, yes). I need modern twists on traditional forms — dark and sinewy shapes, and patterns that are unexpected and contrast perfectly against each other. I’m not playful but I am sardonic. I’m not girly, but I am sexy. I’m cosmopolitan, but I wouldn’t be caught drinking one….please, 2002 called and they want their fruity chick drink back.
(Thanks to Christopher Kane’s spring 2011 line for the inspiration.)