Interior Edit is a monthly round-up of all your interior questions! We’ll cover topics related to styling, curating, sourcing, and creating a home you love…
How did you know your house was the right one? Did you have to fix it up or was it just decor?
The house we live in right now is our first home. To be honest, the season of life when we were home shopping is a bit of a blur – Johnny was working out of town and was flying home every few weeks for a couple of days, we had gotten engaged and were planning a wedding at the same time and there was a bit of a time crunch for us to find a house. The city where we live has these beautiful, old character homes in mature neighbourhoods but every one we looked at that was within our budget needed so much work (and I’m not talking just aesthetic work – but structural work too) and Johnny was nervous about taking that on as a first home, especially when so much of our savings was going towards a first down payment and the wedding at the same time. So we ended up looking in some of the newer developments in town. At first, I had a tough time with that because I felt they were all “cookie cutter” and I disliked that there were no trees. I kept seeing the beautiful moldings, clawfoot bathtubs and lush backyards of the character homes and comparing them – I distinctly remember seeing one house and falling in love with it and then Johnny pointing out that the entire house was slanted and the foundation was literally crumbing (I had definitely not noticed and my response was “but look at the bathtub!” ha).
We looked at a handful of houses quite similar to ours but there was something each time that just didn’t feel “right” – we wanted a house on the smaller side but one that didn’t feel cramped. When we came across our house, right away we loved the high ceilings/large windows and the open concept. It felt bright and it required so little work. There were some minor tweaks that I knew we could make that would bring personality (paint, light fixtures, hardware swaps, style of decor). We put an offer in the day after we saw it and the rest is history. In hindsight, I am SO happy we went with the one we did. It was such a low risk property, had some room for development (the basement was unfinished) and for our first few years of marriage it has been so nice to not have the stress that an “older” home very well could have brought with the possibility of major issues. It has been the perfect canvas for me to experiment and learn what I truly love – I had never even purchased a piece of furniture for myself until two years ago and my taste has evolved as I’ve realized how much I love interior design. This is not my dream house but it is perfect for us right now and we have truly made it our own – we comment almost every single day how much we love the home we’ve created together.
Where do you shop for accents? Throw pillows, blankets & decor?
How many colours should you have in one space?
There is no definitive answer for this because it depends on what style of space you are drawn to! But when I’m decorating a room, I like to start with a neutral foundation and incorporate some initial contrast with furniture, like a white couch with cognac leather chairs. Then I love to inject colour throughout with accents such as plants, coffee table books, textiles, rugs, and artwork. I typically aim for 2-4 colours in a space!
How do you budget for items/projects? How do you prioritize and come up with a realistic timeline?
I haven’t yet had the experience of doing a major renovation or project that was on a strict timeline in a space that you need to function quickly, like a kitchen or a bathroom – so I don’t have much to say on that BUT I have had the experience of furnishing an entire home while starting out with very little. I have learned that you don’t need THAT much stuff and I would much rather save for things I love, that I know I’ll want to keep forever rather than rushing to fill space now. When you start to realize that having empty spaces in your home is totally fine, it makes the process of finding true gems that more enjoyable. I will usually set a budget for myself when I’m looking for a specific item and as I start to hunt, if I find something I absolutely love that is outside of my budget, sometimes I will push my timeline back so I have more time to save. I would rather do without for longer in order to bring the exact thing into our home that I want. And on the flip side, sometimes I have a set budget for myself and then find that item on sale or cheaper than I had originally planned and the money I saved can go towards something else. I truly think you should love every item in your home – from the smallest details to the big items.
How do you focus on a theme – especially when one has eclectic taste?
I think mixing styles is the way to go! It can be difficult to determine what you actually love and how you want your space to come together. I recommend starting to pin interiors or items that speak to you, browsing books or magazines to see what you’re drawn to and how rooms are pulled together and then taking note of what catches your eye. Too much of anything never bodes well when you’re decorating. Too much of one material, too much of one colour, too much of one theme but inject those things into the room in a balanced way and you’re golden. It’s truly all about balance.
When is it good to use black as a bold statement?
I love black as an accent colour! My favourite ways to use black are with hardware (cabinet, faucets), light fixtures or sconces, and windows (love this and this)! There is nothing like a black accent against a crisp white!