I’m excited to bring back the interior talk series as it’s such a fun one for me to write. It truly feels like sitting down with good friends to just chat about interiors – one of my favourite pass times. I get a lot of dm’s on Insta re: my design/decor choices, ideas for your homes, sources, interior challenges you’re having, my opinions on trends, and how to curate a space that feels like home; so it felt right to turn this into a regular feature where you can ask any interior-related question and I’ll choose some to answer. This way, they’ll live on the blog and you can revisit as needed.
Okay, let’s get going with the questions!
Q: What size is your bed and what size rug do you have?
A: Our bed is king-sized. And the rug we have is 7.6×9.6. We could definitely fit a larger rug in this room but in our old house, this was the best fit and since this looks totally fine, I don’t have any plans to swap. Oh, and here is a link to our bedroom rug!
Q: Should rugs be placed on top of carpet?
A: Yes. Team rug in every room, always.
Q: What size rug to layer over carpet under a queen sized bed in a small room?
A: Go with an 8×10 if it will fit, otherwise, 6×9. I wouldn’t do anything smaller than that under a queen bed. People often tell me they are afraid of going with a big rug in a smaller room because they’re nervous it will make the room look small, but in reality, nothing makes a room look smaller than a too-small rug.
Q: How do you know when to use a round coffee table or a square/rectangle shape?
A: First off, there is no right or wrong answer here! A lot of it depends on your taste/style. But a few tips that have helped me: rectangle/oval coffee tables are pretty much interchangeable as far as working in a space – both work really well with a standard-sized couch or in a more narrow space where you may not have a ton of clearance to walk-around. Similarly, a square/round coffee table are fairly interchangeable as well. Both of these options will look great with a large, comfy sectional. I would say if your space is on the smaller side, a round table might look best because it leaves the room feeling more open and walkable. One other rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a coffee table – keep in mind that it should be roughly 1/2 the length of your couch at a minimum and no more than 2/3 the length. If you’re dealing with a sectional, the same rules apply but only to the horizontal section of the couch – don’t include the entire couch in the calculations.
Q: What to do with a bit of extra space in the bedroom (not a desk)?
A: I’m trying to figure this out for our bedroom right now, too! A few options I’m considering: a tall-boy dresser styled on top with a lamp, perfume and some pretty jewellery storage (we don’t need the dresser storage but I LOVE a dresser-top vignette and we don’t have a single dresser in our house); a comfy chair with a little side table for a reading nook; or a bench with a gallery wall above.
Q: What to look for on Facebook Marketplace?
A: Look for pieces with good “bones” (e.g. solid wood, great shapes, decent condition). You need to look pretty much every day if you’re going to find the real gems on there. I would recommend making a list on your phone of pieces you’re hunting for and revisit that often when scrolling.
I think the approach changes a bit based on where you live. If you live in a larger city, specific keywords (e.g. “alabaster” lamp, “burl wood” console table) will be more important; whereas, in a smaller city, you might be able to get away with broader searches (e.g. lamp, desk) because you can sift through it all quite easily. I also sometimes will search stores I like and that can surface some good items (e.g. “CB2”, “West Elm”, “Crate and Barrel”). You can also adjust your location for each search too, so keep that in mind. If I’m looking for a big ticket item like a couch or a finished dresser, I’m more likely to drive a bit further for pickup and know that I’ll have better luck including a big city a couple hours away. Whereas, if I’m hunting for something small, I’ll keep the search closer to home.
I keep a list of materials I’m hunting for on hand and will sometimes search those too. Some examples of ones I check regularly are “marble”, “cane”, “rattan”, “alabaster”, “vintage”. I do find when hunting on Etsy, my searches are a lot more specific – e.g. French iron lamp, Danish cord bench, etc.
Q: How to decide on lighter paint colours?
A: Get samples of the colours you’re drawn to and paint little patches on the wall in the room you’re planning to paint. This way, you can see how it looks throughout the day as different light comes in. I’ve had paint colours that I loved in the morning but totally hated later in the day so I think it’s important to get a feel for the colour in the space at all times of day. I find the little paint swatches never accurately show how it’s going to look in the room so don’t skip the step of actually trying the colours on the wall before committing.
Q: What’s your approach to plant styling. I feel like I have a bunch of three plants and it doesn’t look right.
A: I like to have large plants in the corners of every room so that’s pretty straightforward. For shelf, counter, side table or nightstand styling with plants, it’s all about balance. As with styling any decor items, you don’t want too much of one thing all in one spot so spread them out. Rather than grouping the plants in three’s, try spacing them out so there are 2-3 separate spots your eyes are drawn to that are cohesive. Style little vignettes in three’s but maybe include a stack of coffee table books, a lamp and one plant. Or a tray, a plant and a candle. Or a piece of leaning art, a plant and a decorative object. Variation in materials and height will be your friend here.
Q: Thoughts on wood looking flooring with a stained island?
A: Multiple wood types can totally work! I would say though – either stick to a warm or cool wood tone pallet. Here’s a great visual for that.
Also, repetition is important with any wood tones you use. Each type should be used a minimum of two times in the room. This could be in furniture, wood accents on the counters/shelves, or picture frames. Some repetition is definitely your friend and will help the room feel cohesive.
Q: How to switch from farmhouse to a more classic modern style on a budget?
A: I think anytime you want to change the style of your home, it’s good to embrace there might be a bit of an awkward, middle-school-like phase where things might be a bit eclectic. I’d encourage you to make Pinterest boards for different areas of your home and start pinning everything that inspires you for those rooms – after some time, go back and revisit the board as a whole and pay attention to the details you see repeated. This might be paint colours, styles, wood tones, materials for accents, anything!
I would start with some of the easier areas to update – paint colours, art work (I feel like farmhouse has very distinct art, so that would be an easy one to take down and slowly replace), textiles, and accents. Then, if necessary, slowly replace any furniture that doesn’t jive with your new style OR update it (paint, swap out hardware, etc.). But lots of times, it’s the accents and textiles that can dictate the style so you may find that a lot of the furniture still works. And remember, that it’s a process and won’t happen overnight!
Q: Neutral Halloween decorations that will shut my husband up but not ruin my aesthetic?
A: This one made me laugh – I’m not much of a Halloween decor person but I don’t think you can go wrong with a few well-placed pumpkins (I prefer the small, more neutral ones you can sometimes find at the grocery store) and some potted mums. If you’re wanting a few “spooky” touches, you could also get a couple new art prints and swap them out in frames you already have – I think this, this and this are cute!
Beyond that, you’re asking the wrong girl ha. BUT if you’re wanting some seasonal, fall decor swaps – look no further! I did a whole roundup of accents, textiles, art, and decor that says autumn in a subtle but intentional way. You can check that out here.
Q: Minimalist window treatment ideas for living/dining room in a 1920’s brick bungalow?
A: I have found some stunning minimalist window treatments on Etsy! A few faves – these, these, and these.
Q: What’s worth the renovation and what’s not?
A: This is a tough one for me to answer because it’s such a personal thing! It depends on your vision for the space and what is most important to you! Besides the obvious of anything that is a structural/functional issue being dealt with first, I would probably say flooring, countertops, paint, and light fixtures are priorities for me. I think all four of these have such a massive impact on the room and can totally transform a space. A little bit of paint goes a long way and often, painting cabinets (kitchen, bathroom) is a totally feasible way to make a space feel upgraded rather than the thousands it costs to replace them. But again, make a list of the things that are most important for you and then start picking away at those!