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Love the House You're In: Design Tips for Modern Living

Taylor A.Comment

This print by

Ashley Goldberg

is just my favorite. 

 So, I love our home. With its little quirks and cracks and uneven floors, I just think it is the greatest. The best part about moving to a new place is PAINTING and DECORATING and most of all: PLANNING. It has been really interesting to infuse 28-and-33 years respectively into an old, early 1900's two-story house. Out of all the rooms, my favorite is my craft room. I love having a space full of color and patterns to welcome my back after the stark minimalism of architecture school and my workplace.

Getting organized takes the longest! Hooray for IKEA, though, for helping to keep us in line. 

 I've often been asked where I find all my weird vintage stuff. The simple answer to that is thrifting, thrifting, and more thrifting. It's still super-duper easy to find unique objects for the home. I've been collecting for years and often like best the underdog objects that have scuffs and cracks and imperfections. There is a very beautiful character in imperfect things.  Designing with vintage objects is also relatively easy and can add unexpected cohesiveness to a home. We put together some simple design tips below to help get you started!:

Tip #1:

Everything Has Its Place

. Even if it doesn't look like it should go together, everything should have a place it goes. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I have a nasty habit of just sticking something somewhere because I like it and not thinking about how it complements a room (as seen above.)

Tip #2:

Go Green.

If your house or apartment has an abundance of natural light, succulents or low-maintenance plants not only add oxygen and filtration properties to your humble abode, but they also add character to your home. If you're like me and have a black thumb, get succulents (if they die, they usually come back!!!) Also, if you have pets, be sure to check out which houseplants are toxic/deadly to your furry friends. 

Tip #3: 

Create a Palette Room-By-Room. 

When I first moved in, I had to adjust my palette (my old home had mostly white walls). By placing objects that complimented the existing colors in the rooms, not only did I not have to repaint, but it added a very playful mood to several of the rooms. Pantone has a variety of tools to experiment with different color combinations, or several used book stores offer color theory books for a minimal investment. (Books like this also are great for you fashionable folk out there to plan on unique wardrobe combinations!)

Tip #4:

Get a Pet

. Not only are they a joy to be around, but they can really make a house feel like a home. 

Tip #5:

Utilize Existing Features.

If you have really unique lamps or moldings, it is easy to find ways to accent them with paint or antique-style bulbs to offset some of the modernity in a room. 

Tip #6:

Display Your Collections.

For us, our multiple bookcases were an excellent opportunity to display his rare comic collection or my vintage cameras. If you have really unusual books, sometimes displaying one or two by themselves provides a nice, clutter-free touch to a room. Display cases for more fragile things (behind glass) are also great. I am currently working on finding a way to display the fossil collection I had as a kid. 

Tip #7:

Create a Mini-Bar.

We have a lot of things in this house, but counter space is definitely not one of them. By using an existing cabinet and some spare wood, we were able to create a little coffee bar. This could also be good if you do a lot of food prep and needed a long, flat surface or if you like having a serving bar for mixed drinks during the holidays. 

We are still working hard on integrating everything, but the best part is that it is a very rewarding challenge. What are some ways you nest in a new place? What's your favorite palette ever? 

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