Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: It's Great to be Home

This week's "Shop Like a Design Blogger" installment comes courtesy of Liz from It's Great to be Home. Liz is a fellow Texan, lawyer and design junkie, so it's little wonder we became faster blog-buddies. I've been following Liz's blog since it's inception early last year and it's been so much fun to watch Liz renovate both her own home and another flip. Liz's "can do" attitude and creative, budget friendly solutions for high-style always leave me impressed -- and wondering why she doesn't have her own show on HGTV.

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Hey guys! I'm Liz from It's Great To Be Home and I'm excited to be sharing a few of my tips and tricks with you guys today. I've long enjoyed perusing Averill's blog for daily doses of interior perfection and it's a lot of fun to be included in her series with all of these other fab bloggers. Thanks, Averill!

If you're familiar with my blog or design work then you know that I firmly believe there are two quick and easy ways to add flair and personality to any home: (1) bring in pops of color and (2) make pieces your own. Even if your space starts out looking like the "white box" challenge from Design Star, you can create an interior that is chic and interesting in no time {and fairly inexpensively!} by following those two guidelines.

Therefore, when I'm designing a room or shopping for my own home, these are the top 10 things I look for:

If you want a fun and trendy rug to add a little pizazz to your room {like I did in our dining room}, resist the urge to splurge on a designer piece. Instead, try sources like the Pottery Barn Outlet, Ebay and Dash & Albert so you can save your pennies for something else that you plan on loving forever.

Instead of looking for T-shirts and coffee mugs as souvenirs when you travel, think about keeping an eye out for unique artwork. Some of my favorite pieces have come from my travels in France and Kenya over the years - and when someone compliments you on your artwork it's so much more fun to say that you found it in a market in Paris rather than Z Gallerie. And don't forget to display artwork that's been created by either you or a family member - it'll make you smile every time you look at it.

There are spaces in every home that are inherently boring or are too tiny for any real artwork. Grab a stencil from Whitewall & Co or Dressler Stencils and add a graphic pattern to pep up your powder room walls.

This is the real world. Sometimes the budget doesn't allow for anything but Ikea or similar stores, but that doesn't mean that the pieces have to look like they came from Ikea. Tap into your inner creative genius and make that piece your own, whether it's painting the piping of your slipcovered chair or making your side table look like it came from West Elm.

Overhead lighting alone just doesn't cut it - you need lamps for ambient lighting, so take this opportunity to add a hit of color to your space or look for an interesting or unique shape. HomeGoods and thrift stores are great places to start.

I bought an orange throw from Ikea years ago {similar to the ones in the images above} and it works in every single room of my house. Inexpensive and versatile pieces like throws can add pops of color just where you need them.

Talk about low commitment! Whether you're shopping at Etsy or Fabricadabra {above} , you can add new life to your home for very little money and effort - think about switching out your pillows in the spring and fall for a fresh new look.

Craigslist is huge these days and there are tons of great finds out there, but not all of them come "ready to go." Don't be scared away from an awesome dining set or a vintage chair just because the fabric looks like it's been dragged through the mud. Instead, grab a few yards of that Mod Green Pod fabric you've been coveting {and customize the color!} and voila! - you've got a unique piece for next to nothing. {And a little paint never hurts, either, as demonstrated in the image from Michael Penney above.}

Yummy. If you love a designer fabric and the colorway works with your home, buy a yard or two of it {and places like Ebay and Etsy always have snippets of fabric on the cheap}. You can always use the fabric for one side of a throw pillow {cover the other side in an inexpensive linen to keep costs down}, to edge your curtains, skirt a sink or table, or add a touch of color to a bulletin board. Fabrics are awesome.

Everyone inherits furniture from their family or friends at one time or another. If the piece means something to you and you would hate to let it go, then don't toss it - make it work, a la Tim Gunn. Just ask the person who gave it to you if it's okay if you personalize it a bit so that it works in your home. If they say yes, attack it with a paintbrush, fabric or a hacksaw immediately and enjoy your new piece that's chock full of meaningful history. {If you need a little inspiration, check out some of Jamie's pieces at Furbish - divine!}

It was fun hanging out with you guys, and thanks again to Averill!

~ Liz, It's Great To Be Home

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Maureen from Inglenook Decor.


Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

This is one of my favorite's in this series thus far! Love the stencil resources, I'd not heard of Whitewall & Co. before. They do custom stencils?! I'll be using them! Thanks, Janell

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Thanks so much for having me, Averill. You've got such a great series going, I can't wait to see what's next! :)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Hi Liz you - thanks for the terrific post. All tips are great tips and your two fabric sources are terrific. Fabric can transform a room like non other, such as Averill's fabulous draperies in her family room *gorgeous*. It was a pleasure to meet you & look forward to following along on your blog. live here in Texas!

Cheers ~ deb

Thank you Averill!

Kara said...

Great post and some great ideas!!

Michelle said...

Great post, Liz!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post with a huge array of inspiration points! I like the Dash and Albert rug source and the creative idea of working with a budget and still having wonderful design. Thanks and cheers to you, Liz!

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

Great tips!! It doesn't have to cost a bundle to look stylish!

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Thanks, Liz! Not only are your sources good, but the advice is great too! HomeGoods is always my first -and often only- stop when I'm looking for lamps brcause they always have something interesting.

SogniSorrisi said...

Some great resources...especially keen to get more ideas about rugs! Thanks

The Designer said...

Just found your cute blog and love your articles! The geometric designs above are all the rage and we have featured many ourselves. I will check back for more of the same.

The Designer Insider

LindsB said...

Such a great list!

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

so many good new sources! i LOVE this series!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Lots of great tips here. I especially like the suggestion to look for art as souvenirs.

Christy said...

Ooh I must say this is my favorite in this series so far. I just love Liz's eye and these sources are wonderful. Her chair piping-painting project makes me envious of her talent! I love it! Great guest post Liz and Averill! How fun to see my two favorite design bloggers in one place!

ashlina {the decorista} said...

this series is sooo good it.
hope you have a great weekend dollface.

Bromeliad said...

Hi Liz. Great tips. I remember your West Elm /IKEA Lack table DIY.

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