Easy-going, vintage-inspired, and budget friendly are adjectives that come to mind when describing the decorating inspiration from HGTV Design Star season 5 winner, Emily Henderson. The eclectic, LA-based designer is known for her use of repurposed furniture, affordable DIY projects, and versatile furnishings that can be coupled with just about anything. By pairing staple design elements with personal accessories, color, and print, she’s one of the best at creating spaces with a fun, individual feel.
Here are some decorating ideas that inspire us:
What’s old is new again.
Emily believes that a room isn’t complete without an antique element. Whether working with hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, or Craigslist purchases, Emily is a great fan of reupholstering, painting, and refinishing older items to fit in with modern décor.
Use this decorating inspiration to incorporate family heirlooms into the design of a room. Here are some examples:
- TV stands and desks from the 70s have a dated look, but given new color, they add a funky vibe to a family room.
- Old sewing tables can be refashioned into writing tables.
- Record player cabinets make cute shelving units.
- Rocking chairs with wicker or metal frames are great finds and can be used in nurseries, family rooms, and porches.
Mix and match furniture
Buying traditional matching living room and dining room sets is expensive and sometimes boring. Instead, create a fun and relaxed vibe on a budget by pairing furnishings of different colors and styles. It is possible to splurge on a high-end sofa if you consider coupling it with Craigslist recliners in complementary colors.
Here are a few chic ways to do this:
- Add neutral tones like whites, beiges, and leather finishes when reupholstering 60’s vinyl chairs.
- Incorporate non-traditional table options into your living room space.
- Opt for old-fashioned travel cases as coffee tables and wicker poufs as side tables and ottomans.
- Consider having an assortment of chairs around your dining room table. Pair chairs in similar styles but different colors in groups of two, ensuring they are of the same seat height.
Fit to print
Although Emily advocates solid-colored upholstery for furniture, her décor features a wide variety of pattern and print. For those who prefer a minimalist approach, add throw pillows to spruce up single-toned sofas and chairs. Ready-made pillows can be purchased in a variety of prints. If you’re feeling crafty, save some money by buying material pieces to sew your own pillow covers.
To create rooms bursting in wall-to-wall color, choose print wallpaper and large area rugs. Some of the most intricate and creative types to use and mix together are animal prints, tribal prints, and native prints.
Accessorize to personalize
The accessories you display on shelves, tables, and counters in your home should be personal representations of you and your family. Built-in shelving around entertainment units, underneath staircases, and in other unused spaces is optimal for displaying your collections. Consider balancing your books, artwork, and objects evenly throughout the shelving units rather than placing like-objects together.
Pro tip: If you are shopping to create table or counter vignettes, don’t hesitate to put them together in the store before bringing them home to ensure that size, color, and style work together. Odd numbered groupings tend to work best since symmetry looks overly-stylized. Whatever style you choose, make sure that any purchased items truly represent your style!
Get back to nature
One of the most popular design trends right now is to feature wood or wood-like finishes. Wood pairs easily with prints and colors. They are also very easily found second-hand! Wood laminate flooring in any room from living room to bedroom makes it simple to lay down a cowhide rug or place simple white furniture.
Different woods also look good together. A dark wooden table pairs well with a lighter floor. Chairs, shelving units, and side tables are good ways to introduce wooden pieces into your décor.
Whether you are looking to redecorate with ready-made pieces or have a DIY project in mind, these tips will get you on your way to creating a space that is relaxed and personal while still being mindful of your budget.