Talk about your style. My style has changed a lot in the past two years since I became a homeowner, and my current home is a reflection of that growth. I began with heavy, dark furniture (most of which were hand-me-downs and have slowly been replacing those pieces with mid- century finds. I love everything with an organic or handcrafted feel—especially Danish furniture, warm wood tones, and craft pottery. I want the rooms in my home to feel warm, relaxing, and casual, and the kid spaces to be whimsical and fun.
Do you have a favorite room in your home + why? Our living room is by far my favorite, for several reasons. It has the largest and only original window left in the house, with beautiful wooden panes. I also feel like this room is the closest reflection of my style…and that blue velvet couch? Pure awesome.
Where does your inspiration come from? Most of my inspiration comes from the spaces I see online and in magazines. I’ve learned design through imitation—like when painters practice their art by painting the Masters first. I think people hear the word “imitate” and cringe, but if you find a space you love, it helps to analyze why you love it and use those pieces or that color palette as starting points in your own home.
Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. Honestly, the biggest challenge I’ve faced in the past few years is switching careers and throwing myself into the design field without a degree in interior design. After I started Annabode I quickly realized I didn’t want to be a decorative arts historian, stuck in a museum for the rest of my life. I wanted to be out there, designing. But I had no experience other than my trial-and-error decorating of my own home, and didn’t think I could make it anywhere without going back to school. Luckily I have a very supportive fiancé who encouraged me to go for it, which brings me to… My greatest achievement: getting hired as an interior designer by the company I work for (Decorilla.com), without that degree. I design homes for clients all over the country now, and can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be doing something I’m passionate about!
Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. The three pieces that define my style and home would be my vintage mid-century dining table, the blue velvet sofa, and the mid-century slat bench. I’ll keep them forever!
Biggest splurge and biggest steal: Our biggest splurge would have to be our sofa, which is from West Elm. I waited three months for that baby to be delivered, only to discover that West Elm had cancelled my order and the original style was discontinued. I chose another in the same fabric, and since have come to love it more than the first. Technically it was too large for our space, but I was too distraught over that lost sofa to care! Our biggest steal would have to be the mirror that hangs over it. It came from a beautiful Art Deco vanity and was only $10 on Craigslist.
What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your home? Craigslist, Goodwill, Ikea, West Elm, CB2, and Crate & Barrel are all great staples. But I really love supporting artists and crafters on Etsy whenever possible.
Do you have any DIY tips to share? Invest in the right tools! I’ve made so many things with the wrong ones and regretted it—picture me trying to cut straight lines with a jigsaw, or sanding an entire table by hand. It’s the worst.
Any advice? If I had to leave you with one piece of advice, it would be: add plants! Bringing greenery into your space is one of the most cost-effective ways to totally transform a room. And with succulents as popular as they are now, you don’t need a green thumb to keep them thriving (my plants survive in spite of, not because of, me). Snake plants, philodendrons, jade plants, and cacti all look amazing and basically take care of themselves.