How to Mix Design Styles Like a Pro

A Luxe Moroccan Bohemian bedroom design by @lesleymyrick | #interiordesign #interiorstylist #bedroom #luxe #moroccan #bohemian #losangeles #dallas #waco #austin
Because I can’t pick just one style to design with (I’m all about mixing and matching as you probably know), this eclectic bedroom design recently completed for a client is a gorgeous mashup of Luxe, Moroccan, and Bohemian styles. I’m guessing those are three things you’ve never thought of putting together, right? If you’ve tried to mix design styles in your own home, you know it’s tricky to get it right. An eclectic room can very quickly go from “this is awesome” to “holy crap this is a hot mess”.

So how do you successfully mix design styles like a pro (ie. without looking like a crazy person)?

It’s all about proportion. 

You’ve might have heard of the 80/20 rule in design, where 80% of a space should be decorated in one style, and 20% should be in a contrasting style for interest. (For example, if you’ve got a traditional room, 80% of your furniture and decor should be traditional, and the last 20% could be modern accents to keep the space from feeling too “decorated”.) There’s a reason that the 80/20 rule works, and it’s a good starting point when decorating.

But I’m not big on following well-known decorating rules.

So I’ve made up my own, since mixing two design styles just isn’t enough for me. To really create a room that feels effortless collected over time and not “decorated”, the reality is that your space will include pieces in a variety of styles, colors, patterns, and textures. The magic is in the mix!

And in order to mix styles well, I keep this general guideline of proportion in mind: 60/30/10.

The first 60% is the “base” of a room – the main look or feel. In this case, the room has an overall Luxe look with its elegant upholstered bed, marble-top dresser, and faux fur bench (ugggh I love that stupid thing so much). If this room were a girl from your high school, she’d be the “pretty girl” who all the girls say they hate (but secretly want to be) and all the guys want to be with. 

The next 30% is the secondary style that complements your main look or feel. The Moroccan mirror, scalloped ceiling light, and mosiac-top nighstand complement the Luxe look. The “pretty girl” got a new haircut and perfectly fitting jeans and it’s not fair that she looks even better now.

The final 10% is the weird bits, the wild cards, the fun! A few Bohemian touches in this bedroom like the patterned bedding and quirky brass hand give it serious personality and interest. It’s like finding out your high school “pretty girl” is also smart, well-traveled, and a lot of fun to be around. It just makes her even more attractive and interesting. 

So there you go – my tips on how to mix design styles like a pro. Knowing basic design rules is important, but so is knowing how to break them.

Have you had success – or total failure – with trying to decorate a room in a few different styles? Tell me what worked or what didn’t. I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are one of my favorite furniture pieces to shop for because you can get a great looking one for almost nothing (I’m looking at you, $59 Ikea nesting tables!) or you can really splurge on something crafted from extraordinary materials like marble and hammered brass. It’s totally up to your taste and budget.

My taste loooooves marble and brass. My budget? Not so much.

Here are 10 of the best coffee tables out there, ranging from $59 to $2495:

Lesley Myrick's Picks: 10 Best Coffee Tables | #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles #dallas #austin #waco  #livingroom #coffeetables

1. Ikea VITTSJO Nesting Tables | 2. World Market Round Hairpin Coffee Table | 3. Urban Outfitters Diamond Coffee Table | 4. World Market Cala Hammered Coffee Table | 5. West Elm Origami Coffee Table | 6. ABC Carpet & Home Verge Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table | 7. Schoolhouse Electric Hoyt Coffee Table | 8. Arteriors Bates Brass Drum Coffee Table | 9. Anthropologie Floating Lacquered Coffee Table | 10. Mecox Edge Coffee Table

“Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best” are roundups of my favorite home products in a range of prices. Check out my picks for the 10 best accent chairs, and view the complete “10 Best” archives here. Happy home shopping!

PS. If you need a little more design direction, I’d love to help! Here’s how you can work with me

Your Design Questions Answered – in 3 Sentences or Less

Paris apartment - interior styling and art directing by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street

If you’ve got a design dilemma, now’s your chance to get expert help – for free! Exclusively for subscribers, this week I’m offering to answer any design question that comes my way, in 3 sentences or less.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber (yay!) then you’ll get all the details in tomorrow’s juicy edition. But if you’re not on the list? Click here to sign up, or scroll down to the bottom of the blog where you’ll see a spot to enter your email address.

Happy Monday! Sign on up and get those design questions ready for tomorrow.

Image: Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Have something to say about this post? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best Accent Chairs

Great furniture doesn’t have to cost a fortune – but there is a difference in quality, styling, materials, and craftmanship with higher-priced investment pieces. I believe in buying the best you can afford. So if the best accent chair you can afford is from Ikea, great! If the best chair you can afford is Kelly Wearstler’s Souffle chair, then fantastic! (Also, please buy one for me. Thank you.)

Here are 10 of the best upholstered accent chairs out there, starting from a very affordable $279:

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's picks: 10 best accent chairs |#interiordesign #interiorstylist #chairs #accentchair #livingroom #losangeles #dallas #austin #waco
1. Ikea STRANDMON Chair | 2. Lamps Plus Hilton Wingback Chair | 3. World Market Elliott Wingback | 4. CB2 Leather Butterfly Chair | 5. Urban Outfitters Madeline Chair | 6. Jonathan Adler Regent Armchair | 7. Anthropologie Leather Booker Armchair | 8. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Ansel Chair | 9. Oly Studio Sienna Chair | 10. Kelly Wearstler Souffle Chair

This post is the first in a series of “Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best“. Stay tuned for more posts with my top furniture, decor, and lighting picks and get to know some of my favorite online shopping sources.

Lately I’m Totally Loving…

Colorful Mid-Century living room from Domaine Home | Pinned by Lesley Myrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

…this super colorful living room from Lonny

Fur and lucite living room with yellow sofa in Domino magazine | Pinned by @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

…ALL THE FUR and lucite in this Domino living room…

Eclectic living room by Max Humphrey of Burnham Design | Pinned by @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

…this chic eclectic apartment by Burnham Design‘s Max Humphrey…

Jenny Komenda's wallpapered ceiling | Pinned by @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

Jenny Komenda‘s wallpapered ceiling…

Oversize art in a colorful living room in Domino magazine | Pinned by @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

…the scale of this artwork in Zach Motl‘s apartment…

Jonathan Adler Peking Sofa | Pinned by @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstylist #losangeles

…and everything about this over-the-top Jonathan Adler living room.

Join me over on Pinterest for more interior inspiration. Happy Monday!

Images: as linked above. Have something to say about this post? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tell me what you’re totally loving right now @lesleymyrick.

My Dining Room Makeover

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This post is in partnership with Del Mar Fans & Lighting. Thanks for reading!

Total spoiler by putting the “after” photo first, I know. But trust me, my dining room needed a makeover and the lighting in the “before” photo wasn’t really going to lure you in.

We live in a cute little two-bedroom rental that’s got a bit of character, but the fixtures are seriously – well, lacking. Here’s what was in the dining room before (and I use the term “dining room” loosely, because it’s really just the eat-in side of our kitchen):

lesley-myrick-kitchen-light-fixture-beforeWhomp whomp. Insert the sound of being totally underwhelmed here. I made my best effort to bring life to this space with a personalized gallery wall (look closely and you’ll see my husband as a teenager in various rock bands!), colorful seating, and patterned curtains – but that ceiling light leaves a little something to be desired. We’ve also got a strange half-door and a couple of super baby-proofed outlets to work with, but those are design battles for another day.

Thankfully, my cries of desperation were heard, because this Kichler lighting pendant arrived to save my dining room from its sad lighting situation – and not a moment too soon.

kichler-colerne-pendant-lesley-myrick-kitchen

It’s totally badass and industrial which my husband loves, and has design details that I love. Plus, that downlight on the bottom is genius. Our kitchen doubles as Nate’s office so having great lighting is an absolute essential for us.

kichler-colerne-pendant-lesley-myrick-stylist-kitchen-makeover

kitchen-table-styling-by-lesley-myrick

After the lighting was installed, putting together a pretty tabletop really helped the space feel complete. I FREAKING LOVE this hammered metal serving tray and these multicolored dip bowls. And of course, greenery is awesome on any table. This stuff is cheap, cheerful, and lasts for weeks.

Want to see more of my house? Here’s a tour of Ford’s nursery. And if there’s a room in your home that could use a makeover too, I’d be happy to make that happen for you. Thanks for checking out my new space!

(PS. Ford is obsessed with turning the light switch on and off, and pushing the fixture so it swings back and forth. Toddlers find the most unusual things fun, don’t they?)

Images: Lesley Myrick for Del Mar Fans & Lighting. Have something to say about this post? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet us @lesleymyrick and @delmarfans.

Spring 2015 Home Decor Picks

Spring 2015 Home Decor Trends - Picks from Lesley Myrick Art + Design #homedecor #spring

Heyyyyy it’s the first day of spring! (Insert “clapping hands” emoji here.) Spring home decor is totally my jam. It’s all about cheerful colors like chartreuse, aqua, and magenta balanced with a healthy dose of neutrals like black, white, brass, and wood. The right proportion of color and neutrals is key to keeping your house from feeling candy-coated crazy.

Let’s go shopping, shall we?

(So you know: this post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.)

Magenta Toss Pillow / Maxwell Dixon AK-47 Toss Pillow / Brass Wall Shelf / Lacquered Bar Cabinet / Wood Tray with Brass Handles / Kite Wool Kilim Rug / Stump Stool Accent Table / Cowhide Zebra Print Rug / Arteriors Grayer Antiqued Brass Table Lamp

Want more interior inspiration? Here are my winter decor picks, and browse the interior styling archives here. Happy Friday!

Images: sources linked above. Have something to say about this post? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

There’s More Than One Way to Create a Beautiful Space

Eclectic dining room styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street

“I was a young art major in college in Chicago. I always looked up to my professors ’cause they were so talented. Also, I had a tendency to worry about making the “right” choice when it came to whatever piece I was working on. One of my teachers said, ‘Every time you don’t over think what you’re doing the choices you make are more passionate. More instinctual. That’s when something personal and beautiful happens.’ I never forgot that and to this day I think it’s the best way to design. Design is not an exact science. There’s more than one way to create a beautiful space.” – Interior Designer Angelo Surmelis, via Style Illuminated

Image: Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Have something to say about this post? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick. (Also: I’ve been cleaning up old posts and some things have gone funky, so if this post showed up strangely in a reader – whoops!)

E-Decorating an Eclectic Los Feliz Apartment

E-decorating a colorful and eclectic Los Feliz living room by Lesley Myrick Art + Design | @lesleymyrick

I love E-Decorating projects for clients that say, “we love your style so just do your thing“. OKAY. I designed three spaces in this eclectic Los Feliz apartment – the living room, the dining room, and the master bedroom, while keeping in mind the famous mantra for a well-rounded outfit from What Not to Wear’s Stacy London: “Color, pattern, texture, and shine”. Not surprisingly, the elements that make a great ensemble also make for a great interior. Fashion always meets design, folks.

E-decorating a colorful and eclectic Los Feliz dining room by Lesley Myrick Art + Design | @lesleymyrick

It’s important to mix vintage with new, rustic with glam, masculine with feminine, and color with neutrals in order to create a space that feels effortlessly collected and not “decorated”. In the dining room above, a gorgeous silk rug provides a megadose of pattern and color, while the farmhouse-style dining table and clean-lined mirrored console balance out the boldness. And of course there’s a crystal chandelier, because, duh.

E-decorating a colorful and eclectic Los Feliz bedroom by Lesley Myrick Art + Design | @lesleymyrick

The bedroom still has oodles of personality with its color palette and mix of patterns, but it’s more subdued than the living room and dining room. Aqua and white feel fresh and feminine, while reclaimed wood and iron tone down some of the sweetness.

What sets my E-Decorating style apart from others (besides an awesome mix of design styles that is all at once totally bonkers and totally chic) is the way I create moodboards for clients. Instead of the typical pinboard-style arrangement of furniture and accessories, I design these mini room-mockups to give a better sense of how each of the decor elements will relate to one another. It’s a clearer way to show how the scale, color, and pattern of each item will feel when the whole shebang comes together in your home.

Want more? Check out the floor plans for these spaces in my E-Decorating portfolio and contact me if you’d like to rock and roll with an E-Decorating project of your own. I do the dirty work and decision-making; you flex your DIY muscles to make your new room a reality. Happy Monday!

Styling a Danish Modern Living Room Vignette

lesley-myrick-art-design-interior-styling-danish-modern-living-roomWhen you see a gorgeous interior photograph, ever wondered what it takes to get the shot? You might be surprised at the planning that goes on behind the scenes to pull all the elements together. Above is the hero shot I styled for 55 Downing Street’s Simply Modern sale, which came quite a long way from the original concept.

Here’s a look at the styling process, from concept to completion. (FYI, this is not a sponsored post – just a neat look into the behind-the-scenes world of a stylist.)

lesley-myrick-art-design-interior-styling-danish-modern-living-room-concept-1

When I pull together a concept for a shoot I do a simple mockup to give a sense of what the set will be and how the products will relate to one another. Above is my first mockup and the concept I pitched to the buyers. There’s a pretty clear Midcentury/Danish vibe here (which was the focus of the sale event, so yay!), but it doesn’t really have a ‘wow’ factor (boo!). It’s a little cold, even with that faux-fur pillow and shag rug. And with our target audience being primarily female – plus the fact that NONE of the furniture pieces ended up being available for the shoot date – it was time to go back to the drawing board.

lesley-myrick-art-design-interior-styling-danish-modern-living-room-concept-2Here’s version two. Much prettier! Instead of painting a yellow accent stripe on the white brick wall, I proposed painting the whole thing a soft coral hue. Since I was starting over with furniture selections, a look through our inventory revealed these three pieces which are kinda perfect to communicate a Midcentury look. While I wouldn’t necessarily put all of these leggy pieces so close together in real life, for a vignette it works to communicate the theme and look of the sale.

I loooove the soft pink and blond wood lamp, and I feel like a GENIUS for coming up with the idea to layer the deer wall decal on the surface of the mirror. It’s so cute I can hardly stand it! The fur throw helps add more softness, and the succulent arrangement introduces a much-needed bit of life and color.
lesley-myrick-art-design-interior-styling-danish-modern-living-room-concept-3And now we’re at version three. Version two remains my favorite, but the reality of styling for a retailer means that there are many others involved who have visions for how a shot will come together. The “let’s stick a deer head on the mirror” concept was nixed (I’m still keeping that idea in my back pocket for the future though); the lamp was unavailable; and the brick wall was needed by another stylist the same day.

But my job is to be a problem solver, so problem solve I did. The wall definitely needed to have texture, so the brick was replaced with a beautiful wood wall painted the same soft coral. The wall had a window opening in it that wasn’t right for this shot, so I rotated the mirror to cover the window.

Since the deer decal was no longer an option I suggested a ceramic stag head. (Fun fact: his name is Juan and he resides in my living room when he’s not making appearances on blogs.) White ceramics photograph so beautifully and add texture without dominating. Plus, I’m pretty certain every room needs an animal head.

lesley-myrick-art-design-interior-styling-danish-modern-living-roomTa da! Here’s the final photo. It looks remarkably close to the mockup above since we shot it at the same angle, which totally cracks me up. Creating these simple mockups has been a helpful way to visualize all the elements in a scene and make sure that everything works visually and that I’m not missing any crucial elements for the shoot.

If you’re decorating your own home and have a basic understanding of Photoshop, I highly recommend this practice. It takes a little time, but it’s a really helpful way to take some of the guesswork out of putting a room together when you can visualize the end result more clearly. (And if Photoshop wizardry is not something in your skill set, I’d be happy to help.)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this type of post – did you find it helpful? Would you like to see more behind-the-scenes posts like this? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Image: Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street