5 Tips to Design a Clean and Colorful Living Room

5 Tips to Design a Clean and Colorful Living Room from @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #livingroomEven though I LOVE color and pattern, I’m a big fan of interiors that feel clean, spacious, and uncluttered. (Physical clutter stresses me out. Seriously.) After posting this photo of my living room on Instagram recently I was asked to give some tips on how to achieve this clean look. What my followers want, my followers get! Here are my top 5 tips to design a clean and colorful living room.

5 Tips to Design a Clean and Colorful Living Room from @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #livingroom

1. Neutrals are your friend. Take away the sofa, pillows, and art from the photo above and you’ll see a lot of…neutrals. Light-toned flooring, beige walls, and reclaimed wood furniture form the foundation of the design. From there it’s easy to add in selected elements that bring personality.

2. Beige walls are where it’s at. I’m a fan of light-colored walls in a living room, unless you’re going for a super dramatic look like this glam living room I styled for 55 Downing Street. Straight-up white can look unfinished unless your walls have cool architectural detail like applied molding, or you live in Scandinavia. (Which I don’t.) I’m all about beige walls to add a little “oomph” that basic white can’t always bring. The right beige is not boring, people! I repeat: the RIGHT beige is not boring!

The walls in my Pasadena apartment were painted Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki, and I was freakin’ in love with it. So in love, actually, that I’m going to paint the living room walls in the new house the same color. It had just enough green in it to complement our teal sofa and make it look suh-weet, but wasn’t enough of a “color” to be distracting.

3. Black and white are awesome. I love the Ikea Stockholm rug (who doesn’t?) and it was the perfect anchor for the conversation area. The vintage hostess chair in the foreground is upholstered in a small-scale black and white houndstooth.

You might be thinking, “TWO black and white patterned things? Have you lost your MIND, woman? How is this going to feel clean and uncluttered?” It’s all about scale. The large scale of the rug pattern and the small scale of the chair pattern play well together. Contrast in size is key to layering pattern in a chic, not crazy way.

5 Tips to Design a Clean and Colorful Living Room from @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #livingroom

4. Make color intentional. A brightly-colored sofa might not be everyone’s choice, but it is definitely mine. I love this stupid thing so much I’ve named it – she’s Sophia the Baroness Von Teal – and I’m pretty sure I’d rescue her in a fire after my husband and kid were safe. I love color, but too much can make a room feel cluttered or juvenile. Don’t be afraid to make a selective statement with color. Whether it’s a sofa (I LOVE YOU BARONESS!) and a couple of accent pillows, an oversize piece of art, or a rug, be intentional when including color you love and make it the centerpiece of your living room.

5. Include lots of fur. And white. And metallics. When in doubt and you’re trying to get a designer look, throw a sheepskin on something. The Ikea Rens sheepskin is just $30 and I have a bunch all over my house. And I include one in just about every design project I do. Because they’re awesome. A fuzzy white sheepskin draped over the back of a chair or layered on top of an area rug brings texture and interest without being distracting (it’s more of that good neutral stuff). Plus, fur makes you look super fancy.

White and metallic accents also bring texture to a space, but their unobtrusiveness feels clean and welcoming. See the white succulent pot and hammered brass tray on coffee table? You probably didn’t even notice them. AND THAT’S THE POINT. They just help create an overall feeling of awesome in the room.

5 Tips to Design a Clean and Colorful Living Room from @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #livingroom

There you go! My 5 tips to design a clean and colorful living room. Thanks to all the thoughtful peeps leaving Instagram comments and questions – I love hearing what you have to say and will happily answer your burning design questions! If you’re not already following Lesley Myrick Art + Design on Instagram, I’d love for you to come join me. I blog here about once a week, but Instagram is totally my jam and I’m posting new stuff there daily. (And with my upcoming trip to England, Scotland, and France, you can expect some awesome design inspiration from across the pond.)

Work with Lesley Myrick

New House + New Video

Hello from Waco, Texas! The great #MyrickMove has happened and I’m getting settled in my new home – and new home office.

I have an office! With a desk! A desk that’s not squeezed into my bedroom!

We’re unpacked, we’ve bought all the boring-but-essential stuff (lawnmower, I’m talkin’ to you), and now it’s time to get on with the fun – decorating.

We’ll be painting the living room and office this week, and it’s official – choosing paint colors for my own home is THE FUNNEST. Having never owned a home before I’ve either not painted or only painted walls a light color that’s easy to cover, but now, IT’S ON.

Chartreuse ceiling, anyone? (Oh yes. It’s happening.)

Stay tuned on the blog and Instagram for some peeks at the design updates to our sweet little 1950s bungalow. In the meantime, check out this awesome video that the beautiful Erica Marr Films created for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. If you’re curious about my interior design philosophy and how I work, you’ll dig it. And if you’ve been considering hiring me for a design project, this will give you a better sense of what I’m all about and if we’d be a good fit. (You like teal hair? Me too!)

My Pasadena California Home Tour

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California living room | @lesleymyrick
We move to Texas in just one week (follow along with the #myrickmove hashtag on Instagram), so what better way to wrap up my time in SoCal than with my Pasadena, California home tour – FINALLY! We’ve lived in this two bedroom 1960s apartment for two years and were pretty lucky that for a rental, it doesn’t totally suck. It’s not my dream home (because my dream home will have crown molding and ceiling fans that are not ugly) but it’s been a lovely little space for our family of three.

I’ve linked as many sources as possible, but many items are no longer available since I do a lot of custom, secondhand, and clearance sourcing. If you’ve got a question about anything, feel free to email me or send me a tweet.

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California living room | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California living room | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California living room | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California living room | @lesleymyrick

Living Room Sources: Sofa: The Sofa Company | Sofa Pillows: Custom | Accent Chair: Vintage | Sheepskin: IKEA | Coffee Table: Custom | TV Cabinet: Thrifted | Rug: IKEA | Accent Table: Lamps Plus | Teal Table Lamp Base: Target | Teal Table Lamp Shade: Custom | Clear Table Lamp (similar): Target | Clear Table Lamp Shade (similar): Target | Gramophone: Restoration Hardware | Brass Tray: Target

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California dining room | @lesleymyrick

Dining Room Sources:  Table: Pottery Barn | Pendant Light: c/o Del Mar Fans | Yellow Dining Chairs (similar): National Furniture Supply | Other Chairs: Vintage

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California baby boy's nursery | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California baby boy's nursery | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California baby boy's nursery | @lesleymyrick Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California baby boy's nursery | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California baby boy's nursery | @lesleymyrick
Ford’s Nursery Sources: Crib: IKEA | Crib Sheets: Giggle | Glider: Giggle | Squirrel Pillow: Target | Dresser/Changing Table: Vintage with Custom Top painted Benjamin Moore Citron | Accent Table: Target | Lamp: Vintage | Rug: IKEA | Curtains: IKEA| MamaRoo: c/o 4Moms | Deer Hook: Marshalls | Mobile: Amazon | Storage Baskets on Bookshelf: The Container Store

Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California bedroom | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California bedroom | @lesleymyrick       Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California bedroom | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California bedroom | @lesleymyrickInterior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California bedroom | @lesleymyrick Interior stylist Lesley Myrick's Pasadena, California home office| @lesleymyrick

Bedroom/Office Sources: Nightstands (similar): IKEA | Lamps on Nightstands: Vintage | Accent Pillows on Bed: Thrifted | White Vase: Jonathan Adler | Bookshelf (with wallpaper added to back): IKEA | Desk: IKEA | Desk Lamp: one of a kind sample from Lamps Plus | Desk Chair: IKEA | Desk Chair Pillow: Lamps Plus | iMac Stand: Z Plan Fab

Now you’ve seen where I work and sleep. It’s kind of like we’re best friends, right?

Starting on Wednesday all of this will be packed up in boxes so I’m taking a minute to appreciate our sweet little home as it currently stands. When we moved to California almost four years ago we had very little money (I didn’t yet have a US work permit and Nate was a master’s student and we were BROKE ASS) so we were forced to decorate on the cheap while we navigated life in a new state as newlyweds. I don’t believe that money buys style, and some of my favorite furniture and decor pieces are ones we found at thrift stores – and waited patiently for a 50% off sale to snag them for even less.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my Pasadena, California home! I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got planned for our new house (WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!) in Waco, Texas.

Summer 2015 Home Decor Picks

Summer 2015 home decor picks and trends from interior stylist @lesleymyrick

Hurrah, summer’s here!

(Oh wait. I’m moving to Texas in two weeks, land of heat and humidity. I retract that statement.)

At least there’s central air and we can enjoy being indoors, right? Here are a few of my favorite furniture and home decor picks to oomph up your space for the summer season. Because if you’re stuck inside, you might as well enjoy the colorful coral and teal and chartreuse scenery.

Melange Occasional Table | Capiz Orb Pendant | Round Hands Side Table | Petits Secrets Porcelain Catchall | For Like Ever PrintModern Wall Shelf | Daybed | Love Chair

Find my spring decor picks here, and browse the interior styling archives for oodles of design inspiration. Stay cool, bro.

Design Obsession: Wallpaper

Kelly Wearstler designed wallpapered foyer ceiling featured in Elle Decor | Blogged by #lesleymyrick

My latest design obsession, hands down, is WALLPAPER. (You know, the terrible stuff that you see in older homes that you can’t wait to tear down?) I’m so happy to see that wallpaper has come a long way from the bad 80s prints I remember from childhood, and is now so freakin’ rad that I’m dying to move into our new house and find the perfect opportunity to wallpaper the crap out of it.

The black and white foyer above, designed by Kelly Wearstler, is one of my favorite spaces ever. Her attention to detail on floors and ceilings is like no other. I love that she actually cut apart a simple grey and white striped wallpaper and reconfigured it to create this ceiling look. (PS. That’s a great DIY idea if you’ve got a lonely wall or ceiling that could use some oomph..)

Architectural Digest - amazing ceiling wallpaper | Blogged by #lesleymyrickOkay, that wallpapered stairway ceiling above? STOP IT RIGHT NOW. It is absolute perfection and I bow to the designer Rafael de Cardenas. I know the photo’s pretty blurry but it’s just too darn good not to share.

Blue watercolor wallpaper by Black Crow Studios | Blogged by #lesleymyrick

The custom large-scale wallpapers by Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios are absolutely exceptional. Why just paint your foyer when you could have this?

Ellie Cashman's dark floral wallpaper | Blogged by #lesleymyrick

I just discovered Ellie Cashman‘s wallpapers and I’m in love. If you want to feel like you’re being enveloped by a romantic Victorian still-life, this wallpaper is for you.

Kelly Wearstler Channels Wallpaper | Blogged by #lesleymyrick

Another stunning wallpaper pattern by Kelly Wearstler. Her wallpapers are totally not for the faint of heart. BRING IT ON, KELLY.

Graham and Brown Frames Wallpaper | Blogged by Lesley Myrick

And finally, Graham & Brown’s Frames wallpaper has had my heart for years. It’s the perfect wallpaper for a kid’s room that mixes “cool wallpaper that mom loves” with “totally not boring for kids”. I love the idea of sticking up photos and drawings in some of the empty “frames”. (And if you have the patience, I see this being another rad DIY idea. Cut out some templates from cardboard and trace with a black paint pen.)

I know my brain lives in this design world where wallpaper is awesome, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Wallpaper – yay or nay? Let me know on Twitter.

Lately I’m Totally Loving / 2

Molly Sims' dining room with chartreuse yellow curtains via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #diningroom
Lately I’m totally loving these chartreuse curtains

Domaine Home modern dining room via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #diningroom #chandelier
…this over-the-top dining room chandelier

House of Honey bathroom via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #bathroom
…this insanely spacious bathroom with to-die-for details…

Chic office and Dalmatian-spotted wallpaper via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #powderroom #office
this chic mix of modern art with traditional furnishings, and this Dalmatian-spotted powder room

Dark grey kitchen cabinets with chartreuse painted accents via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #kitchen
…this sophisticated grey kitchen with a pop of chartreuse (my favorite!)…

Kelly Wearstler's colorful foyer via @lesleymyrick #interiordesign #interiorstlyling #foyer
…and this wild foyer that makes a major color statement.

Find more Lately I’m Totally Loving posts here and follow me on Pinterest for more rad design inspiration. Happy Thursday!

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.