What I Wish I’d Known About Buying a Sofa

I’ve learned a lot in my 12 years as a designer. Lots about what to do to make a home totally awesome – and also what not to do. Yes, even a designer makes mistakes, and thankfully most mistakes were made in my home because I’m my own design guinea pig. This is the start of a brand spankin’ new series called What I Wish I’d Known. Here’s to helping you avoid some of the lessons I’ve learned in the interior design school of hard knocks! First up:

What I wish I’d known about buying a sofa

What I wish I'd known before buying a faux leather sofa!For a while, I wouldn’t shut up about my amaaaazing teal faux leather sofa. The color! The texture! The tufting! The easy cleanup when my kid drools on it!

And yeah, for the first three years or so, that baby was totally awesome. But here’s where it went wrong – I selected a faux leather sofa (also known as vinyl), instead of genuine leather or fabric. Leather wasn’t in my budget at the time (an uncommon leather color like teal commands a higher price point) and I didn’t want a fabric sofa. I thought a faux leather would be low maintenance, easy to clean, wear well, and soften over time.

Want to know what happens to faux leather after a few years? THIS:

What I wish I'd known before buying a faux leather sofa!

My sofa upholstery is flaking off EVERYWHERE. There are constantly little teal flecks stuck to my feet. The material has gone brittle and continues to crack daily. My options seem to be to reupholster it (probably not worth the labor cost) or just suck it up and buy a new sofa. A real leather sofa, for sure.

What I wish I'd known before buying a faux leather sofa!

Here’s what I wish I’d known about buying a sofa: to invest in genuine top-grain leather, or a durable stain resistant fabric. Any other upholstery materials, including faux leather or vinyl, are a big fat waste of time. While a lesser quality sofa upholstery material might look great for a few years, you’ll pay the price for skimping on the quality of a piece of furniture you use every day.

👉 Don’t make the same mistakes I did! Learn from a design pro – check out more of Lesley’s hard-earned wisdom in the What I Wish I’d Known series.

How to Mix Design Styles Like a Pro

How to mix design styles like a pro - eclectic interior design tips from Lesley Myrick

You dig that cool, eclectic, collected look (me too!), but if you’ve ever tried to design an interior space with that ‘effortless’ layered style you know it’s harder to achieve than it looks. By far, the most common question I get asked is about mixing design styles and how to do it successfully. No worries, I’ve got your back. Here’s how to mix design styles like a pro:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty fantastic interiors with an offbeat edge.

One of the most frequent questions I get asked on my blog is, “How do I mix design styles?” Professionals make it look so easy to layer in Mid-Century and modern and traditional and eclectic, but it’s not that easy to do it successfully if you don’t understand why things work together and how they go together.

So I’m going to share with you my big tips on how to mix design styles like a pro. Ultimately,

it is all about the proportion of design elements in the space.

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle, that’s been around for centuries. It’s this really cool mathematical idea of the proportion of 80 and 20. So, when it comes to your wardrobe for example, most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.

The same proportion is a really, really great starting point in interiors when you’re trying to mix more than one look together. For example, if your home is 80% traditional, then 20% can be modern, and that mix is going to feel really good together. Of course,

I like to learn the rules so I know when to break them,

and I like to push this mixing a little bit further because I’m not someone that likes just two design styles. I want that eclectic mix, that cool vibe, those little bits from here and there and everywhere that come together to make a really awesome space.

So I actually push these proportions even further and I like to do 60/30/10.

60% becomes the foundation of the room, the main style, the main theme. Probably what you own most of, and probably a style that’s complementary to the architecture of your home.

The next 30%, you can start to have a little bit of fun! It can be a contrasting style. Say your home is 60% French Country – this next 30% could be something a little bit funkier and more modern.

And then the last 10% – that is where the weird comes in, the offbeat, the fun! This is where you could introduce those pieces that “don’t really fit” but you love, or something that’s a crazy color that doesn’t kinda make sense with everything else.

I love this blending and layering of different styles. And while these formulas will get you started, they’re not a rock-solid recipe for success. A lot of this comes down to just having a trained eye that kinda can sense proportion and scale and style and design elements that tie things together to make it work successfully.

So, I hope the 80/20 Pareto Principle – or the 60/30/10 Lesley Myrick Principle – is gonna help you get started on this. However, if you wanna go deeper and get a better sense of how to decorate your own home and discover your own style, I’d love for you to check out my Interior Style online course.

Want more awesome design tips and inspiration to break out of a “blah” home and let your rad self shine? Get my FREE guide, “Bring Personality to a Boring Space” right here. 🤘

The Tantalizing Table

As the home columnist for Wacoan magazine, I’m psyched to share my insights and ideas about interior design and home decor each month. Here’s an excerpt from my current column, “The Tantalizing Table: Designer Tips for a Haute Holiday Tablescape”. Read the full article over at Wacoan.com, and check out the article archive here.

A tablescape is a work of art, a small-scale styling masterpiece, a visual display to be remembered. Done right, it’s that little detail that elevates a holiday meal into a spectacular event shared with family and friends.

Ironically, while I could wax on for hours about my love and appreciation for a beautifully set dinner table, there are three areas of design that people assume I must be totally into but I’d rather avoid: party decorating, holiday decorating and — you guessed it — tablescaping. I’m a minimalist at heart, and the thought of stockpiling dozens of decorations and a plethora of platters gives me major anxiety. And the sheer effort of decorating for a brief season or event sounds like too much trouble. But I clearly stand alone because most people I know love all the things and can’t wait to crack open their many boxes of seasonal decor when temperatures start to dip.

Despite my aversion to event design and decorating, I do appreciate a good party and beautifully set table…

READ MORE…

Your home should make you feel totally amazing. Is something missing? I’ve got your back. Book your complimentary Consultation Call now and let’s make design magic together. 👇

Book Your Complimentary Consultation Call

Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best Accent Tables

They’re little, but pack a major design punch – accent tables. (Or end tables, or occasional tables, or whatever you want to call them.) These tiny tables are one interior element that I have a lot of fun with! They’re not a big design commitment and are easily swapped out/moved around the home to new places. Accent tables are an easy way to bring in that offbeat design element in a way that’s not too intimidating. I like to look for unique shapes, funky materials, or interesting design details. Bonus: accent tables also make great nightstands, and vice versa.

10 Best Accent Tables | Picks from Waco Interior Stylist Lesley Myrick

1. Maruki Table | 2. Savanna Side Table | 3. Marlow Mod Pedestal Table | 4. Eleni End Table | 5. Art Deco Side Table | 6. Crank End Table | 7. Evers Side Table | 8. Hugo End Table | 9. Lineage Occasional Table | 10. Dita Side Table

UGH. How totally badass is that brass Dita side table with the serrated edge detail? I’ve got even more hip accent table picks on my Accent Tables Pinterest board.

“Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best” are roundups of my favorite home furnishings. Check out the complete “10 Best” archives here, and find more furniture, home decor, and lighting I love on Pinterest.

Your home should make you feel totally amazing. Is something missing (like the perfect accent table)? I’ve got your back. Book your complimentary Consultation Call now and let’s make design magic together. 👇

Book Your Complimentary Consultation Call

An Industrial Meets French Eclectic Master Bedroom in Houston, TX

French Eclectic Industrial Master Bedroom Moodboard | Lesley Myrick Art + Design, Interior Designer in Waco, TX

I gravitate towards interior design that blends and layers contrasting design styles, and this industrial-meets-french-eclectic master bedroom for a client in Houston, TX is no exception. When one half of the couple is into traditional, feminine French furnishings, and the other half prefers a cleaner, industrial look, my job (which I freakin’ love) is to merge and balance the two into one happy design plan.

This bedroom is gigantic and scale was mega-important when making design selections. The king-size bed needed large nightstands to feel balanced (these awesome faceted ones are actually chests of drawers so they’re quite generous in size) and the wing chairs needed some height to feel proportionate to the ultra-high ceilings. While this moodboard might look a little busy at first glance, when these furnishings are placed in the actual room there will be a lot more visual “breathing room” around everything. I can’t wait to see how this space comes together IRL.

Working virtually with clients on a Design Kit is a kickass option if you’re not in the Waco area, as everything is done via email and Zoom video calls. Clients provide measurements and photos of the rooms to be designed and answers to our Design Dossier questionnaire; you’ll receive a digital Design Kit with everything you need (like floor plans, moodboards, paint colors, furnishings selections, and finish samples) to completely transform a room as your time and budget allows.

Want your own custom master bedroom design? Here’s how to book your design package, and here’s what you need to know before your first meeting with a designer. ✌️

5 Tips for Your First Meeting with an Interior Designer

5 tips for your first meeting with an interior designer | Lesley Myrick Art + Design in Waco, Texas

Once you’ve taken the plunge and hired and interior designer (yay for you!) it can seem intimidating. What do you need to know to get ready for your first session together? Prepping in advance is important and makes the most of your limited time together. Here are 5 tips for your first meeting with an interior designer:

Tip #1: Complete any requested pre-meeting activities.

At Lesley Myrick Art + Design we send our clients a personalized Kickoff Kit that contains links to their invoice, our Design Dossier questionnaire, and other helpful resources to help us kickstart projects in the best way possible. The more preparation our clients can do before our first working session, the better prepared we are to deliver design awesomeness. If you’ve taken the time to think through your needs, wants, style, and budget, we don’t have to spend time going over those items when we meet – we can jump right into the good stuff (design!).

Tip #2: Gather inspiration images.

A picture really is worth a thousand words, and something described as “modern” may mean different things to different people. Photos of spaces, objects, or furnishings you’re drawn to will bring clarity to your interior designer that words just can’t. Designers are visual people and getting on the same page from the start will ensure a successful partnership. Have magazine tear sheets, links to Pinterest boards or Houzz ideabooks, and any other design reference you’ve collected ready.

Tip #3: Prepare your questions in advance.

Usually during your first working session with an interior designer (sometimes referred to as a consultation; we call ours a Design Jumpstart) the designer will answer a lot of questions before you even ask them. We make sure our clients know about our design packages, our design process, and what it looks like to work with us beyond that first meeting. But do be sure to make a list of all the questions you have, whether they’re about the design process, pricing, or specific design dilemmas in your home.

Tip #4: Remember, interior designers are not judging you.

Designers understand it’s a privilege to be hired and to be allowed in your home. We don’t take it lightly that you trust us in your space, and we aren’t judging you on how your home looks! Please don’t apologize for anything. If your home looked exactly the way you wanted it to already, you wouldn’t need us. But do point out problem areas that need to be addressed so we know what’s not working and can design a solution for you.

Tip #5: Trust your designer.

You’ve hired a designer for their style, expertise, and ideas. We have years of education and experience that allow us to design and visualize some amazing transformations for your home! Even if you can’t clearly see the design picture at the first meeting, trust that you’ve hired the right designer and she’ll create something incredible for you. You may feel a little uneasy at some of the design changes suggested, and that’s totally normal. When you’ve lived in a space for a while, it’s weird to imagine things changing, even if you don’t like the space how it is. A designer will take your needs, style, budget, and timeline into account to customize a design that will rock your socks off. And they’re happy to guide you gently through the process, as it can be a stressful one. Remodeling and decorating takes months and there are always bumps along the way. But your designer totally has your back. (Also, while it’s important to trust your designer, if you’re getting major red flags from them and it’s really not a fit, it’s totally okay not to move forward with them.)

These 5 tips for your first meeting with an interior designer should put you at ease. Designers love what we do and are happy to help make the process a smooth, efficient, and happy one. If you have other helpful tips or questions, chime in on Facebook – I’d love to hear what you’ve learned or what you wish you’d known. Cheers to starting your design project! 🍸

Want more awesome design tips and inspiration to break out of a “blah” home and let your rad self shine? Get my FREE guide, “Bring Personality to a Boring Space” right here. 🤘

Going Dark: Deep Wall Colors Can Be Surprisingly Successful

As the home columnist for Wacoan magazine, I’m psyched to share my insights and ideas about interior design and home decor each month. Here’s an excerpt from my current column, “Going Dark: Deep Wall Colors Can Be Surprisingly Successful”. Read the full article over at Wacoan.com, and check out the article archive here.

Going Dark: Deep Wall Colors Can Be Surprisingly Successful | Article in WACOAN magazine by interior designer Lesley MyrickJust because a wall is painted white does not guarantee that the room will have the bright expansive feeling that’s desired. (Bummer, right?) It’s counterintuitive, but in fact, a deep color can often be a better choice and actually make a space feel larger! While white walls bounce light and feel open and airy, dark colors recede. A deep wall color sits back and blurs the boundaries of a room, creating the illusion of a larger space, especially if the walls and ceiling are painted the same dark hue.

To further enhance this space-expanding effect, I prefer a matte paint finish over an eggshell or satin one. A flat, velvety finish only helps the walls appear to recede and therefore creates the illusion of a larger space.

Not everyone around Waco is on board with dark, matte wall colors though, not even paint professionals…

READ MORE…

Your home should make you feel totally amazing. Is something missing? I’ve got your back. Book your complimentary Consultation Call now and let’s make design magic together. 👇

Book Your Complimentary Consultation Call

Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best Sofas

Guys, I’m a sucker for sofas. So you can imagine it was quite hard to narrow down this Lesley’s Picks list to just 10 best sofas! I mean, how am I even supposed to decide?

What I’m drawn to when choosing sofas for a client are the details – channel quilting, tufting, buttons, a cute little swoop arm, self-piping, or some seriously sexy legs. Your sofa is a huge investment piece, and worth every penny! This is not the place to go cheap. Your butt will thank you for splurging on a comfortable piece of furniture that’s made to last. A durable upholstery-quality fabric or leather are going to clean well, wear well, and last for a loooong time.


1. Barin Green Leather Sofa | 2. Calista Sofa | 3. Abbot Cigar Leather Sofa | 4. Blue Velvet Canal Sofa | 5. Charlotte Sofa | 6. Conrad Sofa | 7. Gatsby Sofa | 8. Vendome Sofa | 9. Delano Velvet Sofa | 10. Helm Sofa

You may notice that there aren’t a whole lot of neutral options up there, and this is for a couple of reasons. One, your sofa is the biggest investment in your living room – don’t be afraid to make a statement with it! You KNOW I’m a fan of colorful sofas. And two, many of these 10 best sofas are available in other leather and fabric finishes, or even COM. (Design tip: COM means Customer’s Own Materials, when you supply your own fabric for the manufacturer to use. I do COM furnishings all the time and it creates an even more kickass custom look – you’re almost guaranteed that no one will have the same piece as you!) A number of these sofas are available through my awesome trade-only resources, so if you’re interested in purchasing one please contact us for pricing and details.

“Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best” are roundups of my favorite home furnishings. Check out the complete “10 Best” archives here, and find more furniture, home decor, and lighting I love on Pinterest.

Your home should make you feel totally amazing. Is something missing? I’ve got your back. Book your complimentary Consultation Call now and let’s make design magic together. 👇

Book Your Complimentary Consultation Call

Confession Time: Neutrals Need Not be Boring

How to decorate with beige and neutrals that's NOT boring! Tips from interior stylist Lesley MyrickI’ll let you in on a secret – I don’t hate beige as much as you might think! Neutrals need not be boring and decorating with neutrals can actually be chic and successful. You just have to know how to do it right. If you’re more into color, beige and other neutral colors can also form the foundation of a room, allowing you to add awesome pops of color without a space feeling crazy. Here’s how:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here. I’m an interior stylist and I transform boring beige spaces into kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and unexpected. I talk a lot about “boring beige”.

But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I don’t hate beige as much as you might think.

When it becomes a fail-safe, when it becomes a default because you don’t know what else to do, it’s not my favorite choice. But beige and neutrals really are needed to help ground a space. Too much color is crazy-making – and I’m someone who loves color! It really is all about the mix.

When you’re working with neutrals, form, and texture, and sheen – that’s what becomes important, not color. So layering neutrals can actually be incredibly chic and sophisticated and put-together. When you start to work with beautiful textures like leather, tweed, and fur, and beautiful luxurious finishes like that, beige becomes anything but boring.

Now, you can do an all-neutral space and do it very successfully by layering in texture and pattern, but my jam is more about mixing neutrals in to form a foundation for a more colorful, exciting, and creative look.

Neutrals can really ground a space and create that blank canvas that you can have a lot of fun with.

By using a lot of reclaimed wood, and black and white, and neutral walls in my designs I can do funkier things like a teal upholstered sofa or a yellow wing chair and other sort of quirky accents that come together as a whole to create an awesome space, and not one that feels totally crazy-making.

Now, this is just scratching the surface of talking about neutrals and color and balance and texture and all of those great things. So if you want to go deeper and learn more about how to sort of cultivate your style and figure out how to work these subtle design nuances, I have a great online course called Interior Style.

Want more awesome design tips and inspiration to break out of a “blah” home and let your rad self shine? Get my FREE guide, “Bring Personality to a Boring Space” right here. 🤘

Fall 2017 Home Decor Picks

FALL IS MY FAVORITE. (Can I get an AMEN TO THAT?) Rich colors, natural textures, organic patterns, mixed metallics, and a cooler color palette are all totally my jam. I love scoping out fresh new home decor picks for fall from my favorite design sources.

Feeling in a post-summer style rut? Layer in a few of these hip finds for an instant update in your home. Here’s what I’m loving this fall:

Grey Ceramic Lamp | Paloma Embroidered Pillow | Pleura Champagne Mirror | Wood Slab Stool | Indigo Block Print Rug | Monarch Magazine Rack | Tweed Side Table | Distressed Zebra Sculpture

Click through for more details on each piece – and if you’re interested in purchasing anything, please contact me for pricing and availability and I’ll hook you up.

Want to see more of my favorite pieces – stuff I would actually buy for myself and for my clients? Check out my past seasonal decor picks and browse the interior styling archives for oodles of design goodness. ✌️

Book a design consultation with interior stylist Lesley Myrick