Great (Room) Expectations

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, “Great Expectations: The Great Room is the New Heart of the Home”. Read the full article over at Wacoan.com, and check out the article archive here.

A fresh and colorful great room designed by award winning Lesley Myrick Art + Design in Waco Texas

Since the early 1990s the great room has become a common alternative, and I’ve got to say, I dig it for both practical and aesthetic purposes. A great room incorporates the functions of several more traditional rooms into one space. Think of it like combining the family room, living room and study into one. Often great rooms have raised ceilings and are located at the center of the home.

The New York Times has called the great room “the McMansion’s signature space.” I’m not sure how I feel about that slightly snarky observation — or how I feel in general about McMansions, which are large, mass-produced homes with little attention to architecture and design.

I’m a big fan of the great room, and it’s a trend I’d like to see continue.

There is often so much square footage in a home that goes unused, and I’m thrilled to see a functional, family-friendly space becoming the norm.

I believe a home should be livable, delightful and unexpected. Livable is first in that list for a reason. What’s the point of designing a home you love only to admire it from afar? Pretty and practical is the name of my game, and the great room checks both of those boxes.

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How to Bring Personality to a Boring Space

How to Bring Personality to a Boring Space | Interior Design Tips from Lesley Myrick

I had a client once refer to her home as a “beige box of sadness”. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Your home should be a haven and a source of delight. There’s too much great design out there to live in a home that lacks personality and style. Here’s how to bring personality to a boring space.

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 pretty kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and unexpected.

Let’s talk about something I am super passionate about – how to bring personality to a boring space.

There is so much cool design stuff out there, so I’m always surprised when people land on boring. How do we get to these boring beige homes where nothing has a whole lot of personality? Well, design purchases are a big investment and mistakes can be costly. We often stay “safe” and make safe choices to avoid making one of those mistakes that could cost us thousands of dollars. Once you’ve purchased a brown sofa it feels safe to buy a beige chair, and paint your walls beige, and suddenly, you have a room that might look pretty but doesn’t feel anything like you and doesn’t feel that great to be in.

We get locked into this safe style and then don’t know how to break out of it.

I think there’s also a big fear of being judged by others. If you’re willing to step out, to express your personality, to have fun with your home, you open yourself up to criticism and judgement from other people. Not everyone is going to love what you do but I’m a real believer that you do you. Your home, your space, your money, you get to decorate it and you get to invest in your home how you see fit. There’s a big fear about doing what we should do, and I hate that word “should”! It is the worst thing to guide you when you’re making design decisions.

Screw the “shoulds”. Do what you want, do what you love, do what feels good.

Now, if your space is a bit of a snooze-fest, I do have a tip to help you get started and make it feel more “you”. And that is that textiles are your friend. Introduce patterned curtains, accent pillows, throw blankets, area rugs – those soft, fuzzy, cuddly, textural, colorful things. They might seem kind of insignificant on their own, but all together as a whole, when you layer them in over a neutral base they can completely transform a room.

So, if you’ve got the brown sofa, and beige chair, and beige walls, and you’re just feeling like you’re stuck in this beige box of sadness, that’s a great way to start. Throw a couple great pillows in, a new area rug, and you can really start to transform your room.

Even a boring beige backdrop comes to life with color, pattern, and texture.

Now, this is just scratching the surface. I know a lot of people out there have these beige homes and feel stuck and want to be able to transform them. I would love to help you with that! Head on over to lesleymyrick.com and reach out on my Contact page, or if you’re more of a DIY-type gal, you can check out my fantastic online course called Interior Style which will help you find your style and break out of that boring beige space.

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. 🤘

A Colorful Kids Craft Room in Waco, Texas: Before

I can’t tell you how much I love getting inquiries like this from new clients: “I have a playroom that I would LOVE to transform into a super bright (pinks, golds, oranges), super functional craft/art/office area.”

HELLS TO THE YES. Bright color, bold pattern, and a super-functional organized space? I’m your gal. This colorful kids craft room in Waco is going to be da bomb. 💣 But we’ve got a long way to go. Want to see what the room looks like now?


Yawwwwwn. While it’s definitely a pretty room with a great neutral wall color, classic espresso floors, and gorgeous French doors, it’s not at all where this hip mama and her three rad kids want to hang. Plus – hello, clutter. Nothing has a home or a proper place to be stored. And as a former Professional Organizer/total neat freak, I totally get how mom is dissatisfied with this room as-is.

Okay now, get ready. This space is about to get a totally kickass, colorful makeover. Here’s where we’re going with the design:


Each kiddo is getting a chic white lacquered Parsons desk and unique lamp; Mom’s getting a glam desk with acrylic and brass accents; there’s going to be THE BEST ACCENT WALL EVER (I’m so obsessed with that floral wallpaper!); and that badass hammered brass credenza is going to be the most freakin’ chic storage you’ve ever seen in a kids craft room. Check out our design selections (and some alternate ones too) on the Colorful Waco Kids Craft Room Pinterest board.

We’re still in the early stages of this design project so it’ll be a while before the transformation is complete, but I’ll be sharing sneak-peeks on Facebook and Instagram throughout the process, so be sure to follow along.

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Decorating Basics: Area Rug 101

I freaking love area rugs. The bolder and bigger, the better. (Subtlety has never really been my thing.) Area rugs are totally awesome – but tricky to get right. Do you buy patterned rugs, or solid? How big should an area rug be? Here are some decorating basics on choosing an area rug – and what to do if your area rug is too small.

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 pretty kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and a little unexpected.

So you probably already know…area rugs, totally awesome. They’re definitely something I recommend in most spaces. Now, if you have wall-to-wall carpet with a bit of a pattern in it, you might not need an extra area rug. But, in almost any other application, layering in a rug brings in color, texture, pattern, and really becomes art for the floor. Area rugs ground a space and they can help create separate zones in a much larger room as well. So, I want to share with you a few of my quick tips for decorating with area rugs.

The first is that you want the rug large enough to leave about 18 to 24 inches of flooring around the perimeter of the room.

Now, one faux pas I see are people using these teeny-weeny postage stamp-size rugs right in front of a sofa that don’t even go under the legs of the sofa. A rug should really take up a lot more of the room than that.

Tip number 2 is that when you’re shopping for an area rug, when in doubt, go big over choosing a smaller one.

This goes back to the first tip about something that’s large enough to leave about 18 to 24 inches of flooring around the perimeter of your room. You want the area rug to feel big and important. You don’t want it to feel like a teeny little afterthought you threw in front of your sofa and hoped for the best.

Tip number 3 is that ideally you want all the legs of all your furniture on the rug,

but at the very least, the front legs of all your furniture should be on the rug so that everything feels like one cohesive grouping. If your rug isn’t big enough to be able to put at least the front legs of your sofa and chairs on it, then your rug isn’t big enough. And that actually brings me to tip number 4, which is,

you can always layer a smaller rug over top of a larger one.

Now, that might sound a little crazy, but I love the layered rug look. And an easy way to do this is if you have a smaller, patterned rug – whether it’s something funky like a cowhide or maybe just like a 5×7 beautiful patterned rug – you can layer either one of those smaller rugs over a larger sisal or seagrass rug. It still lets your rug be center stage but it gives the illusion in the room of a much larger rug taking up much larger floor space.

So, that’s my rug 101. If you don’t have great area rugs yet, definitely, definitely go out and invest in them. They are totally worth the money. They can take a space that feels kind of lackluster and really pull it all together and help it feel complete, and beautiful, and just feel like an awesome space that you want to be spending time in.

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. 🤘

Lesley’s Picks: 10 Best Desks

If you’ve gone through any store recently, you’ll immediately notice that it’s back to school time. (MY FAVORITE EVER.) Back to school means moving into dorms, furnishing first apartments, and sales on everything and anything office related. No matter if you’re a student, a young professional, or are established in your career, there’s never a wrong time to update your office to make it feel like a place that you want to be instead of a place you dread entering.

Getting a desk that screams style is a great way to give you that productivity boost you’ve been needing. Whether you’re wanting to add a touch of color or a bit of modern flair, there is a desk out there to complete your space. Here are 10 of the best desks out there to help kick-off creativity in your home or office:lesley's picks: 10 best desks

There were so many rad options out there to choose from, it was really difficult narrowing it down to just 10 picks- Check out some other desks I adore here.

1. Wayfair Caviness Writing Desk | 2. Deny Designs Joy Laforme Lotus Deco Writing Desk | 3. West Elm Modern Desk | 4. West Elm Bone Inlaid Desk | 5. Anthropologie Lacquered Regency Desk | 6. Jonathan Adler Walnut Channing Desk | 7.Black Rooster Decor Essie Desk | 8.Modshop Bordeaux Desk with Brass X Legs  | 9. Modshop Trousdale Desk with Brass Finish | 10. Made Goods Audrey Desk

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

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. 🤘

How to work with interior stylist Lesley Myrick

Art Lessons: Cool and Casual Ways to Collect and Display Art

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, “Art Lessons: Cool and Casual Ways to Collect and Display Art”. Read the full article over at Wacoan.com, and check out the article archive here.

Displaying art pieces that speak to you creates a sense of wholeness and peace in a home. Art is not just a decorative element, it’s a piece of the puzzle. And its presence is definitely missed when a room is lacking this essential finishing touch. Prints and mass-produced art pieces have their place, but there’s something special about acquiring originals that not only look rad but have a story behind them, like the armadillo in the party hat.

I have the hardest time sourcing art for my design clients because it’s so personal. What resonates with me may not resonate with them. I like to give recommendations but ultimately leave the final art purchasing decisions up to my clients. Art doesn’t need to match a room — in fact, it’s often more successful when it becomes an element of contrast — so having art fit perfectly into a design scheme isn’t necessary or even ideal. Matchy-matchy is boring, and art is where you can have some fun and play with the unexpected.

So, if art isn’t your thing yet, but you want it to be, where do you start when it comes to collecting, framing and displaying original art?

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No More Matching Furniture Sets


Remember those matching furniture sets from the 80s and 90s that came with an identical sofa, loveseat, and chair? I wish I could forget them too. It’s time for a breakup – no more matching furniture sets! Here’s what to do with a matching furniture set to update it and make it your own.

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.

Today, we’re going to talk about break ups. I’m not talking romantic break ups – I am talking breaking up that matchy-matchy set of living room furniture with a sofa, and loveseat, and chair that all matches and coordinates perfectly. These were super popular in the 80s and 90s and even a little bit into the 2000s, and I’m sad to say that I still see them today, and they are not a good idea.

It’s a total no-no to do too much matching in your home.

Sure, you want things to make sense, have something visual that ties them together and have a cohesive look – but, I think that’s better accomplished through mixing and matching the right pieces than just sticking with a pre-made set that some retailer has decided goes together.

So, if you have one of those living room sets, you’ve invested good money in it, what do you do? Well, friend, it’s time for a breakup. The pieces on their own are probably great. It’s together when they’re all matching, that’s when things get a little bit stale.

So why not repurpose some of those pieces in other parts of your home?

A loveseat or a settee can be a great fit in a master bedroom, and I love the idea of using an accent chair in an office or on a landing – somewhere where you want a little somewhere to perch, sit, maybe read a book, but you don’t need a full living room setup.

Alternatively, if the pieces have good bones, but it’s just the fact that they’re all upholstered in the same boring fabric that’s kind of becoming a snoozefest, you could look at re-upholstering one or more of the pieces. The fact that the frames tend to be similar and the proportions are good together means that with some change of fabrics you could totally transform the look without buying all new pieces of furniture.

If you do decide to keep your matching set together all in one room, there are a lot of little ways you can make each piece feel unique, even though they are all the same. Different pillows, throws, slipcovers. You can mix and match different soft textiles and decorative accessories to really give each piece its own personality but still have it work together as a whole.

So, never fear if you are stuck in the 80s with your matching sofa, chair, and loveseat set – there is hope for you.

If you do like it all as a set, you can personalize each piece and make it work in one space. However, if you’re kind of over the matching look, break it up, spread it throughout your home, and give each piece new life.

If you liked this video, be sure to share it with a friend and spread the love. And if you want more inspiration to help transform your home, hop on over to my website at lesleymyrick.com where you can download my free guide, Bring Personality to a Boring Space.

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. 🤘

Romantic Industrial Master Bedroom Moodboard

“Romantic” and “industrial” aren’t typically two design styles that go together – but then again, I’m not your typical designer. I’m all about a quirky but livable mix of vintage and modern, rustic and polished, color and neutrals, masculine and feminine. Matchy-matchy is boring. Let’s have some fun!

This romantic industrial master bedroom moodboard was part of a Design Kit recently completed for a client and I’m digging the end result. The dusty blues and pinks are a little softer than my usual color palette of saturated jewel tones, but don’t worry – there’s still a badass edge with the edgy crank accent table and industrial drapery hardware.Throw in a Mid-Century mirror and Boho accent pillow on the bed and we’re totally in business. Too much of one look is never a good thing (hello, bad decorating catalogs) and it’s all about creating the right balance with different styles and eras. Check out all the details on this project’s Pinterest board.

(Psst…lusting after your own Design Kit? NOW is the best time to start your interior design project. Most people are vacationing and are waiting until the kids are back in school to tackle their housing projects, but fall to Christmas is the busiest season for designers. Get ahead of the crazy and get on our schedule now! Click here to book your complimentary 30-minute Consultation Call with Lesley. 👍)

How Long Should Curtains Be?

Back in the 90s, I was obsessed with super wide-leg jeans. (Who wasn’t?) But as a tall-ish person with long legs – I’m 5’8″ if you’re curious – finding a long enough pair was pretty tricky. Those raver-style jeans were meant to drag a little, looking all cool and beat up along the bottom. But on me? They floated an inch or two above the ground. I COULD NOT STAND THIS. And I wasn’t alone in this hovering pants phenomenon – I spotted it all over high school. I even gave it a name: Floaty Pants Syndrome, or FPS for short.

FPS is still one of my biggest pet peeves. And much to my dismay, people seem to be wearing Floaty Pants ON PURPOSE NOW. I do not understand a world where floating pants are okay.

So why the rant about too-short jeans? Because tailoring and fit are important when it comes to clothes and curtains. I get asked a lot of questions about curtain length, so I decided to answer a burning design question: how long should curtains be? (Spoiler alert – I am very strongly against too-short curtains.)

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 pretty kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and a little unexpected.

So, I have the million dollar decorating question today – how long should curtains be?

As with most things, there really is no one right answer. A lot of it comes down to individual preference. However, there are situations where a certain length is more appropriate or safer than others. If you have a radiator or heat vent of some sort, you don’t want long flowing curtains that are going to cover that and potentially cause a fire! So safety concerns aside, there are really four different lengths a curtain can be.

The first is window sill length. Those are not my favorite, and I don’t see many applications where short, short curtains really make a lot of sense. They can function well in a kitchen or a kids room when you don’t want them dangling too long, but aesthetically they’re never really my preference.

The next option is to have curtains floating just a bit above the floor, usually 1/2″ to 1″. Again, not my favorite. It can work in a pinch, especially if you’re buying ready-made drapes that are a little bit too short, but I think floating curtains look a little bit like floating pants. You kinda look like you’re wearing clamdiggers and it’s just not a great look.

My ideal length for curtains is with about a 1/2″ break

on the floor so that they just touch the floor and bow out a little bit but they’re not pooling and you don’t have a crazy amount of fabric left. I think that looks so chic and custom, and that is a tricky length to get right. You often do have to find either extra-long draperies and hem them, or work with a professional to get that perfectly tailored look.

Now, alternatively, if you love that long luxurious look, then go crazy! Let curtains pool and pile up on the floor. It’s a really rich, opulent style – and it’s also kinda casual, almost like you just don’t care about hemming your curtains. You can let them hang and have a lot of fun.

A lot of this depends on the kind of maintenance you want. Floating curtains above the floor are going to make it a little easier to vacuum and clean; curtains that are going to hit the floor or drape are going to get in the way a bit more when you’re cleaning up.

So there you go! My two cents on curtains. I am very picky about curtains and work with professionals all the time who know the way I like it and make sure they get it right, but it’s something that with a little ingenuity (possibly with a sewing machine) you can get right on your own and get a great designer look.

If you liked this video, share it with a friend. People have questions about curtains and now you have some information that can help them.

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. 🤘

Dorm Room Decor: Create a Hip College Hangout

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, “Dorm Room Decor: Create a Hip College Hangout”. Read the full article over at Wacoan.com, and check out the article archive here.

When I was 18, I could not wait to get out of the small square bedroom I’d occupied my entire life and into my own space. My first pre-college summer I scoured flea markets and garage sales for funky finds and used all the money I had from my part-time job to raid Ikea for the coolest accessories a teenager could afford.

I rolled into my first dorm room like a rock star — in my mind, anyway — and had the whole place unpacked, decorated and decked-out to my liking within hours: bed made, posters hung, string lights artfully draped and plugged in. My summertime design planning had paid off, and while I was still stuck with beige walls and bland carpeting, as most dorm-dwellers are, I had done everything in my power to introduce color, pattern, texture and my personal style into this new space. I was home. And I loved every inch of my modest new domain.

I’m going to guess that not every teenager is as prepared, or as into interior design, as I was. But I do feel strongly that creating a fresh space that feels uniquely “them” can really help with the transition from family home to first dorm and set your freshman up for success.

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How to work with interior stylist Lesley Myrick