Do you have any decor, design or renovation questions?

A Beautiful Mess Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheckHey, friends! I’ve been thinking of starting a new series that’s more conversational like that post I wrote about white paint recently. So I wanted to open it up to questions! Do you have any decor, design or renovation questions for me?? What are your favorite and least favorite things about moving and settling into a new home? What are the biggest challenges?

Can’t wait to read your comments!! xx -Elsie

*Photo of my bedroom by Alyssa Rosenheck for domino magazine.

  • Hello! I am a teen girl who’s bedroom has pretty light blue walls but a massive built in desk that is dark brown. Is there any way to paint over the stained wood? Thank you!

  • I get really stuck on a style. So I fall in love with something, then I go for it guns blazing, and then a year later I’m tired of it. My living room was all botanical prints and art and indoor plants and beautiful greens, and a year later I’m not feeling it so much anymore. Now I’m doing another room, very mid-century and introducing lots of geometrics and golds. I’m afraid I’ll feel the same about this next year! I’m not so sure how to make design choices that won’t date. Not for the smaller things that can be replaced easily, but for things that are more expensive and time consuming to replace if that makes sense?

  • I have the same struggle as well. What I find useful though is focusing more on how vibrant it is and have different shades of same color or similar color. For example, with white linen I will throw in some textured pillows that has light grey, pink and blues, I would put a soft ivory rug down. I realized you can have all white but make them look different by picking different texture.
    I tend to stick with one type of frames for example I will either choose bamboo or a walnut+white color for my furniture or a copper tone, I will keep one signature colorful peace in the room such as a pouf, also you could put artwork that plays with different color. This is just my style.

  • My boyfriend and I moved from a quite large rental house that was a lot of $$ monthly to a quite small rental house that is a lot cheaper, in an effort to save some money while we search for a house to buy.

    Downsizing has been a huge challenge! I don’t have many LARGE furniture items but my boyfriend is quite attached to his outdated items, and just wants us to decorate them in a new way. Any help in regards to decorating small spaces to make them seem larger… OR revamping outdated furniture…

    Personally, my problem is clothes. I have too many! And I don’t know how to downsize my closet as well. What would you consider essential? Do you store your summer clothes/shoes in the winter?

    I really love A BEAUTIFUL MESS. Thanks for brightening my days even when they’re gray!

  • Hi Guys,

    This is a lovely idea. I know one thing that myself and friends have struggled with and that’s finding a stylish, affordable living room rug (a big one!). We sadly had a disaster with a Persian vintage one that got water logged and haven’t invested in another yet. I’d love a giant patterned DIY rug tutorial. Something like the little weaved one you did 🙂 Thanks Jess xxx

  • Hi Elsie! I have several questions haha!

    -I live in a house (with 3 other girls) that we rent, so it’s been hard for us to make the house look like we own it when we can’t paint/the style of the kitchen is completely not our style, but we are stuck with it!

    -Plants!! I LOVE them and have been trying to have more of a green thumb! I want to get BIG plants but I can’t justify getting them/spending the money when I kill the small ones haha. So which ones are the best for a budget, which ones are hard to kill, do you have a schedule? Etc. I know you’ve posted plant posts before, but more would be great!

    -Also my biggest question is what to invest in v.s. DIYing/thrifting. I love thrifting/DIYing things I find on the side of the road, craigslist, flea markets, etc. But I don’t want my entire space to look thrifted! Would love for it to look more cohesive, but also eclectic!

    -Living with people who bring in different pieces of furniture/decor/styles is hard. How can you make multiple different styles look good together?

    -Tips for outdoor/backyard storage! We have a big backyard with lots of different areas/furniture. But we don’t use the backyard everyday! So things get dirty, tired, worn, etc. But we don’t have any place/way to store things outside that’s easy!

    -What decor trends/fads do you cave and give into, but then make them work when your style changes?

  • Yes! I have a question! I’m looking for a new way to decorate my almost 2-story tall stair-landing wall. It’s a little too narrow for any type of table. In the past, I’ve decorated it with a gallery wall of family photos, but since there’s a large window cati-corner (sp???) the light has started to eat away at my photos. So I definitely have to move all the photos and re-think the decor in that area. I’m definitely planning on repainting it…but I’m not sure what else I should do…please help!!!!

  • Hi Elsie!

    My boyfriend and I just moved into a cute little home over in The Nations. While we get along in most areas, decorating has been a bit tough. He has a very masculine style (think cigar bar), mine is a bit more clean, sleek, and modern. What are your tips for creating a gender neutral space?


  • I second this! You’ve talked about how important color schemes are to your decorating, and I’m basically like – how do I even figure out which colors I like (together) and whether they will help make the room feel like I want it to? And then you end up with only white because you’re too scared to do anything with color! haha. So I’d love some insights on how to go about bringing colors into a room. Looking forward to this series!

  • So, I’m renting a gorgeous converted church; however, decorating or finding a cohesive style is a NIGHTMARE!
    There are lots of unusable spaces & it’s dark. As it’s rented we can’t really paint or change capets. The furniture is a combination of mine, my partner’s and what the flat came with. I’d love to see simple, cost-effective ways of creating a style & changing the feel of a room 🙂

  • We are moving into a 1969 home that has not been updated. We decided to keep the wood paneling in the living room and not paint it. The flooring is carpet which we want to pull up. I love vintage modern and was wondering if we should install really light wood flooring or tile. I feel we need to keep flooring light so the room won’t feel like a dark cave. I love terrazzo but too expensive. Thanks!

  • What door knob/lever finish is trending now? I want to replace my shiny brass door handles but I read that chrome is out of style and oil rubbed bronze might be going out also.

  • Hey Elsie!
    What a great idea!
    Well, I’m going to paint all my bedroom furniture white and… I really don’t know where to start! How do you figure out what paints/primers/etc are good for the material you’re working with?? I want to make something that’s durable and pretty; not cheap or worse ruined!

  • Hello Elsie,
    I love the idea of this series! My favorite part of the blog is seeing how you all decorate spaces but a series like this I think would definitely help me implement good decor into my own home.
    My question is how do you choose between so many different styles? I like many different decorating styles: Moroccan, Midwestern, Hollywood Regency, and sooo many more. I have trouble choosing and sticking to one style but also don’t know how to create a cohesive space that balances and incorporates elements of varying styles.
    Another thing I would like to read more about is decor on a budget. As a college student it amazes me how easily decor adds up when you consider all that it takes to even decorate a simple bedroom.

  • Yes! I just moved into a new house and all windows need curtains/blinds. What kinds of blinds are good for certain rooms / certain windows?Particularly a bay window in our living room. Thanks!

  • LOVE that you opened this up! Maybe home decor or small reno projects that are renter-friendly? Also, I’m currently struggling with how to decorate the wall behind our bed if the bed isn’t center in the middle. How do you create visual balance? No other windows or anything on that side either. Thanks!!

  • Here are my two biggest challenges/questions:

    1. My Pinterest board is full of beautiful minimal spaces but I find myself collecting more art and more design accessories all the time. How do I edit so I can achieve the look I want?

    2. When I move to a new space, what is the best way to decide where to hang different art pieces? I feel so overwhelmed by this.

  • I’m a medical student, and so have been living in largely rental apartment spaces for several years now. I still want to have a beautiful and comforting living space to come home to, but I’m finding it really difficult to bring a place together when I don’t really have the freedom to do large renovations since it’s a rental (I’m stuck with kitchens from the 80’s, beige walls and industrial carpets, etc). Do you have any suggestions or ideas for design ideas for rental properties for your typical “starter” apartment?

  • Where is this bedspread from!? Is there a post somewhere that shows the details of your bedroom?

  • Love the idea of this series! My husband and I bought our first house yesterday!

    My question would be how do you and Jeremy deal with merging tastes? My husband and I are fairly good at deciding decor ideas together, but we can both be very opinionated at the same time. What compromises have the two of you made when designing your home?


  • I have one! I live in an old house that has perfectly pristine wallpaper that was put up probably 20 yrs ago – but it’s ugly. I feel guilty papering or painting over it! Also I second the question about window treatments – need cheap, handmade solutions. We are renovating a house built in 1864 and writing about our move from NYC to a small town in Indiana.

  • Do you have any templates or suggestions to build stairway galleries? Or maximize the use of stairway landings?

  • Yes two questions-I need help framing large artwork inexpensively, especially oil paintings. Also, tile choices for mudroom/laundry room…room has gray cabinets w brass pulls…can we do a penny round or is that not ideal for laundry room?

  • Great idea! We have a 1950s house in Seattle with a basement that is 50% finished and 100% boring/plain/70s. We won’t have the funds to fully finish and redo the decor for a while, so I would love tips on easy ways to update the decor and feel of the space without much money. Also we have an active 4 year old, which limits the options a bit. Thanks and love your blog and your cute selves!

  • I just bought an apartment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia which has tonnes of character (it’s a 1960s new Khmer architecture kind of building) but it’s in need of renovation — particularly the kitchen and bathrooms which are very basic. My problem is that, despite loving all the interior inspo one can get online, I feel as I easily get a bit overwhelmed: there is so much to love, so how do I know I pick the right style for my place and my my taste. I worry that what I currently like is so influenced by current trends and that it actually isn’t “me” and that I will soon be bored or not feel that it is right.

  • This sounds brilliant!
    I am indecisive for months now on wall colours and a general colour pallette for my bedroom. I’ll move out before i decide what colours to paint!
    Any advice on how to combine wall colours with duvets, carpets and heating fixtures would be perfect!

  • I have an old awning in my backyard, something like this, but without the fencing:

    Replacing it with something new isn’t possible right now…What can I do to update it without breaking the bank?

  • Cool new series ! My biggest struggle right now might be too “me”, but who knows..? Do solutions for storing clothes have to be either affordable or good looking ? I’m trying to find a cheap solution to use a clothes rack as a room divider in my studio appartement and they all are ugly, apparently.

  • Wondering how you find original art that feels right in a room? Do you match color? Theme? Texture? And what about sizing? What your go to resources for unique pieces that aren’t insanely expensive? I’m nervous to buy online, but don’t have time or know where to go to find reasonably priced items near me (Boston area). Any tips?!?

  • SO MANY QUESTIONS! Biggest one though – I live in New York. Which means space is limited/non-existent!! Any tips for tiny apartment decor?! The biggest struggle is the bedroom. Love how cozy yours looks, but we barely have room for all our clothes! Any tips on storage options that don’t look so STORAGE-Y?

  • My question where do you keep all your stuff? I feel like my stuff is so visible and ugly. Whether it’s little things or bigger like laundry. Yes I live in a Brooklyn apartment but I still think you can help!

  • Do you file fold your clothes? I have shallow drawers and my dresser is also more for looks than functional and I find that filing instead of stacking helps make room in the drawer.

    All my coats and thick sweaters live in the hallway closet because they take up too much real estate.

    If you have room to add a piece of functional furniture, I’d add a storage bench at the end of your bed. One that you can store items in and place baskets or vintage suitcases underneath. That will give you room for bulky clothes outside of your wardrobe without throwing off the charm. 😉

  • Yes! I just bought a 1959 Mid Century Modern home that was never updated or maintained. All original appliances, flooring, built-ins, light-fixtures, etc. It is AMAZING, but needs a lot of updates. Even though the house is nothing but windows & giant sliding glass doors, the wood paneling makes it feel very dark, especially in the kitchen.

    The architectural details are unique & I don’t want to mess with the original concept too much, but am unsure of how to do that without ripping out original built-ins or painting over iconic wood paneling. My main question would be how can I update a Mid Century home, specifically the kitchen, without compromising the historical design aspects beyond recognition of the era?

    Here is a link with some photos:

  • I second this!! Guest bdrm has brown n’ gold theme…. everywhere but the white walls. I know I need to paint the room a dark color, or at least one wall, but actually picking what to do is hard!!!!!!

  • Hi Elsie! We are a military family and move a lot – typically every two years or so – and I find that, while it bums me out to live in unpersonalized, beige new-build rental boxes, it’s really hard to justify spending a lot of money and/or time on decor that has only a 50/50 chance of being used in the next place. What are the biggest bang-for-your-buck (or bang-for-your-time, though that sounds.. not so appropriate!) items that can personalize and add warmth to a bland house?

  • I totally get where your coming from!!! I use those short toats that slide under the beds, and vacuum bags to make everything fit in them (ziplock brand is best I found). I have them EVERYWHERE. Under beds, dressers, and even couches…. Plus they can stand up the tall way to fit in small/narrow closets.

  • What a fun series! I would love a post about different types/styles of furniture (midcentury, modern, etc.) I’m not sure how many “styles” there are, but i would love to learn more as I’m figuring out “my style” for my home:)

  • This may be too specific but I wonder what you would advise for window coverings for a large picture window? Our regular double-hung windows have bamboo shades but we do not have the depth to install interior mounted shades in our picture window. I am a minimalist and don’t like curtains but I need a relatively inexpensive way to make my living room window coverings cohesive. Help! And thank you!

  • My house is right on the water, like, my back yard is a beach. But I’m also in Canada, its Cold more months than it is warm, and I heat with absolutely charming wood stoves that are in my living room and basement . As much as I would love to try to go for a more “light-summery” feel to the place, the wood stove and its red brick corner automatically make it lean towards a warm-cozy feel. I don’t mind it, but I REALLY love Summer feels!!! ANY suggestions on how do do something at least in-between the two would be great!!

  • Hi – Without painting cabinets, what do you recommend I can do with a galley kitchen with honey oak cabinets, a fake granite laminate countertop/backsplash, vinyl wood-tone floors (also honey oak), white appliances and white walls? Everything is in very good shape and I don’t have much of a budget for remodeling/decorating. I will get the walls painted so I am looking for some advice on wall color, accessories and DIY flooring that will tone down or modernize the honey oak. Thanks!

  • Hi! I am currently struggling with putting art up in my main living room/dining room. (The room is shaped like an L with the couch and TV on one side and the dining area on the other.) I have one big piece framed and ready to hang but I’m struggling with everything else. Should all the frames match? Does all the art need to sort of look cohesive? How do I balance personal photos (which are taken by me, a total amateur) with art that I find on Etsy? How do I figure out the layout? What are the absolute minimum number of tools that I can get away with using? How does this wall impact other art that I hang in my home?

    I know ABM did a gallery wall post a few years back but I’m definitely not the type to cut out big sheets of paper and hang them first to see what looks good. (I also don’t have a printer that can print large scale photos, as you often do for your DIY projects.) I am really looking for a simple fix. Maybe like a 101 type post for people who don’t have a lot of tools and are not that ambitious? 🙂 I love everything that you ladies do in this space but I am often overwhelmed by how complicated some things seem to do in real life (but maybe that’s because I’m a huge klutz when it comes to doing anything with my hands).

  • How do you make design choices or a cohesive plan when you LOVE EVERYTHING!! All styles and looks….I mean, I like my house to be eclectic, but it’s still tricky!

  • What are your tips for a multi use space? For example my den is a huge room that houses our computer/office space, workout space, storage and I really want a hang out spot too.

  • I know this one is specific, but the second floor in my apartment has slanted ceilings and I can’t find any real decorating help online… all of my search results yield cute A-frames in the woods, which I appreciate, but the designs aren’t really applicable to my situation (small split-house apartment in the city).

    Thanks for opening this up to the readers – I love all of the decor-focused posts you have and find them very inspirational!

  • My husband and I bought our house about a year ago and I am having trouble decorating… where do I begin? What would you say are the essentials for beginners.

  • I was always wondering how you decide what to tackle first and how budget everything out from buying new furniture to fixing/renovating a room to buying little accessories?

    Thanks for asking all of us readers =o)

  • Yes, entire series about windows, please! And what to do when there are central-heating radiators under them? Thanks!

  • I’d love to see more renter friendly/budget friendly ideas. Especially for those of us that don’t have an entire home to reno/decorate.

  • i’m a lighting designer, and if there’s one thing you can’t go wrong with in a small (or any space) is good lighting whether that’s natural or artificial. to make a smaller room seem bigger, get a fixture or some type of lamp that gets some light on the walls and ceiling (not just down). this will keep it from seeming “cave-like”. Lighter wall colors can also do the trick. hope that helps.

  • I’d love help on where to start with a big/huge blank wall. One of the biggest walls in our house is in the living room (part of the sectional couch backs up against it) and it’s so big I have no idea where to start. I feel like I suck at gallery walls but would appreciate tips if that’s your suggestion. Even one huge piece of art would be dwarfed.

  • I would love to see you define and illustrate design styles. For example, detail and show what contemporary, modern, traditional, art-deco, etc. design and decor choices mean. Then maybe even do a high/low shopping piece for the more common design/decor styles! That would be very helpful!

  • Sounds like we have the same style. 🙂 Just wanted to chime in, bc I don’t think people who shop mainline stores get an eclectic style. Does that make sense? Like, someone who shops exclusively at Pottery Barn isn’t going to understand your look. But that’s okay! Own it!

  • Wondering if it’s safe to put seagrass rugs the family room in south Florida humidity. Will they get moldy? Will they attract insects?

  • I want some plants in our front room, but am terrible at keeping indoor plants alive. Advice on when fake plants are appropriate, and how to make sure they don’t look tacky?

    Also, how do you prioritize which rooms to work on? Every room in my house has stuff I want to do, and I feel like the living room should be first, since it’s the room everyone walks into from the front door, but from there, it’s hard to decide!

  • I second this!

    I would read an entire SERIES about windows. I do not understand what to get, where to place the rod at the top, how much wider than the window to go, how long the curtains should be, etc.

    Soooo clueless here!

  • Agreed – curtains are an issue. I have 25 windows in my house and they are all 84″ or 96″ tall. I could easily spend 10,000 dollars on window treatments if I went all out. Not gonna hapen. There must be another way!

  • My home is similar, and our electrician says “can” lights are popular now. They are flush with the ceiling and go up into the crawlspace, so they don’t cause issues with the low ceiling. We haven’t done it yet, but I’ve seen them in other homes. It looks like it could be nice if designed right, but the ones I’ve seen appear like the cans are just randomly placed and it looks chaotic, so I want to avoid that.

  • I have a big white wall in my living room. Nothing on it, no furniture, nothing. We are in the process of redecorating the living room and that’s why we’re so lucky as to have this blank slate. The ceiling is low. The opposite wall has a picture window and a sofa, so I thought maybe I should hang a big mirror on my white wall to reflect the view when I’m sitting on the sofa. I’m also thinking of a console table under the mirror, but have to be careful not interrupt the walkway. Anyway, good idea, bad idea ? How do you design a big white wall?

  • My favourite thing about moving is that I get to try new ideas and buy new furniture or move stuff around. I like to paint the walls also. I usually go for simple and bright colours or white like your bedroom. That is always fun. and I also like the smell of a new home.
    But the frustrating part is boxing everything and then unboxed them, carry them, clean thru your stuff see what you need or not… oh god!! moving it is hard work. I don’t have any questions because my apartment is quite small is only 70m2 so I try to not put to much. thought I could use some help for the bedroom. I have a big bed, big closet with mirrors and a glass table for my cosmetics. It looks so boring but I don’t know what could I put to give some life. Any ideas? Thank you!

  • Hi Sophie! Here’s a little rug roundup from earlier this year- -Jacki

  • A few:

    How do you combine styles with your significant other when you have one design atheistic and they have another.

    How do you utilize existing furniture when you are trying to change the look of your home. Specifically- do not have the budget to get rid of and buy everything new right away.

    How do you truly find your style?? There are a lot of design features I like, but none of them really go together. What are some ways to determine (possibly name?) your design atheistic so you have a clear vision when decorating a cohesive home?

  • I am working with my parents to furnish and decorate their new lake house quickly and on a tight budget! I created an inspiration board on polyvore, but I want to pull together mostly big box pieces that don’t all look ‘big box’ due to the ability to get them quickly and inexpensively. Would love some help!

    I plan on doing some blog posts on the transformation, but my client (aka my mom) is new to buying things without seeing them in the store first!

    XO, Amanda @

  • Would love some ideas on updating space without actually doing a remodel? Just bought a condo as a second home, so want to update without being pricey.

  • I love reading about big changes on a budget, and also how to incorporate sentimental or antique pieces into a design scheme because buying new furniture isn’t always an option. Also kiddo friendly stuff is nice too. Thanks!

  • My home is 100 years old, pretty small and with kind of low ceilings. We moved in 2 years ago and I still haven’t replaced the ugly “boob” lighting. I can’t figure out what size fixture will work, and how low a fixture should hang. I don’t want fixtures to make the rooms feel small or heavy – if that makes sense. How do you choose appropriate lighting? Help! ?

  • How do you pick the perfect rug? A big rug makes such a statement in a room. How do you pick something timeless and pretty, but not boring? How do you find the perfect rug that will anchor / tie together a room without being too loud (but again, not boring)? Also, what do you find is the best rug size to order? I know each room will vary, but what size do you find yourselves springing for over and over again?

  • It might not be a flashy topic, but wondering if you’ve ever done full or partial window replacements and if you have any tips.

  • I love all the comments above (and, of course, your offer to potentially answer questions)! I have a few to add:

    1. How do you prioritize projects, especially in relation to a budget? For example, do you prioritize a particular room and start there, or do you try to bring costs down within each of several rooms? (I understand it’s probably a combination, so any insight would be appreciated.)

    2. Do you have any decorating tips for people in small spaces? I love how open and airy all the ABM rooms feel/have felt. At the same time, if I have a box of Christmas decorations, they are stored in a box that’s visible all year. A pasta maker I only use a few times a year? Ditto. Obviously decluttering and using pretty boxes are good first steps, but I’d love to leverage your creativity!

  • I would love to see a roundup of rugs. You’re one of my favorite home blogs. You manage to mix cheaper items with more expensive items. Also, you’re amazing at thrifting. Please start a thrifting series. This is off topic: Are you going to do any more live broadcasts? I loved those. I feel like I really got to know you.

  • Yes! This is quite an issue for me in my house. Especially in one of the bathrooms. It’s so bleh without any windows. Do you have any tips on how to open up a room like that Elsie? 🙂

  • We are working on redecorating our master bedroom and so far have painted the walls (dark gray/black) and built a platform bed and headboard (out of rustic wood). My biggest struggle right now is finding a light fixture that isn’t too “dining room”-esque and trying to figure out what color to paint our dressers! I think it would be great to do a series of the best furniture, fixtures, and colors to use with different colored walls. I know white walls are “all the rage” right now, but having a darker bedroom was one of my dreams (Team Sleep) and I’m struggling to find inspiration!

  • I would love to know your thoughts on the different kinds of tile (glass, porcelain, stone, terracotta, mosaic etc). Pros and cons of using one over the other in terms of $$, durability, upkeep and install. Also, what are some sources for affordable cute tile? Thanks! Hope you pick mine!!

  • I have this challenge in my master bedroom! I love the cozy feel, but its hard to photograph to even get some help!

  • I have one question. My room is extremely small and I have a very vintage/romantic vibe going on and I got my furniture from my grandma’s house and thrift shops and all of the pieces are in great condition and they look amazing in my room but I have a huge problem. Older furniture doesn’t store much. My wardrobe is probably the smallest wardrobe I’ve seen but it still takes a whole wall in my room because the details on the outside take a lot of space, if you know what I mean, while the inside is really small. And my dresser doesn’t fit anything! I can only fit 3 knit sweaters in each drawer. The summer clothes are fine but I have no space for fall and winter clothes because they’re so big. None of my furniture has enough storage but I love how they look so my question is: how can I keep the vintage/romantic vibe in a small space while still having enough storage?

  • Hi Candace!

    Been there, done that, but not abroad. Large colorful vases and artificial or real floral arrangement always brighten a place. Open bookshelves/storage racks can be used to add decor and colorful items to a room. Patterned or brightly colored blankets draped over couches. Oversized mirrors or canvas paintings leaned against a wall, dresser, or table make a big impact. You can display art or a big family picture on a full size art easel.

    Do you have access to 3M Command products? They are safe for walls and come in all different options from velcro for painted canvas to hooks. You pull the tab when you want to remove it and it doesn’t harm walls. I used it to hang wreaths, paintings, and as a DIY lightweight curtain rod holder for a while.

  • Hi Elsie! How fun that you are inviting specific design questions.

    I have a fun loft apartment with really high ceilings and brick accent walls, but the living room is smack dab in the middle of the building and gets NO natural light.I can’t figure out how to paint or decorate in order to create a lighter feel, or lately I’ve been wondering whether I should embrace the “cave” feel and go for darker , cozier vibes.

  • Thank you for this opportunity! I have two questions/issues:
    1. My style is changing, and I’d like to start updating some of my spaces. How do I incorporate several different styles into one space? Where will I get the biggest bang for my style buck?
    2. We have an interestingly shaped living room and furniture placement is an issue. What is the best way to space plan? What are the “industry standards” for walkways, space around furniture, distance from the TV, etc.?
    Thank you again! I love ABM! ❤️

  • I’ve noticed that many lifestyle bloggers have left carpet behind once they move or renovate. Hard flooring with rugs is the new white wall! Haha. How do you personally feel about carpeting and why did you opt for area rugs instead? Is your decision more practical or aesthetic based?

  • Ceiling fans! I love using them, but have trouble finding ones that look great. This could be a great round up post too.

  • How do you approach a home you know you isn’t your forever home (aka you’ll live there under five years). I find myself asking, “How will this look in a listing photo?”

  • I haven’t reached a point in my life where I own my own home, so my problems are mostly to do with rentals. I live in a flat that doesn’t have much character by itself, and I find it hard to come up with an idea for a theme of a room. How do you start? Storyboarding? I don’t have a lot of money either unfortunately. I hope you could give some tips on this!

  • My mom always struggles with starting a decor/renovation project because she’s worried she won’t pick the best option or will find better options later. I try telling her that there will always be a better option out there so you just need to pick things you like and START! I’d love for you to talk about how you deal with this!

  • I’ve been hoping for a series like this!

    We purchased our 1940’s story & a half last summer with the intentions of slowly updating it over time. There are some major renovations we’d like to do, but for now, we are just updating everything with paint, new light fixtures, etc.

    Our major challenge has been our basement. It is dark, with only a couple of small windows. The walls have cheap-looking wood paneling throughout the whole main area (minus half a wall that is plaster), and there are a couple of wonky built-ins. My first instinct is to paint the whole area white-however, my boyfriend disagrees. He thinks the white will feel too “sterile & cold”. I’m not sure what other colors I would do in a dark basement. Do you have suggestions? Also, tips and tricks for painting a lot of cheap wood paneling are welcome. 🙂

  • How the heck do you clean white rugs? Is there a certain cleaner you like, or a vaccum you love to use? My white rug is looking dingy and I need help! Thanks!

  • I would love some input on ways to organize/decorate a room when you are living with roommates! My boyfriend and I share a 3 bedroom house with 2 other people (only 8 more months, yay!!). This is obviously not ideal but sometimes the space can get a little crowded when you are trying to hold the lives of 2 people in a room and not a house.

  • I would love to see more details on the actual process for a renovation ( like timeline). I’d also love to see more of the behind the scenes for when you photograph a room (do you use any lights/reflector/ camera/time of day) or any tips on how to make a room feel more cohesive and not so busy!

  • Such a great idea for a series! I will second some of the suggestions that have been made above, and would love to hear your guys advice on window treatments, and magazines/blogs where you get inspiration. Also I love your bedroom, must be so great to wake up to every day!

  • Cost efficient ways to decorate a rented apartment (abroad, for people that live in other countries that don’t have access to a hardware store or thrift stores). Things to decorate without painting or hanging things on the wall.

  • Hi! Thanks so much for asking.

    I love all the entryways you have featured on ABM and have my own entryway pickle. How do you make an long, thin entryway pretty, interesting and functional so that keys, mail, purses, etc. don’t wander into the house?

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • I second Courtney’s question!

    I’m also curious about what color pink that is on your ceiling in your bedroom. 🙂

  • I would love to know how you budget in decor, renovations and big purchases. I know this is part of your job, which is a huge bonus, but if it wasn’t all for your job how would you go about this?

  • Hi Elsie! My husband and I purchased a (small) 1950’s bungalow in the Inglewood area of Nashville about 7 years ago. This is our first home so I’m sure we wont stay here forever but we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, so we have been talking with a contractor about remodeling the kitchen and bathroom. My question(s) to you is how did you prioritize your renovation? Was there anything you wanted to do that just didn’t make sense economically? Any tips on how to stay on budget or advice on things you didn’t know before that you would do differently based on your experience?

    We opted to pick the appliances/fixtures for each room and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to consider quality VS. looks VS. price. Are there any items you suggest “splurging” on and others worth saving on?


  • Yes, actually, I do. My house was last really overhauled in the early nineties–and we did a lovely job with a top notch decorator–all Baker and oriental rugs and Smith sofas, really nice. So here I am wishing to give it a bit of a pop without changing everything. Absent the Moroccan tile patterns and Moroccan rugs everywhere, can you give me some great ideas to make the vibe a bit younger and fresher?

  • Curtains or window dressings: which style are appropriate where? Light blocking vs. sheer. Inexpensive alternatives to buying curtains in store, DIY’s, etc. Curtains are crazy expensive! And I have no idea what kind of curtains or hardware I need for, say my large living room picture window versus my downstairs small windows to make everything look nice and proper. Thanks!

  • I work for an art company and as a result, have a lot of great art…but I live in a smaller city apartment. Do you have any ideas for knowing when to STOP decorating? Or any rules on how much wall art is too much?

  • Does anyone have tips for decorating rooms that don’t get much natural light? I want an airy and open feel but my back bedroom has two small north-facing windows and it never really gets much light.


  • How do you work up the courage to buy major pieces online without trying them out in a store first? (i.e.: rugs from Rugs USA, couch(es) from Joybird, etc.) I have so many little spaces in my loft that are almost complete minus one thing – and I can envision exactly what I want – but I can only find something that matches what I’m envisioning online & not in an actual storefront. It makes me nervous to invest a good chunk of money in something I’m going to sit on or walk on every day without knowing if it’s actually soft / comfortable / etc., no matter how gorgeous I think it will look in the room… but I don’t like living in a not-quite-finished space, either!

  • My biggest struggle is where to start (what vibe and colors I want, …). And when do you know that a room is finished :)? Really looking forward to this series!

  • Fun series:) My question is I love diy’s, thrift shopping, upcycling furniture and vintage anything but don’t love my house looking like hodgepodge second hand shop. I recently had a friend say to me, “I love how nothing in your house matches.” Not exactly an insult, but not what I’m going for either. How do I balance my quirky finds and diy’s with also wanting a space that feels cohesive, classy and intentional?

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