*I apologize this post is a little longer than most, but I could NOT not share with you all these ideas Emily had that will help you with your space!
When I was little, my family used to take trips to Nashville to visit my mom’s side of the family. Every time, we would go to the magical and now extinct Opryland (and then it became a mall...). So my sister and I would be all ready to ride the log ride and Wabash Cannon Ball roller coaster, but my mom would insist we all went to the Southern Living Idea home first. It killed me! So we would just count down the minutes until she was done and we could carry on living out the Opryland dream.
Well, I’ve now officially become my mom and I would skip all of Opryland to look around Emily Rosen’s house!
Looking around the whole house was perfect and completely my style - cozy, a great mix of rustic and modern, classic, elegant, personal. If she had a store, I would have to decorate my whole house with it (which was actually one of her tips not to do, but we’ll get to that)! She was also an amazing and inspirational person and gave really helpful design tips, especially for people with a smaller budget and living in an apartment, like John and me. Here’s what she shared that I hope will be just as helpful to y’all!
Her story: Emily Rosen, currently a real estate agent and part time interior designer, bought her house in Bellemeade a while back when it looked like this:
They took 2 years renovating it and making it into their dream home, combining her amazing eye for design and her husband Danny’s, skills as a homebuilder. They lived in a combined living room/bedroom/kitchen space above their garage while they worked, slowly collecting the perfect pieces for their home.
Here’s how it turned out. Needless to say, most of their neighborhood then wanted Emily and Danny to help with their homes, and now it’s a beautiful and friendly neighborhood.
Here are her answers to common design challenges, especially if you are on a budget:
What’s your favorite thing to do with blank walls?
Photos, especially wood grain prints from Prints on Wood. She also recommended hanging a neat rug as art or using architectural elements (like an old sign, mirrors, a clock, a ladder, etc.)
Color can be scary, how do you like to use color?
Get neutral furniture and use color in art and accessories like pillows and flowers.
*Pro tip - To save money, buy pillow covers on Etsy and then the inserts on Amazon, to get the look you want for less.
What pieces get you the most bang for your buck for in a small home/tight budget:
Big pieces that you will hang on to as you move and will make a statement like a nice couch or table, etc. Big mirrors are also a great option because they make your house look more open, though they are usually more expensive.
Where are your favorite places to shop (especially if you’re on a budget in Nashville)?
Pro tip - Restoration Hardware Baby and Child and Pottery Barn Kids/Teen are 30% less than their R.H. and Pottery Barn for adults and you can find great pieces there for non-kid spaces!
What are some good ideas for artwork for walls, especially if you can’t afford original art yet?
Look at Etsy art- there are so many talented artists there and you can find amazing deals. Also paper art (Here's an example from Bliss, but I would recommend shopping around Etsy for good deals!), and getting a nice frame with a neat print from somewhere like Paper Source.
What about plants/fake plants?
Love ‘em! They can get a little pricey though. At Home has some cute containers and choosing succulents are great if you want something real that is hard to kill.
Favorite up-and-coming neighborhood to buy a home in Nashville?
The Nations- Check out Nashville Guru's overview of this up and coming neighborhood!
What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts for follow for design ideas?
@cityfarmhouse, @vintagesouthdevelopment, @paintedfox1, @ihavethisthingwithfloors, @faycetextiles etc.
Pro tip - Emily shops on Instagram a ton and finds amazing pieces for great deals.
What are some of your favorite design blogs to read?
So all in all, what’s your top advice to takeaway from this, especially if you’re younger?
Never live above your means. It’s not worth getting into a ton of debt to make your dream home quick! Don’t design all from one store, but mix it up. Incorporate family pieces and keep an eye out for things you can re-purpose. Be patient; keep changing and perfecting your home little by little and keep working on what your passionate about!
Overall Emily was so encouraging, helpful and extremely talented and I hope you all were about to gather some great tips to make your house your perfect home!