Anyone who knows me is aware I consider myself to be something of an amateur interior designer. But I'm all about Decorating on a Dime (the name of a book I loved as a child.) Thanks for asking @zoe !
  1. It's all about your passions
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    I love a house where someone's personal interests are totally evident. For example @jennikonner has a gorgeous shelf devoted just to cookbooks. My father has created a whole area of drawings by kids because he loves those. Think of it as a museum of YOU! Otherwise it's just a hotel. Here is lots of art about my favorite animals over my sink.
  2. Create theme areas
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    A lesson from my mother- give areas a theme! She even gives our xmas tree a theme (she is a Jew.) Curate objects that share a common trait and watch how quickly it pulls together an area! It's also a great way to create distinct spaces in a room. My mom is the one who started this collection of white ceramic things on my mantel, which I find very chic. Plus, I find additions to it around the city & country!
  3. In the same vein, highlight your collections!
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    Why do we often stop doing this after childhood? I collect blue and white china (a collection begun by my grandma) and painted this bathroom shelf specifically to show it off. When you're painting teensy areas like this you can afford fancy paints like Farrow & Ball! Otherwise stick with Benjamin Moore and be reasonable.
  4. Wallpaper
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    Wallpaper has always been my passion. My mom, my interior design soul mate, used to hang it professionally! Now wallpaper is back in a big way. I love a wallpapered bathroom (see attached Marimekko print from Walnut Wallpaper) but I've also done table tops, head boards and the insides of drawers. It can be whimsical or very sophisticated and lasts longer than paint. Invest in a pro hanger so it doesn't ripple and drive you nuts. Also Etsy kills it with vintage rolls.
  5. Color
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    I'm crazy for colors. We even painted our fridge!!! It creates a whole new vibe and gives me joy every time I enter the kitchen. It's also like putting on lipstick- just a fast pick me up. Side note: my partner Jack says that I am at my most annoying and elderly when I talk about interiors.
  6. Find art you love and frame it creatively
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    Nothing better than finding a young (read: not crazy expensive auction item at Sotheby's) artist whose work you adore- for example I am obsessed with these drawings by Grace Miceli and decided to create a small salon wall for my Girls dressing room. The colorful frames pull it together IMHO.
  7. In the same vein, find local objects that give you joy and make a showcase for them!
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    These boob pots are by my friend Isaac aka Group Partner and they are a favorite tableau in our house. My sister bought me one and it was so thrilling that i commissioned 10 (if you have a personal relationship with a creative type and want a bunch of something it is my experience that there are deals to be found.) I spend so much time staring at this lineup. It's basically why we built the shelves.
  8. Get shit built
    It may cost a little more than that IKEA table but you will love and cherish it forever and ever AND you'll be supporting an artisan/independent contractor- Ya know?
  9. Plants
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    Every house needs at least one. I am a brown thumb and Jack is allergic to everything so we have this lucky (aka totally self sufficient) Jade. We keep it in our feng shui "prosperity corner" cuz why not?
  10. Get shit upholsterered
    Don't be intimidated by this! There are a lot of amazing couches hiding behind horrid fabrics. Ditto chairs. Just make sure it's not full of mold before you take the plunge.
  11. Magazines
    I love interior design magazines- they film me with admiration for other ways of doing it and ideas for my own home. Plus once you're done reading them they are awesome decorative objects! I subscribe to Domino (even tho it's basically a catalogue now I don't mind because it's so full of color and joy) and World of Interiors which has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with old world glamour.
  12. Haunt Etsy, EBay and instagram!
    Just search random shit: Josef Frank! Local ceramics! Stump stool! Baby angora! Piglets! It's where the magic happens. I don't fuck with Pinterest tho- it's overwhelming. However I do sometimes see a cool thing and cry out "how pinteresting!"
  13. Don't try and do it all at once.
    It's a process- you should be hauling furniture around for the rest of your life.
  14. Add your own in comments please! I am just a humble student.
  15. Decal wallpaper
    For renters.
    Suggested by @lesleyarfin
    Warning: with great power comes great responsibility
    Suggested by @lesleyarfin
  17. Don't forget to let go of stuff that 1) you don't use 2) you don't love 3) it's broken and you will never fix it! It leaves space for new ideas and the stuff you do love.
    Suggested by @laure