• Dani

Design Breakthrough with Kelly - Bringing bold color and fun into a room with a neutral palette




*A note from the author: This podcast episode (as well as all future episodes) will be transcribed automatically. The author is currently aware of, and getting hives at the thought of, all of the grammatical errors she's finding as she proof reads her transcript. She recognizes that her former English teachers are likely rolling over in their graves, if that is where they currently reside, but also knows that some things just have to give. Please feel free to listen instead and be sure to read non-podcast posts so you can rest assured that she does, in fact, know how to compose written words into proper story telling.*


Links mentioned within the show:


Facebook Community: bit.ly/design101group

Instagram and Facebook: @figandfarm

Work with me: https://www.figandfarmathome.com/design-packages


Speaker 1: (00:00)

Welcome back to fig and farm at home. In today's episode, we're doing something a little bit different. I'm chatting with Kelly. Kelly is a member of my Feygin farm at home Facebook community. And back in February, we had a challenge, a love, your home challenge. And Kelly was the winner. Part of that winning was for her to win a design for one room in her home. And she chose her living room. Now we've already done the design and this is the post-interview. We talked a lot about the process. We talked a lot about her breakthroughs that she had. One thing that I've known about Kelly was that she loves color. And when she chose her living room and showed me her first picture, I was a little bit shocked. I was shocked because I didn't see color. We talk about that. We talked about the breakthrough that got her to the other side of embracing that color.


Speaker 1: (00:48)

And then hint, hint, we talked about some other really good things too, like compromising with your hubby, like bringing kiddos into the design process and embracing their viewpoints. We talked about the idea of the Pinterest perfect trap and kind of being sucked into it and how she was able to get out of it for herself, because what she was seeing trending, wasn't what she was really loving. We talked about finding joy in your space and really loving it. So we covered a lot of ground in this conversation, and I hope that you, I hope that you enjoy it.


Speaker 2: (01:24)

We grew up with the phrase. Home is where the heart is, but our culture has shifted and now the messages home should be Pinterest. Perfect. I'm calling BS on that message poem. It's not about the stuff it's about the story and whether you know it or not, your home is a reflection of you and is already saying something. So what is it that you want it to say, Hey, I'm Danny. A former first grade teacher turned home decorator going from a dual income to a single income. So I could stay home with my babies, meant budget, like ramen eating, Goodwill, shopping budget. And I learned a few things along the way, like how to bring big styles to your home without breaking the bank. And I'm sharing it all with you. Tips, tricks, decor, and design advice. So you can learn to tell your story of your style, where you can serve living free from the Pinterest perfect trap and start living a life of intention. Welcome to fig and farm at home where redesign, happy living and where it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.


Speaker 3: (02:24)

Well, so we just got done designing your home, your living room. You were the February, love your home challenge winner. Um, and as the winner, you got that design, um, for, for one room in your house and you chose your living room. So tell me, tell me why you chose your living room and tell me what it was. It was kind of keeping you stuck and you might might've needed that little push to go the next step. Uh, I chose the living room because, um, it was our living room to me, felt very stale. Um, it, every time I would take a photo or watch a video when we were in our living room, I would say, oh my gosh, it looks like we just moved in because it was so plain, nothing was on the walls. Um, and when we originally started working on our house, we've been here five years now.


Speaker 3: (03:22)

But, um, when we moved in, I wanted a very like neutral look. Yeah. I, I thought I did. Um, but living in that for a while I realized, oh my gosh, no, this is not making me happy. And that's things that you mentioned to me straight away. It was like, I, it doesn't feel like me and it doesn't feel happy. Yeah. Yeah. It doesn't. And I had definitely loved color. Um, but I was feeling probably the pressure of trends. I feel like, um, a lot of the like more soothing calming, very kind of bare stuff. Um, and I thought, oh, okay, I'll be sophisticated. I've always thought as my, my style as so youthful and playful and joyful that I thought when, uh, like maybe I need to be more sophisticated and grown up and figure out how to do that. Um, but it, it, I just like being, I just liked the color and the craziness of color and the different patterns and, um, like the weird artwork, anything that brings a talking piece, if people visit, I want them to go, oh my gosh, I would never have done that to my house.


Speaker 3: (04:51)

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, the, I, you touched on something that was, I think really profound and that is, um, what we're seeing in kind of the masses, like on Pinterest or on Instagram, what you see a lot is that calming out really a lot of Scandinavian influence, just white and beige and neutral, and it's gorgeous. It's so gorgeous. Um, but I don't necessarily think that that is sophisticated or that your color is not sophisticated. Yeah. Um, okay. So when we first started, you knew that you wanted to add color in, but one thing that you had mentioned to me that I think was, uh, a roadblock, tell me if I'm right or not was, um, was how you compromise styles with hubby yeah. With that. So, um, you know, one day we went from having this neutral palette to knowing you wanted color, knowing that you needed to kind of gently ease Matt into it.


Speaker 3: (05:56)

What happened? I wasn't there, but all of a sudden we were ordering her. So, um, well me talking about color, incorporating color into the house has always been like a bigger top. Um, it started with, I knew no, but I want an orange, a new orange door. My old house had a yellow door. Um, and that sort of where it started, I love orange. I wanted orange appliances for our kitchen. Like I'm all in with wild and fun stuff. The one thing he, he and I agree on is, um, you know, we like mid-century modern, uh, Palm Springs style. Um, so we agree there. So I think I just had to sort of show him more photos of that mid century modern style with the colors incorporated, instead of just a lot of modern clean lines. He is a minimalist as well. Um, so he could live in a bear, anything forever. Like nothing's there, it's fine. I have a backpack and that's how I live.


Speaker 3: (07:11)

Um, so I think it was just a matter of, um, just keep to and telling him, and he's a sucker for our kid to write who isn't. So showing him, her artwork and bringing like her pieces into our home and showing him like, seriously, look how the videos that I was referring to. Like, doesn't it look like we just moved in and we're still trying to figure out where to put things because it's so bare and it echoed and it was cold. So there were all these factors and I think getting, getting your help too, and you say, yeah, yeah. Get some curtains up in there. You know, that'll make a drastic change. It will make us feel cozier. Um, and then having your, uh, what did you call it? Like the home edit or your design, um, mood board, the mood board to show him like, look what it could be. Cause he just can't, he just can't see it in his own. Like he can't see what I'm talking about. And if I do show him pictures, it's not like he can pick apart the pieces and then, um, see it in his head. You know, I show him a picture. He's like, I just see that picture. And I don't want that in our house.


Speaker 3: (08:34)

That is really true for a lot of people. And a lot of worked with is like, I can walk into a space and I, I immediately see that mood board. Um, but getting you to see it, or even you getting that to see it is, is really difficult. So having that translation piece is good. And, um, and I think, I don't know if it helped you, please let me know if it did, but putting actually your home. Like I use her in your home in order to show you, this is what that curtain will look like. Um, but you know, one thing you just, I want to go back to is that you talked about using Maya's artwork and I, I love that. And when you showed me what you were putting in there, um, it's just amazing, but I think because there's so much talent, but I think one thing that is missing that I see a lot of women struggling with is, um, the idea that kids, I don't want to say shouldn't be involved in the design, but I do kind of think that is true or like their artwork doesn't necessarily, you know, we see it on the fridge and then it quietly slips into the recycle bin.


Speaker 3: (09:47)

There's a missed opportunity with displaying artwork and, um, and I loved that you brought her into the design. So were there other ways that you, other than bringing her artwork, that you got Maya involved in the creation of this living room? Yeah. Well, what's funny with Maya is her like living style is totally different than ours. Like how she designs her bedroom. She is a very neutral person, but her artwork is full color. Yeah. So it's funny that, you know, her creative space in her art and all of that is very lots of colors wild, but her sleeping space is very common, neutral. Those are the colors that she chooses. Um, so she is always a part of our discussion in this household. So definitely, um, sometimes I have to be like, it's fun. Like we ha it's gotta be fun cause she doesn't like change.


Speaker 3: (10:49)

But, um, she does choose, like if I have, you know, like we're tiling the fireplace, then I have all this different tiles style. She does have input like, Hey, what do you think? And tell me why. And she has a good eye. So that's also, I definitely trust her style, but I, um, I also always want this space, her house it's her house too, as much as it is mine and mats. And just because like, I think, oh, this feels so good to me. Doesn't always necessarily mean, it feels good to everybody who lives in here. Cause we're all are individual people. Right. So any, any way I can bring in stuff that makes them feel at home, that's, that's always my intention, you know? Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think that's a part that's missed a little bit. I really do. And um, so hearing hearing that you were bringing her art in and um, was just really inspiring, I thought.


Speaker 3: (11:55)

Yeah. And I, and I, and I get, I'm going to say, I get tired of the manufactured art that I see and I'm, I'm, you know, like it's great sometimes like, oh, I need to do this really quick in the bathroom, but our houses aren't staged Pete places. I don't feel like, so I, while I love staging and like, Ooh, Instagram, and that looks amazing. And it's so pretty. I always just think like, how do you live in that? So, you know, like what, how do you live in that perfectly perfect space? Yeah. And I think too, you were touching on all kinds of talk points that, that, um, that I hear all these moms talk about and one of them is the staged and that's exactly what that is on pins on Pinterest and Instagram. Those are staged. I mean, if you look behind your camera, you're going to see that pile of pillows life. You're going to see life.


Speaker 3: (12:56)

We can kind of let go of that and let, just, you know, like if you were to walk into my home today, you would see some stuff on the floor you just would, and you see the pillows disheveled and they're cute pillows, but they might not be arranged ready to take that Instagram photo. Um, and, and your homes are meant to tell your family story and to live intentionally. So I'm so glad you get it. I hope that other moms do. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I would say, um, so for me going back to like, what happened for me, I had to let go of the idea of, oh, this is how I, how I should be, because this is how everybody's doing it. Like on Instagram or when I walk into target, it's all, you know, Magnolia stuff. Um, and I love their stuff.


Speaker 3: (13:52)

It's just not me. So when I, I don't, it's not, I'm not like GRA I don't gravitate to it. Um, yeah, I don't gravitate to it usually it's pretty, but it's not my, that's not my style. Um, so I just finally was sitting in my living room space. And when you had said, oh, you know, what room do you want to do? I knew in that instant, like I'm going for it because looking at all of, yeah. All of my Pinterest boards and all that, it's all colorful. Yeah. And, and that's what I had to like revisit our old house that was full of color. Um, uh, remembering that and then realizing, yeah. Okay. Let's just go back to that. Cause that's what I love. Right. And having, like having that Pinterest board, or you even showed me a few things on Instagram, like those can be used as tools.


Speaker 3: (14:51)

You knew exactly what you, what you wanted. And, and honestly, like when we, that first design board I gave you, um, when, once you mentioned Palm Springs, that gave me a better idea of how to design for you. Um, but you had that aesthetic and that bottom line is static. And once you knew that, like now, I mean, now you can choose confidently. Right. You can choose, um, those things that will bring that aesthetic. And that's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. And if you like, and I did re I did visit, like, I, I was scrolling through Instagram and I'm seeing all of the people who are home decorators that I follow every single one house, just patterns and colors. Yeah. There's only a few that I follow that are not like that, which is like Nate Berkus, but I like his, um, Nate, Nate and Jeremiah.


Speaker 3: (15:44)

I like their clean lines that they have, but they still have some pretty fun pieces that I'm like, Ooh, that's cool. So, but the majority of who I follow is just like crazy fun art artists and color. Right. So, um, you know, as I'm looking at you and the listeners, aren't going to be able to see you right now, but we have, you have still the neutral walls. Right. And even in the sight line from, excuse me, from the, um, the living room into the kitchen, white cabinets, but you still infused color. And, um, and I want to make that point really clear that you don't have to have, like, if you have neutral walls, that is such a good landscape for bringing in color and as much as you want little or big. Um, and yeah. Yeah. I think that was like the foundation or my house in the living room.


Speaker 3: (16:43)

It's gray couch, neutral rug, Ottoman, everything was neutral. So it was a good base to go off of to bring, to pull color and right. Right. Exactly. So, um, how do you feel like when you, when you first walked into your room, you kind of said, uh, before, how do you feel now when you come in, come home, we, we all love it now for sure. We, um, I do love it. I walk in and I'm like, oh my gosh, I just love the curtains. Um, uh, by a new rug came in yesterday and I am in love with my new rug. Like, it's incredible. It's the piece that I like, yes, this is exactly, um, what I needed and loved. So yeah, we just, it's just so happy. It's just, it's just so playful. I think you're the one who told me, like, you think of, like, my house is like, very, like, you can have a snack on the couch and I, I won't care.


Speaker 3: (17:46)

Like, it's, that's exactly what was hoping for. That's awesome. It's not Steph stuffy and stale. Yeah. Do you, do you feel like your home with the color is sophisticated? I mean, you mentioned that earlier. Like I want it to feel sophisticated and grown up. Does it feel sophisticated? Uh, yeah, it does. It's still, it feels, it does feel sophisticated and grown up. I do have, like, I feel that brings a little bit of youth to it as my kids are on the wall. Yeah. Um, and the playful colors. Um, but it does, for sure. I love the curtains, the curtains, our curtains were a game changer that, and the rug, I know some of the things I kept repeating to you and that is a hit that word. But, um, but one of the things I was mentioning to you is in order to make all of the color work together, um, there's, there's like a key to make it happen.


Speaker 3: (18:53)

Um, do you remember what that is? No. A key to make all the colors work to like re no, I don't want to repeat, repeat repetition. So one of those keys is just to make sure that you so that you don't have that bully in the room. You know, that, that yellow makes sense on the curtain because we see it in the entryway and we see it in the art and we see that pattern play happening and the repetition I'm so glad. I'm so glad. So what, what is the next project for you guys? Do you have one in mind? Oh, um, well, we've talked about the kitchen. Um, cause the kitchen is actually cream. The cabinet. Oh, it is. Yeah. The house was when we moved in, it was all beige. And so the cabinets and even the tile in the kitchen is cream.


Speaker 3: (19:52)

Okay. So, um, I would like to get the kitchen done, but I don't know, you know, it's expensive to, to do stuff. I will say that doing the living room wasn't it was doable. You know, I would say that, um, because it is expensive, who has a bunch of funds, so like, oh, we're gonna do this. Renno like, you see on HGTV. And I was like, who are these people? Like where, um, uh, like I want to go on vacation, put our kids in sports or do the thing don't eat into that budget. Right, exactly. So I'm doing like a glow up who kept referring to it as like glow up, um, was totally doable and affordable. And I think he did a good job. Like just, these are, these are things to incorporate into the home that will give you like a big bang for your buck, which was like the curtains. It was a big deal to put up, um, artwork. So for us, okay. The kitchen will be next maybe. Um, because I also told you I'm going to wallpaper our bath or not me. I think I might hire you to wallpaper our bathroom.


Speaker 3: (21:15)

It is definitely doable, but we work together. So then you'll know how to do it, do it. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, our downstairs bathroom might be a little projects. Um, I don't know. I'm not sure, but for well, for sure the, the kitchen is on there. Yeah. To be, be done. That will be just a little bit bigger of a project though. But the color train has left the station, right? Oh, totally. I am like, okay. Color and pattern. There's um, I'm just going for it. I'm just, I'm glad that I had like my own breakthrough. Just do it. Like, why are you holding back? Right. Yeah. So I, so now yeah, the kitchen will definitely have some color in it. Um, we have like a mudroom right off the kitchen that I want to wallpaper in there. So it'll be fun. I'm excited. Good.


Speaker 3: (22:12)

No, honestly, life is too short to live in a home. You don't love, right. It doesn't like you or right. Yeah. Once you like aligned your like spirit with your house, I feel like you are more intentional. Like, oh, it's not such a pain in the butt to like clean and pick stuff up because you're kind of excited to see it all put together. Great. Right. Yeah. Together doesn't mean Instagram put together though. It could picked up a little like pride in your space. Right. Pride and ownership. Yeah. Sure. And I'm not like a flower person, but ever since I've put color into my living room, I've been, I've been adding like flowers to the entryway, like things that I just thought, wow, I never did this before, but it definitely the whole thing. Just breathe life into our home, putting color into it. And I think that's one of the things I asked you was, Hey, can you breathe?


Speaker 3: (23:16)

We need to breathe life into this space. It's a very, just boring. Oh, I'm so glad. I'm, I'm thrilled. Um, so if you, okay. Do you want to say anything else about the design before I ask you my last question? I don't think so. Um, if you were to hear another mom, um, who's maybe not necessarily a similar, like stopping point a non starting point, but you know, if you heard another mom like, oh, I just don't love my home. Like, what advice would you give that mom to have so that she could start having her breakthrough? Hmm. Um, I guess it would be, I would be like, well, why don't you love your home? What is it about it? Right. That you don't love your home. But, um, I would say pick, pick a space that, um, you would want to do a glow up to just pick a space.


Speaker 3: (24:22)

I would definitely say Colin, somebody who is helpful, like a professional, um, to help you sort of understand like what it is your style is. I will say you did such a great job. I've worked with other designers before, but I I've always felt like I was sort of pushed to be this one way. Cause because I do like color so much. And like I said, the trend was not going into like bringing color in. Um, I think you also probably gave me confidence to just, no, it is okay to bring color in. It's okay. To bring your kids stuff into the space. Um, but I would say call a professional, somebody to come in and don't be afraid to shop around either for one, like yeah. You know, like if they're not speaking the same language as you or making you feel like they're listening, then there's, there's people out there you can talk to.


Speaker 3: (25:26)

Um, and then, um, I don't know. No on that. No. I just want to say like, um, you know, for anyone who might be listening that if they're speaking to a designer who doesn't really understand that the designer is not the one living there for a new designer. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because I feel sometimes too, um, you know, some designers are used to staging a home. Yeah. And that's sort of their jam, you know? So staging the home. That's what they're used to. That's what they see. And yes, like your home can be staged in. Beautiful. Sure. But you also live there, like you're not selling your house next week. You're living in your house. So there is, and there's a big difference. Um, like when we sold our last time, we had to bring in a stager to tell us what to do so we could sell it.


Speaker 3: (26:19)

Right. Well, nobody wanted to see, we were actually living in there, you know? So there's, there is a difference and um, yeah, design, honestly, like when you're living in your home, it should be really fluid so that you can take the pillows that are right behind you and put them somewhere else and bring stuff down and change out artwork. And you're exactly right. It is living in a home is very different than staging a home. Sure. And even on our, the group Facebook group, we've talked about, um, this is something else we struggled with with like incorporating, um, like family heirlooms that get passed down to you. Like we get furniture, we get all these things from family. We have no idea what to do with it. So just having somebody to come in to look at what, what you have in your space, it's just fresh eyes.


Speaker 3: (27:10)

And they're able to help you, um, guide you to, to put it all together, fluid, fluidly. So it's not kind of like pocket pieces, everywhere stuff. So I would say do that. Um, oh, and to, uh, to go and look at, I say this to my, all the time to my daughter, um, like, does it bring you joy and always, does it bring you joy then get it? If it brings you joy, if you feel that like happiness in your heart, then that is, yes. That is something you need. So I, when even when I look at like, um, Pinterest stuff or Instagram stuff that I'm thinking about, I say, does this bring me, does this bring me joy? Like what do I feel when I see this? And, um, that helps too. And like kids artwork, like, yeah. Yeah. That's a big deal. Like when I see my kids' artwork on our wall, for sure.


Speaker 3: (28:13)

I feel pride. I am excited. I am, it's just makes you feel good. It makes you feel at home. So yeah. Yeah. And it's not, the kids are at work. It might be an art piece from, you know, a trip that you took or, you know, the little shot that's sitting on your piano. That is a remind. I mean, it's your story, but it's a reminder of something that brought you joy. And I know Marie Kondo is onto something when she said, hold every piece and doesn't bring you joy. And that doesn't paint. Isn't realistic. But that asking that question is so smart. And I agree 1000% that that's something that you should do because you're home. Like no one wants to walk into a home and feel like crap, no one wants to do that. So if you're not into your home and feeling joy, I don't know something needs to change. Right. Yeah. Oh, totally. I think so. Like you, there is nothing. I would say our living room for me, I'd have to like ask Matt and Maya, but Maya loves pretty much everything. That's gone down inside that living room. She loves the new tile that we picked out, um, that will be done hopefully this week.


Speaker 3: (29:27)

Um, and the rug, she loves it. So it's, yeah, it's definitely when you walk into a space and like you look around and you're just like, I love everything in here, then it makes you feel good. It makes you want to hang out in there and yeah. And invite people over that. The light is at the end of the tunnel with that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that would be that. And don't be afraid to just go for it. Yeah. That would be the other one. Yeah. Trying to, trying to, uh, tap into your own heart of what you want and don't get like caught up in Pinterest and, uh, or Instagram. Right. As a tool, use it as it. Yeah, definitely. Cause I do use it as a tool for sure. But like, um, our process, you know, sometimes I was like, I love all of this, but I don't know how to put it together.


Speaker 3: (30:33)

You know, that's how you helped me put stuff together. Picking out pillows is like the hardest thing in the world. Right. That's not, that's not my strong suit there. Yeah. But you made some choices and see the two behind you that are so cute. Oh yeah. Yeah. So yeah. That's like upstairs, I knew this space is our loft space and it's, Maya's kind of loft and um, it's colorful here. That was another piece I would sit at pier all the time and in our bedroom has lots of color. And Matt with said, you always sit upstairs. And I'm like, I know because I love how colorful it is. And that was another like aha moment for me. But I needed to bring it downstairs. Yeah. Yeah. That's really, that's really true. Especially in, I can think about that in my own home too. Like the rooms I want to gravitate to, um, might look cute.


Speaker 3: (31:31)

They might feel okay, but maybe they're clean or, you know, there's something that's kind of pulling me there. That's yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. The space I get pulled into here all the time, so yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. Yay. Well, I'm so glad Kelly, and it was such a joy working with you and um, thank you for coming on and letting me share your story and your journey and your breakthrough, which hopefully will be an inspiration for other people too. So yeah, I hope so. Just go for it. Just do it. Exactly. Just do it. Yeah. Oh, well thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Oh, you're welcome.


Speaker 1: (32:14)

You can walk into your room and feel joy and you want to spend time in a room that you previously didn't, that's a really good thing. And we know that not always your home is about, um, what's on the walls. It's really about the people in it. But realistically speaking your home is the environment that serves the people and creating a home in a space that you love is so important for doing so knowing that Kelly had that breakthrough is just wonderful. And I'm so happy for her. And if you want a similar breakthrough as Kelly, I want you to go to fig and farm@home.com. Look under the tab, work with me and book a call. That call is the beginning of a conversation and that conversation can help you unlock whatever it is that's holding you back, whatever it is that is keeping you stuck in inaction and moving you forward into action. And if you're not already a part of our Facebook community, I want you to come join us. You can find us at bit dot L Y forward slash design one-on-one group. And in that group, there's lots of like-minded women who are busy trying to treat homes that they love and having that accountability and sisterhood is a really good thing. So come join us.


Speaker 2: (33:24)

Hey, real quick, before you go, if you learned something new or found value in today's podcast, would you head over to iTunes, to fig and farm at home and leave a review and subscribe to the show? That would be awesome. And if you'd like to connect with my community of mamas who are learning to be intentional storytellers within their own homes, join us at bit dot L Y forward slash design 1 0 1 group. There's always more room at the table. See you soon.