Home Decor Q&A: Blending Styles and Decorating Cubbies

Home Decor Q&A with @ShannonBarefoot | @Remodelaholic #homedecor #Q&A #designideas #designhelp #interiordesign

Do you have a problem area in your home that you just can’t figure out? Are you debating on what size area rug to purchase for under your dining room table? Well maybe I can help you out! Hi, I’m Shannon from Sewing Barefoot – a quirky little blog about sewing, crafting, design & creating things with my husband for our 1950’s fixer-upper. I am excited about starting this fun new segment with Remodelaholic called “Home Decor Q&A.” It is just what it sounds like. You submit questions that have anything to do with home decor or interior design and I answer them for you.

Why would you want to ask me? Well, I am by no means an expert but I do have experience with helping people with their design “dilemmas.” I am a full time interior designer by day (I have a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design) and I spend my days working at a full service flooring & design showroom. I really enjoy helping people create a home that they love and feel comfortable in. I’m hoping I can do the same for you. 

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about me, I have 2 home decor questions to address today – so lets get started!

Question #1: Blending Styles

Cathy asked: “I seem to be going in circles…..We moved into a 1902 pre-loved home of my husbands grandmother….(Plenty of vintage left over!) plus our own things. How on earth do you choose where to start? To me everything is a hot mess and I can’t get a focus…..I adore vintage and cowboy and yes they don’t always blend well. This is the first room you come into the dining room.”

Home Decor Q&A on Remodelaholic.com

Cathy, and all of you who are in a situation like Cathy’s, my advice to you is…

 1) Find & start with pieces that you absolutely love. If it’s the table, the lighting fixture, or the pattern on the floor… find what speaks to you most in that room and base everything off of that. If something really doesn’t work with one of those pieces, it might be best to find a home for it in a different room in your house. When my husband and I bought our first house, we fell in love with the charm of the fireplace & built-ins in our family room. We used them as our inspiration and planned the rest of the room around them.

2) Put things into the space that you love. This sounds very simple, but like you mentioned before, vintage and cowboy may not always blend the best, but if you find & use pieces that you love, they’ll work together in a space because they’ll share a common theme: you equally love the look of them!

3) Change the things you aren’t fond of. Just because it is the pre-loved home of your husband’s grandmother doesn’t mean you have to keep it exactly as she had it. Keep bits and pieces of her decor for the sake of memories, but incorporate your own touch into the space. With the blend of “old” and “new”, you’ll create a space that is personal and cozy.

 My main theme when it comes to design is this: If you put colors, furniture and decor YOU love into your home, you’re bound to create a space that will work for you and your family and will ultimately be pleasing to your eye.

Question #2: Decorating Cubbies

Heidi asked: “My husband remodeled our basement and built this beautiful entertainment center around our television. I thought I would love the little cubbies all around it but they’ve become something I dread – because I can’t figure out how to decorate them!! I want all 5 cubbies to be cohesive but different (I’m sure you know what I mean). No matter what I put in them, they just always feel empty. I would really like to see something with colored glass jars but I can’t seem to tie it all together. Please help!!”

Home Decor Q&A on Remodelaholic.com

Heidi, first of all, the entertainment center your husband built is gorgeous! I love all the cubbies you have to play with. Hopefully after these tips you’ll have a better grasp on how you’d like to decorate them:

Tip #1: Things look better in odd numbered clusters. Items in 3’s and 5’s are much more appealing to the eye. I personally like to cluster things together rather than evenly space things apart. You’ll want to incorporate a few different sizes of items in your cubbies. If you have a big item that you adore, try to find 2 smaller items to compliment it. Step back every once in a while to make sure your decorations look balanced. If you have too many big items on one side, try to spread them out so the shelves seem balanced. 

Tip #2: Soften up your cubbies with (fake) plants or green. I think this can make a huge difference in the overall feeling of your cubbies and can also help fill in some of the “empty” space without making them feel too crowded. I have a few knit cacti on my built-ins and they really help to bring some life to my bookshelves.

Tip #3: Balance your colors. If you love the colored glass (which I think can look really gorgeous, especially with all the lighting you have going on), balance the colors on each side. If you have something blue on the top left, try to incorporate something of a similar color on the other side. This can help make your decor feel more cohesive. Try to stick with a simple color scheme (or colors that pick up on furniture/decor from the rest of the space). This will help everything in the room work together.

Tip #4: Negative space is good! You don’t have to fill every square inch of your cubbies. Having some negative space will help your eyes focus on the items you want to showcase. If you have too much going on, your eyes won’t have a place to focus.

Tip #5: Find 3-5 items (colored glass) you LOVE and make them your focus. Balance them out with books (stacked both horizontally and vertically to add interest). You could possibly use your colored glass vase as a bookend. Again, if you limit the number of “focal point items” your eyes will be directed to these items first.

Below is a picture of my favorite shelving display in my house (and it is the most simple one we have)! I have a cluster of airplane related items (my husband loves airplanes and he snapped that photo on a trip to Alaska). Elephants are my favorite animal – so I love seeing him on my shelf everyday. I’ve filled this shelf with items that WE love (and softened it up a little bit with a [fake] plant from Ikea). There is enough negative space to not make everything feel crowded. This is probably not everyone’s idea of a “perfect” bookshelf display, but it holds the items that we love – which makes it perfect for us. 

styled bookshelf at remodelaholic.com

I’ll end with this… there really is no “right” or “wrong” answer when it comes to design. As I’ve said a few times already, adding your own personality into your space is the best way to achieve a design that you are going to love!


Do you have a home decor question you’d like to ask? Please submit them here and your project could be featured in an upcoming edition of the Home Decor Q&A segment. Thanks for reading along and I look forward to your questions for the next post!

Shannon | Sewing Barefoot 



Get more home decor inspiration in our Decorating archives.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve been searching the web numerous evenings to no avail. I am looking for a design for twin boys 13and 16. Yes the must share a room and it’s not very large to top it off. Most designs I find are girl related or toddler. Can you help???