Where to Spend: High-Low Style Tips from Hallie's Home

Hallie and Mark — of Mark and Hallie's Hip Slice of History House Tour fame — are among the most talented DIYers I've met, but more than that, they're also among the savviest when it comes to knowing where to spend.

Because their high impact home screams sophisticated, it's not readily apparent just how much DIY love went into it. By the end of the tour, I was as enamored with their talent as with the home itself. However, even for those among us who don't possess the same level of decorating genius, there are plenty of tips to glean from their masterpiece:

• Use Wallpaper with Restraint, and then Go Bold! When I thought back on Hallie and Mark's home, I immediately thought of wallpaper, but upon further thought I realized that the actual amount of wallpaper used was pretty small in relation to the home as a whole. They just knew where to use it and how. They rocked the jewel box effect in the entry vestibule (picture 2) and the powder room under the stairs (picture 3), saturating both tiny spaces in bold papers which delivers a huge effect without affecting the budget. They followed suit on the fireplace bump out in the living room, covering just that wall with black Imperial Trellis (picture 1).

• Repeat themes! Even more than the budget savvy of just using wallpaper on the fireplace bump out (picture 1), the real genius lies in the way that Hallie and Mark stretched the effect of the Imperial Trellis paper. They repeated the black matte/glossy contrast throughout the room— shiny black glass chandelier, high gloss black mantel, black leather settee, dark velvet upholstery, etc — so that it seems as if the wallpaper actually envelops the whole room. The employed a similar tactic in their displays, such as repeating the shape of the the vintage xylophone in the stacks of books on the neighboring shelves.

• Mix and Match Bedding! Even as someone who kind of digs the gypsy wagon aesthetic, the thought of mixing completely different looks in the bed had never occurred to me before soaking in Hallie's genius. She stocked up on mismatched sheets on deep discount during her time as a visual manager for Bloomingdales. Now she dresses the guestroom beds (pictures 4 and 8) in an array of textures and colors which makes for a casual and interesting bohemian vibe.

• Play Up the Dark! Common decorating wisdom usually suggests using bright, happy and light colors in rooms that don't receive a lot of light in order to counterbalance the gloom. However, that can quickly translate into depressing, since many light colors look dingy in artificial light. In Hallie's dining room (picture 7), where the only windows open into a small alley between her house and the neighbor's towering row-house, Hallie decided to embrace the dark moody vibe, painting the walls deep black and upholstering the chairs in rich fabrics. The effect is utterly sexy!

• Create Focal Points! The kitchen is the last frontier in Hallie and Mark's home, the one space they haven't completely glammed-up in their impressively short one year stint in the house, however, that doesn't mean they've neglected it. While they're deciding what to do with the kitchen at large, Hallie created a beautiful display in the entry (picture 5), trapping the eye. The tiny shelves boast a petite collection of vintage-vibe accessories that set the tone for the whole space.

In case you missed it, check out the full tour of Mark and Hallie's Hip Slice of History for more genius ideas.

Images: Leah Moss

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