A Couple Blends Their Tastes to Create a Polished Home

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Herman doing what he does best, being adorable- obviously! (Image credit: Tracey Jazmin )

Name: Diana, James and their chichuahua Herman
Location: Edmonton — Alberta, Canada
The basics: 1 year, owned1,800 square feet

Diana and her partner James blended their somewhat divergent tastes to create an awesomely chic home. With one minimalist and one maximalist it wasn’t always easy, but their first shared home is a stylish labor of love.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: After three years in a cramped one bedroom condo, my boyfriend James and our dog Herman and I were ready for more space (and storage!). Coming from the UK where space is at a premium and homes don’t have basements, James was thrilled to have more room and we were both excited at the opportunity to create a home together.

Seeing as James moved to Canada from the UK and didn’t bring any decor or furniture, this home was a chance for the two of us to work together to decorate a space in our own styles. Much to my disappointment, most of my brass and pink and other decor from my single lady days didn’t make the cut in this new home, but what’s rewarding about our house now is that every decor decision is one we’ve made together. Building this home meant we were able to make all of the decisions throughout the process from the paint colors to the flooring, and the fixtures to the furniture and other decisions together.

As great as it was to make all of the selections together, the process was not without its hiccups. With varying design styles and visions for our home, this house was built on many a compromise! James’ style is quite modern and minimalist whereas I am more of an eclectic maximalist, so decorating this home was a bit of a challenge (and is still a work in progress). And while I’d say we’re still nowhere near finished (will we ever be?), I think we’re both really happy with the balance we’ve been able to find in our home so far.

What is your favorite room and why? I think my favorite room varies almost day by day. Because my job as a blogger/designer and creative freelancer requires me to borrow pieces from my own home sometimes, our rooms truly change weekly. Art will move from one room to another, plants make their way throughout the house and accessories will disappear for weeks at a time if they’re needed at a shoot or project. Because of this I go through phases where I’ll absolutely love one room one day, then feel a bit meh about it the next. Currently, I’m loving our dining room. I originally wanted the room to be wallpapered in dark and dramatic floral wallpaper but the windows made for a bit of a challenge so black paint had to do! With the dramatic paint, colorful area rug and mid century modern inspired pieces ( and our quirky donkey photo art by Gooseberry Studios), this space right now feels like it’s the most “me”. There are still a few changes I’d like to make (different dining chairs, different drapes, and our centerpiece is ever-changing), but right now I love it! It’s bold but not too serious and with nods to the mid-century modern design that I will always love.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Oh, this one is easy! Aside from swapping out our kitchen and bathroom faucets and fixtures to brass or black (I lost that design battle when we were building), I wish our washrooms had windows! We actually put quite a bit of thought and detail into our washrooms, but without any windows it makes it incredibly difficult to photograph, which is a major bummer for me both personally and professionally as I’d love to share more of those spaces on my blog! Plus, this means I put my makeup on in our bedroom in front of our large mirror rather than being able to use our washrooms.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My favorite most recent find is a pair of vintage arm chairs we found at an antique store in Edmonton called Maven and Grace. One of my boyfriends’ clients who actually follows my blog knew I had been looking for a pair so one saturday morning James received a text from this client with a screenshot from Instagram showing these chairs had just been released at Maven and Grace. We hopped in the car immediately and drove down to get them and if we’d shown up even two minutes later, we’d have lost them to someone else! They were an incredible price and they’re in great shape (and came with an ottoman too). It’s likely we’ll reupholster them down the road when we get a new sofa, but for now I love the mustard color, plus, the chairs are actually two different heights; the taller one is a ‘man’s chair’ and the shorter one is the ‘woman’s chair’ and it makes me laugh to think that chairs used to be sold in pairs that way!

Diana’s words of wisdom: My biggest piece of advice would be not to rush the process. Anyone can go to a store and buy all new pieces that will look good together but really, when you’re trying to decorate or design a space that truly reflects your style, that takes time. Collecting pieces over years and a lifetime that make you happy and reflect what you love is the joy for me, in creating a well decorated home. For myself at least, it’s an ever changing process that’s a mixture of acquiring pieces that I truly love and (affordably) mixing in a few trends that I can swap out over time.

Thanks, Diana!

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