Last week, shortly after our podcast came out about How to Grow Your Instagram account, I felt inspired to share some Instagram accounts that are doing it all right, but still haven’t reached that magical number of 10,000 followers. It’s not infrequent that I see a post pop up in my feed about top instagrammers to follow–and they generally highlight accounts that already have a healthy following, for good reason–those accounts, and the people behind them, are amazing, have vision and work hard at it!
But what about the smaller accounts that are doing amazing things, too? I made a call in my stories for any smaller accounts (with less than 10K followers), that post their own beautiful photos (no inspiration accounts), and are home based. My inbox flooded. There are a lot of good ones out there, but here are the top 15 (I could NOT narrow it down to 10!) that I’m especially excited about right now:
1. @mysimplysimple | Indianapolis | current following: 840
Kelsey and her husband Tyler are renovating their 1939 bungalow and the results are show-stopping. I mean, this kitchen!
2. @jeanstofferdesign | Chicago + West Michigan | current following: 5,172
Jean Stoffer is an interior designer who specializes in custom kitchen and bath design, but every nook she touches turns to gold. I want to curl up here.
3. @restoring_home | current following: 3,425
Angela Mueller is experimenting with designing her midcentury modern home, but in my opinion, she’s nailing every angle.
4. @fahnestockhouse | Lancaster, PA | current following: 668
Shannon and her husband, Rich, are remodeling an 1880’s house while living in it and hosting guests. I love the way they are highlighting and paying homage to its incredible architecture.
5. @deucecitieshenhouse | Minneapolis | current following: 5,468
Alison Allen is a blogger whose home is a constant workplace for design and renovation. I’ve been inspired by her forever and am always surprised she doesn’t have more followers!
6. @jennapeffley | current following: 2,861
Jenna Peffley works with photography, advertising, and production. And while many of the interiors in her feed aren’t hers, she photographs them all for major publications like Lonny Mag and MyDomaine. I love seeing all the homes she gets to shoot and find myself taking notes.
7. @lexigracedesign | Gilbert, AZ | current following: 6653
Lexi Lundberg and her husband flip and stage houses and add all the finishing touches from their beautiful modern barn, which serves as their design studio.
8. @helmick_hacienda | Southern California | current following: 2,702
Laura Helmick is a home maker who is working on renovating her own home in Southern California. The photos are drool-inducing.
9. @mint.and.pine | Boise, ID | current following: 1,935
This awesome husband and wife duo work with home staging and design.
10. @courtneynye | Portland, OR | current following: 1,317
Courtney Nye is a residential and commercial interior designer and stylist that’s go-od. I’m obsessed with those chairs (and hey, I recognize that rug!) Girl’s got incredible taste.
11. @thechrisandclaudeco | Lancaster + Chester County, PA | current following: 5,695
Chris and Claudia Beiler work together on design, renovation, and real estate and share frequent snapshots of their own refreshingly interesting home.
12. @natasha_habermann | New York | current following: 7,846
Natasha Habermann is an interior designer and stylist that is currently remodeling her home in New York. She’s a master at small spaces and is currently tackling her library as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge.
13. @highstreethomes | Aledo, Texas | current following: 7,419
Brett and Kara Phillips are a husband and wife, builder and broker team, with a classically beautiful home. Their bedroom! A dream!
14. @thegritandpolish | Washington State| current following: 7,972
Cathy Poshusta and her husband fix up old houses while renovating their 1912 Farmhouse and they are some of the sweetest people I follow on Instagram. Their stories are always a joy and informative and the work they do is extremely respectful to the homes.
15. @thegoldhive@thegoldhive | San Diego, CA | current following: 2,900
Ashley Goldman is sharing her DIY journey of restoring a 1915 bungalow. I’m obsessed with the mural she’s hand-painting (!!!) as a part of the One Room Challenge.
I encourage you to follow these accounts for inspiring home design ideas (let’s get them to 10K and beyond!). And! I’d love to make this a semi-regular feature. So, if you’re trying to grow your instagram account, consider:
1. Listening to our podcast. We cover a lot of real tips and pointers for doing it completely organically.
2. Reading this post I wrote over a year ago when we hit our first 50,000, containing everything we personally did over the course of 6 months to go from 4,000-50,000 followers.
3. Becoming involved in the Instagram niche you’re passionate about. If you love home design, like, comment, follow and participate in that community on Instagram!
Slow clap for these 15 accounts, you’re inspiring.
Thank you for this post. I JUST hit 10k and did it slowly and authentically. I loved your podcast and it encouraged me that growing a faithful following slowly was better than succumbing to dishonest tactics. Thank you!!!
Love this, thank you!! I was following only 2 of these accounts previously and am pumped to add the rest! :) Now….time to go creep their feeds woo hoo!!! :) :) You guys are rocking the podcast thing & I really look forward to hearing your chats each week!
This post came at a perfect time! We just launched our website this week and Insta last month and have been looking for extra tools to grow our audience. Thanks CLJ! @threelovelyjourneys
These are all beautiful, but shout out to my hometown, Lancaster, for making the list twice! Thanks for pulling this together!
Love this post so much, I am always looking for new inspiration and it is always nice to support people with less followers than they obviously deserve! All the house goals here!
Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo
Okay, this entire post speaks to character. Building up someone else is such a humble thing to do and just confirms why I take time out of my day each morning to read your blog, check your Instagram (I don’t even have Instagram) and listen to your podcast. You guys are really good people. Talented yes, but the goodness in you just seems to really separate you from the others. Your parents obviously did a great job.
Your honesty and integrity shines through.
Also, I know this post sounds like it was written by a grandma but I’m in my 30s. ; )
Wow, you are so cool to share the love and highlight these talents…love having new people to get inspiration from. I listened to your podcast and loved how open you were, and yes- how you called out the loop following etc. Huge fan of your projects (that fireplace is a top 5 DIY for me ever).
Love the Grit and Polish–and Washington State!
I’m still pinching myself! Thank you so much for including me in this list and sharing these amazing accounts. You rounded up some of my favorites that I didn’t even realize were under 10k and gave me some new ones to admire.
I’m so tickled to have your fans following along on my journey, you have some pretty sweet and loyal readers!
Posting this list boosted all of them by at least 1000 followers, one even doubled in followers! It’s a pretty cool thing you did :)
Yes! Congratulations to @jeanstofferdesign who started around 5,000 followers and now has almost 12,000 and was featured by House Beautiful! You guys have given these people such a boost. It’s amazing to see what a little exposure from such an influencer as yourselves can do. Kudos to all :)
Thank you for sharing these. I’m not following any of them on Instagram BUT I am now following every one of them on Pinterest because that’s where I like to follow the majority of my design inspos.
This post looks fabulous! I cannot wait to have a few more minutes to sit down and peek at all these great sites you’ve shared. Thank you for even more inspiration.
Oh my goodness these are amazing! And I hope you do a call out again for us to share our small-time accounts for consideration!! It would make my year to be featured by you!!
These are really inspiring accounts. Thank you for pointing them out. And a very encouraging post. I’m wondering if you would consider adding accounts from places like India for any future such list of under 10k followers. If yes, do check out my feed: @theketlihome
This is amazing! It’s so gracious of you to do this for accounts that do deserve some recognition. This post just proves how kind hearted the two of you are and you don’t feel threatened by others in your field, instead you are empowered! Thank you again. Please keep doing this! Next time, I hope to enter :)
Wow wow wow! Absolutely beautiful accounts. It excites me to find new beautiful and inspiring homes to follow! We are almost done decorating our Scandinavian inspired (with pop of colours) four bedroom home in Scotland and most of our inspiration came from Instagram. By the way, my account is http://www.instagram.com/lifeineight in case you’d like to have a nosey ;)
These are some awesome, inspirarional accounts! On board with some other posters that would love to see some color, sex, maybe even sexual orientation diversity :-)
Definitely great accounts..I was thinking the same thing
Yassssssss!! I’m so so excited to see Natasha on this list!!! I love her so so much!!!
Thanks for this, Julia! All of these accounts have 400+ more followers than the numbers listed here, and the ones you linked on your Insta? Wow… a couple thousand.
Loved discovering all of these instagram accounts and think its great that you have taken time to discover them and promote them…
Just a thought, as an overseas follower of you I would love to also see some accounts from other countries as well as US accounts… maybe you could do top 10 international feeds under 10K ???!!
I continue to love all that you do, you’re brill! and your home is stunning… thank you
just wanted to chime in and say i love this post :)
I love that you’re spreading the love this way and it’s encouraging for those of us that are just beginning this journey. I listened to your podcast and have read the blog post multiple times. Thanks for the help!
Love that you are sharing the love for the under 10k Instagram accounts! This is what it should be about – people in this design/DIY community paying it forward by helping others grow and succeed (not that followers equals success, but you know what I mean). I already have a few favorites on your list but was so glad to discover more new accounts to follow…
Love this! You guys are an inspiration and I’ve gleened so much knowledge from your podcast and blog. It’s been so fun to see you grow and I’ve had several friends ask me if I’m following you and I get to say “yep, those are my cousins.” ????
Love to see how much they’ve grown already! There are so many goodies out there!!!
Thanks for sharing & I vote yes to making this a monthly segment! ????
Thanks for the shout out! You guys are amazing!
Thank you! I am in a black hole of My Simply Simple – I have gone back to the start of their home building process and am reading my way to do (on week 11 now)! Yes for this and yes for paying it forward. I hope they all hit 10k!
Hi Emily! Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog, My Simply Simple. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying our home building journey. What an honor it is to be included in Julia’s list and amongst such amazing talent. I think I’m still in shock. Ha! Thanks again. :)
Hi! These accounts seem great! Can you tag them in your stories so it’s easier to flow them? Thanks ;)
Thank you for the new Instagram inspiration! With your recommendation, I have no doubt these accounts will be some of my favorites! Please keep us posted on where these instagramers end up!!!
LOVE @deucecitieshenhouse! Alison is killing it with her cabin! And, of course, her home and garden are amazing. She has a great sense of humor as well and I will often LOL at her blog posts. Follow and you won’t be disappointed!
I appreciate the geographical diversity, but would have love more racial diversity! Surely there are people of color doing renovations and blogging about it.
Mind if I chime in on this one?! Try @BrittanySharday @Domicile37 @Design_It_Vintage_Living @CasaWatkinsLiving @MakingHomeBase and @FWMadeByCarli
Thanks so much for bringing this subject to light. As I mentioned before, these are some amazing accounts mentioned, however, as wonderful bloggers/grammers, Design Sponge as well as Apartment Therapy, have featured articles that point this very thing out, there is a lack of awareness of the diversity (whether consciously or unconsciously) via home blogging on social media; so it is definitely being brought to light. Though we’ve got ‘a ways’ to go, the lines of communication and awareness are at least attempting to open. Thaks for the recommendations, Jess…I will be taking a look at these as well..Some additionals are @maleneblifestyle ( though a little more than 10K..but she renovated her Brooklyn brownstone and it’s gorgeous..full of life, color, texute and cultural influence). I follow quite a few popular home bloggers and there is a bit of the same follow feeds, so some diversity (culturally as well as gender) would be amazing.
sorry for the typos…sheesh!
Great list! I just bought a 100 year old Southern cottage. Reno will start Dec 1…will be blogging and Instagramming the project. Soon as I have the domain/account names I will forward. Didn’t see any Lowcountry projects on the list. Just wait!
Ooh! Can’t wait!! I was hoping to see some southern projects too. Good luck!
Your my favorite and I’m loving your sale finds and updates lately! I’m super excited about Alison Allen, thanks for bring her to my attention.
She is so good! She doesn’t blog full time so her posts are not as frequent as you may be accustomed to, but I’ve been following her for a few years and she keeps me coming back or more on the regular! Definitely one of my favorites! She is killing it with a cabin they just purchased!
We would love for you to check us out–@cbcbuilds on Instagram. We are a husband and wife building team in Tulsa, OK. We focus on mostly new construction in our Midtown area, but we are currently renovating a 100 year old cottage for our family of five!
I think some of these accounts also need coaching in InstaStories. I’m not going to call anyone out, but I have definitely loved someone’s picture content and hated their stories. And sure, you could skip their stories, but if they post a LOT of stories that are terrible then it becomes easier to just unfollow. Thank you for the list though! I’ve definitely followed a lot of these accounts today, and I”m looking forward to seeing which ones become my new favorites!
I started following all of your suggestions. They look that good. Thanks.
All of them…so good! I love that you’re sharing these. Also, I feel like my Lancaster is represented really well by Shannon and Claudia. :) way go guy you guys.
I love that you did this! Thanks for introducing us to some talented and inspiring people.
Agreed! Thank you!
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]
We've been doing this since 2009 and we've posted a whopping 24145+ blog posts and counting. You might need a little help searching, huh?
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations
Make yourself right at home
What do you think?