TRENDING: Appreciating Other Home Styles

January 20, 2022

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the 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.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

In January it’s really common to talk about upcoming trends, and I have done this in the past (2021 trends here)! It’s fun for me to see what’s up and coming, and to experiment with new patterns and colors that excite me.

Being a trend forecaster can be tricky when I really try to preach making your home a reflection of you. Trends can be fun, but they also come and go, so this year I thought it would be fun to share a few people who embody their own unique home style–consistently! Their styles don’t shift with yearly new trends. They put themselves into their designs and I love being able to have a front row seat into their brains on Instagram, especially. To me these people have risen above trends. I enjoy following their feeds because they have such a unique point of view that’s just so “them” and I find that so inspiring.

This year, more than ever, I think appreciating and celebrating (!!) other home styles, while also being comfortable in what you love, is trending MOST. Be and let be. I thought it would be fun to peak into 7 very distinctly different homes that I love today and ask the designers behind them some burning questions–including, “how do you find your signature home style?”

Let’s dive into it!


Claire Brody

Photos by Jenna McElroy

How would you define your home style? Unexpected, collected and warm.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? Color, always, with pattern being a close second.

What’s your favorite room in your home, and why? Our kitchen is my favorite spot to be in our home as it’s where we spend most of our time as a family.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? Experiment and make mistakes! Making mistakes & learning from them is the best way to refine your style.


Stacy-Ann Blake

Photos by Jennifer Cochran

How would you define your home style? Though I like mixing different styles, if I had to narrow down my style to a couple words, I’d say it is bold and colorful with a contemporary flair.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? Our lifestyle; how we live, what we love, who we are which is why you’ll see lots of plants-we’re big nature/outdoor lovers, colors and patterns from our Jamaican roots, lots of art and creative expression as we love the arts, traveling and different cultures.

What’s your favorite room in your home and why? Oh, that’s a hard one, but I’ll go with the sunroom. It’s filled with a number of a plants and is a very serene and calming space.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? I believe your home should be a reflection of you are, so take a look at your lifestyle; what you like, how you live and that will help you determine your signature home style.


Alisa Bovino

How would you define your home style? I think I err somewhere between new-traditional and Grandmillennial. I’m drawn to classic florals, pattern-on-pattern, wood furniture, wicker, ruffled anything, the list goes on. And while most of the rooms I’ve made over are grounded in traditional, I like to add small modern touches throughout (in the form of lighting, for example).

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? I follow so many talented designers whose work I admire and look to for inspiration, but lately, I look for images in old traditional design magazines. You’d be amazed at how much inspiration you could pull from the rooms in an old House Beautiful magazine!

What’s your favorite room in your home, and why? Is it weird to say our main bathroom? My husband and I worked hard on it together and we’re really happy with how it turned out. There are a few details we’re proud of creating, like a hidden linen cabinet and DIY shelving. They weren’t easy to pull off but so worth it for the end result.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? I’d say to pay attention to not only what you’re drawn to – but also what you don’t like. When I was initially trying to evaluate my true style, I made a list of all the things I truly loved (specific colors, textures, patterns, finishes, etc.) and another list of things I wasn’t really drawn to or things I thought I just liked because they were trendy at the time. Also, I’m a huge proponent of curating a home with only things that you truly love, whether you think they “work” together or not. And that’s your own unique style!


Hilton Carter

How would you define your home style? I’d define my home style as modern lush. It’s a mix of modern touches with greenery unfurling around it, beside it and on it.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? My biggest inspo when it comes to styling my home is the feeling I want a room to have. Once I decide what the feeling should be, I think about what colors remind me of that feeling and start to put together a mood board around that palette. The feeling pushes me to make decisions on color, texture, shape and scale of the pieces that will create the space.

What’s your favorite room in your home, and why? My favorite room in my home right now is the sunroom because it’s the space in the home thats forever changing and growing. It’s a place I’ve styled for us to retire to when we want to just forget about the worries of the day. It gets plenty southern exposure, so its the brightest part of our home and having the accordion doors allows us up really create that indoor/outdoor feel when we open them up.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? The advice I’d give to someone looking to find their signature style is lean towards what comes the most natural. It should be something you feel connected to, not some box you’re trying to force yourself into. For me, I knew I loved being surrounded by life and blurring that line of indoor/outdoor. So I make it a rule that I will always try to find a place for greenery to add a bit of life and a splash of color.

Paige Kontrafouris

How would you define your home style? Even for me this is sometimes the hardest question to answer because I truly love so many styles and find that they all influence me in some way. But if I had to define my style I would say a mix French chateau meets French farmhouse I love a juxtaposition of more formal touches against casual elements that you commonly see in those style homes. The goal with any space I design is to have it feel formal and pulled together yet inviting all at the same time which all comes down to layering.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? I’m strongly influenced by the classics so for me I love gathering inspiration from visiting museums, historic homes, reading art books and old magazines. There has also been a few times where an entire room was influenced by a certain piece I found second hand or while strolling an antique store (one of my favorite hobbies!). Sometimes social media can be over whelming with new inspiration being thrown in our face daily so I like to draw inspo from unexpected places.

What’s your favorite room in your home, and why? Hands down my favorite room in our home is our kitchen. This room is special for so many reasons but the biggest being I did 85 percent of the work by myself while being 6 months pregnant and having an 8 month old baby. Our kitchen was in desperate need of attention and financially we could not invest a ton but I’m always an advocate for enjoying spaces now and not waiting for the future. Since I wanted a specific look for our kitchen that didn’t necessarily fit in our budget I used my resources wisely, did research on how I could do these things myself and I made it happen. There was lot of sweat and tears that went into the kitchen but I’m proud of the outcome and I loved how so many people could relate to everything from budget, timeline and spatial restrictions. I feel like our kitchen is a great example that you can use an existing layout and have a complete transformation.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? My biggest advice when trying to find your signature home style is be selective on where you look for inspiration. It’s so easy to lose yourself with all the amazing inspiration at our disposal so save photos, places, fabrics, etc. then take the time to dissect everything when you are planning a room and pull out all the elements you like about each thing and I can guarantee you will quickly start to develop your signature style.

Ballerina Farm (Hannah)

How would you define your home style? My style is primitive rural.  I want the farm to feel like an old working farm/ranch. Not gobby, not intricate, but foursquare, rough-sawn, hard working and strong. For example, on our big red barn we built would have been a lot cheaper and a lot less down-the-road maintenance to have installed red metal siding. The problem is red metal siding clashes with the old farm look.  So we did wood siding and it looks amazing. I love looking at the barn while I do dishes. It’s only been up 1 year and already it’s a local landmark. Newcomers mistake it for being 100+ years old, which tickles me.  The interior also has wood siding.  It tells a story inside and out.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? When we are driving and visiting new places I like to write down things I see that inspire me.  Back on my own ranch, I want to create things that are also note worthy. It needs to tell a story.  This has become my bench mark for new projects here on the farm. Barns, fences, furniture, dishes, etc..  must be worth writing home about.

What’s your favorite room in your home, and why? My kitchen.  I spend a significant portion of my day in there.  Most days cooking and cleaning up 3 meals for our family of 8.  The visual centerpiece of the kitchen is our 1,500 lbs cast iron Aga cookstove.  It runs on propane, is British racing car green, and is heated and ready to cook 24 hours a day.  It is stunning and certainly tells a story.  Beat up hardwood floors, ceramic bowls and cast iron cookware are other important elements to our kitchen feel and country style.


Liz Marie Galvin

How would you define your home style? Cozy Cottage Farmhouse. Since I can remember I have always loved eclectic collections. I would wander my grandma’s house & go vignette to vignette to study her carefully curated collections she had gathered over her full life & I loved listening to the stories behind each and every treasure. Everything in her home was useful & beautiful. Nothing was a rushed purchase or just there to fill a space. Everything had meaning. She would tell me stories of her DIY days when her & my grandpa were fixing up their own farmhouse & now many many years later, I find myself living that DIY dream of fixing up an 1800’s farmhouse with my husband. I also now have my own meaningful collections that I display in our home including my grandma’s button collection that I used to play with as a little girl. Farmhouse style to me is centered around functionality and practicality. Living on a small farm, we have a lot of utilitarian elements around our house that are not only pretty but needed and functional, primitive boot racks, watering cans, bread boards, and storage trunks for seasonal needs. I love collecting heirloom quality functional items that can be displayed & used for many many many years & talked about someday with grandchildren of my own.

What’s your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating your home? Interior design for me is a true passion, so inspiration does change from home to home, even room to room. My inspiration for our home comes to paying homage to the nostalgia of our home. This home was built in 1847 being a massive anchor for our community, and a major passage from between two large cities. My overall inspiration is bringing that 1800’s charm and elements back into home, referencing old photos to replicate the true historic charm. Our home was fully gutted and renovated in the 1980’s so a lot of the historic elements were removed so I feel in my heart it’s my duty to [slowly] add those back in over time all while modernizing it enough to make the home stand proud for another 100 years.

What’s your favorite room in your home & why? It may be cliche’ but, our Kitchen is our favorite room in our home. It may be because it’s one of the only rooms currently not under construction & functional in our old farmhouse. But also our kitchen is naturally the centralized hang out space regardless of time of day and the guests we have over. On top of spending time cooking & making memories with friends and family, we love this space for it’s view. It is centrally located on the farm, with views of our pasture, garden, greenhouse, barn, little vineyard and mini orchard. What I pictured in my mind, the different elements of what my dream home would be, each window perfectly captures all of my favorite items in homesteading and making a home. We have yet to renovate most of our home & not even our kitchen is complete so our favorite room is bound to change, but I know the kitchen will always remain the beating heart of our home.

What advice do you have for other people trying to find their signature home style? Gather inspiration not imitation. It’s difficult in this world of endless scrolling on socials, but it’s doable if you go into your gathering with a few tips in mind. Whatever platform you choose to find inspiration, Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, books… find spaces that fully capture your attention. Save the images that stop you in your scroll or page turn. Take those collected spaces and truly dissect each element of the space to boil it down to a realm of what you truly love, and what fits into your lifestyle. Look at the paint colors, wood tones, art, furniture style, patterns, layouts, & more. What do all these spaces have in common? When you look at a space that stops you in your tracks, pinpoint the exact elements and how you can adapt that into your spaces, lifestyle, & budget. So many people try to fully emulate a space and those spaces fall short because they end up with one or two elements they love and a lot of items they don’t need or that are not timeless in their homes. Those spaces may work for the person who posted them, but consider your needs & home before making any final decisions. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to make your home your version of cozy in the moment. While you wait for time to do your projects, for your budget to catch up with your needs & wants, or to make any final large construction decisions, you can temporarily make changes that make your house feel more like home. Consider painting some walls, adding some rugs, changing your room layout, & making other small changes that will make your space feel more fresh while you wait. This is what we have done in our home while we wait to make bigger renovations & it has helped my mental health & made our family feel more cozy all while living in an 1800’s fixer-upper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Sloane says:

    Thanks for all the deep and intricate insight Claire (eyeroll)

  2. Terry says:

    I love this entry! Thank you for elevating the idea that just because a style, design is not your personal taste that it doesn’t have value or can’t be any interests to us! There are lessons to be learned everywhere and the more places, people we we see the better and richer our own lives are.

  3. Faith Martens says:

    Great blog. So happy to see that everyone is t doing the same thing. You are an inspiration

  4. Courtney says:

    “This year, more than ever, I think appreciating and celebrating (!!) other home styles … is trending MOST. Be and let be.” I love this! Thank you for sharing these wonderful homes. I’m loving all the plants! And found some new faces to follow.

  5. Debbie R says:

    We live in South Florida and have a Cape Cod style home. It is only one of 5 in our area. We are now finally working with the style of the home. And I’ve given myself permission to like my cherry furniture when it seems most of the world wants to paint it. My husband is going to have a lot of wainscoting in his near future. Thank you for the inspiration.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

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. 


looking for inspiration? 

I recently got an email from someone that asked, “Where do you go for new design inspiration?” She went on to say, “I use Houzz and lots of popular sites, but I feel like I’m stuck in an algorithm and keep seeing the same things.” I know the feeling — it’s so easy to get […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

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!

Follow Along on Instagram

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