interior home blogger traditional grandmillennial phoenix lifestyle blogger Diana Elizabeth

Defining my home decorating style, and my personal rules and favorites

This post came as a request from Dianne – thank you for your blog topic suggestion! Her question was, “I wish I had Diana’s sense of style, but don’t. What to do?”

interior home blogger traditional grandmillennial phoenix lifestyle blogger Diana Elizabeth

I’m flattered that anyone would want to understand my style, and I also am flattered that my home decor style is worthy enough to be considered a style to define. My home decorating style has evolved a lot over the years – due to the places I’ve lived, where I was in life, and how old the apartments and homes were.

In the past year I really have changed our home to a different look that I know in my heart is here to stay. So to answer Dianne’s question, I am sharing some key things I love, and rules I have for myself that I believe helps define my style and my thought process when I shop and fill my home with things I love.

Wallpaper a room or two, or a closet

Wallpaper closets and small spaces like your mudroom and powder bath to start the places that are small so you don’t feel frightened of getting tired of it. Make tiny spaces unique and like a jewel box.

I’ve had friends say you’re gonna be that grandma with all the wallpaper. Why, yes I am. Why let closets look so dull and boring? They are so ugly! Make them fun! Why have an ugly mudroom? There’s no reason! Make them beautiful passageways every time you go to the car and come back in your home, it’s your entrance after all.

Cole and son Hampton roses wallpaper black colorway Phoenix arizona home garden influencer blogger Diana Elizabeth
^^See this bathroom post here
I’ve upgraded from temporary wallpaper to traditional wallpaper for many reasons – first for the timeless classic patterns that only traditional designer wallpaper companies can provide, and second, the quality. However, think temporary wallpaper has its place and I do enjoy it in closets and I highly suggest Livettes wallpaper for any removable wallpaper needs as it is one of the highest quality wallpapers I have seen and used. The only problem with temporary is that it is a big sticker, you cannot slide it around once you put it on the wall.

Schumacher, Cole and Son are the most well-known traditional wallpaper brands out there if you want to look. Permanent? Well is anything ever permanent? Nah. Sure painting is easier, just repaint but how often have you repainted your home? I don’t know about you but I don’t repaint often so I’d rather just wallpaper – I can always remove it and put new wallpaper up!

Have a silver plated serveware and crystal collection

^^ See entertaining closet post here

I owe my silver and crystal collection to my friend Farrah who I believe propelled my quick shift in home decor in the past year and a half. She has lots of silver plated items and crystal – she likes it for her monochromatic French style home. I then ran with this new obsession and went a bit overboard which snowballed into more items. Having silver to serve at parties makes everything more elegant and you can leave trays and those items out to enjoy. It really adds some luxury – think silver candlestick holders, a silver footed tray – bonus if it’s a gallery tray.


Travel a lot! To Europe especially

I am influenced by my past travels, it’s a mix of the places I’ve been. But even if you haven’t been able to visit Europe or are waiting for the world to open back up like myself, there’s a great solution – the shows! Whatever you are watching can influence your style if you let it. I love Downton Abbey, I watch Monty Don’s gardens, I am always watching period pieces to take in the scenery of gardens and charm. I also read lots of design books, in fact, I study them! You are influenced by your surroundings and if you choose to sit and study and learn from what you see, it will impact how you design and decorate. And if you can’t visit, there’s always the Internet or TV shows!

how to dress stylishly and comfortable while traveling - traveling tips versailles France pink tutu

^ Versailles, November 2019

Say yes to brown furniture

I have always loved brown furniture over painted furniture – of course depending on the style. My kitchen is a medium orange brown I thought I would paint them a dark green when I bought this home 10 years ago but never got around to it. I love the way it looks at night especially and the color doesn’t bother me. I think it feels warm, unique and compliments the flagstone flooring that was already installed. It gives me a cozy cottage vibe. I buy brown furniture, I think of it as traditional whereas I find painted furniture to be more beach and shabby chic look – not bad, but just not the style I am going for in my own home (I once loved Shabby Chic very much). If I were to paint furniture, I’d probably paint it black.
tiger print foot stool ottoman reupholstery vintage antique thrifting footstools DIY


Live in an older home (maybe before 1980), and preferably stone

My dream home would be a stone or old red brick home in England. Now I know you can’t just get up and move to a new home and what you have is what you have and that is OK! You can decorate the inside however you want, the inside does not have to match the outside, it’s just a bonus when it does. Historic charming homes have more character and therefore you can bring those elements inside, but if we’re realistic they are hard to come by and no one really moves out of them. Also to live in a natural stone home might mean not painting it. I would not consider painting brick unless – it’s newer brick, or, the different blocks that are the brown blocks. Or if the way the brick is placed looks a bit dated that painting it all white would give it an update. There are always exceptions. If it’s an old red brick house, I would paint the facia a dark green with black to give it an English tutor look – if by chance it had those details.

Buy blue and white

Blue and white porcelain, plates, ginger jars, lamps, planters, I love blue and white! If you can, limit the Home Goods blue and white though. Never overdo Home Goods because it looks too new and not passed down or antique. Look for the blue and white at thrift and antique stores that have more patina. The problem with the new blue and white is they just look new and mass produced with little history or character. Alice Lane Home has great old looking blue and white jars. Use code DIANAELIZABETH for 15% off the entire site.

I also have blue and white bedding that is a botanical toile. I traded in my white hotel style bedding for it and it really made the room feel like it had more personality. I used to own and love white bedding and I do at hotels but I found this bedding is more “me”. It’s wallpaper for my bed! Oh and that light fixture is from France. I bought it an an antique store in Northern California. Also I’ve had the bed for over 15 years and the nightstands from Z Gallerie too. Also the light sconces and lamps as well. Classic is timeless, I am not a trend following person except for clothing :) Once it becomes a trend I dislike it.

 Add drama, skip typical

Here are some ideas of adding touches of uniqueness and drama to a space.

  • Use black furniture to ground a space, especially in light rooms.
  • Pick a wallpaper that isn’t safe, it’s dramatic and drama and sexy and grown up all at the same time! Black wallpaper even.
  • Architectural prints.
  • I love chinoiserie – panels, oriental furniture rugs mixed with contemporary is a sweet Southern look. I love the use of bamboo too, even for shades!
  • Color > neutral – but pick one color and have it throughout your home, mine is blue.
  • No boring hooks or light fixtures – look for unique details, Anthropologie has great hooks and things. This is the set I have in our guest bath. However if it’s all too much, then maybe go sleek and contemporary.
  • Mixture of antiques and contemporary to avoid an antique store look
  • Have candles in every room and a set of vintage hurricanes! I love these twisted candle tapers.

Unique prints on wallpaper and pillowcases

Now you can buy meh pillow or you can buy WOW PILLOW COVERS. You won’t catch me with a Target or Home Goods pillow around my home, it’ll be rare because I love designer fabrics and what people can make on Etsy with trim and piping just look at these pillow covers by Pillow Fever on Etsy! Also go BIG, these 30×30 pillow fills fit in a 26-27″ pillowcase for a very full look. Or a 26×26 Euro will fit in a 22″ custom pillowcase. Or, these 28×28 will fit in a standard Euro sham.

Now look at the custom covers you can buy on Etsy!! I would say expect to spend $125 around that per pillow for designer. It is worth it. If you buy the right ones you won’t be replacing them that often and they are a huge impact to your couch! Go BIG no small pillows. I personally wouldn’t go below 20×20.

And that’s it! I also like to shop second hand and take risks. If it’s under $100 I just go for it, the deal is made when you buy so if it’s a decent price that’s worth the risk, TAKE it! I have regrets not buying the $1 wood thing like really because I worried about where it would go or when it would come in handy. It haunts me and I wish I just bought it and thought about it later!

See our home projects

Diana Elizabeth is redoing her site soon with a bit of a facelift she’s excited for you to see it!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in her garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party.


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