Single Girl’s Guide to: Decor

Elle Decor recently published a much re-tweeted list of the 10 things a woman needs in her home. While Elle pretty much nailed the aesthetic of an effortlessly chic grown woman I couldn’t help but add to the list.

1. Find your happy colors.

Most people have two standards of color comfort for their home; happy chic for the living room and a calming cool for the bedroom. It seems like a simple formula until put into practice. Finding a calming bedroom color that is neither grating nor too pale is tricky and many people end up hating it simply because it is too calming. Trying to center yourself and be as cool as Cucumber or as serene as Serephina blue is a lot of pressure. In your own place the color is entirely up to you, so what is your version of calm? For some it is a dark red that entombs you like a mummy and for others it is a shiny white that reads nothing but simplicity.

2. Before committing to a wall color buy your other accessories and then pick a wall color that compliments those. This is nothing you haven’t heard before but here’s the twist, you’re not just buying accessories. Every table and appliance can now be tailored to you and your fleeting emotions. A hot pink bed can punch up a grey wall-scape and a set of crisp white sheets can change the narrative of a bright orange or dark purple walls. Use the space to appreciate your own opinions and taste’s, no one else gets a say so you can experiment at will.

The living room is your space to express yourself. Guests will see this space and it makes for a good place to test out new sartorial ideas and see how comfortable you are with them. While the ultimate ideal may be complete 100% self-respect in which we never second guess a style decision, we still want a space that conveys who we are. Your living room is open for interpretation and opinions that allow you to see yourself through the eyes of friends, family, and the pizza delivery guy.

3. Find space for your things

Make-up, hair “thingies”, balms and salves. Who really knows what is in their make-up kit? The discovery of a new product is celebrated with the same acclaim as the loss of your first baby tooth, now that you’re in your bachelorette pad why not throw a dinner party on behalf of that new perfume that is finally “perfect”? OK, actual parties may be a little too much (although if Carrie Bradshaw can marry herself and get a few Manolos…) but if you love your products and want to remember to use them leave them out in artful little displays.

Brushes sit nicely in vases, shadows in trays, and mascara and liners in pencil cases; I find lipsticks are the easiest to store away since they are usually applied last (for me it is after that first cup of coffee and the commute) and then tossed in a hand bag. Placing these by the door in a beautiful box (Cynthia Rowley has been out doing herself in home decor this summer) makes for one stop shopping on your way out.

4. Find space for your wastes of space.

When the space is all yours you can waste it as you like. Those beer cozies you got free at every music festival ever – yeah you have a place for those. They may not be high-end or particularly chic but the items that I’ve come closest to throwing away have made the best conversation pieces.

5. Embrace your feminine side.

I don’t know why women are so averse to being feminine (oh wait, yes I do, I took history 101) but enough already. Most of the women who swear off the F word let alone the G word (girly) will tell me of their masculinity while wearing a pale purple lace dress and heels. While the gendering of objects is outdated and ultimately unfounded we each have those ideas imprinted in our minded, all tied up with precious memories. Instead of focusing on male or female and then trying to strike a balance of the two, figure out what you like and balance those styles. (Take a page from the ultimate dream house diva BARBIE). After all we all have a little hard and a little soft. A brutalist metal bookcase will sharpen its tongue when placed next to a textured lace pastel sofa and a re-purposed wooden coffee table will lend itself nicely to a fairytale/granny chic aesthetic when positioned in front of floral furniture or drapes. Even industrial pillars can be livened up with some hot pink cashmere. Sometimes a feminine edge is exactly what we want to come home to at the end of the day.


Designer Betty Lou Phillips


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