Getting to Know Caroline
Years ago, as a new suburban home owner, Caroline was scrolling through #HomeDecor on social media and it dawned on her: The only homes being featured were either multi-million dollar mansions or century old homes filled with vintage character and charm. Where were all the suburban homes and why were they not being showcased? It’s fair to assume that the majority of Americans do not live in modern castles or renovated old cottages so Caroline decided it was time to showcase the beauty of suburban life. Thus sparked the beautiful idea of Styling Suburbia.
Caroline lives in a beautiful suburban home along the outskirts of Houston, Texas. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has two darling kids in tow (a boy and a girl). Caroline is Houston born & raised, though she has done quite a bit of traveling in her life. She even lived in Dubai a few years back! Caroline graduated from Texas A&M in Business Management and has always had a passion for graphic design. She uses her design talents often as a freelancer but her main gig is the “Mom Life”. She loves it that way! Caroline is also a huge believer that every “Mom-Lifer” needs an outlet, and sharing her design secrets through Styling Suburbia is exactly that.
Getting to Know Styling Suburbia
Caroline is all about adding equity to a home and she believes that adding personality and charm does that best. Often times a builder might put up 5 of the same cookie cutter homes on the same street. She is a big fan of taking a new suburban home and showcasing it’s uniqueness to portray individuality and feature the beauty of suburban life.
Through Styling Suburbia, Caroline has taken her new suburban home and added style and personality to it. While it seems so much of the Pinterest & Instagram world are styled modern farmhouse or bohemian, Caroline has brought the trendy, transitional style to light and perfectly showcased what a suburban home can look like with a little Styling Suburbia.
Lucky for us, she’s spilling all her secrets on how Styling Suburbia works it’s magic.
We interviewed Caroline about all of her secrets. For all the golden ideas on how to add character to your suburban home, keep scrolling to see her responses to our questions!
What is your favorite piece to style a room with?
“That’s easy,” she said. “Statement pieces.” She went on to explain that it is easiest for her to design a room around the inspiration of a statement piece. This piece can be as large as a kitchen table, or a simple as a lamp. The most important thing is that the statement piece really speaks to you and exhibits the energy you want for the room.
She recommends, “Don’t buy something to just fill the space. Wait until you find the piece that speaks to you. If it happens to be out of your budget, don’t break down and buy something cheap. Leave the space empty and save for it!” While this may be easier said than done, she has plenty of experience with this tip. When she and her husband bought their first home years ago, they left the downstairs completely empty for three years until they saved up for exactly what they wanted. It’s safe to say, she knows how you feel!
Of all the rooms in a home, which is your favorite to design?
“The living room,” she said. “It is where everyone gathers so the more inviting and cozy it is, the better.” People tend to gravitate towards comfortable areas so a well designed living room encourages camaraderie. Her biggest tip is to “use the fireplace as your anchor piece.” In fact, she suggests tackling the fireplace first if you have a limited budget. “Any time you can add stone, beef up the mantle, or even just use tile paint on the existing tile, you’ll find the room comes to life. The fireplace is the anchor piece of the living room.”
You’ve spoken a few times about how much you love putting together a beautiful dining room. What tips do you have for someone trying to design theirs?
The most important part of a dining room is obviously the dining table. Caroline suggests, “First think of what would fit in your space. How many people are you hoping to be able to seat and do you have space for that size table?” She admits she finds herself leaning toward natural wood tones, chunky legs, and pretty details when looking for dining room tables. Caroline recommends you “pay attention to the undertones of the existing dining room. Consider the color of your paint, the overhead beams, the trim, and the flooring.” You may try to steer clear of bringing in new cool undertones if your existing dining room has warm tones.
You’re currently redoing your own home office. What was the most important concept when you were designing it?
“I really wanted to bring attention to the existing tall ceilings in the space. I designed built-in cabinets to line the main brick wall which will help emphasize the ceiling.” She said she also planned to bring in a desk that comes all the way to the floor so that it will hide the trash can and computer wires behind it. Caroline arranged to fill the remaining space with a buttery soft leather accent chair and a nice taupe office chair as well.
If you are also considering updating your home office space, Caroline recommends first deciding how you work. Are you a minimalist with only a small lap top for work or do you spread out with multiple screens and notes? If you identify with the latter, perhaps a larger desk would be right for you. Are you often on zoom calls? You may want to have your desk face the window instead of the window being behind you… this will help with the video quality and lighting during your calls. While you want it to look nice, Caroline says, “Function over aesthetic in this room. It’s the only room in the house to have that mentality!”
What are your favorite Home Source pieces you’ve purchased to add character to your suburban home?
“I love the mirror above my fireplace. Instead of a piece of artwork, this mirror reflects light which helps to make the room appear larger and brighter.”
“My coffee table was our first Home Source purchase. The legs are so unique. I love that I hadn’t seen anything that looked like it and still haven’t to this day. I love the one of a kind pieces.”
The piece that gets the most attention through her social media channels is the Leeds Sideboard in her entryway. It isn’t too deep but it is the perfect length for the wall.
“When we were looking for our master bedroom furniture, we knew we wanted something timeless.” When Caroline saw this bed she knew the vintage gray, the simplicity of the lines, and the beauty of the hand carved details would be the perfect, timeless addition to her bedroom. (Extra points for this bed because it has matching nightstands and a dresser!)
Over here at Home Source, we find ourselves particularly in love with Caroline’s entry way set up too. This nightstand is tall enough to act as a perfect entry way table. Decorating an entryway is an excellent way to add character to your suburban home. Plus, it lends a bit of extra storage space!
Now that you’ve learned all the insider tips and tricks on how to add character to your suburban home from Styling Suburbia herself, come on by the warehouse and check out all that we’ve got in stock to help add uniqueness to your suburban home.
Huge thanks for Caroline for letting us document her beautiful home and style. If you’re interested in following her on her Styling Suburbia journey or are in need of free tips on how to add character to your suburban home, you can follow her on Instagram @stylingsuburbia for all the updates you won’t want to miss. You can also check her out at stylingsuburbia.com. Rest assured you’ll see a lot more of her through the Home Source Instagram page and Pinterest page too.