Florals: When To & When Not To

We’re fans of floral, it’s the truth. Give us a dark and moody floral wallpaper for a small space or to create an accent wall in all day long!

But to clarify -- we’re not in love with all floral. We have strong opinions and believe us, there’s a fine line between small prints that go towards prairie with a strong elderly vibe and those that speak modern beauty for a space. We are big fans of incorporating a natural element. In some cases, this can come in the form of wallpaper — think moody florals or botanical patterns! Here’s our best tips for when to use and when not to use florals.

1. Go Big or Not at All

The size of the print is the easiest way to balance it’s beauty. Small, tight floral patterns tend towards grandma -- run away!

Take this Myers Park bathroom we designed and just love, it’s timeless and just a tiny bit funky. But if the print had been smaller, the vibe would be completely different -- dated and not our jam. We would design this space again anyday.

2. Go Moody

While you might not think a small space is a good fit for a bit print, this bathroom proves the point. Surprisingly, windowless and tiny spaces are perfect for giant prints. The print creates cohesion and adds personality and interest.

If it’s not a small space you’re tackling, you can try wallpaper prints as accent walls (headboards in a bedroom, anyone?) in a bedroom, office, nursery even a kitchen or entryway!

3. Go botanical, not Floral

The truth is, we are all about the botanicals and less about the florals. We love the organic feel of florals and fauna mixed together in prints. Palms, tropical flowers, even some classic animals -- the whimsical, unexpected vibe is our favorite. These prints are less stuffy and timeless. More botanicals less flowers is really where are designs are headed. These prints feel more like art, more like a painting and less like wallpaper.

4. Go Abstract

Another way to stay modern is to jump for an abstract pattern -- like these Merimekko prints. We’re in love! While not perfect for every space, they are perfect for the right space and won’t go out of style.

5. Go Panel it Up

A good trick if budget is a consideration is to use judges paneling. Instead of papering an entire room or wall, paper just a section of the room by using paneling! This makes a custom art look without the cost of the entire space.

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Note: make sure before you fall in love with a print, you have a professional come and estimate how much you will need! Several rolls may be in the plans!  

Good luck and happy papering!

Before & After: Berk's Home Gets a Paint Job

About two years ago, Berkeley completed a renovation to her brick bungalow in Myers Park and as is often the case, was not able to match the new brick to the existing brick tone. Her and her husband, Diek, knew down the road they would be painting the house to get back a congruent look — but in the whirlwind of life and launching House of Nomad — two years slipped by! 

This fall, the timing was right. To give her 1940s home an updated look, she researched the perfect shade of white paint. Note: brick homes are a House of Nomad favorite and matching brick is really tricky, so in the case you cannot create a perfect match — painting is a great solution. It not only gives the house a facelift but you still have that brick home which is such a timeless look.

In search of white color that wasn’t yellow-based or didn’t look stark white (think: avoid the house looking like white-out had been dumped all over it) Berk came across Simple White by Benjamin Moore. This color had depth and richness to it but wasn’t yellow — it was exactly the updated, timeless look she hoped for.

Keep in mind that not sampling your color before painting your home is not a corner you want to cut. Select three shades and have your painter sample them on the side of the house. Live with them for a few days and look at them in different light — you’ll know which one you love and will want to live with!

A trick for an updated look is to paint the window trim and the house the same color. Berk was having her trim replaced, so she jumped for Simply White for her window trim and brick. If you are not painting your trim, take precaution to make sure your preexisting color flows well with your new home color. House of Nomad loves to keep it simple, so going with the same shade is a current go-to.

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To add a modern vibe and some depth to her home, Berkeley decided to have her shutters, trim around her three front windows and front door painted black. She picked Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty. Another go-to for exteriors is Sherwin Williams Pure White paired with Tricorn Black Sherwin Williams.

It was also time to update her outdoor lanterns and she wanted to go black with the lanterns to match the black door, trim and shutters. She researched something streamlined and simple and jumped for two modern lanterns by Troy Lighting. She Another option she considered were these timeless lanterns.

We’re in love with the fresh, modern after of this project! What was shocking is that the visual size of Berkeley’s home doubled with the fresh paint color! The house now looks twice as big, really popping where the dark brick faded it into the background.

Giving Thanks for Our Team


Happy Thanksgiving! We love anything festive especially revolved around food and drinks but before we dive into Turkey day, we are taking time to reminisce. Amazing how some moments of silence and musing lead to deep gratitude. We are insanely thankful for all the events that led us to launch House of Nomad almost two years ago, open the South End studio just a few months ago -- and most of all, to build a team. We are pinching ourselves.

It wasn’t that long ago we were doing everything on our own. We were both working full time jobs and then queuing up energy every night and weekend to work towards this dream of House of Nomad (HON). We were exhausted -- but we had made our minds up -- and there was no getting in the way.

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For one of our first projects, we wanted to make the timeline and budget of the project work for the client and we had no hands-on professional help or delivery team. Think, no install team whatsoever. It was just us and the toolkit we borrowed from our husbands. There we were on Friday putting together a shelf unit, a sofa, a file cabinet -- even a bed. And there we were on Saturday. And again on Sunday. Now we die laughing about it, but at the time we were calling in our husband’s help and there were tears involved.

A few months later, still working out of our home studio -- switching between Berkeley’s house one day and Kelley’s on another -- we were trying to meet with clients, run our Instagram account, place orders and follow up with clients and deal with orders stuck in customs. We found ourselves with little energy to run our social media, deal with project management, run the business-- and let alone enjoy the design process. It was then and there that we realized it could just be Berk and I we had to start building the HON team! We learned a lot about ourselves and our business through the hiring process and can't imagine handling everything without them. Now we have a full install team, delivery team, photographer, social media guru, design assistant and project manager. Yes! Its because of their support that we were able to go to Morocco this year and check off another dream that we had when starting the business... to travel and source items for our clients and our online shop. We have been busy planning our next sourcing trip and can't wait to share all the details with you guys soon!

We still -- on a daily basis -- can’t get over that we get to do what we love-- in our very own studio with an amazing team to support us! At first we had a hard time letting go (and sometimes still do) but quickly realized that we couldn't do any of this without them. Bethany, Michelle, Shannon and Jim - we are so thankful for you guys. Thanks for dealing with all the craziness of us and for helping us grow HON!!

Five Morocco Finds You'll See at Our Party

We are just FOUR days away from our Studio Party! We are not only flinging open the doors to our studio space for the first time, giving you the chance to meet our team and enjoy a glass of wine and some local fare — but opening all our suitcases to shop our favorite finds from our October trip to Morocco. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect to shop this Friday night (5 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)! Come PARTY with US!

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1. Rugs

We went to Morocco with epic rug expectations -- and a few days into our trip, found ourselves climbing and laughing our way up a literal PILE of gorgeous rugs. It was magical. Each Moroccan studio assigned us an employee who would ask us our color palette and style preference and would pull from these massive piles of all patterns and sizes and weaves, going on the hunt with us. We spend hours scouring piles and piles of rugs, and found that black and white rugs were everywhere -- but good-quality antique colored rugs were tricky to find. Sometimes we’d fall in love with a pattern but as we got close, would see if needed a bit of repair. It was an artistic journey we can’t wait to go on again!

EXPECT: At our studio party, expect colorful rugs from reds and pinks to blues and purples as well as a range of black and white rugs from runners to large sizes!

2. Poufs, poufs poufs!

One surprise as we shopped the medinas of Morocco was how challenging it was to comeby beautiful poufs. Yes, poufs were everywhere and they looked charming from far away -- but as we got close, they were often matted and poor quality and something we didn’t want to bring back. We scoured the local market places to find the best quality, antique poufs made from Berber rugs -- and brought back a few of our favorites! Also, something we learned is that a rug has to be cut up to create a pouf, which means the good-quality rugs have to be sacrificed to make good quality poufs. It made us appreciate these beauties we are selling all the little more! The leather ones were easy to find and we snatched a black and white leather pouf that we’re in love with!

EXPECT: We have a number of multicolored poufs ready for purchase at our Studio Party!

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3. Round Mudcloth Pillows

In Marrekech, we made a new friend, Habib, when we came across his gorgeous studio. He had a number of round pillows that caught our eye (round is back!) but we weren’t crazy about the textile he used. A few feet over, we see stacks and stacks of black and white mudcloth and indigo textiles, and Habib tells us their pillows can be made custom -- and before we left Morocco. We were ecstatic! Right then and there we forged a friendship over decor and art and textiles and put in a huge order for black and white mudcloth, round pillows.

EXPECT: At our Studio Party, expect piles of round, mudcloth pillows ready for purchase! We have black mudcloth, white mudcloth in round sizes -- and custom indigo lumbars for sale.

4. Lidded Baskets

These lidded baskets are all over Morocco and we found them in all colors and sizes -- from black and white to gorgeous magenta stripes. They’re good for any surface and we love the idea of using them this holiday season for bread and added some personality to a tablescape.

EXPECT: We have a huge selection of lidded baskets in all sizes and colors, come ready to shop!

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5. Tassel Blankets

We brought back a number of handmade throws with gorgeous, oversized tassels. They’re the perfect size for king and queen size beds! We fell in love with this black and white striped one -- the tassels add so much texture and personality to a living room or bedroom.

EXPECT: Throws like this one in a variety of neutral shades, ready for purchase!

Tablescapes: Go Green, Imperfect and Unexpected

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and to enjoy the feasting day, it’s important to stop and create a game plan for your table! We hang our hat on keeping it simple and modern — and keeping it natural. Here’s our five best tips to doing just that.

1. Start with a Clean Base

We love a dark wood table — or black one for that matter — but wherever you’re gathering, start by clearing it off. If you have a nearby sideboard or bar cart, do the same. Think minimal. Minimal does not mean cold or stark, it just draws attention to what you truly love and the look you’re going for.

2. Go Green and Go Imperfect

To create your centerpiece, start with a simple runner. If you have kids, you might even consider letting them be part of the tablescape by cutting a kraft paper roll and letting them add in some custom scribbles before you set the table! (Think: brown paper with gold scribbles or paint splatters — it could be a really cute base.)

Begin by placing some eucalyptus or other greens (magnolia leaves from the yard are beautiful!) along the table for a base. We love the look of tables set with white and green pumpkins, mixed with eucalyptus (Note: Trader Joe’s is the best local source for bunches of eucalyptus and unscented, white candles!). Don’t worry about being perfect, just start layering in the greens and add in textured items — imperfect beauty is what we’re going for here. Try adding some pumpkins, pears, artichokes or even figs, the unexpected is fun!

3. Pop of Color

Next, add in a pop of color. We love the idea of color being brass in your centerpiece by adding some candlesticks and in your flatware! Wood is another great way to layer colors and textures and these are our go-to wood candlesticks and candelabras right now, they add shape and personality!

Another way to mix up the color (and height!) is with small bunches of flowers. We were drawn to the mix of bright fuschias in the flowers pictured here — and cut pomegranates. Unexpected again and naturally beautiful.

4. Set the Table

Before you dish up the meal, it’s important to think about the shapes and colors of your serving dishes — and plates! We are in love with these handmade chargers by Aronson Wood Works. They modernize and protect your table and are easy to wipe off versus a textile that covers your entire table! Easy set up and clean up for the win!

Next, set your plates in place — we love circular plates to add in a visual element and gold-speckled ceramics are even better. For napkins, go simple with something like these frayed-white beauties and we love napkins rings. They look fancy but don’t require artistic folding skills (or time!). For serving your food, instead of pops of orange — we love the idea of sticking with the natural palette and drawing in some emerald green into the space.

5. Set Each Place

A simple way to make your guests feel loved is to carve out a spot for them. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but a strip of paper with their handwritten name makes them feel significant. This is another way to incorporate natural elments — set a sprig of thyme or rosemary with their name on their plate, or wrap a slice of bread in kraft paper, tie with twine and tuck in their name card. If you don’t have time, simply set a mini-greenery bunch on their plate!

Whoever you celebrate with, and whatever the state of your table — keep in mind that simple is best and to enjoy the design process. Let it evolve in unexpected and imperfect ways!

Image Sources: Studio McGee and Sean Litchfield via MyDomaine.