HON House Tour: Americana Funk in Myers Park

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HON’s clients, Matt and Scottie Akins, are Charlotte natives who returned to the Queen City after having their first child in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — and purchased a home next door to HON’s Berkeley Minkhorst! Their 40s Myers Park home has integral history and charm but after numerous additions, they were left with a funky flow downstairs and came to HON to rework the design of the space.

HON’s goal was to take some of the Americana style the duo both loves, funk it up a bit and bridge the vibe to the rest of the rooms in their downstairs. HON created an entry point with industrial shelving to work as a catch-all for their family of four.

With now two young children in tow, HON’s living room design is family friendly with slipcovered swivels (a breeze to clean), a coffee table with a removable top for storage — and personalized baskets (one for each family member) that brings a little style and organization to their lives. A design favorite from this space is the vintage overdyed rug — a gorgeous, soft color palette.

The overall highlight of this design for HON is the graphic Cle tile in the bar area. A blank wall turned modern bar area pulls the modern design from the front door to the kitchen nook.

Matt and Scottie love to travel and requested incorporating HON travel finds from their space, which included black-and-white pottery from Fes, Morocco, and custom mudcloth pillows made in Marrakech in their kitchen banquette nook.

Matt and Scottie love to travel and requested incorporating HON travel finds from their space, which included black-and-white pottery from Fes, Morocco, and custom mudcloth pillows made in Marrakech in their kitchen banquette nook.

Not only were these clients fun to work with and neighbors of Berkeley — but HON is attached to this house because it was the former home of HON’s very first clients!

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For daily design inspo, follow along on our Instagram!

Patio Prep for the Queen City

Because Charlotte springs are best enjoyed outdoors, here’s our patio prep tips to get your space ready and you outside — cocktail in hand!

We know that it’s hard to relax in a space that feels unfinished or requires a lot of in-the-moment prep (carrying cushions outside, then back inside, anyone?) — so we’ve compiled our go-to advice whether you are starting with an empty space or just need a refresh.

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1. Pick a color palette

When Kell was creating her outdoor oasis (pictured here) — a rooftop patio on her townhome in NoDa — she wanted the space to be an extension of their home. Something that felt modern and fun fused with a bohemian feel. 

Kell’s tip? Start by thinking about the location of your outdoor space. What’s the color of your siding, your deck railing or the brick of your patio? Take those tones into consideration as you plan and shop. For Kell, her dark gray siding immediately set the tone, calling for a white sofa

2. Play the Seating Game

Configuring seating is the most important game to play in patio design. For Kell, maximizing seating for her rooftop space was vital to the hosting they envisioned — and have done — since their house was built! 

There’s a lot to be said for the inviting feel of a sectional. If you have a big family or love to host, go for it! We’re also in love with this teak and metal sofa set, if that’s more your vibe.

Kell’s tip? Consider if you’re up for the in-and-out with the cushions game. If not, consider going with a sofa set that’s just as stylish, but not as cushion-heavy. Other less-cushioned styles that caught our eye include this gray-washed set and this natural collection.

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3. Keep it Fun and Light

To keep the vibe light, add in extra seating with something unexpected. Add a hanging chair (which look best mounted in corners) or two to mix things up. Or jump for the double if can find the perfect spot! (Check out our hanging-chair tutorial for step-by-step mounting instructions.)

Pops of color are a must for outdoor spaces, and whether it’s aqua or pink or something a little more mid-century that’s your vibe — acapulco chairs are our go-to! We are huge fans of this white loveseat, too. Let’s not forget about the power of rattan, which is on-trend right now, comes in all colors and is comfortable — even cushion-less.

More can be less sometimes, so consider adding a bench for more seating — coupled as a plant-stand, bar cart and catch-all when you don’t have a crowd.

If you’re looking for a dining table, we can’t get enough of cement these days and this one sure is a beauty. (If that’s not on-par with your budget, take a look at this.) Pair it with these white cuties and add in some texture with chair cushions

4. Layer It 

While we are against it feeling like it’s a chore to go in and out of any space, Kell says there are a few soft goods she brings out every time she grabs a glass of wine and heads for the roof. These items include her poufs, and a pillow or two

It’s important that an outdoor space feel warm and inviting and the grounding layer is the rug. Kell brought in pops of color with her indoor/outdoor rug, but you could not go wrong with bold stripes, something a bit playful, a more neutral or graphic route, a little blush or all natural.

Kell’s tip? Commit to bring in and out some soft goods for comfort, but pick other grounding items that stay put. Their stay-put items that have weathered the best have been cement pieces — coffee tables and side tables — their drum end table and their black acapulco chairs.

And! Don’t forget the furry family members! Try neutral or pop of black and white as a fun way to incorporate them into your design.

5. Lighten the Mood

It’s truly incredible the power a strand or two of outdoor lights has over a space. String up some lights, pour some drinks and the party is cued. Add in a battery-powered, rattan lantern or two, which can be hung or placed wherever a little extra light is needed.

6. Plant it Up

Kell’s tip? Make sure add in lots of greenery and pay attention to scale. Most often, plants are bought too small for a space — and there’s nothing better than the right amount/size of plants reminiscing your Queen City patio of tropical vacations

Our friends at Malone’s said good plants that can survive the CLT summer include tropical cacti (the cholla cactus grows tall) — as well as lavender, which loves the heat as well as the drought. Cold-hardy succulents such as hens and chicks are perfect for outdoor patios as well as salvia, which adds purple blooms and a lovely scent. Kell’s had success with rooftop monsteras and ferns, as well.

When picking planters, concrete is a great option for outdoors. We’re loving this bohemian planter and the feel this would bring to an outdoor dining space. Dress up the walls or your table with these modern options for cut greens.

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7. Don’t Forget the Sun

Kell’s must-have? Her patio umbrella, which can be adjusted with the sun’s movements. She snagged this one and it’s held up beautifully. 


Cheers to a beautiful spring and summertime where your patio’s ready, full of friends and the design makes you feel right at home. Follow along with our daily design inspo on
Instagram — and contact us if you hit any design snags and we can help along the way!


Plant Care: Q&A with Kelly from Malone's Greenhouse

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It’s no secret that House of Nomad is CRAZY about plants! Last weekend we hosted our first ever Potting Party and collaborated with our friends at Malone’s Greenhouse to create a plant care guide that gives the tricks of the trade for plants from low to high maintenance, with tips on how often to water, what kind of light each plant needs and more. Click here for the FREE, printable guide!

For those wanting to take an even deeper dive into plants, check out this Q&A with Kelly from Malone’s. We’ve been longtime fans of Malone’s and not only did she teach our Potting Party — but you can often find a member of our team scouring their rows of gorgeous plants for clients! Here’s the inside look on our talk with Kelly — and her fantastic knowledge of plant care.

Q: Do you put your plants in the shower to water them?

A: “If you come up to me and say I’m thirsty and I throw a cup of water at you, it wouldn’t really fix the situation. That’s what it is like when you just pour water on a plant. I like to put my plants in the shower and set them down in water and gently mist them. It cleans off the dust and gives them a good drink of water.”


Q: What’s your go-to house plant recommendation?

A: “If you are looking for an easy plant to start with — snake plants and aloe are wonderful, both low light and low water and both purify the air.”


Q: What plant requires the least water?

A: “The snake plant is the lowest water requiring plant, that’s why they are really easy! For a 4” pot, you can water every couple weeks or for a 6-8” pot — just once a month. The bigger the pot, the longer it takes to dry out. One tip, snakes don’t like cold or moisture on leaves so don’t mist them. They’re also great because they naturally purify the air!”

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Q: How do you care for a fiddle leaf fig?

A: “Let it get completely dry before you water it, but when you do water you want to soak it. They need bright light, and can handle a bit of morning sun or late evening sun but no middle of the day (11 to to 3 p.m.). Try a south or west facing window, which are the brightest and warmest.


Q: Any tips on troubleshooting the right amount of water for fiddle leaf figs?

A: “Fiddles tell you if they are over or under watered! If the very edges of leaves turn brown — it is too dry. It means they are pulling moisture from ends of tips of plants. But if it get black splotches on the leaves, that means too much water. Try a moisture reader to maintain proper moisture.”

Q: How do you help your cactus to thrive?

A: “Make sure to not overwater, especially if they are not in bright sun. For a 2” to 4” pot, water once a week; for a 6” to 8” pot, water every couple weeks; for 10” pot, water once a month. Also, they do best in full sun (kept right in the windowsills), they can handle bright light instead.”


Q: Do cacti really have a winter season?

A: “Yes! In the wintertime, you will only water only once or twice! This is where many people go wrong, continuing on in their regular watering schedule and their succulents rot during colder months.”


Q: How do you know when to repot a cactus?

A: “For cacti, you don’t have to repot until they are so large they are outgrowing the container. As a general rule, once you pot a cactus it can stay in the same pot for several years.”

Q: How can you tell if a plant is still alive?

A: “If you ever have a plant and wonder if it is salvageable or not, use your fingernail to scrape the bark and see if it’s green inside.”

Q: What plants purify the air?

A: “Someone told me their husband was snoring and the doctor told them to buy a snake plant and put it in their room! It adds oxygen to the air and helps them to sleep better. Another great plant to purify the air is a spider plant.”


Q: What’s the story behind the flying saucer plant?

A: “The Chinese Penny Plant has become so popular — it’s also called a flyer saucer plant because it looks like a saucer flying in the sky. Penny plants do not like the cold. The first year we had that one, we were afraid to put it in the sun and leaves turned yellow because they got too much water. We moved them to a warmer, sunnier spot and they jumped and started growing. They need a bright, warm and sunny spot. Let them get dry before you water them."


Q: How should you pot ferns?

A: “Plant ferns in a pot without a drain hole in the bottom. While most plants need a hole to drain, ferns need to stay really moist. You can even plant perennial maidenhair ferns outside in Charlotte! They do well outside.”

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Q: Do you have any go-to house plants specific to the spring and summer?

A: “A hanging pitcher plant helps with the fruit flies in the summer! Place one in your kitchen or near a trashcan and within a couple of days, the plant takes care of the pesky problems!”

Thanks to Kelly for her plant advice and all the life her plant babies have added to our designs — and for teaching on last weekend’s Potting Party at our Studio!

For daily plant design inspo, follow along with Malone’s Greenhouse!

And don’t forget to check out the FREE Plant Care Guide we created with Malone’s, just download and print!

HON House Tour: Dilworth Bungalow Bar

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Five years ago, House of Nomad clients (Sydney and Kendall) purchased a bungalow in Dilworth and recently asked for help with their living room and bar space design. The goal was to maximize seating and create a cohesive design for a dual purpose: entertaining and family nights. Both medical professionals (one in anesthesiology school and the other a pediatric resident director), their family dynamic is lighthearted, with lots of laughter and conversation, and they have an open door policy — whether it’s their kids and their friends or colleagues and neighbors, they love entertaining.

In the bar area, Berk and Kell played on the existing navy walls making it feel even more intimate by incorporating the textured rug and velvet drapery. Then, the duo layered other elements through framed textiles, mudcloth pillows and a pop of brass. As finishing touches, Kendall’s collection of vintage barware were incorporated — coop glasses and a shot dispenser from the 1920s. A loveseat was added as well as cocktail table to maximize seating so there was more than enough room for friends. 

“We have three kids from a previous marriage and our own daughter and we host family dinner every week,” says Kendall. “During the week when we have family nights, we love doing movie nights — and we do game nights in the bar area so we needed more seating there.”

To add more seating, their previous sofa was replaced with a navy sectional with a low profile that expanded the feel of the space. Textures were incorporated throughout design — from a hide rug and a Moroccan throw, to stone elements with the marble nesting tables and wood in the hanging tobacco baskets (an ode to NC). The artistic feature of the space is a rustic wood and marble fireplace crafted from wood that was sourced from a plantation owned by a Civil War general in South Carolina. Berk and Kell kept their 14-month old daughter in mind, staying away from harsh corners with the layered, marble nesting tables with round edges. 

Their home feels relaxed, intimate and welcoming and House of Nomad’s in love with this space. This was a fulfilling project for House of Nomad, crafting designs and floor plans to represent the unique personalities of these clients — a space they love coming home to and welcoming their friends into. 

“Because of Sydney’s work, pediatric residents will be in the area and constantly drop by and I love to do bourbon tastings for anyone who likes bourbon. We have kegerator and keep two local beers on tap at all time. Not only are we are supporting local breweries but for out of town friends, we get to give then a little tasting of the great Charlotte brewery scene,” Kendall says.

A bourbon aficionado, Kendall’s most recent feat is trying her hand at smoking cocktails. Her most recent drink is an old fashioned crafted with rosemary and burning an orange peel, which she says brings out more of the flavor of the bourbon.

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For daily design inspo, follow along on our Instagram!

Fresh Floral Designs: Nectar's DIY Tips

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It’s inspiration, fun and literal LIFE that House of Nomad tries to bring into every space we design. This means plants, flowers — and greenery of all kinds. For every install, potted plants come through the door (worked into the original design!) and for every photo shoot that follows, fresh flowers always make the cut. Greenery and plants are not just finishing touches but game changers for a space, incorporating texture and layers of beauty and life. 

But fresh flowers can be tricky. Turns out floral design is not as simple as it looks. Our friends at Nectar sat down with HON this week, answering a plethora of beginner’s questions on how to start out creating simple arrangements. From what flowers to reach for in the first place and what vase to use to four techniques to follow, Nectar’s owner, Karisa Pennell has us covered. Here’s a glimpse into HON’s chat with Karisa — and photos of our communications manager tackling the tricks she learned while styling a HON kitchen design!

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Q: Are there any flowers should you stay away from as a beginner?

A: “Flowers that are hard to use as a novice are Gerbera daisy and sunflowers -- anything that has a flat head to it is hard to design with.”

Q: What type of flowers are go-to’s when learning to design arrangements? 

A: “When you go to shop for flowers, how do you chose? What goes with what and what complements? If you can go by color palette versus flower type that helps. That way, you are not overthinking it. For example, maybe go with all whites or all yellows.” 

Q: What’s the best vase to work with?

A: “I personally like a square shape vase, I feel like the corners help in the design. Anything that has a v-opening is really hard to design in, because the stems start to rise up and out of water and arrangement tends to splay open.”

Q: What size vase do you recommend?

A: “Anything bigger than a 5" opening takes a lot of flowers and is hard to work with. Start with a simpler container, anything 3” to 5” is perfect.”

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Q: Once you’re flowers are set, where do you start?

A: “The techniques for how to build an arrangement smartly are broken down into four main points of design: form, lines, color and texture.”

Q: How do you build your form?

A: “The first thing we teach is how to build your form or the base of your arrangement. Think first, what is going to hold everything together? You will want something that will create that base naturally like greenery or hydrangeas, gibing you a tight grid to add stems to. Start to build a structure by putting your stems in a concentric fashion — building your grid in a round shape. Build the first layer and then continue to add more in a clockwise fashion.”

Q: Any tricks of the trade when tackling this first step?

A: “Clear, floral tape is a trick! You put that on your vase in a tic-tac-toe shape and secure it with a piece tape all around the lip. This creates different sections so your stems then are not weighing each other down. Floral netting is also good (better than floral foam) and you can reuse it. In a pinch -- purchase from flower shop you can reuse!”

Q: How do you think about color as a floral designer?

A: “The color wheel may seem really old school but lots of bold colors can really fragment your arrangement. If you don’t want to do all one color, stay in a monochromatic tone — that is the way to go.”

Q: Let’s talk a bit about texture.

A: “As far as texture, I think about contrast. Put textured thistle with soft ranunculus to give it contrast. Or, if you want something really sweet and simple -- then go all soft. Try hydrangeas and dusty miller.” 

Q: Do you have an insider’s floral tips?

A: “A good way to design is to pull your container almost to the edge of your table and then you can gauge your stem length. You can always cut your stems shorter but air on conservative side; cut it down as you need to and not all at once. Another trick is with line flowers, like snap dragons for example, you will want staggering heights. Take three stems in your hand and arrange them, then cut all three of the stems at once! Naturally, you will have them at three different lengths.”

For more information on Karisa and Nectar, visit their studio in Elizabeth, follow along with their designs on Instagram @nectarfloralboutique or visit www.nectarfloraldesigns.com

Or! Come to the Plaza Midwood Home Tour this weekend — check out the home HON designed and see a floral design by Nectar featured in the dining room. Have a Birdsong Brewery beer with us and chat design — home and floral. We hope to see you soon!