The Perfectly Styled Bathroom

Here’s the scoop for how to perfectly style any bath! Maybe you have a space that needs a refresh — but a reno isn’t in the budget. You’re in luck! It truly comes down to the styling. It’s amazing what some simple decor, lighting and a rug can do for a space! And, don’t forget the perfect paint color! Here’s a glimpse into three bathrooms we designed and tips for each.

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1. It’s all in the paint.

A fresh coat of paint truly makes a space come alive. And, a gallon of paint is a small investment for a huge impact! For a powder bath, we love to take a risk — go really dark on the walls and ceiling or try a funky wallpaper! But for a master or guest bath, we keep it neutral and timeless.

Our tip? Go with a white or light gray, something that gives a clean and airy feel. In this bathroom (pictured above and at tip no. 5) we selected Pure White by Sherwin Williams. In the Plaza Midwood bathroom (shown below at tip no. 4) we used Icy Avalanche, also by Sherwin Williams.

Also, keep in mind the room that the bathroom is adjacent to when doing your paint selection. For all three of these bathrooms we designed, the paint selected for the bathroom was the same used in both the master for a congruent feel.

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2. Mix the Metals.

After paint, swapping out the hardware is the best way to modernize a bathroom!

Our tip? Start selecting new hardware by considering the finishes through your home. If you are doing brass in the kitchen, you might pull brass into the master — but if you dont want to commit to brass, that's where the black comes in to bridge the two. A go-to black option for pulls is this hex knob and this modern faucet. For polished nickel, try these pulls and this faucet.

Another way to mix the metals? Pick fun lighting! We love this double-ball sconce as well as this brass option. Don’t be afraid to mix the metals a bit!

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3. Don’t forget the toilet.

An often forgotten design area (but often visited nook) is behind the toilet!

Our tip? Don’t neglect this space — try a fan or a few baskets to create a mini-basketwall — or a cute piece of art to snaz up this space. Also, go for a modern toilet paper holder to make a subtle statement.

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4. Style the space.

Our tip? Remove everything from your counters to quiet the space. Add back in only what you use on a daily basis — and only add in things you love. Consider getting some fun, decorative containers, like this bowl or a basket (sourced on our trips for our House of Nomad shop!), to hold everyday items. Add a vintage runner for some color and texture!

5. Plant it Up.

Add in a plant, or two! Our go-to is a snake plant, which is the easiest plant to maintain without sunlight and with very little water. Check out our Q&A with Malone’s Greenhouse for plant selection tips — or click here to download our free, printable guide for plant care.


Cheers beautiful bathroom spaces! We love spaces to be functional, personal and well designed. 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!


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!


Pets in HON Designs

Anyone that's stopped by House of Nomad’s studio knows we're animal lovers! The first person to greet you at the door is Berk's Springer Spaniel, Shelby -- and now, Kell's pup Frankie, a 12-week old tricolored French bulldog! We adore animals and since our very first project, love incorporating cats and dogs alike into almost every space we've designed. With a new pup around the office, it got us reminiscing on our favorite projects where the client's family pets got a little camera time.

Here’s a little bit about each space we designed, and how we considered the pets in the design decisions!

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Myers Park Boxer

This 1940s design project was especially meaningful because it was for neighbors of HON co-owner Berkeley Minkhorst! Not only do we just love the family, but HON is attached to this house because it was the former home of HON’s very first clients! The most beautiful part of this photo is the family’s boxer, with the dearest personality — and we love that she made it into our photoshoot.

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. With their pet in mind, HON selected a gorgeous antique overdyed rug.

Design tip: Overdyed designs easily camouflage stains, are durable and easy to clean!

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Mountain Island Lake Goldendoodle

This is the sweetest dog you will ever meet — this family goldendoodle was very excited to pose for the camera. Last summer, we were hired by a charming mini-client (daughter of former clients who HON adores!) in Mountain Island Lake, who said she loved to read and dreamed of a dedicated crafting space in her room.

HON incorporated a desk and shelf for crafting supplies and went with a bookish Kate Spade wallpaper. The full reveal was just beautiful (she gasped with joy!) and her room is stylish with the accent wall, functional with crafting and reading areas — and all around beautifully cozy.

NoDA Cat

Kelley’s doll-face Persian, Oliver, came to LIFE the day our photographer, Laura Sumrak, photographed Kell’s home! While usually camera shy (Oliver won’t ever put his best face forward for Kell’s shots!) — he kept perching in the perfect frames for the camera. Kell’s modern new build in NoDA is eclectic, and full of global finds from HON and personal travels — check out Domino Mag’s feature for more!

Considering Oliver (and now their new pup, Frankie!), Kell took into account the color of her animals — with shedding in mind. So Kell went with a multicolored rug. Kell also went with a Crypton fabric for her sofa (pictured above left) because of its durability!

Design tip: Crypton is a durable upholstery choice (for kids or pets alike!). Not only does it fight against stains but is resistant to scratching/claws.

Dilworth Cat

This precious ragdoll cat was very excited about her baby sister coming along! One of the very first designs HON did, this Dilworth nursery is playful and neutral — and the perfect spot for a catnap, and her baby sister to grow up in!

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Plaza Midwood Golden Retriever

An early project by HON, this playful space in Plaza Midwood included lovely clients — and their sweet Golden Retreiver, Bailey. These clients approached Berk and Kell asking for design assistance in bridging the two spaces together. Berk and Kell went with a statement wall that pulls out the hues in the living room rug, which Bailey is clearly a fan of! They also went with a slipcovered sofa, which is a breeze to clean — if ever necessary.

Design Tip: Consider a bright, 100% wool rug with pets! It’s great not just for hiding pet hair but is easy to clean.

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Myers Park Springer Spaniel

HON’s original office was in Berk’s house in Myers Park, and the walls were painted a gorgeous, bright blue hue — Vardo by Farrow & Ball. Shelby was a fan of the artistic space and spent every day there with Kell and Berk. Again, the rug selection was important with Shelby in mind, so the duo went with an indoor/outdoor rug, which is both a fun, graphic print — and has longevity to it.

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SouthEnd Springer Spaniel

Last sumer, House of Nomad finally found their way out of Berk’s home office and into our very own studio in South End’s Atherton Lofts. Exposed beams, massive windows, light drenched spaces — it’s a dream! The designs are always evolving as fresh finds are brought back from Berk and Kell’s sourcing trips for our dedicated shopping area (open to the public by appointment and online!).

Berk and Kell loved taking risks in designing the studio, including Shelby’s favorite spot to camoflauge herself— a bold, black and white patterned sofa. Shelby is also obsessively drawn to the Moroccan rugs and Frankie to the poufs!

Cheers to all the CLT pets we’ve grown to love as we’ve designed spaces across the Queen City!

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Photos taken by the talented Laura Sumrak!

Let's Get Minimized: a Q&A

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We’re minimalists at heart over here and relish a good project where we help our clients peruse through what furniture to keep in a space — and what to pass on — so they truly LOVE their homes. We want their spaces to not just be beautiful but livable, and for them to display their most beloved items that tell stories about their lives. 

But let’s be honest, some projects we’ve come across involve a major decluttering — and that’s when we call in a local experts like Minimized so our design process can follow. We’ve followed Matlin Pessarra and her team and we loved talking to her this week, getting the inside scoop and tricks for not just decluttering a space, but creating a lifestyle of daily purging. Matlin is light-hearted and fun — she even laughed as she confided in us that naturally, she is a stacker — and has self-taught everything she knows about organization. 

Q: What first got you into organizing, a pretty niche line of work?

A: “I am originally from near Raleigh and have moved around a bit. I taught elementary school for four years and really loved it, but found myself becoming obsessed with organizing my classroom. I remember doing a lot of research — one of the reasons I love what I do so much is I am so interested in the psychology behind organization. If kids are going to learn, they need to feel comfortable and the classroom has to feel like home. Other teachers started asking for help on their classrooms and it just turned into helping people.”

Q: Is organization in your DNA?

A: “I am not naturally organized. I am naturally a minimalist, so I don’t have a lot of things which makes it easier to keep tidy —  but I am a stacker like no other. It has just been a process of realizing for myself that I need to stop that habit and create new habits. A reason I love working with clients is that I can relate to them so much. I understand that sometimes it is not natural and I love talking to people about incorporating new habits so you are not having to do a new clean out every month.”

Q: Do you find that your clients similar in their disorganization or the same?

A: “I have these four organizing personalities and all my clients fit into one of them. I call myself a stacker — a piler. Then there are shoppers, who are just people who buy too many things. Then there are the shovers —- their homes are so beautiful but if you open a cabinet or a closet something might fall on you. And then there are the solvers, the people who try to make solutions and have all these organizing supplies but they don’t have the system set up correctly.”

Q: What’s the biggest tidying habit you suggest incorporating into daily life?

A: “If there was one overall tip, I would say create a drop zone in almost every space to put those things when you realize you no longer need them. In the closet, next to your hamper, have another basket so when you try things on in the morning and think, “Why do I even own this?” instead of hanging it back up — you put it there. Get into that habit of setting things aside instead of putting them back. So you don’t have to do a huge purge, instead it’s something you are doing daily. With playrooms, I suggest working with kids and explaining to them that when they are done with a toy, they can put it in this basket over here and then it will go to another kid. Parents say that no way, their kids won’t do that but kids always do it! And then it takes work off the parents.”

Q: What projects are you hired most frequently to tackle?

A: “We definitely see a variety but our most popular spots are closets, pantries and play rooms. It’s pretty much any spaces that are behind closed doors where people tend to shove and not want anyone to into them.”

Q: What do you see as the greatest need in the minimalism/organization?

A: “The greatest need people have is realizing how to change their habits in order to get their homes where they need to be. A lot of people are not used to going through and purging and donating so they tend to get really overwhelmed and get to a point where they don’t even know where to start. I have to talk to clients about how once we come in we can help declutter but you have to keep up with it. Getting people to set up those cycling systems to have somewhere to put things to donate or set things aside is really important.”

Q: What’s your take on Marie Kondo style of organization?

A: “I love Marie Kondo! I’m glad it’s got people’s attention onto the power of decluttering. I get the whole sparking joy thing, but I have joked with so many clients about it — paper towels and batteries do not spark joy for me but we need them. Her whole style is a little extreme but I appreciate parts of it. I love that she talks about organizing by category instead of by room. Like if they want to organize their hardware or manuals —- she suggests one that she has one place for it all. Not one stack in your kitchen and another in your laundry room. And of course her folding! I just love that when I look in my drawers now I can see everything from there. It stops things from piling up and getting stuck in the corners.”

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see that people make when trying to purge?

A: “One big one is focusing more on the supplies than the actual decluttering. Almost every one of my clients already has bins — a lot of people’s clutter is storage products. They are just creating more clutter.


Q: What’s a misconception about minimalism/organizing?

A: “One of the misconceptions I find a lot with clients who hire me is that as soon as I get there, they have an idea of a new system put in! They always jump to supplies or shelving or more cabinets — which will create more storage — but one of the things that people don’t realize is that they have to deal with the clutter first. If you go in and put in more bins you are just containing the clutter — you are really not organizing.”

Q: Your tagline is, "You don't have to do it all." I love that, can you elaborate? 

A: “The reason I stuck with you don’t have to do it all is that especially when I started the most popular question I got was: “Well, can’t people do that themselves?” Our time is worth money and energy and if you are not organizing every day and you don’t know the right process, you might spend weeks on one area where you could call people in and have it don in three hours. I am all about focusing on those things that are important to you!”

Q: What’s your organization process?

A: “The process that we follow can be different depending on the clients, sometimes we come in when they have just moved or are about to move or have been there for awhile. We have a three-step process that starts with minimizing, then organization and then styling. Minimizing is decluttering. We try to take every single thing out of the space, remove everything and begin to categorize and purge as needed. This step is the most time consuming, it totally depends on the client. As for organizing this is really space planning and we try to use products and space people already have! For styling, we will recommend some different products once we have gone through and purged and see what they have.”

Q: Which part of the process makes you come alive?

A: “Definitely the styling because I am seeing it coming all together! Almost every single time they say to me, “Are you scared? Are you overwhelmed by my spaces?” — but I love it! When I walk into an area that people may seem as messy I see the potential of what it could be and sometimes when we are going through the process you almost forget what is looked like so I love having the before and after!


Q: Do you have a go-to organizational item?
A:
“Something I use in almost every project is some sort of turn table. The Container Store has so many different types — plastic ones, bamboo ones, acrylic ones, but they are so helpful for so many different things. For example, for corner shelves or for under the sink — they are great so you are not having to dig through and things getting stuck in the back.”

Q: We often design playrooms -- what are your tips on keeping playrooms organized?

A: “I have a lot of thoughts on playrooms especially as a former teacher but something I talk to clients about a lot is how limited kids attention spans are. If you give them a bunch of options they are going to try to use every single option. You don’t have to have every single thing out and available. I suggest putting things up and away even if kids can see it but cant reach it but then they are asking for it and you are seeing what they are asking for and playing with.”

Q: Should every house have a junk drawer?

A: “Every one is going to have something that feels like a junk drawer. For example, I live in a small one bedroom apartment and in my kitchen I have some extra gum and lighters and candles and spare keys in a drawer — but they are not just tossed and shoved in. I don’t add to it — they all have their space. I think you can have a “junk space” without it feeling junky.”

Find out more on Instagram at @getminimized or visit Minimized.