Welcome to the next installment of our Floor Tours series, where we step inside the spaces of some of our favorite design-world friends to chat all things rugs and decor and learn how they’ve turned their house into a home.
This week, we’re so excited to take you into the Southern California home of @homewithharper’s Kristen Buckhout, which she shares with her husband, their three young daughters (including newborn Georgia!), and pup Pennylane. Upon moving into the house in February 2020, Kristen immediately went to work updating and DIY-ing, coming up with genius ideas and tricks to make each space comfy and practical for her family. Keep reading to hear how she did it and to take a peek inside her dreamy space. Take it away, Kristen!
Tell us about your style! How would you describe the look of your home and your aesthetic?
Ahh! This is such a hard one for me since I can’t narrow down my aesthetic to one specific style! But if I had to give it a name, I would say California casual. Laid-back but with modern touches. I love a comfortable space but with some antiques sprinkled in! Black accents are my love language.
What made you choose to move into this home? What were you looking for?
100% the neighborhood and the community. We live next to amazing schools, a great park, and so many other families with young kids! In terms of the house itself, we were looking for good bones that were in need of some cosmetic updates. I’m very handy, so as long as the foundation is good, I can make everything else work.
What has the process been like designing your space, and making your house feel like a home?
A few large items came with us for the move, but most everything else has been collected and styled since we moved in. It was so fun to have a clean slate and kind of start from scratch when it comes to decor.
Pieces like our couch (which comfortably fits about 8) really sets the tone for our living room and makes it feel very homey and welcoming. Other touches like our photo gallery add so much to a blank wall while also displaying some of our most cherished moments together as a family.
What is your most treasured item in your home?
I would have to say, hands down, our dining room table. It was our first “splurge” item as a married couple. We actually bought from the Pottery Barn warehouse so we could afford it, and it has given us so many years of gathering with friends and family. So much of our time is spent in the dining room and kitchen, and a solid table is such a great focal piece.
What are your favorite things to do at home? Is there a particular space you like to gather and spend time in with your family?
Besides the kitchen area, I would have to say the living room! Our house is informal and very open-concept. We don’t have a separate living room and family room, and prefer to keep it laid-back as one large communal area. We do a TON of cooking, drinking wine, and hosting friends (when covid wasn’t a thing). My most favorite memories in our home are lounging around in the backyard with good food and great friends.
How do you balance style and keeping clean with having kids in the house?
I don’t, HA. Really, my house is usually a mess—but we do tidy up at the end of every day no matter what. The playroom opens up into the living room, so it’s not really the type of space where you can close the door and forget about the mess. We also have our beloved robot vacuum which helps with the daily crumbs and dog hair. And some extra help from our wonderful house cleaner who does the deep clean once a month.
We have to ask about your rugs! What rugs do you have from Rugs USA, and what made them the perfect fit for your space?
Where to even start! Honestly, I could talk about rugs for hours. They’re probably one of my favorite ways to switch up a space in a way that’s affordable, but makes a major impact.
We have a few jute rugs floating around from Rugs USA. We currently have the Eldorado rug in beige (which is one of my favorite rugs!) in our main bedroom layered on top of a larger jute. In my oldest daughter’s room, we have the Jute and Denim Even Stripes rug in off-white. Our newest rug is our living room rug, which got so much love on a recent post of mine (we used to have a very understated off-white rug in there). It’s called the Clover Medallion Tassel rug. Such a stunning, bold jute- and poly-blend rug.
Let’s talk projects! What DIYs or renovations have you done in your home? What’s next on your to-do list?
We’ve done A LOT in such a short time living here (I blame all the extra time at home on covid). I’ve made a dry bar, painted a TON, reno-ed two bathrooms (and now working on our third), made a mantle, gave our brick fireplace a facelift, moved electrical, and the list goes on. It truly brings me such joy to be able to complete these projects and I hope my girls see me and know they can do anything they want in life.
Do you have any design tips you’ve discovered while decorating that you’re willing to spill?
I can’t stress this one enough: Shop your own home! Some people think you need to constantly be buying the latest and greatest trendy item, but that’s so not the case. I am always moving stuff around and finding pieces in my garage that I didn’t even remember that I had.
Last fall I wanted a runner for my table but couldn’t justify the prices of the linen ones that I found. I started digging through my linen closet and actually found a rogue curtain panel and styled it as a runner! It ended up being one of my favorite looks on our dining room table.
Where do you love looking for inspiration?
So many fellow home/design/DIY-ers that I follow on IG. I also get a ton of inspo from my favorite two designers, Amber Interiors and Studio McGee. I will occasionally scroll through Pinterest as well when I’m looking for something more design-specific.
What do you love most about your home?
The opportunities it has led me to! I would have never jumped so quickly into DIY and design if I didn’t have the perfect starting place. I’ve learned so much and have had some amazing opportunities with some huge brands because of this home.
I also have fallen in love with our vaulted ceilings! We had standard height in our previous home, and I never knew what I was missing until we moved here. I would love to eventually put in a few wood beams to really accentuate the gorgeous height in our main room.