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Home decor tips and tricks from Mary Steenburgen

Laura Willard is a law school grad who has successfully avoided using her education for eight years and counting. She's a wife and an adoptive mom to two kids who, without a doubt, the cutest kids ever. Motherhood is the best job she nev...

how to Decorate like a pro

Sheknows chatted with Mary Steenburgen, the talented actress and song writer who just so happens to be quite the home decorator. Steenburgen shared her home decorating tips with us. Keep reading to learn how staying true to yourself can inspire your home decor.
Mary Steenburgen

Hidden talents

Who knew Mary Steenburgen was so into home decor? As it turns out, it’s more than just a hobby for her -- it’s a business. "I’ve always loved design," Steenburgen said, "so much so that I’m part-owner of Rooms and Gardens in Santa Monica." Rooms and Gardens is a Southern California-based custom furniture, antiques and interior design store.

"We make a lot of our own furniture and also have beautiful pieces for the home, some from Europe and many that are manufactured in the US. We also consult with people for their interior design," Steenburgen told SheKnows. "This is a love of mine."

Steenburgen also knows how to add the small touches to a home. She and her daughter Lilly own Nell’s Compass, a unique candle company that manufactures beautiful, European-inspired candles at a fraction of the cost of the imported items.

Design 101: Make your home unique

Steenburgen’s biggest tip for home design and decor is to make your home a reflection of you. "I like a home that tells you who the person that lives in it is and not who the decorator is," she said. "When we consult on homes for Rooms and Gardens, the first thing we try to do is understand the needs of the clients and their personalities, and what their lives are like."

Steenburgen explained that they never want to impose anything on a space. "It’s not interesting to walk into a beautiful space, but then leave without knowing something about the person."

Decorate for your personality

If it’s not apparent, Steenburgen is a funny lady. Many of her roles are in comedies and she delivers a laugh a minute. Steenburgen carries that part of her personality into her home decor.

"I love humor," she said. "I married a funny man and I have funny children!" (Steenburgen is married to actor Ted Danson.) A room in Steenburgen’s Los Angeles home was designed around a pair of wall sconces. Really! "I found them on 1st Dibs and they look like artist palettes -- they are red-lacquered and Italian. The lights are the brushes that are going across the palettes. They are quirky and funny and the entire room is designed around them," she adds.

That doesn’t mean Steenburgen’s entire house is decorated comically -- quite the contrary. However, she pulled that part of her personality and her life into her home and used it as the basis of a fabulous design. "The house does feel a little bit French, but fun French, with red-and-white striped curtains, a wonderful portrait … the whole room became informed by these funny artist palette sconces."

If you’re having trouble getting started, look for a piece that fits your personality and use that as the inspiration for your room. You might be surprised at what you can do when you really bring yourself into your home decor.

Trust yourself

Most important, know that you don’t need a degree in interior design to be your own interior designer. If you have an eye, trust your abilities. "I decorate in my own, probably slightly quirky way and there are huge gaps in my knowledge about styles and woods and do’s and don’ts," Steenburgen says, "but I would say that it’s intuitive."

More home decorating tips

8 Tips for accessorizing your home
5 Tips to decorate a rented space
Decorating small spaces

Photo credit: Apega/WENN
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