Molly Branstetter is a wife, interior designer, mother to a puppy and happy blog owner of The Poor Sophisticate. She received her degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco before moving to Europe with her husband.
Currently residing in a barn in Germany, Molly is busily working to design and decorate her European home according to her “poor sophisticate” style.
Molly states that The Poor Sophisticate is much more than a blog; it is a philosophy and a way of life. It’s about living beautifully and enjoying the moment, seeking and appreciating the beauty and humor in subtle things — where your life becomes your art, the details are the full picture and an alleyway is an opportunity for treasure waiting to be discovered.
The poor sophisticate style is a collection of memories, moments and treasures that have been acquired along a journey. It is the scratches on a dining table, the clock that chimed during the dark days of World War I and the sentimental piece passed down from your grandmother that makes a space and moment memorable in the home.
This way of thinking, decorating and living was inspired by Molly’s mother as she was growing up. Whether financial times were fantastic or tough, Molly’s mother went out of her way to ensure that the children and everyone who entered their home felt at peace. She turned a $5 dinner budget into a lavish meal complete with candlelight and jazz music.
Before thrifting and frequenting yard sales were popular, Molly’s mother taught her to turn someone’s throwaways into something that looked like a designer piece. Furniture found in Chinatown became glamorous with refinishing and paint. With this, Molly learned from her mother to not wait for the perfect budget or moment to do something spectacular, but to embrace what she had when she had it. Molly says that she is so “incredibly thankful” for the life that her mom gave her and that her mom taught her how to live and enjoy life whether the moments were big or small.
Today, Molly and her husband live very similar to the way that Molly was raised. They have surrounded themselves with things that they enjoy, make them feel good and tell a story. Molly and her husband have found pieces of their home together, designing them to fit their own style. And while Molly admits that her barn looks much different than her mom’s current cabin, it is essentially the same. They have both worked to create a home that is cozy, unique and created with love, and where every piece has a story.