The blog Finding Fabulous offers design and style tips and inspiring project photos to thousands of followers every month. Owner Jane Bernard calls Charlotte home, and Creative Loafing spoke with her on blogging, design, and simple ways to make any home chic, on the cheap.
Creative Loafing: First and foremost: What interior design styles do you love? What are you drawn to? Have you used those styles in your own home?
Jane Bernard: I am drawn to eclectic spaces, but I also love mid-century modern designs. And as a design consultant, of course, I love creating spaces that reflect my client's personalities, whatever their style.
Eclectic designs incorporate a mix of styles, for example classic traditional, retro modern and contemporary. One thing I don't like in home décor is when a room is decorated to match perfectly; these spaces fall flat.
With eclectic designs, the overall look is layered and collected, like the room naturally came together over time. I definitely create eclectic spaces in our suburban home. Our family room alone has a mid century modern sofa and club chairs paired with a traditional garden seat that acts as a small side table. I also have a traditional blanket chest that's a 75-year-old family heirloom in this same space. My design philosophy is simple: Surround yourself with pieces you love, and don't be defined by just one design style.
When did you decide to start blogging? Is blogging a full-time endeavor?
We relocated here seven years ago for my husband's job and have absolutely loved living in Charlotte. I used to work part time in the Executive Recruiting Industry. But when the economy tanked, I knew that path wasn't for me. I started blogging in 2010 as a hobby. One day while surfing the Internet, I came across a small decorating blog. Inspiration hit me like a brick, and I knew in that moment that's what I wanted to do.
Since then Finding Fabulous has steadily grown into what I like to call a great lil' part time job. Over time the success of the blog gave me the confidence to offer Design Consultations locally with my business: Finding Fabulous by design. Blogging and working part time as a Design Consultant has been an amazing journey.
Your motto emphasizes "For Less" — what is the ideal price range (other than free, of course!) for most of the projects and tips mentioned on your blog?
The easiest way to save on stylish home accessories is to revamp pieces you already have or find a few thrift store finds. And this means doing it yourself: DIY! At thrift stores you can score end tables for around $30, and lamps for as low as $15. Simply put, the amount of money you can save thrifting is amazing.
Where's a good starting place when it comes to interior design?
A good starting place when decorating a home on a budget is identifying the pieces you already have that work. Sure, we'd all like to redecorate our homes with everything brand-new, but that is simply not an option in today's economy.
I say start with what you have, add a few thrifty finds and/or DIY projects, and then a smart splurge. Mixing styles also helps save money because your traditional sofa can work with a new retro-modern gourd lamp and a chic DIY painted gray end table. And DIY projects add a lot of personality to any space because they're truly unique and your decor will never look like it was bought from a showroom floor.