Alaskan-born Liz Morrow seems to ooze maximalism from her thick curls that fall double-helix-style around her face to themed thrift obsessions — she once collected a bunch of world globes from various second-use stores and now uses them to decorate her son’s nursery.
“I started off as the most maximalist person,” Morrow said, coffee mug in hand. “I was obsessed with the ’70s, and the floral wallpaper, and floral couches, and the fake wood paneling on the walls. All the mustard yellow and avocado green. So, I started off with, ‘Give me all the patterns, and I’ll put them all together, and I’ll love it.’”
Though she appreciates the cleanliness of minimalist aesthetic, a part of her will always revel in the bursting conglomeration of colors, textures, and patterns, even though the Tacoma blogger and enthusiastic rehabber has quieted her taste — a little.
Her eclectic bohemian-style home is always evolving with new thrift finds and has captured the attention of thousands on Instagram. But because much of her furnishings are DIY or roadside finds, it’s difficult for adoring onlookers to re-create what she’s done. In an effort to help you achieve a similar style, Morrow offers some interior design tips and tricks.
Start with a Color Palette
Choosing a handful of colors to create a theme in your space can help you narrow down your selection once you start designing a room.
Create an Anchor
A simple, black tufted couch with mid-century modern appeal acts as the main focus.
“I thrift a lot, so I cycle through a lot of furniture,” Morrow said. “A nice black couch, that’s something that I can build anything around. I can make it more mid-century, more eclectic, or more minimalist, and this couch will look good with all of those.”
Mix and Match
“Choose pieces that match each other,” she said. “Not necessarily based on color, but by their era or style. I’ve never had matching chairs. I’ve never had the luck of finding two chairs that are the exact same, but these two chairs have wooden legs and rounded arms. They have a similar feel to them. The tables both have rounded shapes. They all have little elements that borrow from each other.”
Daring Paint Colors
You may have heard black paint can make a small space feel smaller, but Morrow said she hasn’t found that to be the case. Morrow wanted a black wall, but she didn’t want it to be quite so stark, so she went with a black chalk paint.
“I think my philosophy on paint is that it’s paint,” she said. “If you don’t like it, you can just repaint it.”
If you want to add a little color, consider painting a door. The interior of Morrow’s front door is blue-ish emerald that plays off the wallpaper. Paint samples are available at hardware stores for just a few bucks.
Go for a Wallpaper
In the last couple years, Morrow became “obsessed” with banana leaf wallpaper, and while some might contain it to a small guest bath, she made it a focal point in her living room.
“It has this vibe of a swanky, tropical hotel in the 1960s that I love,” she said. Before gluing it on, Morrow worked her Photoshop magic to see what it would actually look like in the room first.
If actual wallpaper feels too intimidating, or if you want something less permanent, try removable wallpaper, she said. There are tons of options out there now, and it peels off in a breeze once you’re ready to take it down.
Make a room feel alive with décor that adds some dimension. “I really like natural texture, like woven or woodgrain,” Morrow said. “Those are the things that are the most appealing to me.”
Like mixing and matching furniture, Morrow’s décor has a similar melody. The woven baskets communicate well with the woven coffee table, as do the macramé wall hanging and chandelier (both of which Morrow handmade).
“I think rugs are a great way to add texture and pattern, and they can still be neutral,” she said.
Open shelving, or floating shelves, has also expanded beyond the kitchen as a way to display your favorite shoes, books, or knick-knacks. Almost anything can become a design element that adds to the flavor of your home.
“In a sense, I feel like it makes you more aware of the things you have,” she said. “I’ve been bingeing on the Marie Kondo thing (Netflix’s decluttering series Tidying Up), so it’s kind of nice to see the things I have.”
“Don’t be afraid to do things,” Morrow said. “A lot of people are afraid to try things or DIY something. I grew up watching my parents renovate houses, so every house we ever lived in, they were switching things around and painting walls. I kind of grew up seeing houses as a thing you personalize and can do whatever you want with.”