The Olivia Palermo Guide to Styling Your Home

Olivia Palermo
Getty Images

From her flawless skin to her immaculate Louboutins, Olivia Palermo is the epitome of perfection. In the words of Who What Wear's West Coast Style Director Bobby Schuessler, she's "polished, modern, and elevated." Whether Palermo's on the street or sitting front row, the style maven doesn't skip a style beat. While she clearly has a penchant for designer clothes, the chic fashion girl is also adept at the high/low mix—she makes a $9 Old Navy tee look luxe. So we decided to honor her top fashion tips by translating them to interiors sure to get Palermo's tick of approval. 

Tailoring Makes All the Difference

For Palermo, tailoring is key. She told Look that the biggest fashion faux pas she sees "is when women don't wear the right shape for their frame," and this 100% relates to interiors and décor too. Just like you would alter a garment to suit your body, or update the fit of a vintage garment into a modern shape, so too can you update furniture. You take your favorite heels to the cobbler when they need a polish or new sole, so why not take your most-loved furniture to be reupholstered? It will give them a new lease on life, and you can choose a fabric that suits your evolved taste. Not sure where to start? Follow Palermo's fashion advice: "Ask a sales associate at your favorite store for advice, read up online, or simply take a piece you love to a local seamstress and ask if there are any alterations she'd do to make it work better on you. That little nip of tailoring can make all the difference." We couldn't agree more.

a desk in front of a graphic painting
Dave Wheeler for Homes to Love
West Elm Modern Desk
West Elm Modern Desk $899

Add a Little High Street to Your High End

We're big fans of the high-low look at MyDomaine HQ. But blending contemporary designer pieces with affordable high-street finds and vintage treasures can be challenging. The key is in striking the right balance. Take your cue from Palermo: "It's not about how much something costs," she told Look. "I always like adding a bit of high street to things." Have you seen her new look? So don't be shy, play around with your favorite pieces, and put that affordable IKEA alongside that rare Arne Jacobsen chair. You'll be surprised by how good they look together. 

a living room with a velvet sofa
Montse Garriga for Home Adore

Inject Your Personality

What's the one thing every room needs? Personality. Injecting this into your interior is key to turning any house into a home. Palermo shared her top tip in a chat with Elle Décor"Bring both of your personalities into the home with coffee table books," she said. "Choose books that represent your interests, travels, and passions." From the fashion books every stylish girl has at home to the tomes that inspire wanderlust, you're sure to find an inspiring spine to make your coffee table shine.

a pale gray living room
Felix Forest for Vogue Living

Build Layers Around the Basics

We often hear the word layering when it comes to clothing, but this cool styling trick can also be applied to interiors too. It adds depth, dimension, and variety to any space for a cozy, cool, lived-in feeling. Start with Palermo's suggestion and play with the basics. If you're searching for some inspiration, this perfectly styled living room in Sweden is all you need. Oh, and rugs are a perfect place to start; we love a textured sheepskin version.

a layered seating area in front of a fireplace
Martin Löf for Elle Décor España
West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover
West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover $69

Don't Stress About What Your Partner Thinks

Decorating a room is challenging enough without a second opinion being thrown into the mix. Even though you've planned for months and pinned all your interior favorites, it can be completely torn apart when your partner chimes in. But there is good news. If you really have your heart set on a certain look, Palermo says you shouldn't be too concerned about what they think. “[Johannes and I] get dressed separately, and that’s it," she told Look. "We meet at the door. On occasion, if I ask for an opinion, he’ll give it to me [laughs]. I think that we grow together." So when it comes to choosing an interior together, just be bold in your decision; decorate the room with your design nous, and then ask for your partner's opinion. If you want to "grow together" too, then divvy the rooms up and decorate separately in your own style. Just make sure you have a common theme, or it could look erratic. 

a dining area with playful art and bright yellow light shade
Maree Homer for Homes to Love
Crate and Barrel Vienna Black Wood Dining Chair
Crate and Barrel Vienna Black Wood Dining Chair $179

Mix in Decorative Accents

From the handmade to the quirky, decorative accessories, finishing touches make a room. Vintage candle holders, embellished pillows, artist sculptures, and curated collector's items add visual interest. "Decorate shelves, tables, and other surfaces with unique objects that you've collected over the years," Palermo told Elle Décor. "If you like it, it works!" 

a streamlined dining room
Marcus Lawett for Elle Decoration
Siena White Rustic Distressed Ceramic Vase
Kathy Kuo Home Siena White Rustic Distressed Ceramic Vase $621

Look to Outside Interiors for Inspiration

So many creatives look to influences outside their field for inspiration. Anything too in line with their skill will limit the scope for innovation or ability to conjure new ideas in the same way. Palermo turns to interesting destinations like Tokyo, opposites such as menswear, and museums when getting dressed. "You can really be inspired by every single thing," she said. This applies to interior design too. You'll never know what a trip to your local gallery will trigger; art is a constant inspiration for interior designer Kelly Wearstler. "Magazines, museums, art shows, boutiques, and galleries," she told MyDomaine. For her, inspiration comes by "getting out of the studio and seeing what’s happening in the world of design. There’s so much inspiration to be found."

an outside inside sitting area
Felix Forest for Belle
Paulistano Outdoor Armchair
Paulistano Outdoor Armchair $1,380

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