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    Qolture Blog — Decorating Tips

    HGTV's Listed Sisters Lex and Alana LeBlanc Reveal the Secret to Their Success

    HGTV's Listed Sisters Lex and Alana LeBlanc Reveal the Secret to Their Success

    Identical twin sisters Lex and Alana LeBlanc have always been incredibly close—and unsurprisingly, have plenty in common: “We’re both competitive, extremely driven, vegetarian—and we can’t stand people who chew food loudly,” the two, best known as the hosts of HGTV’s Listed Sisters, confess.

    Born in Los Angeles and raised in Las Vegas, the 35-year-old duo now live in Nashville, where the series, now in its second season, is filmed. The show follows the sisters as they help local families remodel and sell their old houses—and ultimately, find their dream homes. (Similar to Property Brothers’ Jonathan and Drew Scott, each sibling specializes in one half of the home-owning process: NYSID graduate Lex is an expert in construction and interior design, while Alana, a RE/MAX Elite broker, is a pro at buying and selling.)

    According to the pair, every renovation takes between four to six weeks, and they often work on multiple homes at a time. As for their favorite: “We will always love our first-ever renovation of Listed Sisters,” Lex says. “The home turned out beautifully and we still remain friends with the family to this day.”


    Listed Sisters Lex and Alana LeBlanc


    The sisters are also business partners off-screen, jointly managing Lex’s company—LAVA Home Design—which launched in 2014. The firm provides an array of interior decor, remodeling, and handyman services, along with a line of home accents and furnishings Lex curates herself. (“I love finding things at flea markets,” she enthuses.)

    Below, the twins reveal the best part about their jobs, discuss their favorite pastimes, and discuss most important move home shoppers should make before purchasing a fixer upper.

    What brought you both to Tennessee?

    Lex: Alana was living in Nashville working as a realtor in new construction and I was in New York when we realized we should join forces. Real estate and interior design go hand in hand, so I made the move, and the rest is history! We are so lucky to be able to work together everyday and help people create their forever homes.

    What’s the best part about your job?

    Lex: The best thing about being a designer is that I get to choose the design style for each space on a case-by-case basis. I always figure out our clients’ “design personality” and make sure the space functions for their needs and represents their lifestyle.

    Alana: Being able to guide people through what most likely will be the biggest most emotional purchase of their lives.

    How would you describe your own home?

    Lex: I am currently renovating—almost done! I would describe the style as classic worldly with a modern twist.


    Listed Sisters Lex and Alana LeBlanc


    What’s your advice for home shoppers looking to purchase a fixer upper? (How can they tell if a property is a real steal or a bad deal?)

    Lex: The most important thing to do when buying a fixer is to have a thorough inspection. Bring your contractor to the home to get his opinion and estimate of the scope of work before you seal the deal.

    What’s your favorite HGTV show (apart from “Listed Sisters”)?

    We love any show with the Scott Brothers. Could be the twin thing, or that they are two genuine people.

    How long do you see yourselves living in Nashville?

    We both love our city and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

    What’s your favorite place to hangout in the city?

    We love live music, and downtown has plenty of it!

    Name a few things you like to do in your spare time.

    Lex: I love to practice yoga, watch Netflix and chill!

    Alana: Hiking, being out in nature and photography.

    What’s the greatest thing about being identical twins?

    The best part is that we were literally born best friends. We know everything about each other and can always trust one another.

    If you weren’t in your current professions, what would you be doing instead?

    Lex: I would be living on a beautiful island teaching yoga everyday, and Alana would be a world-class chef because she loves cooking!

    About The Author
    Kristin Tablang, Lifestyle Producer, Forbes



    Top 10 Instagrams to Follow for Home Decor Inspiration

    Top 10 Instagrams to Follow for Home Decor Inspiration

    Do you find yourself dreaming about redecorating your home, flipping through furniture catalogs, pinning your way through home decor boards? Perhaps you are thinking about spicing up or completely re-doing a space in your home, and don't know what exactly you're looking for. Sometimes a bit of inspiration is all you need, and what better place for it than Instagram? Instagram is full of creative home decorators with solutions for every design taste and home style. We'll even save you the trouble of picking out the best; here’s our top ten accounts to follow for all the home decor ideas you could need.

    1. CASA CLAUDIA (@revistacasaclaudia)

    If you’re filled with wanderlust, CASA CLAUDIA has the designs for you. This account offers lots of modern decor ideas, most of which focus on color choice and minimalist design. Many of the designs have an exotic vibe and offer creative ways of adding a little foreign flair to any home or apartment.

    The account also posts accent inspiration and small ideas to make simple things work into the design of your home. For example, inverted light bulbs can be used as wall-mounted planters. A vintage map may be strung and hung against a blank wall for an easy but appealing accent. Changing or adding just a few accents in your space can make a big difference, and CASA CLAUDIA can provide just the right inspiration to do so, by getting creative with plants, colors, and smaller accents around shelving and tables.

    If you like minimalism, but want to get a bit more creative, check out CASA CLAUDIA’s modern room designs. These minimalist spaces always include a bit of bold and creative flair. A bright piece of wall art or colorful pillow can make a huge difference in an otherwise monochrome room.

    2. Tarina Lyell (@oh.eight.oh.nine)

    Who says kids are too messy to have around tasteful modern decor? If you’re looking to revamp your home, but have little ones running around, oh.eight.oh.nine shows how you can pull in a sweet, child-friendly design into your modern home. This Instagram is run by Tarina Lyell, a mother from Perth. She uses cool, neutral colors with minimalist home furnishings, but adds a twist to her design using toys and other child-friendly accents.

    Her use of colors creates child spaces and adult spaces that come together to feel like home. Her accents and furnishings from room to room share just enough similarities that nothing looks out of place. If you're thinking about decorating a nursery or play room, check out her fun but stylish inspirations.

    Many of her designs are easy to mimic in your own home. She uses cut-out and framed wall art in her nursery, which is as easy to make as snipping colorful paper and placing it in a blank frame. Her method for integrating mismatched pillows and blankets can be used in any setting—pick bolder colors for your own bedroom or family room and cooler colors for a modern living room.

    3. Unexpected Elegance (@unexpectedelegance)

    If you like a mix of country, rustic, and modern design, Unexpected Elegance is the Instagram account for you. This home decor blog combines natural accents with simple furniture pieces to create an elegant but rustic feel.

    The large elements won’t fit everyone’s style, but we can all take a lesson from the use of natural accents, like wood and brick, that add depth and texture in a way that blends with the overall design of the home. If you don't know exactly what your style is, or feel that your room or house needs a central theme, the designs at Unexpected Elegance are easy to apply to almost any space for an affordable, easy makeover. Bringing together a few mismatched accents, such as candles, lamps, clocks, and statues, can create personality within an otherwise lifeless room. Such designs don't require a large investment, and can easily be tweaked whenever you feel like a new look.

    While other accounts make use of a variety of lighting fixtures, Unexpected Elegance uses mainly traditional lamps and ceiling fixtures, but demonstrates how creative you can get even with traditional lamps. A painted base and darker shade in a bright room, or something especially elegant (like a chandelier) in an otherwise average kitchen, creates vivid design contrast.

    The designer has a knack for creative, do-it-yourself accents. Ferns, greenery, and even pumpkins become kitchen and living room accents. Handmade wall chalkboards and wall art offer affordable but attractive ways of touching up a blank space.

    4. Dream Interiors (@dreaminteriors)

    While smaller accents and smart design can do wonders to transform any home, it’s also fun to think about stripping down and re-furnishing or re-designing spaces from the ground up. Following Dream Interiors may just provide the inspiration you need to make your dream home a reality.

    The account posts a variety of elegant, modern rooms designed in neutral hues. Large furnishings help to pull these rooms together, with the aesthetic of building a room around a few good pieces. If you are thinking of buying a new couch, bed, or dining set, Dream Interiors will certainly help you to discover what will work best for you. This design scheme works especially well with neutral colors, and using mismatched whites, creams, grays, and blacks in combinations that still look planned.

    This account also offers an excellent example of how to make the best use of light. A space doesn't need lots of lighting or beautiful lighting fixtures. Well-chosen lighting from a few sources can bring out the best in a room, as Dream Interiors shows with candles and fixtures of various levels and intensities in their living, dining, and even bathroom designs. Mirrors can also do as much for the lighting of a space as actual lights do. Dream Interiors often uses well-placed mirrors to bring out the most in each lighting source, which allows you to avoid the need for heavy overhead fixtures.


    5. Department of Artisans (@departmentofartisans)

    This one is for the adventurers! Department of Artisans describes itself as "bringing lost crafts + culture back to the surface with a modern aesthetic; fulfilling a need for wanderlusters to always be surrounded by culture." Indeed, if this account doesn't inspire you to redecorate, it may inspire you to travel the world. Using designs and decor from around the globe, this account showcases many patterns and styles of modern homes that we don’t necessarily see every day, but can easily be incorporated into our own spaces.

    Exotic tile designs and wall patterns can easily find a place in the modern home to give a good pop to otherwise dull spaces. Styles from faraway places, like Morocco, can add a little excitement to your home. It's especially easy to use blankets, scarves, and drapes with different patterns to bring personality to a room. Drape a new throw over an otherwise dull couch or other seating to add character. You might be surprised how well these cultural accents fit with your existing décor. Just take note of the colors you already use, and match one or two shades for a look that is both balanced and exciting.

    Department of Artisans also provides excellent examples of how less can be more. Sometimes the most simplistic designs can be the most appealing; you may only need one or two main furnishings and a handful of accent pieces to create a stylish space.

    6. Apartment Therapy (@apartmenttherapy)

    If you’re living in a smaller space, you know how difficult it can be to design and re-model using tips from designers that cater to larger homes. But apartments have unique decor opportunities all their own, and Apartment Therapy provides just the right inspiration to realize these! Unlike a large home, it is easy to redecorate an apartment because you don't need to worry about pulling one consistent theme across a multitude of rooms and stories. Furthermore, apartments are expected to include a mix of accents and furniture, whether because multiple people come together to share the apartment or because you collect pieces as you live and move between apartments. Instead of focusing on the whole home and consistent design, Apartment Therapy focuses on individual rooms. It is an amazing source of inspiration for those who feel their apartment lacks theme or has a variety of smaller themes.

    Apartment Therapy’s style includes a bit of everything, so it’s perfect for anyone who likes to get creative with mixing pieces and looks. If you're feeling bold, they have a number of examples showing how to mix and match pieces and colors that you may not have considered. Apartment Therapy showcases a number of different designs that use different colors, accents, and furniture pieces. They also get creative with wall accents, including wallpaper made entirely of world maps, vintage neon signs, and wall art made from framed cut-outs.

    Following Apartment Therapy just may inspire you to be a bit more daring!

    7. The Cottage Journal (@thecottagejournal)

    If your home is suited for an old-fashioned, country style of design, The Cottage Journal likely has some ideas for you. This account focuses on cottage and single-home designs that combine rustic, woodsy cottage elements with modern design.

    Even if you're not living out in a cottage in the meadows, there's a lot to be gained from this style of design! Cottages often make good use of nature and natural accents inside and outside the home. If you want to spruce up any room with some greens or flowers, use The Cottage Journal as your inspiration. It showcases different ways of using plants as sitting accents, as well as wall decor and statement pieces.

    The Cottage Journal also has great inspiration for seasonal home decor. You can make your space continually seem fresh without completely revamping your design just by changing smaller accents throughout the year. Switching out decorative pillows and throws can make a bedroom or living room seem themed with little effort. Kitchens can be given seasonality by changing table centerpieces and dining sets. No matter what type of home you may have, consider some of The Cottage Journal’s decorating techniques to give new life to your rooms throughout the year.

    8. Klara (@kajastef)

    A popular new trend in design is to model after the Scandinavian interior. This approach tends to be extremely minimalist, with a few choice furnishing pieces and accents that create a relaxing atmosphere. This design makes it easy to re-style and add to rooms, as the simplicity of these pieces make them easy to mix and match. This design also creates a more relaxing atmosphere—perfect for a living room or bedroom in a smaller or cluttered home.

    The Scandinavian design is a lesson in accenting and lighting. Because furniture and color choices are simplified, you can get more creative in how you display and accent your rooms. Strategic use of natural lighting, wall-mounted fixtures, and candle accents give rooms a bit more personality.

    The using just a few colors and very modern, minimalist accents will serve to pull every room together. If you feel your home needs some harmony, give this account a look.

    9. Social Home Ideas (@socialhomeideas)

    For a creative twist on modern home design, check out Social Home Ideas. This account features a variety of different modern home ideas for all types of spaces and rooms.

    This account is unique in that it utilizes architecture as a way of thinking about design. The way you color, light, and furnish a room should do justice to the architectural plan. Space under the staircases, for example, can be used as workstations or for side tables. A plainer, attic-style room can benefit from suspended furniture that opens up the floor and makes the space appear larger.

    Colors often make as much difference as lighting in the feel of a room. This account showcases techniques for lighting all types of spaces. Many of the rooms done by Social Home Ideas incorporate as much natural lighting as possible by allowing the maximum available light to come into the space, and then utilize lighting fixtures to brighten up the shadowed areas. For example, in a darker, attic-like room with slanted walls and low ceilings, placing a string of lights along the wall will make the room appear longer and larger.

    If you want to work with especially dark colors, this account shows creative and effective ways of doing so by balancing out darks with whites. In an entryway that has one or more sources of natural light, one dark wall and darker furnishings and accents can be balanced against white walls. Or darker furnishing pieces can be used to balance out an otherwise open or colorless room that has good natural lighting.

    10. Home Adore (@homeadore)

    Home Adore will keep you daydreaming about your perfect home! It features modern designs and houses from all over the world. Even if the spaces featured do not look exactly like the room you plan on furnishing, they can provide great inspiration for the styles and designs you might want to try in your own home. Design can often be transcribed from one type of room or home to another, so don't let yourself be held back by the size or architecture of the rooms you see. It might even inspire you to find ways to experiment with what you have!

    Your decor is limited only to your imagination, and with these Instagram accounts for inspiration, the sky is the limit! Design can be as easy as changing a few colors and accents to see what you like, and then possibly re-doing an entire room or home. No matter what type of room or home you wish to furnish or redesign, we have a variety of pieces available in our collections. Try playing with a variety of accents or furnishings to bring new life to your space.

    Want more inspiration and ideas? Check out our blog for more home decor tips.


    About The Author 

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