How to Make Your Home Look Like a Boutique

By Cristina Cleveland

Duffy Stone is the interior designer behind so many of Austin’s most coveted boutiques, it’s no surprise the question she gets the most is “how do I make my home look like this?” If you’ve ever stepped foot in Olive, Esby or Dylan Wylde then you probably thought the same thing. When designing commercial spaces the look is set by the branding of the store or restaurant, so if you want to get that edited boutique look at home the first thing you have to do is figure out your own brand. But don’t stress over it, Duffy feels it’s important to relax and have fun with the process, “it’s a very fortunate thing to get to decorate your place and have the money to do that. It should be enjoyable and relaxing for you, finding a candle has never stressed anybody out!”

Here are Duffy’s tips for how to give your home that boutique feel, and have fun while doing it!

Color – Commercial spaces usually start with their brand color, but for homes I like to ask people to think about what your color is as a person. Who are you, and what color represents that, it’s fun to think about, and it’s a good place to start. A lot of people are scared of painting their walls so a big piece of art is a really good alternative and something you’re not as tied to. You can make your own artwork by painting a piece of plywood a solid color and cutting it into a shape. Paint shapes or primary colors to get an abstract look across that’s interesting and sculptural.

Lighting – Flattering lighting is really important to make you feel pretty and clean. Sconces are fun and easy because you can always get something that plugs in so you you don’t need to bring in an electrician. People always think of floor lamps or table lamps, but adding a sconce next to your floor length mirror can really give it a fitting room vibe and some glow when you’re getting ready.

Upholstery – In commercial design, it’s really useful to be able to change out little things throughout the seasons to match fall or spring trends. With your own arsenal of upholstery, you recreate this look in your home too. Have a seamstress help you whip up a slip cover for your couch or new pillows for your bed. I like unique piping and shapes that can easily go from your couch to the floor when entertaining. These alternatives aren’t super expensive so you can rotate them out depending on your mood and the weather.

Scent – I always associate places with a smell. If you think about it, a lot of stores and hotels have a very distinct smell – By George, Anthropologie, Olive – it’s part of the shopping experience and once you start noticing them, you’ll find that it matches their brand too. To get that same experience at home you can find a scent, whether it’s incense or a candle, that’s very particular to you and your feelings. It’s something that people can associate with you. A few of my favorite candle lines are Boy Smells, Lola James Harper, and Cire Trudon.

Outdoors – I always like bringing the outdoors in and the obvious way is with plants, but I like to take it in even further with sounds by using waterfall features. They create a spa-like feeling in a house and you don’t always have to have music playing. I think it’s something a lot of people don’t think about and it has a big impact on your emotions in the space.

Inspiration photo of Olive taken by Julie Holder, designed by Duffy Stone | STUDIO. Abstract painting by Fong Min Liao, lamp Est, candle Boy Smells, pillows Duffy Stone, sconce cb2, blue rug Aelfie, pouf Horne, water fountain Tania Julian Ceramics