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Tips For Styling Your Home: Q&A With Burlap & Crystal

burlap and crystal interior designs san diego by tsc Hey guys. I hope everyone is having relaxing weekend- maybe even one with a social media break?

Anyways, we’re here today because I want to talk about one of my favorite things: interior design. I remember when I lived by myself, very fondly I might add, ( sorry Michael! ) and creating my own space was the best thing ever. Designing my home the exact way I wanted was SO FUN. I loved every second of it.

Fast forward to Michael & I moving in together and…. eer…. there were some challenges to say the least. Obviously I called my stepmom, Julie, right away. It was clear we needed some help ( & a mediator – HA ).

Julie, is amazing with interiors and décor. She just gets it. You know this if you’ve been reading the blog for a while. I interviewed her here.

Recently she’s teamed up with my brother, Myles Mckeown, and they’ve totally revamped Burlap and Crystal. They are both extremely talented & have an incredible eye for design.

You guys have to go check out the site. Blog-doo designed it and it looks fucking amazing. There’s a direct link to the Burlap and Crystal blog where Myles & Julie share home and style tips, and even recipes. You Know I love value and Burlap and Crystal has it.

I also need to talk about how proud I am of Myles. He’s been hustling his ass off since he was 13, working at a restaurant, and is now working his dream job with his mom, Julie.

It really is the perfect fit because Myles is the Burlap ( a bit more raw & industrial ) and Julie is the Crystal ( polished & neat ). Their passions & styles totally align in this perfect way that you just have to see. I can’t think of a better duo when it comes to interior design.

They know how to perfectly capture their clients’ style and make each space unique to the owner. I know this because they’ve done both my houses & some TSC readers’ homes.

They have teamed up before to help Michael & I design our San Diego and LA home, but now it’s official and I couldn’t be happier for them. If you missed my home tours on the blog you have to scope them out: San Diego part 1 & 2.

Currently, they’re working on Alce 101 which is opening in Solana Beach in 2019.

I’m so happy to have them on the blog to answer questions about home styling your home & decorating on a budget. With that here’s Julie to kick us off:

Hi Skinnies, I’m Julie, Founder of the design firm Burlap and Crystal Interiors. I’ve been here with you lovelies before and feel like I know many of you just from reading the secret TSC facebook and comments on TSC blog. I’m thrilled to be back and really hope we give you some inspiration to capture your unique style with some of our affordable suggestions.

Designing on a budget for me is in some ways more fun and challenging than having an unlimited budget.  It forces you to think out of the box and come up with affordable solutions to accomplish a space with style.

Let’s talk starting points. Here are some of our budget shortcuts with big impact:

Tips For Styling Your Home


Take the time to define your style.  Use resources like Pinterest, Instagram and magazines.  Clip, copy and Pin away the images that speak to you. In each picture determine exactly what it is you love.  Don’t be afraid to like things that seem out of reach or budget. Once you feel like you have a direction and a style defined, it’s time to put yourself into action.


Less is best. Avoid having too many little things. Bigger art, bigger coffee table, bigger accessories.  As long as you keep the look/space uncluttered and bigger items in the rooms, the more space it looks like you have.


Some items need to be considered investment purchases, such as a sofa, good bedding, art or something you fall in love with.  There is no guilt in surrounding yourself with things you love and a few investment purchases should be intended to get you through to your next chapter.


Windows shouldn’t be ignored and can make a space look undressed or unfinished.  If you have a sliding door, buy inexpensive draperies and rods ( Ikea/Homegoods ) and hang them above the windows or even up to the ceiling.  This makes the room look bigger and grander. Be sure to measure the height ceiling to floor so you buy drapes long enough to reach the floor.  For smaller windows you can find nice roman shades that can be hung above the window with sheers on a rood for the sides. It’s a soft look, but finishes the window.


Paint can do wonders, but some apartments or leases may object. Find out if you can paint a few walls.  Painting is easy, forgivable and can add that pop that you crave. I love a dark wall. It’s a big misconception that it shrinks a room. It adds depth and a really cool vibe to a space. Think navy, black, charcoal, if you’re feeling really adventurous you could throw anything from the color spectrum on there. As long as it’s YOU! And you love it!


Consignment stores are a treasure hunt for undiscovered possibilities.  If you’re looking for a glass top gold coffee table, look at all the glass top tables and know that you can spray paint it gold to get your look.  If you’re looking for something dramatic, keep in mind you can paint anything and transform it. You can find amazing mirrors at consignment stores, all with a potential to be painted.

For extra seating you can often find two chairs alike with a good shape to them. Reupholstering can completely transform an ugly duckling to a swan. There is no limit to what you can find, just use your imagination.


Lighting can be a forgotten addition while designing your space. If you’re in a lease, you won’t likely be pulling wire for new fixtures. However, you can consider replacing a standard existing fixture with something more to your liking for the time you are there.  Another option is finding hanging fixtures you love. You can have them converted to a plug in fixture and install them with hanging hooks. Adding custom lighting has big impact.


Coffee table books are a must with any coffee table. Pick one or two books that reflect something you love.  Maybe it’s a place to travel, or a music icon inspiration. Just make sure they are your passion and tell a story about things that you love.


Lastly, to pull everything together create a triangle effect. For example if you’re bringing in a small pop of color, place that color in three spots throughout the space so it makes your eyes travel through the space connecting the triangle.  The same effect can be created with earthy elements.

Now let’s hear from Myles and his advice.

Hello, TSC readers! I’m Myles, Co-Owner and Designer of Burlap & Crystal Interiors. A little bit about me before we get going. When my mom asked me to co-own Burlap and Crystal with her I jumped at the opportunity. Design has always been a passion of mine and to finally turn that into a career path was something I couldn’t pass up!

My personal style leans a little bit towards the rougher, darker side of design. Choosing to blend both of our styles has really opened us both up to a whole new world of possibilities and has allowed us to create some truly exceptional spaces!

Long story short, I fucking love what I do and intend to do it until I can no longer get around on my own.

On to why you’re really here though! Designing on a limited budget is dependent on a few things; size, price points, and personal style. More often than not designing on a budget is usually in a smaller space and you’re limited to what you can do. My go-to’s for making a small space feel bigger and at home are almost always a select few pieces.



A MUST for me is a half decent couch. Obviously not some super extra 5 figure couch, but something deep, clean, and comfortable.  Paired with accent throw pillows.  Ikea has surprised me time and time again with the overall quality. Some of their stuff is absolute shit ( sorry Ikea ) but some of their seating is on point! Take a little time to check the site and see if there’s something that flows with YOUR style and that you can picture yourself sitting in and passing out on for some time to come.


We all have our spot on the couch where we like to curl up with our dog (or cat, lizard, hamster, book, whatever you cuddle on the couch is none of my business.) and watch our shows, but for when we have friends over for drinks or family over, additional seating is fairly important. I’d throw maybe 2 comfy chairs in there as well, if your space allows it. I’ve somehow managed to cram 2 chairs and a couch and a full sized bar into my 900 sq ft apartment and it’s still not too cramped in here.


There are SO many options in the couple hundred dollar range just about anywhere you look. I’ve always dug a little bit of an industrial feel to coffee tables, but that’s not for everyone. I like blending warm and cold elements together. I think it gives a space some depth and makes it a little more interesting.


This is a big part of where mixing warm and cold elements comes together so nicely. As designers we have great options for purchasing. However, I’m always into checking out your local consignment store for big, cool and beautiful items.


Something to put whatever it is that you use to entertain in your living room. I personally usually hang the TV and try my best to tuck the wires so they’re nice and hidden. The console allows a practical place for storage and it gives you more space for some accessories that make your space more you!


You can go minimalistic if you want to but you need a little bit here and there to tie everything together! One of our best friends for any install is Homegoods. They may honestly know us by name there now. This is another spot that can be hit or miss though. If you’ve got some time to dig around a little and search, it can be a fucking gold mine. We buy anything we see with value at Homegoods and throw it into storage for future use. Target is a really solid spot to look too, some of it is cheesy af but some of it is really good quality and really good looking. Again it really comes down to what you like personally.

Most important of all in any sort of design, is reflecting your personal self – to make sure that it feels like you. You want to walk in and feel the stress from your day melt away into your comfortable space! I think that just about covers my go-tos for a living room.

For other areas of your home, like the bedroom – bedside tables with matching table lamps are a must-have.  Make your bedroom super simple since this is the room where you relax.

In your Kitchen, kitchen cabinets are a must-have to store your spices, pantry supplies, etc.  You can have your piece of furniture custom-made or store-bought just as long as you follow your color pattern and room feel.tyy

If you want to have an in-depth room to room design guide, feel free to contact us.

We are more than happy to help anyone, anywhere, any time. We understand it’s easy to get stuck when creating a space of your own and have done more than a few budget projects to be able to guide the process and take on some of the busy work.

Be courageous, be you, take your time and love the rewards of a space that reflects you and makes you feel at home.Thanks for reading! Myles and Julie, Burlap & Crystal Interiors.

I just love their vibe.

See you tomorrow,

x, lauryn

+ follow Myles on Instagram.

+ follow Julie and Burlap and Crystal on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest.

+ more fun posts for your home.


  1. Ooooh, have missed Julie on the blog – so glad to have Myles as well! Great tips and could not be more timely. Thanks, all! <3

  2. These are great tips thanks for the ideas, My husband and I are currently looking for tips and hacks to style our new home, I like the fact that you mentioned the importance of fewer things because it can make the environment cleaner but yet still elegant. thanks

  3. Thanks for the tips, my wife always enjoy styling our home. I really love these ideas and will definitely try a few. Thanks!

  4. First of all, I would like to thank you for this idiosyncratic superlative post. Secondly, I and my husband are looking for exactly the thing that is mentioned in this post. Thanks a ton:)

  5. Hello Lauryn these are such wonderful tips, so my girlfriend and I are currently looking for tips and hacks to style a house we bought during the summer, I like the fact that you mentioned the importance of fewer things because it can make the environment cleaner but yet still elegant. Thank you for this article, now I’m well informed.

  6. Hello Lauryn, these are such wonderful tips. My girlfriend and I just bought a house during the summers and was looking for tips to help us style it this year. I’m glad your article really helped and we are going to implement everything you recommended. Thank you.

  7. It is really a decent and supportive bit of data. I am happy that you essentially imparted this accommodating information to us. If you don’t mind stay up with the latest like this. Much obliged to you for sharing.

  8. Hi,
    Lovely post! I would like to share this because its very helpful for me keep it up! please don’t stop posting,
    Thanks for sharing nice ideas with us.
    Thank You!

  9. Love your blog and the way of presentation. Your tips are both practical and cost effective and will come really handy when I will redesign my home space. Keep inspiring!

  10. When you made your house by your style you love to live in that place with peace. By giving the wonderful tips you helped people like me who always get confused about style their home. Thanks for giving such useful links to the decore products as well as!

  11. For me, home accessories are like ‘home jewellery’. I often approach home accessories similar to how I would personal accessories. I build on my set of staple pieces, and I can change them with the seasons and switch things up as needed.

  12. Hello Lauryn, these are such wonderful tips. I’m are currently looking for tips and hacks to style our new home, I like the fact that you mentioned the importance of fewer things because it can make the environment cleaner but yet still elegant. thanks

  13. The easiest way to create a designer look is to add personality using home accessories, or, as I like to call them, ‘home jewellery’. Build a collection of staple pieces, such as standout trinkets and vases.

  14. Wow! I would love to do this in my house having this kind of style will make you feel a good atmosphere. I love the idea of defining your style because of this you will not regret the style you have chosen ’cause you love it. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas!

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