A Room-by-Room Guide to Sprucing Up Your Family Home, According to Instagrammers

To save us all a few hours of online scroll shopping, we asked Shavonda Gardner and three other home experts for their current favorite picks.

Shavonda washing flowers at kitchen sink
Photo: Erin Kunkel

After more time in our houses than we ever imagined, most of us are ready for a change of scenery, or at least fresh paint and some fun throw pillows. We asked four design-expert moms who have perfected the art of the zhuzh to each tackle one room. Their small changes can make a real difference.

Shavonda Gardner portrait
Gary Ashley of Create and Gather

How to Get a Chic Kitchen

With Shavonda Gardner

Shavonda Gardner's blog, SG Style, celebrates small spaces that embrace bold elements and also champions Black and LGBTQ+ voices in the world of home design. Gardner's Sacramento, California, house, shared with her wife, Naomi, and their teens, Bryanna, 18, and Michael, 13, is full of color and pattern. Her approach to kitchen decorating is no different from the rest of her home: She knows that a little DIY-ing (get out that paintbrush), paired with a collection of well-loved, useful things, adds up to a room that feels good to be in.

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Sherwin-Williams Hunt Club

chic green kitchen with white backsplash
Erin Kunkel

“If you want instant personality, paint the cabinets, the walls, or the floors,” Gardner says. “Sherwin-Williams Hunt Club is a great deep green, like my cabinets.”

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Young House Love Metal Convertible Pendant

Young House Love Metal Convertible Pendant
Courtesy of Shades of Light

A cool fixture like this Young House Love Metal Convertible Pendant can single-handedly recharge the whole kitchen.

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Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Essential Oven

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Essential Oven
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Essential Oven looks just as handsome perched on your stovetop as on your dinner table.

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Benjara Brown and White Marble Top Metal Kitchen Island

Benjara Brown & White Marble Top Metal Kitchen Island
Courtesy of Home Depot

“I appreciate the extra storage underneath this Benjara Brown & White Marble Top Metal Kitchen Island.”

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Lecci Clay French Linen Kitchen Towel by Harmony

Lecci Clay French Linen Kitchen Towel by Harmony
Courtesy of I Dream of France

Bring on country vibes by way of Provence with the Lecci Clay French Linen Kitchen Towel by Harmony.

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Smeg 2-Slice Toaster

mint green Smeg 2-slice toaster
Courtesy of West Elm

This line of appliances comes in gorgeous pastels, such as a mint Smeg 2-slice toaster.

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Mosser Glass Cake Stand

Mosser Glass Cake Stand
Courtesy of One Kings Lane

Serve sweets on the Mosser Glass Cake Stand, or let it be countertop jewelry.

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Farmhouse Pottery Handmade Ceramic Vintage-Style Crocks

Farmhouse Pottery Handmade Ceramic Vintage-Style Crocks
Courtesy of Food52

Corral kitchen tools in Farmhouse Pottery Handmade Ceramic Vintage-Style Crocks.

erin wheeler sunny circle studio portrait
Courtesy of Erin Wheeler

How to Get a Happy Kids Room

With Erin Wheeler

The name of Erin Wheeler's blog captures her decorating style: Sunny Circle Studio is all about cheerful décor. A former graphic designer, Wheeler has carved out a niche designing Pinterest-worthy rooms that stand up to her family's active life in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, David, and their children, Wyatt, 9, and Zora, 6. Her kids' bedrooms, in particular, are a lesson in how to dress up a space that children inhabit. Wheeler's secret is mixing sophisticated furniture with quirky, artful accents.

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Nuage Mural

feminine kids bedroom with cloud mural
Courtesy of Erin Wheeler

“This sky scene Nuage Mural is my favorite thing in my daughter’s room,” Wheeler says. There’s a peel-andstick version too!

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Rivet Dome-Shaped Table Lamp

Rivet Dome-Shaped Table Lamp
Courtesy of Amazon

Two bulbs help you control brightness in the Rivet Dome-Shaped Table Lamp.

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Curious Animal Head Wall Decor

Curious Animal Head Wall Decor
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Each Curious Animal Head Wall Decor hangs by a simple loop you can hook onto a nail.

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Motherly Timeless 6-Drawer Dresser With Changer Topper

Motherly Timeless 6-Drawer Dresser With Changer
Courtesy of Motherly

Furniture like this Motherly Timeless 6-Drawer Dresser With Changer Topper (holds a changing pad) grows with your child.

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Pear printable poster

Pear printable poster
Courtesy of The Loup Lab

“Find amazing art on Etsy, like this Pear printable poster. Download, print, and frame.”

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Diamond Aztec Tufted Flat Weave Area Rug by Drew Barrymore Flower Home

Diamond Aztec Tufted Flat Weave Area Rug by Drew Barrymore Flower Home
Courtesy of Walmart

The Diamond Aztec Tufted Flat Weave Area Rug by Drew Barrymore Flower Home is gender-neutral.

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Minnen Bed Frame

Minnen white bed frame
Courtesy of IKEA

Kids move so fast from a crib to a toddler bed to a single. Go economical with a charming Minnen frame.

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Rainbow Nesting Arches

Rainbow Nesting Arches
Courtesy of Bitte

Wooden toys like this set of Rainbow Nesting Arches double as sculpture.

emily henderson portrait in blue top
Sara Ligorria-Tramp

How to Get a Minimalist Living Room

With Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson got her start styling homes for magazines, but it was HGTV's Design Star that made the West Coast stylist a household name. Her blog, Style by Emily Henderson, is beloved for her fun voice and her look that's aspirational yet achievable for folks with young kids— she and her husband, Brian, have Charlie, 7, and Elliot (called Birdie), 5. Her design signature is clean and cool with touches of vintage charm to keep things fresh. It's just what we crave in rooms that double as kid zones and spots for grown-ups to chill.

minimalist living room with high ceilings
Sara Ligorria-Tramp
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Visby Teal Textured Round Pouf

Visby Teal Textured Round Pouf
Courtesy of Burke Decor

Move the Visby Teal Textured Round Pouf around to be a cheery footstool or a spare seat.

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Burrard Sofa

stone gray Burrard Sofa
Courtesy of Article

“The Burrard Sofa is very comfortable, the proportions are great, and the fabric is forgiving. Plus, it comes in a sectional option, which is my personal favorite.”

“When choosing upholstery fabric, go for a medium-dark tone: not light, not dark,” Henderson says. “You’d be shocked by how much pet hair and milk a dark sofa can show!”

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Pillowfort Modern Ball Table Lamp

Pillowfort Modern Ball Table Lamp
Courtesy of Target

“A curvy ceramic light, like the Pillowfort Modern Ball Table Lamp, adds warmth, but in a really simple way.”

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Garren Pillow

plaid Garren Pillow
Courtesy of Effortless Composition

Add in some color with this Garren Pillow, which can veer modern or rustic.

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BEHR Eon N370-2

BEHR Eon N370-2 paint swatch
Courtesy of Behr

Walls radiate calm with a soft neutral gray such as BEHR Eon N370-2.

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Pillowfort Water Hyacinth and Coiled Rope Storage Bin

Pillowfort Water Hyacinth and Coiled Rope Storage Bin
Courtesy of Target

Stash your random clutter inside the Pillowfort Water Hyacinth and Coiled Rope Storage Bin.

How to Get an Eclectic Bedroom

With Justina Blakeney

Rare is the designer who launches a trend that's maximalist in every way yet catches on with the masses. When Justina Blakeney christened her colorful Los Angeles bungalow (and her blog) The Jungalow, popularity followed. Her Jungalow brand embraces a vibrant bohemian look teeming with greenery. While she and her husband, Jason, are proud parents of Ida, 8, Blakeney also calls herself a plant mom. Her latest book, Jungalow: Decorate Wild, is out April 6 and includes ideas like these for giving a grown-up bedroom laid-back glamour.

jungalow moody blue boho bedroom
Courtesy of Jungalow

"Throw out preconceived notions and channel colors that make you feel the way you want to in your bedroom—sleepy! Sexy! Relaxed! Use paint, wallpaper, and textiles to bring your space to life," Blakeney says.

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Jamila Santa Fe Rug by Justina Blakeney X Loloi

Jamila Santa Fe Rug by Justina Blakeney X Loloi
Courtesy of Jungalow

“I use my own Jamila Santa Fe Rug by Justina Blakeney X Loloi in our bedroom. It’s so soft underfoot, and the colors are very soothing.”

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Roma Cubby Wall Shelf

Roma Cubby Wall Shelf
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

“When space is limited, I’m a fan of hanging storage, like this Roma Cubby Wall Shelf.”

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Snake Plant and Grant Planter

Snake Plant and Grant Planter
Courtesy of The Sill

New to plant parenthood? Try a splashy dracaena or this sculptural Snake Plant and Grant Planter.

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Pei’s Sunrise Throw

colorful Pei’s Sunrise Throw
Courtesy of Suchiras

Layer your bed with a vibrant kantha made of hand-stitched saris. Pei’s Sunrise Throw is one of a kind, but there are similar gems on the website.

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Potter’s Clay Lime Wash

Potter’s Clay Lime Wash paint swatch
Courtesy of Portola Paints and Glazes

Potter’s Clay Lime Wash dries with a nice color variation

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Round Cane Accent Table

Round Cane Accent Table
Courtesy of Touch of Class

This Round Cane Accent Table has a removable tray top and big island style.

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Casaluna 100% Washed Linen Solid Sheet Set

Casaluna 100% Washed Linen Solid Sheet Set
Courtesy of Target

“I sleep on the Casaluna 100% Washed Linen Solid Sheet Set. It keeps me from feeling too hot at night.”

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's May 2021 issue as "New Look, Same Home." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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