Ooh friends, today is going to be such a fun day! We are stepping inside the gorgeous home of Katelyn Herlein, blogger behind Katalina Girl, E-commerce Editor of Meredith Corporation, and about a dozen other amazing side hustles that I won’t spoil for you now.
You are going to fall in love with her sunny space, her adorable pups, and her philosophy on decorating is something we can totally get behind. Scroll down and discover your new favorite home inspo – yep, it’s that good!
Full name: Katelyn Herlein (Soon to be Katelyn Cheek in 4 weeks to the day)
Location: Des Moines, IA
E-Commerce Editor for Meredith Corporation (Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Parents.com, MyWedding.com, Recipe.com)
Founder/Owner of Katalina Girl
Director of Sponsorship for Go Blog Social
Home Designer for Oakstone Homes
Describe your interior style and who influenced it.
My interior style is inspired from growing up living in the country or on a lake my entire life. We were always running and playing in and out of the house and that’s still how my fiancé and I are. We need a house that’s livable, not one that’s filled with expensive items that if they get dirty or ruined it’s the end of the world. I love a space that you feel comfortable in with cozy textures and soft, feel-good colors. I wanted my house to feel like a home but a stylish home—with the fixtures and finishes I was given. My ideal décor style is a farmhouse or something French country. I just designed this modern farmhouse kitchen for one of our clients and I think it speaks to a lot of my true interior style. I love whites and grays. I truly believe people live longer and are happier in brighter spaces.
How were you able to arrive at such a cohesive style and presence?
I’ve always been a girl that admires a lot of different styles but when it comes to my own home, I know exactly what I want. I crave a cozy, livable home with neutral colors and rustic elements. I love the farmhouse style with modern bohemian touches—that’s where the small pops of color comes in. Plus I believe that by keeping your house neutral, it’s easier to decorate for holidays and other occasions without spending a fortune.
What is your favorite part of your space?
My living room! It’s where my fiancé and our pups spend most of our time. I love my cream-colored couch, Safavieh rug, wood + gold metal coffee table—it was a Home Goods find. I also love my hanging plant with macramé holder. You can never have enough plants.
What has been the biggest challenge?
It’s a really small space. The back-story…My fiancé—Brandon—and his dad own a home building business called Oakstone Homes. Brandon and I had been trying to sell our house and it had been on the market for almost 6 months. (Brandon is also a realtor.) We went to Hawaii in late February, early March and got engaged. When we returned from our trip we had an offer on the house. Great new, right? The buyer wanted to move in within 10 days. We weren’t going to let this seller pass us by after 6 months of sitting on the market. We agreed to sell and have a 10-day closing. Our plan when we initially put our house on the market was to one, either have a longer closing or two, rent a place until we could build another home. As homebuilders we’ve never lived in a house that we haven’t built. Financially it’s silly.
Obviously we weren’t going to be able to build a house in 10 days and finding somewhere to rent for 6 months with a 200lb Great Dane was impossible. We ended up buying a twinhome, which was really our ONLY choice. And if you didn’t know, most houses take a minimum of two weeks to one month to close on. Luckily we knew the builder and we were able to move into the house before closing. It was a wee bit of a nightmare. All-in-all it had standard fixtures and standard finishes. Not my dream home by any means at a mere 1,300 square feet. We had only planned on being there for 6 months while we built our new house but wanted to keep the twinhome to rent out as extra income.
With planning and paying for a wedding, I didn’t think I could take on the extra stress of building a new home right away. We’ve now been in our home for about 9 months and I’ve been able to make it ours with a few fixture upgraded and the right décor. It’s been a process. I hope to build our new home in 2016 or even 2017. I’m really in no rush now. Now that I do all of the design work for Oakstone Homes it keeps my love of home design fulfilled so I can put my home off for awhile. I’m currently designing a modern lodge home on a wooded lot. It’s going to be amazing—think timber beamed ceilings.
You always seem like such an amazing hostess. What’s your secret for great hospitality?
Being prepared. I’m always over prepared for everything. I know I hate going somewhere that doesn’t have a drink or food I like so I like to be really accommodating for my guests. It keeps them coming back. It also helps having a wedding registry to get all of the home and kitchen items I’ve had on my wishlist for a while.
We love a good entertaining tip, do you have any you swear by?
Fresh flowers make all the difference. 100% whenever someone comes over, I always make sure I have fresh flowers. It’s an instant room-pick-me-up without trying too hard. A tip for buy fresh flowers…Whenever I go to grab flowers at the grocery store or market, I grab the ones that have started to bloom and then ask for half price. It’s silly to pay full price for flowers that won’t last as long as the ones that still a bud and 9 out of 10 times, they give me half price. I usually walk out with bouquets for under $5 or $10.
Photography by Lauren Konrad Photography