Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Style On a Shoestring

In 2002 after weeks of juggling contractors, drawing up kitchen plans, and choosing everything from wall colors to window treatments; Tracy Lynn's house finally turned into a home. On time and within budget. The home became a testament to her ability to design, coordinate, and complete a remodel from the ground up. Since then, Style On a Shoestring has grown to include five designers, each bringing their own special ideas and experience to the company. Tracy keeps her company philosophy of a hands-on approach by overseeing and signing off on all design projects.

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  • We asked the designer of this crisp and cool coastal living room to reveal how it all came together. Lucky for us Tracy Lynn, the owner and principal designer at Style On a Shoestring in San Diego, Calif., didn't stop there. Read along as she shares her top designer tips for decorating any room and for creating this beautiful oceanside retreat.


    1. What were you trying to accomplish with this design? What was the inspiration?


    An elegant but still welcoming living room. The client's home is on the ocean and they wanted a coastal feel that would bring the outside in.

    2. How did you choose the color palette?

    Navy and white is such a fresh and crisp way to accent the ocean without the typical lighter blue feel that's normally associated with a coastal look.


  • 3. What element did you start with?


    The existing linen sofa that the client already had.

    4. What is your favorite part of the room?


    The black chairs with the toile pattern on the seats (left).

    5. What is your favorite designer trick?


    Throw pillows on a sofa or chair to give drama or a new look to a room easily and affordably!


    6. Finish the sentence: Every room needs _________.


    Every room needs items that you personally love!

  • 7. What element in the room do you typically start with? Does it always vary or is it always the same?


    It varies. For example, if a client has a favorite piece of art that we need to incorporate that would be a starting point. If they already have existing furniture that determines a style, that could be a starting point, too.
  • 8. What are your tips for someone decorating on a budget?


    Look online for ideas and styles that you like. Then search for comparable looks at better price points. Go to places like etsy.com or craigslist.com to find used pieces that can be painted or refurbished. Do simple things that can easily change a look, such as new throw pillows or a new rug, to introduce new color scheme throughout the house.

    9. What should you splurge on?


    Things that might make a true impact in the room, like adding window treatments or a special piece of furniture that will shine in the room.

    10. What should you save on?


    Things that don't really make a huge impact, such as a side table that can hardly be seen.

    See more of Style On a Shoestring's designs in our Inspiration Gallery.

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