1. Color schemes. "Teal and green are two of my favorite colors," she says. "I really like things that have an earthy feel." Try to pick two or three accent colors that suit you, and find interesting and harmonious ways to incorporate them together--they'll instantly add character and a particular feel to any living space!
2. Prints. Vanessa's desk top is a quirky smattering of different patterns and prints, from royal arabesque engraving to paisley wrapping paper. Patterns can go a long way to convey a certain vibe, whether it be ornate, vintage, or just plain funky.
3. Statement pieces. "That's a bonsai tree!" she said excitedly, when I pointed at the miniature, olive-green tree sitting at the center of her mantle. "Except I think it might be dying because I'm not sure how to water it." The tree was a happy little thing; at the base of its trunk, an old man sat fishing at an imaginary pond. Placed next to the pastel, linear prints and solid-colored books, my eye was instantly drawn to its complex, organic shape and intricate details. "It goes with my turtle, too," she said, and pointed at an artfully sculpted stone turtle sitting on a stack of books. These statement pieces added a personal touch to the more simple and purely decorative parts; and they lent a quiet grace to the overall setting.
(As a side note -- did you know Vanessa modeled the new Harvard racerback tank for us on the website?)