Decorate Like A Design Boss with Kimberly Grigg | 10 Things All Stylish People Have in Their Homes

One of my all-time favorite design bloggers is House of Valentina, and she recently uploaded a video that has sparked some controversy for me. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a huge Valentina fan and would love to have her on the podcast. But her video, “10 Things All Stylish People Have in Their Homes” got me thinking.

Can you really create a category for what’s stylish? Personally, I find it hard to believe you can pinpoint this luxury market and shove it all into one category. Especially with the range of decor DNAs I’ve seen across my friends and clients!

In this juicy episode, I’m breaking down Valentina’s list to see if you really can create a more stylish home by following her list. I also share why I think it’s more worthwhile to create a list of things you can do in your home to create your own signature style. I believe anyone can make style their superpower, and if you want to find out how, buckle up for this episode!

To celebrate the launch of this show, I will be giving away 3 of my adorable monkey bowls. This cool accessory ends up in almost all my designs, from cottage to edgy. It seems to fit every personality type and promises to make you smile. All you have to do to is subscribe, rate, and review the show in Apple Podcasts and I’ll be picking the winners in an upcoming episode.

 Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I don’t totally agree with the premise of Valentina’s video.
  • How to make handwashing stylish.
  • Why I recommend avoiding “cute” doormats.
  • How to pick scents for your home that don’t clash or annoy guests.
  • Why I always take down my clients’ wreaths.
  • Why investing in good towels is a must.


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Full Episode Transcript:

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You are listening to episode nine of the Decorate Like a Design Boss podcast. And today we’re talking about style. Oh yeah, baby, this one is juicy. I am debating the 10 things that all stylish people have in their homes. And I have to say I disagree with the recent onslaught of attention given to this subject. Follow along and learn what I think is a better list of things you can do in your home to create your own signature style and well, also to make style your own superpower. Buckle up baby, this one is a Mr. Toad’s wild ride.

Welcome to Decorate Like a Design Boss, a podcast for design lovers who want to create beautiful spaces in their very own homes. My name is Kimberly Grigg and I’m a professional interior designer who teaches design lovers like yourselves how to decorate. And when I say decorate I mean decorate like a design boss. If you’re ready to create a space that your family loves and your neighbors can’t stop raving about well, buckle up honey because it’s time to design.

Hello there, my design lovers, and friends. I hope you are living a beautiful and stylish life. But just in case you have room in there for a wee bit more style, I have a perfect episode just for you. So recently I heard about this YouTube video that has gone viral a bit, and it’s from the blogger House of Valentina. And it’s about the top 10 things that she thinks every stylish homeowner has in their homes. Well, and herein lies a wee bit of controversy about this subject from me.

First of all, let me say I’ll be reaching out to Valentina and hoping to have her on my show. So go ahead and cross your fingers and well, your toes too. I like this gal and I love her YouTube channel. She’s got it going on but she also provokes a bit of controversy and discussion in my stylish heart of hearts. So, while I get up the nerve to ask her to appear and wait for her yes, I am ready to just dive in about this subject because I have lots to say about her version of the top 10 things all stylish people have in their homes.

So, let’s get started as I am chomping at the bit. Okay, well first of all I deal every day with a luxury clientele. And I am here to tell you there is absolutely no way to pinpoint this luxury market and shove it all into a category that can begin to be defined with a list of what 10 things they all have and do to exude style in their homes.

Just saying this idea is an opinion, but a really fun one. Instead, no slam, Valentina, it’s good to stereotype when trying to make a point. I do it all the time. But we are talking about an eccentric group of people who can buy and obtain anything they want. So why is this important you might ask? For the same reason Valentina thought it was important to make a list of the top 10 things she thought was important to this group.

And as much as I hate to put this group or any group into a category, especially a group called, well, influencers. There is no denying that this is exactly what we’re talking about and what we’re dealing with. And you know what? Well, this is okay. The luxury marketplace is a group of very influential people because we all want, well, to just be like them. Yes, we do, we want what they have to a certain extent. Some crave and enjoy this more than others and some people don’t care at all about this, and I for one get it.

I could actually care less what the Kardashians are doing. But I do like to know what I consider an A list is up to in terms of style. Because I want to glean what it is they are doing and learn how my clients and I can benefit from what they know and what they have. And frankly, what is of interest to this group for the moment? Does this mean that this is pretentious? Absolutely not, because I don’t look at it from a position of what you have defines you, but from a position of what do you know that will help me live a more luxurious life that fits my budget, well, and my lifestyle?

Now, don’t underestimate this statement. The important thing here is to first define you, the lifestyle that you love and want to have for yourself, and most importantly, define a lifestyle that functions for you in your own décor. In no way am I suggesting that if you have grand means, that it’s a put down and that you can become stereotyped into some kind of A list category. But rather all I ask is that you embrace your very own best life and lifestyle and embed that seamlessly into how you live.

And if you are the luxury type, well then I say, thanks for letting us take a peek into your stylish world and learn how to put some of that style into our own homes. Some of you might be glazing over at this point and wondering where the heck I am going with this. So let me tidy it up for you.

The first thing I say is embrace who you are and own it. Rich, poor, nationality, socioeconomics, none of it matters really, just ow it, live it and celebrate it.

Number two, it seems that the upper socioeconomic group tends to have an influence on the general population. The question becomes, can we learn from this group? And if so, what do we glean? In this episode, I am specifically talking about style. What style elements can we take and how can we incorporate them into our own décor?

Now that we have established this, let’s go back to Valentina’s list. So, I became a wee bit excited when I learned about this video and I am not saying it doesn’t have merit. But it’s my job to decipher the information and either embrace it or find a way to make it my own. I chose the latter.

I realized I’m kind of on shaky ground here if I have any hope of inviting Valentina on this show and have her accept.  But I’ve got to be true to my own style and I’ve got to weigh in on what I consider to be great style and what I consider to be in you my design lovers and decorating ninjas best interest. So let me break it down one by one.

So, the first on her list was, drumroll please: All stylish people have soap pumps. Now, let me just tell you, this video of hers has been downloaded a lot of record breaking numbers. And maybe she’ll be happy that I’m actually plugging it, in fact. But really, a soap pump is your number one? I was shocked, and a little underwhelmed, frankly.

So, my response to this is, well, okay yes, you should have a stylish way to wash your hands, for sure. I myself think that a beautiful soap dish, perhaps it’s an antique butter pat dish or some kind of dish from an artisan and I even have that in my own powder room. Actually, I found this adorable little ceramic porcupine dish and added little square lavender soaps into that. So that prompted me to come up with cool dishes and cool soap pumps for special soaps, including goats milk soap. I use this technique throughout all five of my bathrooms.

I think the point here is thinking of clever, beautiful ways to actually get the function of washing your hands done in a stylish manner. I do dare Valentina, get the attention to detail and while I do feel like it’s important to wash your hands in a stylish way. I prefer to think outside the box just a bit. What do you, my dear design lovers and enthusiasts think about this?

So next on the list, she says all stylish people have baskets. I was baffled. Really? I own two baskets and I do consider myself stylish. Mine are actually used for bread. I do think however, that her point is that baskets eliminate clutter and it’s a bit of a clever way to store things like toys, etc. I say stretch a little and consider other stylish storage options. For example, I have a bazillion art supplies. I am pretty sure that when I go to sleep at night they multiply like rabbits and when I go to bed and wake up there’s a whole new bevvy or art supplies.

And you know what? I am on an endless mission to find just the right storage options for those supplies. So, I chose beautiful blue and white porcelain jar containers and boxes that are pretty and are useful. They all look great in my home. And they serve other purposes should I choose for them to, and to me they are beautiful. So, for me this is a definite step up from baskets. So, I will leave it at I think what she’s trying to say is stylish people have stylish ways to store their things.

Alright, so now we’re at number three. And Valentina’s number three is blankets. Okay, I sort of agree with this. I don’t call them blankets. I call them throws. And I love having beautiful throws for just covering up when you’re cold. But I also feel like a throw is a perfect decorative element and adds a little color and spice to your spaces. It’s just like a pillow. I tend to use blankets or throws in a decorative manner to throw in a little color and definition.

So, Valentina, we are definitely warming up to one another. And we’re definitely getting on first base now. I hope you’re forgiving me already because I do agree with you on this idea for sure. If you toss in an Hermès blanket, winner, winner chicken dinner. For those of you who don’t have the budget for this, I get it. I was 60 before I actually invested in one. And I absolutely love and adore it. I have built entire rooms around this type of blanket and it is a luxury that if you can possibly swing it, well, it is worth it.

Now onto number four. Number four on Valentina’s list is a doormat. Alright Valentina, I agree with this, but I don’t agree with it as she terms a cute doormat. Stylish people rarely do cute. But a stylish doormat is a must. Thick and luxurious is a win, score. Make sure your doormat is lush, but side note, not really cute. There is of course an exception for having a cute doormat and that is if you’re creating a rental place like an Airbnb or a vacation getaway. Well, then this type of thing might be an in vogue thing to do.

Number five, candles. Okay V, we’ve got another agree. Scents appeal to one of the five senses and can be very effective in evoking a sense of style. She talks about in her video whether or not you should have a different scent for each room or should you have a signature scent? In my experience with the luxury stylish market, I find and encourage people to have a signature scent. But I encourage them to have a signature scent per season. Fresh in the spring, crisp in the summer, sumptuous in the fall, and warm in the winter.

All of your rooms, in my opinion should have the same scent throughout your home for the seasons so that there are no competing scents going on all over the place. A couple of side notes. Make lighting candles and blowing them out a ritual. It’s calming. And make sure you have things like plug-ins that the scents match up. There is nothing worse than competing scents.

And it stands to reason, but I’m going to have to say it. I went to a book club dinner meeting one time and it was held in a private room in a popular restaurant. The host had carefully chosen a scented candle for the event. The problem was that it was on the dining table and the smell of vanilla was rampant. I couldn’t even eat my dinner because the scent was so overwhelming. I’m going to say one more thing about scent. If you are having guests, please pick and choose very neutral scents. Scents are very discerning, and they can be bothersome.

I have a friend who has a second home in a tropical spot. She for some reason loves this woodsy deep rich scent and she uses it abundantly in her tropical abode. It makes me actually want to throw up. I can’t stand it. And she burns about 10 of them at all times. It honestly is too strong for me. It makes me gag and it makes me not want to go there.

So, the point is, burn and use a scent you love on a daily basis. Consider a completely neutral scent or a simple fresh scent for when you’re having guests. Get it? But most importantly, don’t have candles in your home if you aren’t going to light and use them. Otherwise, well, the candle becomes faux or in other words, an unused decorative object. Not a win for me.

Now, we’re at number six and Valentina says coffee table books. Ding, ding, ding, now we’re talking, Valentina. I think we’re going to be friends. I love coffee table books especially ones that relate to subjects that are of interest to the homeowner. I love coffee table books that are oversized, but also ones that are meaningful and appeal to some sense of the homeowners who live there. I also love books in general and thoroughly enjoy filling my own home and clients homes with titles that are loved. This is a win, win, win.

Number seven is all stylish people have, and this one provokes a bit of negativity in me, she says a wreath. Okay, I’m not a fan. Mostly wreath’s look like dust collectors. I say sure at Christmas, and maybe something nice for a holiday here and there. But otherwise, this is just a no for me and I typically pull them off of clients doors. I would much rather see a beautiful door with gorgeous urns flanking each side, or planters that are planted lusciously with gorgeous flowers and plant materials.

Now we’re onto number eight, next on Valentina’s list is stemware. Okay, now I’m re-in love with Valentina. I love stemware, yes, yes, yes. Having the perfect glass, or goblet, or stemware for whatever beverage you are drinking and serving is a total win with me. I love beautiful glasses.

And I love dedicating certain glasses for certain reasons and certain occasions. I have 12 silver goblet glasses and I use them for occasions like thanksgiving and other holidays. But I use them differently. I allow them to be my water glasses. They’re amazing and make drinking water so much more. Stemware isn’t about price, it’s about style. And I think this is a stylish home run, for sure, special treat.

Number nine, Valentina says that towels are something that all stylish homeowners own. She is referring to holiday towels. I don’t know. I think this is more akin to holiday décor. And I am a fan of holiday décor as long as it fits your home and doesn’t get too cutesy and too kitschy.

So, this is a neutral yes, no for me. But what I can say, is that good towels for the bath are something that stylish people do. And I think this is important. I say buy really good towels and don’t throw your crappy old towels in the guestroom or guest bathroom. Give them the same best that you have and I mean it with my whole heart. I have two towels that I love and I have done a ton of research on towels.

Number one, Target sells a towel called the Casa Luna, they are the, they really are, and for the money, seriously. They have a big bath sheet that is luscious and luxurious. The price is right and the quality, well, it’s pure lux. I love an oversized towel, theirs is just right and it is called their bath sheet. I love their regular sized towel for hair. Now again, this is not Target’s brand, this is the brand that Target sells that is called Casa Luna. These are an excellent buy.

The other towel that I love is from Pottery Barn. It’s their regular classic towel. I am not a fan of their premium brand but I do love the classic. I love their bath sheet as well. Although their bath sheet is really big and really heavy. But I do feel a bit like a queen when I use it. I am a huge fan of white towels. And to be honest, I think stylish people prefer white linens in general. This is my own observation, but heck, I have made it a mission to try towels out a lot. So, I do feel like I’m qualified to weigh in on this.

Alright, Valentina, next on her list is a fruit bowl and/or a cake stand. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. I love a cake stand and I love a fruit bowl, especially a beautiful fruit bowl. But this is not something that I would consider is an item that all stylish people have. I think it’s important that maybe you have these two things, but it’s not necessarily on my top 10. Instead, I would choose something like stylish napkins. I think beautiful linens are amazing. If you pull out linen napkins and serve even on paper plates, you have already elevated your style tenfold.

I say obtain a gorgeous collection of beautiful cloth napkins. So, when my number six child was growing up, I had four other children under roof at the time and I must say, I was very busy. Probably far too busy to be concerned too much with style.

When number six grew up, we were hosting a small graduation celebration for the neighborhood buddies. One of the kids down the street said, “Mrs. Grigg, I always loved family night at your house.” When I ask why he loved it, I thought he might respond with something kind of goopy, but instead he said, “Because you made us use cloth napkins even though we were eating off of paper plates.” He thought this was so cool, so much so that his mom said to me, “He made me bring out the cloth napkins all during his growing up years, even when we were having Domino’s pizza.

This was, I guess, very formulative. So bottom line, use the things you have, but if you can incorporate a cloth napkin, then by all means do so because in my opinion this is stylish.

Alright, and finally Valentina says pillows. Stylish people do all have stylish pillows. They add so much to a décor and they do add so much to a room. So, Valentina, I do agree with you here. Everyone who wants to be stylish do please run out and get some stylish pillows. Make them count and make sure they have maximum impact for the style and mood that you are trying to convey.

Alright, there you have it. My take on Valentina’s top 10 things that stylish people have in their homes and in their décor. I hope you take this in the spirit in which it was intended and that it is a simply a different take on what I find to be my own version of the top 10 things stylish people have in their homes.

I would love to know what you think about this. Please DM me with your comments on Instagram @kimberlygriggdesigns and let me know your thoughts. Meanwhile, I would love it if you would subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. We’re still new here and trying to gain traction. Your reviews help so much.

Please leave a review and in doing so, I’d like to reward you with a chance to win my favorite go to accessory. I use it in almost every home I decorate. It’s my infamous monkey bowl. This monkey bowl is amazing, check it out for yourself under contest details on All you have to do is subscribe, rate and review and you’ll be eligible to win.

Alright, this was a fun episode and I thank you for joining me. And as I like to say, don’t wait, today is a great day to decorate. I’ll see you next time. Bye for now.

Thanks for listening to Decorate Like a Design Boss, if you want more info on how to decorate your space like a pro visit See you next week.

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