Living Space with Skylar

Living Space with Skylar

Photographs by Kristen M. Bryant


1. How old were you the first time that you were able to create/design your own living space?

I've always had completely free reign when designing my living spaces. In the bedroom I grew up in, my parents let me paint all over the walls and decorate however I wanted. By the time I was in high school I wasn't always the neatest person and sometimes I would have to stay in and clean all day on Saturdays (it was that messy...), I would put on a whole season of a TV show and spend the entire day cleaning and rearranging and redecorating my room (I secretly loved it). 


2. Where did you live? What were you inspired by?

I lived out in the middle of nowhere- Welcome, NC. I wouldn't say that living there inspired me at all, but maybe the opposite. I hated living in a small town and liked having my own space that felt different than that. I was always inspired by women (usually in tv or movies), not necessarily to emulate their style, but usually when they had really eccentric homes or their design seemed very carefree. I remember for some reason always loving Brittany Murphy's character in Uptown Girls and wanting my room to be just like her apartment. She had her walls painted a burnt orange color and tons of candles and her hair products and dresses strewn everywhere, and it just seemed like the kind of girl I was (aka, really messy and not put together at all...) so I decided that that was a "style" and let myself not feel so bad about it.


3. Creating your own space can be seen as an essential part of self development and self expression, did having the opportunity to create your own living space ever feel like a pivotal moment? If so, what was it like?

I definitely feel like in high school I had created a place that was kind of a sanctuary for me and it was the place that my friends and I usually hung out in. It was definitely a reflection of who I was at the time. 

I also feel that I've had a similar experience moving into this first apartment by myself. It's the first time that I'm living alone, and it's really fun having complete control of what my entire space looks like. Right now there's not much going on with it because before I moved here I got rid of a ton of stuff and I haven't really replaced it yet. It's very paired down at this point, and I think it's more of a reflection of my style now. I'm an art teacher and I work in an environment that's very hectic and messy and busy all day, so that's kind of transformed me into the kind of person that doesn't really want a lot of stuff around. It definitely feels like a reflection of where I am and what I'm doing in my life. The style has also evolved with my personal style, and I think I just know more as I get older what I like and what I don't like.


4. What are the key aspects of creating your own perfect space, i.e. your favorite things to surround yourself with?

All of my furniture pieces are really special to me and they've been gems I've found antiquing or on craigslist or past down through generations of family. I like feeling like every piece has been a great find, not just something I've gotten out of necessity. My perfect space always has tons of candles burning, flowers on the table and all of my friends in it. 


5. What are your favorite places to shop for home goods / decor / furniture?

Pretty much all of my furniture pieces I've found antiquing or they've been handed down from my great-grandparents! 


6. Where do you try to save and splurge on items?

I save on pretty much everything, not necessarily because I always have to, but because hunting for the perfect thing in an antique store usually saves money vs. buying something new (but definitely not as personal). I'll splurge on details on my place- nice candles sometimes or good towels, the small details that make it feel cozy. Also I think I might splurge on a rug soon (if I can ever find one that I like...)


7. Do you have any advice for others in the process of making their own living space?

I honestly don't feel like I know what I'm talking about enough to say it to others! But I guess I would say- don't rush it, wait for the right, perfect pieces. Make the space that you want to have your friends in every weekend! Keep lots of candles around. A really cute cat wouldn't hurt....