Home & Garden

'Undecorate': a casual-chic style as eclectic as the Internet

In fashion, yesterday's matchy, polished looks have given way to a rumpled, eccentric style driven by wearing your personality, not your labels, on your sleeve.

Nesters are doing the same thing, blending wild color schemes with flea market finds and Ikea pieces with family antiques. In this brave, well-decorated new world, a formal dining set or tidy boudoir makes you seem square.

Christiane Lemieux, founder of bedding company DwellStudio, writes about this new casual-chic movement in her new book, "Undecorate" ($40, Clarkson-Potter).

Lemieux says she was inspired by the Internet. Specifically, "the multiplicity of styles that are flourishing out there right now, with or without the stamp of approval of some trained professional," she writes in the coffee-table book's introduction. "Undecorate" features 20 homes from across the country that illustrate the "undecorate" philosophy, including a modern log cabin in Nashville and a "bric-a-brac-strewn" home in Los Angeles.

Lemieux talked about the book and how the Internet has changed decorating.

Define "undecorate."

It's looking at your space and throwing out all the start-to-finish rules. Your home is fluid and evolving all the time.

The interiors you profile range from a loft apartment where people keep vintage cars to a farmhouse full of eccentric antiques. What do the homeowners have in common?

Everyone in this book did unexpected things, like wallpapering the ceilings or living in an apartment with old cars. I think it's about being fearless and doing what you love.

You say the Web changes how we decorate. Why?

It's made us more creative and empowered us to do things ourselves. It's a kind of breakdown of formality, where people invite each other into their homes to weigh in on designing. There's this whole philosophy now that your home is never finished, that you're always tweaking it.

People in this book collect things, yet their homes don't look overly cluttered. What's the secret to that?

It's using these things you love as part of your decor. These interiors become soulful because people like this stuff, but they also curate it.

How do they find this stuff?

The Internet, again, allows people to collect in ways they couldn't before. They can sit on eBay and amass full collections.

Any advice for people starting with a blank slate?

Start by looking in your closet! If you look at what your go-to things are there, that will tell you what makes you comfortable at home. If you like monochromatic colors, do that in your place. If you like wearing prints and pops of color, put them in your home, too.

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