Interior designer Melissa Rodgers of MBR Domestic Styling has a string of jobs on her resume — bartender, makeup artist, fashion designer, baker. But it was renovating rooms at her in-laws’ fishing and hunting resort in small-town northern Missouri and her prematurely born daughter’s NICU stay that led the way to a passion for home design.
“I had to drive forty-five minutes [to the hospital] and back every day,” she says. “The rest of the time I was like, ‘I gotta do something.’ So I started working on the nursery.”
Fast forward six years and Rodgers, her husband and their daughter reside in a colorful fixer-upper in Lee’s Summit’s Lakewood neighborhood. The family renovated and decorated the home themselves.
“When I first started designing the house, I wanted everything wood, white and black,” she says. “Nothing else. No color. But it snuck back in.”
See how she staged her eclectic abode in a budget-friendly fashion.
To craft this tropical statement piece, Rodgers bought a rug from IKEA clearance, then nailed it onto a wooden frame and hung it.
Rodgers painted on the bright backsplash using stencils and teal high gloss paint. “It is the hardest project I’ve ever done,” she jokes. “It took me months. I’ve cried over it.”
Piano and Chairs
“It’s so much easier to have a masculine style base and bring in softness and femininity,” Rodgers says. For example, the piano is painted black and softened by a gold leaf stripe. The dining table chairs have femininity with orange color and velvet material, yet they’re hardened out with tufting and metal studs.
Rodgers buys old calendars and thrifted books and frames pages from them. She also buys from Society6, an online marketplace where artists can upload and sell their work.
Rodgers recommends trialing a gallery wall by using painters tape to mark the perimeter of the wall on the floor in front of it. Lay out your pictures on the floor and move them around until you feel good about their placements before hanging them up on the wall.
Glass-fronted cabinets are a chance to show off gorgeous plateware. Rodgers used ceramic paint to colorfully decorate and cure white plates she got from the dollar store.