Real Readers: Sydney

4 Jun

I have decided to kick off my quest for home decorating style by placing the spotlight on one of my best friends, Sydney Ackerley. This choice seems extremely appropriate considering she has always had great personal fashion and decorating style. And this weekend is her 22nd birthday weekend (Happy Birthday!).


Name: Sydney Ackerley

Age: (almost) 22

Hometown: Houston, TX

Current Town: Fort Worth, TX

Fun Fact: Her parents are organic pecan farmers. (Rio Grande Organics — Check them out at

Anyway, the Inspiration for today is Sydney’s cute house in the TCU campus area of Fort Worth. Sydney describes her style as comfortable, chic, and with a splash of unexpected color. Take a look at how Sydney and her roommates chose to decorate their house!

Sydney's Living Room

Investment Pieces:

White Couch — more expensive, Pottery Barn

Ottoman — Flea Market, by a special designer

Other Pieces:

Rug — cheap, Ikea

Mini Rocker — Flea Market

Pillows — Pottery Barn

Shelves — cheap, Ikea

Ikea Shelves

This is a great example of how you can use inexpensive, simple shelves to display artwork made by great friends (me!) and any knick-knacks you want to show off. The only tools you need are a hammer and the nails that should come with the shelves. A level would probably be handy too in order to make sure the shelves are straight.

Leopard Print Bench

This leopard print bench was found at an antique shop painted black with a red Chinese fabric which would have looked weird with Sydney’s decor. They spray painted it off-white and got it recovered with fabric they picked out. This is something you could easily do yourself with any type of furniture, picture frame, or plate. And I definitely think animal print is an easy way to make your home more girly and stylish — as long as it’s not overdone.

Teal Frame

This frame was also found at a flea market and Sydney added some flair by investing in a few plates from Anthropologie. She nailed them up within the empty frame to make them look like pieces of art.

European Posters

These posters were all carried home from Sydney’s study abroad trip to England from places in Europe. Each was cheap but something to remind her of her trip and are great conversation starters. She slipped them into her suitcase and then got them framed in the U.S.

Sydney's Dresser

Sydney’s dresser area was compiled from a few different outlets:

The small lamp is by Shabby Chic for Target.
The miniature mannequin is vintage and acts as a necklace holder. This is a great way to organize and display jewelry.
The large frame was an old window found at an antique shop for only $10!! Sydney mounted the pictures and then just used black cardboard as a background. Easy and impressive…

All in all, Sydney’s look in her house is extremely cute and personal, but didn’t cost her out the wazoo. So check out your local flea markets and antique shop for some sweet deals.

More to come soon! I’m on the prowl for ideas…


3 Responses to “Real Readers: Sydney”

  1. Chrissy B. June 11, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Oh my gosh, Claire, this site is ingenious! I’ve actually just recently been plagued by what the heck to do with all of my earrings when I get home because right now, I never even remember what I own…

    And I appreciate your breakdown of syds living room — I’ve been attempting to semi-replicate Syd’s style for 9 years now…you make it look so easy, and I am thoroughly entertained the entire time I’m reading. 🙂

    I. Love it!


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