A Rue Mag Editor Shows Us How To Style A Space

If we admitted how much time we spend perusing home-decor sites, we'd expect to field judge-y side eyes for the rest of the conversation. So, we won’t go there. But, know that in between all the looking and pinning, we typically land on S.F.-based Rue Magazine for an inordinate chunk of time.
Since these ladies know a good home when they see one, we figured we’d flip the camera on the mag’s stylish associate editor Kelli Ryder and invite ourselves into her delightful, hue-soaked Nopa abode. Inside, we found an accent wall to end all accent walls, plus boatloads of other clever ideas that you'll want to copy. If you need a dose of motivation to get your own interior revamp started, you may want to bookmark this right now.
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Tell us about what you do.
"I'm the associate editor at Rue magazine, an online interior design and lifestyle publication. I write and produce stories about fashion, beauty, interior design, and lifestyle for our daily content site Rue Daily, as well as the monthly magazine. I also manage Rue’s social media accounts! Lastly, I occasionally blog at my personal site, Leopard & Lavender, but that has taken the back-burner as of late. "

Sabine blouse, AG jeans, Sol Sana clogs, Gold and Gray bracelets, Anna Bee Jewelry necklace.
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What's a typical day like for you?
"I work from home, so I have to keep my days fairly structured to stay on track and not get caught up in a Food Network marathon. I start off with a latte and review my to-do list — which changes every day. I'll usually start by scheduling the day's social media posts, and then get right to work product sourcing, producing content, and editing my articles. It can be easy to feel locked to my laptop working from home, so I make it a point to go for a walk at lunch. I live close to Golden Gate Park which is wonderful for my sanity. In the afternoons, I tackle my inbox and make sure all of my posts are ready to go for the following morning.

"If only every day could be so structured! A few days a week, I'm zipping around town for press previews or meetings with the Rue girls. A few times a month, I'm on site for Rue photo shoots — touring gorgeous homes or studios in the Bay Area. If I'm extra lucky, the shoot is food- or drink-related and we get to indulge at the end."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Did you always have an interest in interior design?
"Sort of. I redecorated my childhood bedroom about 10 different times. My favorite iteration was the baby-blue cloud theme of the early 2000s, yet I always assumed my interest was more vested in fashion. It wasn't until I started at Rue that I saw how those two go hand in hand. I began to learn more about the industry and understand my passion for it. Now, I definitely prefer interiors to fashion!"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Talk to us about this awesome blue wall.
"When we first started decorating the place, [my fiancé and I] knew we wanted an accent wall against the couch. We were having brunch at Zazie and after a mimosa — or two — we decided on the turquoise hue. We stopped at the hardware store on the walk home and painted the wall that evening!"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Rue?
"Everything! Clichés aside, it really is my dream job. I’ve been writing my entire life, and the fact that I get to do it as a career — and people actually read it— is pretty magical. I’m exposed to great design, work with good people, and have a flexible schedule. At this point, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
How did you end up at Rue? What’s your career background?
"My background is in e-commerce and customer loyalty, however I wasn’t completely in love with my work. I moved to San Francisco in 2012 and was ready to make a career change! However, I didn’t have any industry contacts here and really struggled getting an interview anywhere. I saw a listing for an internship with Rue, a publication I had long admired, and immediately jumped on the opportunity... I treated the internship as an 'extended interview,' and proved my skills while learning and absorbing everything I could. The rest, thank goodness, is history!"

Gap dress, Converse sneakers, bracelets from Etsy, Anna Bee Jewelry necklace.
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Your place is so cool — how long have you been here? How did you find it?
"Pure luck. My fiancé and I started our relationship as a long-distance one, and I was here for one last visit before the big move. We wanted to get a place that would be ours, not just his — a sentiment I’m sure many people understand. We happened upon the Craigslist ad on the morning of Memorial Day and called right away. The landlord was here installing a new fridge and said we could stop by before the open house, which was scheduled later in the week. We instantly fell in love with the natural light — and the walk in closet! — and knew we had to live here. I found out we were approved for the place as I was standing in line at airport security. We’ve now lived here for just over two years. "
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
"I’m pretty obsessed with our neighborhood. I love that I can walk out of my front door and access so many different things in minutes. I can go on walks in the Panhandle or ride my bike through Golden Gate Park. I can head up to Divisadero for dinner and drinks or go vintage shopping in the Haight. And, being close to Alamo Square is wonderful for lazy Saturday afternoons. As an 8-year-old watching Full House, I never imagined I, too, would picnic there some day."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Where are your favorite places to go?
"Sparrow on Haight for brunch; Mojo as a remote office (its chicken sandwich is unreal); Vinyl for a great glass of wine; Nopa for a late-night burger; 4505 for takeout when we want to catch up on our favorite TV show from the sofa… the list goes on! We’ve had many date nights at Flybar (the nachos!) and always end with a nightcap at Tsunami. And, how could I forget my one true love — Little Star?"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Your fiancé is also creative when it comes to decor — tell us about a few things in the place you guys worked on together?
"Honestly, this entire apartment has been a joint effort. If we were left to do it alone, his place would be an antique store and mine would be filled with white, fluffy blankets. There are certainly aspects that are more his handicraft — like the gallery wall above the couch — and areas that I focused on — like the bedroom — but we rarely make design decisions without consulting each other first. We really value the other’s sense of style and know that our best ideas come when we work together."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What are some of your favorite home sites?
"I love perusing Refinery29 to see local home tours — I’m so inspired by this city! Otherwise, my blog list is a little out of hand with a few too many to name. I will say Domaine, Apartment Therapy, and Design*Sponge do a great job of featuring a ton of different aesthetics which is endlessly inspiring. I put together Rue’s 'Friday Favorites' each week, so I get to shamelessly browse the internet for the best of the best."

Urban Outfitters blouse, Citizens of Humanity jeans, Gold and Gray necklace.
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
How would you describe your home's aesthetic?
"Ugh, I seriously hate the word quirky, but I think that it is a good descriptor in this case. We are both very creative people, and we enjoy adding unique finds to create a cohesive look. While I dream of living in a minimalistic modern home some day, I know it’s not a natural fit with either of our aesthetics."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
How would you describe your decorating style?
"Maybe a bit manic. I get these grand ideas and they don’t pan out how I imagined, and then I can’t stop until it works. We both can move things around for an hour until it’s just perfect. There’s always that lightbulb moment where everything finally just clicks."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s one item you’d never allow in your house?
"Generic art purchased from a big box store. Everything we have is either an original from one of Tim’s friends, or a print of an artist we admire. It’s such a large, personal part of our lives!"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
How would you describe your personal style?
"I keep [it] very simple. I have always been attracted to bohemian prints and patterns, but rarely feel comfortable wearing them. I think fashion and trends are great, but comfort is the key to confidence. I feel most like myself in neutrals and denim. I like to mix it up by buying pieces in interesting fabrics or textures and wearing bold shoes…usually leopard print."

What's one item you'd never be caught dead in?
"A body-con dress. I so appreciate — and am a little jealous of — any woman who can rock it, but I would be mortified."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Where do you shop for home goods in S.F.?
"We get our big pieces from accessible stores like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, or IKEA and then pepper in charismatic accents from basically anywhere. Antique stores like The Parish Trust or Mickey’s Monkey, plants from Cole Hardware, candles and pillows from Jonathan Adler, etc. We’re always on the hunt for something to add a little personality to the room and stay within a reasonable budget."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What are your favorite pieces in your home?
"I love the Ansel Adams print above the bed. It’s a shot of Stanley Lake in Idaho — I grew up camping there in the summers and it reminds me of my family. Also, most of the objects we use in vignettes have a personal back story. It’s really a collection of our time together."

What’s been the coolest home item you’ve purchased to date?
"I love the rug in our bedroom. I found it on eBay and it was shipped from Turkey. Also, the white, geometric console in our bedroom was a great West Elm find — I love that it is really different yet still maintains the very neutral vibe of the room."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s your favorite room in your home?
"Our bedroom. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty in love with the color in the other rooms, but the monochromatic approach is very relaxing. And I fully admit, all-white bedding with two cats isn't entirely functional or practical, but it makes the room a calming escape from the chaos of city living. I'll gladly break out the bleach if it means my bedroom will look like a cloud!"

Kimchi Blue blouse, Forever21 faux leather pants, Mossimo booties, Katie Dean necklace and ring .
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Who is your home decor icon?
"The Novogratz! I love how they use color and whimsy in their decor, yet their projects always manage to feel sophisticated. They've done a great job of being bold and a little wild, yet never kitschy — such a skill."

What decor piece is on your wish list?
"A washer and dryer? Kidding, sort of. We’d love to upgrade our dining table to something a little lighter in color. We keep going over the details of how we’d refinish it ourselves, but we’re easily distracted."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Where else do you go for inspiration?
"Whenever I need a reset, I try to get outdoors. Golden Gate Park is a favorite, but I’m most inspired at Sea Ranch — a beach community in Sonoma County. The architecture of the homes there is simple and beautiful, and we spend time hiking, reading, and generally unplugging. All of my best ideas happen there!"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What are you working on now — anything you can share?
"Yes, we’re just putting the finishing touches on Rue's fourth anniversary issue, out September 2! It's filled with some really beautiful home tours and inspirational designers; I’m so excited for it to be released! We're also working on a pretty secret project that we'll reveal in the coming weeks. It's going to shake the Rue World up a bit!"
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s been your favorite Rue piece to date?
"That's tough! I've worked on so many interesting stories; I loved featuring Catherine Kwong's gorgeous home, and had a lot of fun shooting a recent happy hour feature at Molina in Mill Valley. I also was able to cover Coachella last summer — talk about the best assignment ever. Watching Modest Mouse [for] work? I'll take it."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s the best piece of home advice you’ve received?
"'Pick an aesthetic and stick with it.' Crystal, Rue's founder, told me that when I was first starting the design process. I was feeling pulled in many directions and inspired by so many different looks — if you apply them all, the finished product looks totally bananas. We were committed to our initial design plan and, while things are always moving around or changing, the aesthetic has stayed cohesive."
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What about career advice?
"Take risks! I had no idea if leaving the business world for an internship would fare well for me, and it paid off in strides. It was intimidating and my bank account hated me for a while, but I now get to do my dream job day in and day out. "
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Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?
"Fajitas! I’ve really fine-tuned my recipe and I love an excuse to serve margaritas with a meal. Though, do you really need an excuse?"

The secret to a happy home is...
"A sense of humor! And, a really good mop."