One of the most inspiring things about interior decorating is how much self-expression can play a role in it. It’s an art, not a science, and everyone has the ability to create their own masterpieces in the form of their home. I love to hear about other people’s decorating processes and how they tackle common challenges because the answers are always different. I always learn something new.
That’s why I was inspired to create a new blog post series called Interior Insight, which will be a growing collection of interviews with design lovers that include designers, bloggers, and other professionals in the industry. It’s my hope that by sharing the perspectives of various people on decorating, you’ll be empowered by the many different ways to go about it and become even more in tune with your own process and style.
To kick things off, the first interview is with one of my favorite decorating bloggers, Alisa Bovino. On her blog and Instagram, A Glass of Bovino, she chronicles her journey of decorating her home in New Jersey as she transforms a plain bi-level into a stunning, glamorous space. She’s a thrift store queen with a ton of great tips on DIY and decorating on a budget without sacrificing style. She also does it all with a fantastic sense of humor. (Seriously, don’t skip her Instagram stories. She’s hilarious.)
This interview is full of gems that are sure to inspire you. Keep reading to learn more about Alisa, find out where you can follow her, and read her insightful answers about decorating.
INTRODUCING: ALISA BOVINO, A GLASS OF BOVINO
“I’m a northern NJ native where I currently reside with my husband, Angelo, and our cat, Constantina. If you happen to be wondering – yes, we’re Irish. In 2017 we purchased our first house: a generic, 1960’s bi-level and little by little, we’re adding personality and style to our builder-grade home. As a Jane of all trades, I thrive off of the grit of taking something that’s seemingly unattractive, whether it be an entire room or small piece of furniture, and making it glamorous. On a Saturday afternoon, you can find me e-designing, styling, painting, remodeling, or photographing any given room in my house, which is how I truly enjoy spending my free time. And if you can’t find me at home, check the local thrift stores.” ~ Alisa Bovino
1 How would you describe your design style?
I’ve been describing it as traditional glamour. I’ve been focusing on infusing a blend of classic and regency style furniture and decor throughout my home and I feel like it’s totally “me.”
2 How did you get in touch with or discover your design style? What was your process?
Haha!! I just wrote a blog post about this! I found my style after making tons of mistakes and through trial and error. Looking back on the photos of my home 1 year ago, I can’t believe I actually considered it my style at the time. But since this topic is fresh in my mind, these are the methods I used to help me nail down my style:
1) Take a good look at your Pinterest boards and asking yourself: What common design elements are repeated? What colors, patterns, and furnishings are abundant throughout? Is there a common theme (i.e. white walls, antique art, wall paneling, tribal rugs, etc.)? Are you drawn to jewel tones, pastels or neutrals? What are the keywords that are used to describe the photos?
2) Find other home influencers and designers that resemble what you believe to be your style. Last year I stumbled upon a few home influencers that captivated me with their photos and style. Something just clicked and I started consuming their content, becoming more infatuated with every second spent scrolling through their feeds, thinking “this is exactly how I would design a room in my home.”
3) Fully embrace the idea that your style can (and probably will be) a mix of styles and can also be described as a reflection of who you are.
4) Only buy what you truly love for your home. Doing this takes time and patience, but how many times do you buy something that you aren’t head over heels in love with? You may think you need it in the moment, but when you bring it home, you realize you just wanted to buy something or needed to fill a void.
3 How and where do you find inspiration for decorating your home?
Instagram and Pinterest, but more specifically, my favorite designers and influencers. My top 5 are Summer Thornton, The Makerista, Steve Cordony, House of Brinson and Erin Kestenbaum. All of their styles are slightly different from each other but I find most of the inspiration I find for my home comes from them.
4 What was one of the biggest decorating mistakes you’ve made and how did you fix it? What did you learn from it?
Oh God, well when we moved into our home we had literally nothing since we both lived separately with our parents. So I made the mistake of buying little one-off items and would decide where I was going to put it when I got home. It took a few months to realize that I was going nowhere fast and the house still did not look even close to the way I wanted it to look. So I finally realized that I needed to start creating full room designs and execute a cohesive and holistic final product that I was actually happy with. What did I learn from this mistake? All I have to say is thank God for Facebook marketplace! LOL. Literally all of the items that are no longer my style have been sold via marketplace and I’m almost positive our neighbors think I’m a drug dealer because we always have different people pulling up to our garage, handing me money and leaving. So I guess you could say I’ve sold all of my mistakes!
5 What was something that you wanted to change in your home, but couldn’t and how did you overcome it or work around it?
OK, so I haven’t experienced this *yet,* however, I would say that I’ve wanted to change our home itself but currently can’t since we just bought it. What I mean is, we bought a bi-level and I’m not crazy about bi-levels, but it was what we could afford at the time. So instead of just accepting the lack of design and character that a bi-level has to offer, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make it ours. That includes remodeling our master bathroom, installing molding to otherwise basic walls, and infusing other bits of our personality throughout to make our builder-grade home less….builder-grade. If that makes sense.
6 When it comes to decorating your home, what is something you feel you are really good at and what is not your strong suit?
Ahhhh, this is a great question. I feel like I’m good at infusing my personality in each space…including at least one bold, uncommon item that makes me uncomfortable. I think what is not my strong suit is focusing too much on how the space looks vs. how it feels in real life. Like yes, the leopard chairs that I have are beautiful, but I didn’t do the best upholstery job on them and I rushed through it. So I guess patience and making sure that I do something good the first time vs. going back to do it a second time.
7 How have you incorporated the decorating aesthetic of others that live in your home?
My husband doesn’t really care how I decorate. So…LOL. I do try and include masculine elements in each room, though. I personally love including those masculine elements as well – but I convince my husband I do it just for him. Haha!
8 What advice would you give someone that is trying to decorate a home on a budget?
OHHHH, I love this question. Thrift, thrift and thrift some more. I think half of my house is now thrifted and if you don’t have a good thrift store near your home, use eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. I promise, there are treasures lurking in those places…you just have to look!
9 What current decorating trend are you loving right now? Which one are you over already?
I’m really into mixing old Hollywood Regency with modern and traditional. It’s what I’ve been thinking about when I design the rooms in my home! I’m also kinda over farmhouse. To each their own, but I personally think that it’s a bit overdone.
10 What do you feel gives a home heart and soul?
Infusing personality and character of those who live in the home! Whether it’s through decorating with favorite colors or lighting candles that remind you of your favorite place…it’s the little things that turn a house into a home!
Thank you so much for your insightful answers, Alisa!