Decorating with Opposites:: Quirky Combinations of Shiny & Matte

matte finish

New Year’s Eve (after eagerly working on my puzzle for a few hours) I texted Karrie and Reeve and Maria to see what they were wearing so I would know if I could get away with wearing my old yoga pants or if I should get fancy and put my new yoga pants on for Maria’s party.

karrie & maria

Karrie and Maria sent back a photo as a reply…. sequins.  They both happened to have on sparkly shirts?! Was it a coincidence?  Why would they both have on shiny shirts? Then I remembered, this is New Year’s Eve, women everywhere are sparkling.

I. Have. Nothing. Sequins. And am pretty sure I never have.  But once I got to the house I saw how glorious a little sequins can be. They sparkled. In all the right ways. My clothes were all neutral. And also not shiny whatsoever. I was matte.  Eggshell finish at best.  I’m all wood beads and grey wool sweater and black leggings. No shiny lips for me unless I just got done popping on some Nivea chapstick. Really, I should have just worn a nun’s habit, leaving out the attention-getting, flashy cross necklace of course, too blingy for me!


The next day as I thought about their shirts and why it never occurred to me to get one shiny thing to wear, I also realized that almost all of my house is matte.


It’s all painted furniture and book page wreaths and wood candlesticks and baskets and slipcovers and leather and velvet and sailfish and antlers.

Which maybe is why I bought that disco ball last year.

disco ball

And how the best place for it (besides in a sunny spot) is next to something rustic.  They become like mates, the disco ball and the something rustic, an introvert and an extrovert.  A girl who wants to do a puzzle on New Year’s Eve married to a man who could stay out all night chatting it up with everyone. Something feminine, something masculine. Something shiny something matte.  Something round something faceted.

glittered feather

I’ve never been a glitter girl until I glittered those feathers and I’m realizing the reason I like it so much is 1. it’s unexpected and two, glitter and natural feathers are such a quirky combination.

a little sparkle

So I’m keeping an eye out for places in our home to add a little sparkle.  Which is why I bought that soft yet sparkly pillow cover a few weeks ago.  It’s keeping it fresh, it’s keeping me young and bling-y.  Here’s another room where I noticed something was working out for the better in our house: Opposites and the Art of Inspiration.

Also, if you are wondering what I wore on New Years Eve?  I ended up wearing this….


Swarovksi-encrusted nun habit via sister act

Do you have a quirky combination in your own home? Sometimes they happen by accident, sometimes they are planned but oftentimes they are that sumpin’ sumpin’ that makes your rooms feel alive and fun.

Looking for more sparkle? Ashely at The Handmade Home has a photo packed post, you’ll want to pin it all: The Mirrorball Movement.


  1. Love your home, its gorgeous. You have definitely given me some food for thought! Could use a little sparkly in my life!

  2. I love your storytelling abilities! Very cute!

  3. I am very sloooowly dipping my toes into the sparkly water. I love bright color, but sparkles have always seemed a little too 12 yr old girl for me. Then I slowly added it into my accessories some times and noticed how fun it made me feel (and not so stuck in a rut). It’s funny how I try things out in accessories first before decor in my house. Now, I’m venturing out into the world of metallics with a cute little mercury glass owl and cream throw pillows with 3 big gold feathers each…I love them! They are the funnest things in the room! I think this means I’ve been stuck in boring-ville?

    • You and I have been in boring-ville together! Now, we are embarking on a trip to funsville–breaking out of our old habits!

      • Nester,
        You are so funny! And thanks for the boost to glamify my wardrobe as well. Just don’t get too carried away. Like decorating you need to trust your instincts and own style. I learned that one the hard way ;) !

  4. I think every room should have a “quirky” element to it. I love having something a little off, for some reason it just works, like my coffee table. I have beautiful pretty things in metallics and always put roses on it, but now I threw some antlers on it and I love it even more. I like some ugly with my pretty! xo Kristin

  5. I have been on the hunt for chairs exactly like the black chairs at your dining room table (although I want white), can you tell me where they came from?!?!

  6. my quirky pairings come in the form of chandeliers. i love the blingy, fancy fun…which is seemingly random when you consider that i have a bright yellow coffee table, and the rest of my decor is basically neutral with pops of bright, saturated color. chandeliers with crystals dripping from them every which way normally scream of snobbery…but when it’s nestled in with happy art and chippy, kid proof furniture, it doesn’t take itself nearly so seriously.
    (here’s a post about the lighting in my house, if you want to see my collection of chandys.

  7. sorry that’s a sponsored post. it’s just what i had with everything in one spot. feel free to edit it out if you’d prefer.

  8. I have a particular style that we love. We love a mission look, with the oak furniture and wood grain trim around the windows and doors, and tiffany lamps. But my quirky is our art. We are both photographers and self proclaimed arts. We have decided that 90% of our wall decorations will be what we have created ourselves. I love it. It give us interesting conversations when people come to visit because each picture, antler, or plate hanging has a story. So that is my quirky. Have a great day!

  9. One of the secret reasons I think I reach for neutrals & mattes (besides the fact that I really do love them) is because I don’t want to offend anyone else’s tastes. What would my mother in law think if I had a disco ball on my mantle!? I think what I have loved about your house is the matte-ness (and naturalness) of it! But I also am so happy when I see your disco ball scattering polka dots of light all over a room. Thanks for encouraging us to be more adventurous and less safe in our houses.

    • you might be offending someone else’s taste with what you are wearing, or eating or saying!!! or reading or crafting or watching or listening to. If we try to please everyone, we please no one.

      I think you are so brave to write what so many struggle with but dare not say, it’s a real risk and it can hold us back in so many ways, BRAVO for putting it out there, Jess!!

  10. The sister act picture=brilliant! :)
    I’ve been learning a similar lesson…mix it up. I’ve been so used to having the same ‘likes’ that i immediately turn away anything that doesn’t fit into that pre-conceived pallet…it’s time to mix things up a bit!
    Can’t wait to see how you incorporate more!

  11. Joy @ Caspara says

    I don’t mix it up enough, to tell the truth. But reading your blog gives me lots of ideas and the courage to try them! Thanks!

  12. I’ve always thought glitter makes everything better. Always love the mix though of natural + glam. I so love the shot of your kitchen nook and the light reflecting off all those disco balls. LOVE! Have a bright + shiny week!

  13. Love your blog! Enjoyed reading about your white walls too! It is exactly what my next project will be…painting my family room white so it will be the perfect backdrop to my ever changing design ideas!! Are your walls still white and are you still loving it???? Also kudos for keeping it real, and knowing that whether you own or rent…home is home and making your nest the best it can be is all worth it!! Donnamarie

  14. I always think I like sparkle and a little glam, but then I look around my house… :) Thanks for the reminder to get on it!

  15. Hmmmmm…this means I definitely to add some neutral into all my bling! I knew the time would come eventually. Anyone know of any Glitter recovery groups? Nester my friend YOU are my perfect, just the way you are, Matte accessory, and I LOVE it :) Thank goodness there is a little bit of both in this world.

  16. now you have a good reason to buy a bedazzler! to add a few sequins here & there! :)

  17. Very funny on the yoga pants, knowing that you are a home schooling mom, wonder if you have seen Tim Hawkins new video on yoga pants, it’s hysterical. Here’s the link:

    I love the way you have added a little bling to your home, I need some bling too, where did you find your disco ball?

  18. I totally agree with Maria…no need to change. But if you are just dying for some sparkles in your wardrobe…I’d be happy to go shopping with you:)

    also – do you know how much Maria and I love sister act? Specifically the second one. We are going to have a party…you should come – another excuse to wear your sparkly habit!!

  19. It dawned on me one day that I almost always wore a sequined shirt to work on Fridays. I always got compliments, and it always made me feel so good. (I wear plain blacks and grays almost exclusively every other day.) So, now…Sequined Fridays are my thing! I do it every week. I have some regular sparkly sequined shirts and some matte sequined ones. I love them all!

    I don’t have enough in my house, though, so now I’m on the hunt!

  20. I like matte. It looks comfortable and cozy. You have your own kind of bling.

  21. Hi Nester,

    When looking through your “People to Know, Places to See” section of ads, I once looked at a lady’s website that sold silhouette art and beautiful subway-esque signs with addresses that could be personalized. Didn’t see it today. Could you send me that website? Thanks so much! Love your site and tell everyone about it!


  22. I noticed several years before that I loved contrasting items together. For me it is usually a shiny object (like a silver tray) next to something rustic (like a worn wooden table). I thought that I broke some decorating rule and almost swapped them out. Then realized I liked the contrast, even if no one else did. SO Mrs. Nester, thanks for validating my design aesthetic (if I can even all it that :)

  23. I love a little of the unexpected in just about everything — decor, fashion, and friends. And yoga pants — yes! Try them with a string of pearls. I love that furry throw!

  24. Ok, I LOVE bling in my wardrobe, never even thought about it in the house! I’m so gonna be looking for some sparkle to add to my decor! Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. True story: I did not know you are matte. I think of you as bling and that’s no joke. I shall never forget: Blissdom 2011. You had a coral cardi with some big, fat beads. Maybe aqua? Or maybe I’ve flip-flopped the colors? Anyway, you epitomized everything I love about fashion that day. You weren’t shiny, but you sure weren’t matte.

  26. I love opposites and quirky combos! I think it makes things less stuffy and lived in.

  27. I love this! I have been struggling with this same concept- can my home have a vintage-modern feel, plus a modern pop? Can I paint a bold chevron wall using my carefully choosen rustic gray paint? I think yes. Because in the end it’s MY house and I am the one who really wants to love it since I have to look at it all all day! :P

  28. I love this! I recently was playing around with textures in our bedroom.. wait what? ;) But seriously, I used a ton of wood tones, with sparkles, little “manly” here, ruffles there.. I love it. Opposites attract, they say. And it works GREAT! :) Definitely digging your new years outfit, I’ll pin it to my closet board. haha!


  29. I’ve found that feather masks like the ones they sell in the French Market in New Orleans year-round, or if you’re unfamiliar with New Orleans, like the people riding in the parades wear during the parades (in many cases); make for wonderful wall decor in a condo that before I moved in was occupied by a single 30 year old man (he’s obviously no longer single). Point being, there was much work to be done, and I found the glittery, feathery masquerade masks that I bought 3 for $5 while on vacation make for an excellent contrast (as complimentary as a contrast can be) to what little dull decor he had.

    If you run a google image search for “feather mask” you can get an idea of what I’m referring to. Some of the ones with lots of features that span a wider distance than the others without the clay/ceramic base, preferably with either glitter, sequins or both. I know it might seem strange trying to envision it in your head, but if you could see how it turned out compared to what it looked like before, it’s clearly an improvement and one that was done on the cheap.

  30. I also have a very neutral home, but I love the idea of a few sparkles. Perhaps a gold glitter trim on a cream lampshade and some ageing metallic numbers and letters for my book case. P.S I love the feathers and I’m very jealous of your disco ball. It’s incredible.

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