Aniko & Her Home
All we can say about this week's Glitter Guide home tour interviewee (aside from the obvious, "We love everything!") is this: How does she do it all? While you might initially think that the professional title of Place Of My Taste founder, Aniko Levai, is blogger, the word barely even touches on all of the things this creative has her hands in. From photographer and teacher, not to mention interior designer and mom, Aniko is breaking down the myth that multitasking is an inefficient way to work.
One look into the Levai household and you can tell that Aniko has managed to find a way to blend all of her many talents into a seamless lifestyle that allows her to enjoy her multitude of passions. Each room is styled to perfection, yet you can clearly see the influence of Aniko's family on nearly every wall, surface and piece of furniture. Toys are cleverly stashed throughout, original artwork created by her own hands hangs on the walls, plus soft textiles that suggest lots of quality family time show that this house is much more than just a dreamy, Pinterest-worthy pad.
Below, Aniko opens her front door so that we can peek in on her gorgeously designed rooms one by one, and also to learn from her tried-and-true homemaking and blogging techniques—enjoy!
We just love the aesthetic of your home! How would you describe your interior design style?
Thank you! It’s hard to categorize my style, as I love mixing styles. As you walk through my home, you can tell how much I like layering textures and how I enjoy adding a pop of color to every space. I love mid-century modern lines, but I also plug in the rustic charm, a little bit of bohemian and an edgy feeling to my design. Over the last couple of years, my design style evolved to what it is today. I finally found the style that resonates with me the most and the style we, as a family, feel great living in. Should we call it eclectic?
What is your favorite pattern and why?
I don’t have a favorite pattern; I just love them all and I like to incorporate them into my design.
What inspires your creative processes as a blogger?
That's a hard one to say because lots of things inspire me. Sometimes just looking at a pattern or a color would make my brain start spinning and new ideas would pop up. I have a great imagination, and I can visualize things, finished pieces and rooms in my head instantly. That's where I drive my hubby crazy! I find inspiration everywhere. The way it goes for me is that an idea strikes me and, while I start working on the process, new ideas form from it. I love that.
I enjoy changing the look of my rooms as often as the seasons change. But don't think significant changes—I make little changes like swapping out pillows, switching rugs around and rearranging furniture to create a fresh look.
How did you initially get into interior design and photography?
As long as I can remember, I've always loved decorating. I was about 8 years old when my parents let me pick my furniture for the first time, and I remember that I had so much fun decorating my little room. I even hung my art above my bed. We lived in an apartment for a few years before we moved into our first (and current) home and while there, I was limited to what I was able to do as far as designing, painting walls and making changes. Since we purchased our first home eight years ago, I never stopped decorating. I am very passionate about interior design, and luckily most people say that I "have the eye for style." I enjoy changing the look of my rooms as often as the seasons change. But don't think significant changes—I make little changes like swapping out pillows, switching rugs around and rearranging furniture to create a fresh look.
As for photography, I got into it more seriously when my first baby was born. Then, as soon as I launched my blog in 2013, I started photographing my projects, food and later on my rooms and interiors. I was eager to learn all about photography, so I self-educated myself and practiced a lot. I found photography to be the perfect outlet for my creativity. I launched my photography business about two years ago, which I currently do as a part-time profession.
Do you have any clever home storage tips?
Yes! Get as many baskets as you can. I have a gazillion organizing baskets, as I like to use them to store things that would otherwise not be very visually attractive. For example, I alternate baskets in my entryway, and those baskets hold so much clutter—you wouldn't even believe. I use baskets in our closets and bathrooms as well. I also keep board games and smaller toys in our family room in a cute little basket. Baskets are truly my best friends. They are perfect for organizing and storing items.
Tell us about your art! Are they all your own work?
I love art in any form. I was always very artistic, and I think the talent I have in my hands was inherited from my dad who also loves to paint. He is super talented. I express myself through art, and it relaxes me. I, of course, love to showcase my pieces in my home, but I also like to support other gifted artists. Most of the art pieces that you see in my home were created by me, except the two large side-by-side paintings in my living room.
How has your Hungarian heritage influenced the design of your home?
Not at all. My true design style developed over time—I always say I get better with age. My Hungarian heritage has not influenced my design style.
Where are your favorite local places to shop for home goods?
I love thrift stores, and I am a pretty good budget shopper. I have a favorite thrift store where I like to hop in and dig through now and then. It’s a small family-owned little shop with the best finds. My other favorite one-stop shops are Target and HomeGoods.
What about where you like to shop for clothes and jewelry?
Can you tell I love jewelry? Jewelry and I are good friends. Jewelry is always part of my outfit, and I am the same way with them as with my interior design style—I like to layer and mix them for the best look. I'm not 21 anymore, but I sure love jewelry from Forever 21, and the store's clothes collection isn’t bad either. I am a huge fan of H&M and Target for both clothes and jewelry. Sometimes Old Navy rocks my world, too.
What is your favorite room in your house, and why?
That’s a tough one. I feel like my favorite room is always the one that I just redecorated. I adore our comfy and cozy living room where we spend lots of time as a family, but the newly designed family room always makes my heart go pitter-patter when I sit there. Lately, I'm constantly staring at the beautiful built-in bookcases we’ve made. And, of course, my lovely bedroom is also on my favorites list.
It will always be hard to find the right balance, but one thing I love about being my own boss is the flexibility I have. My best tip is to separate life and business as much as possible, to prioritize and to plan ahead.
What are your favorite plants to keep and do you have any house plant-keeping tips?
I love to surround myself with plants and greens. I believe they should be present in every home, as they are an essential and important part of a great and fresh design. Plants give liveliness and an excellent aesthetic to a home. I try to stick with plants that don’t require much attention, and the reason for that is because I am horrible at keeping up with watering them. I have a good amount of fake plants, too. My favorites of all are my fiddle fig trees, snake plants, pothos and succulents.
How has your role as a business owner evolved as a mother with growing children? Do you have any tips for other busy working moms?
Being a parent requires lots of time, work and devotion, and so does being an entrepreneur. Balancing the two is the hardest thing for me with my growing children. My boys are still little (5 and 7 years old), and they require mommy's attention a lot. I needed to learn to prioritize and to say "no" to certain things and opportunities. It will always be hard to find the right balance, but one thing I love about being my own boss is the flexibility I have. My best tip is to separate life and business as much as possible, to prioritize and to plan ahead.
We fell head over heels for your collection of gorgeous rugs and pillows—where did you find them all?
Oh, thanks! I am a firm believer that a colorful throw pillow can transform an entire room. I make lots of mini room makeovers by swapping out pillows as well as rugs. I have few gorgeous pillows from World Market. I also have some great IKEA pillows, some from H&M, Urban Outfitters and some from great online stores, too. I also made some pillows using simple placemats myself. And just recently, I created some funky shibori pillow covers using a tie-dye technique for a fun living room refresh. I have three great rugs from Rugs USA, and I bought a few great ones from IKEA and World Market as well.
Home is where we surround ourselves with the things we enjoy and adore, and home is where we build strong family spirit. I love home.
What are your favorite blogs and Instagram accounts to follow?
Oh, Instagram is my favorite platform. For interior inspiration, I love to stalk Emily Henderson. She is fantastic. I also love Amber Interiors and I have many fellow bloggers in my niche whom I follow for inspiration and for eye candy.
What are some of your favorite DIY projects?
I have lots of favorites, as I always dig in some serious DIY projects. My most favorite to date is the reclaimed wood buffet (an IKEA hack) in my dining room. It was a super easy project, and I consider it a high-end looking piece on a small budget. Our family favorite is the pallet patio—it was featured in Better Homes & Gardens last summer! We built it two summers ago using regular shipping pallets. We spend lots of great quality time out there; it's our summertime paradise. My tufted indigo headboard should be penciled into the favs list and, of course, I am pretty much in love with our Billy bookcase built-ins that we finished just a few months ago. The list goes on!
In your own words, what makes a house a “home”?
The people who live in a house make it home. Home is a special place where we enjoy family time, where we feel cozy and comfy, where we have piles of laundry sitting on the floor without anyone criticizing it. Home is where we surround ourselves with the things we enjoy and adore, and home is where we build strong family spirit. I love home.
- Rattan basket
- White basket
- Jacquard-weave cotton rug
- Aqua area rug
- Leather sofa
- Passage art print
- Cera No1 art print
- Moroccan shag rug
- Jute rug
- Brass task lamp
- Carved side table
- Stockholm pillows
- Trellis wall stencil
- Round pintuck pillow for stool
- Wing chair
- Bamboo roman shade
- Dusty pink velvet throw pillow
- Blue velvet throw pillow
- Round mirror
- Black and white blanket
- White blanket
- Medallion rug
- Dining room rug
- Dining room chairs
- Flatwoven bedroom rug
- Blue duvet cover
- White pintuck duvet cover
- Master platform bed
- Velvet citrus pillows
- Blue dress
- White dress
- Gingham shirt