Podcast, Ep. 351: The House Romantic with Haskell Harris

Haskell Harris, Author and Style Editor of Garden and Gun

This week, we’re getting romantic and welcoming style director of Garden & Gun Haskell Harris to talk all about her newest book The House Romantic. We’ve long admired Haskell’s work at Garden & Gun and are thrilled to talk to her about curating a space that reflects your life experience and individual flair.

Haskell also gives some great ideas for injecting soul and personal significance into your home environment, how to let perfectionism go, and why a pop of color just puts us in a good mood. Haskell talks about the process of creating her book and picking the right kindred spirits to showcase.

Order your own copy of The House Romantic here.

What You’ll Hear This Episode:

  • The inspiration behind writing  The House Romantic.
  • Choosing homes and individuals that approach decorating with soul, thought, and intellectual curiosity.
  • More about the “kindred spirits” that are the subject of Haskell’s interviews in The House Romantic.
  • Haskell’s love of finding young and undiscovered talent.
  • Creating an authentic home environment free from the pressure of perfectionism or comparison.
  • Dividing the book into chapters and pillars based on design elements like comfort, authenticity, and personal flair.
  • We talk about some current design trends in the US and the UK.
  • Haskell talks about the photography in The House Romantic and the intention to capture the homes as if you were going over for a cup of coffee.
  • Haskell believes that the home is meant to be a spot where the brain and body can rest up and charge for the next day out in the world.

Excerpt from "The House Romantic"Decorating Dilemma:


I have a decorating dilemma for you today! My great room/living room area has an L-shaped sectional, but not quite enough space to do the classic layout where two chairs face the sectional and coffee table.

I feel like I have too much dead space between my seating area and the wall though, so what should go there? A single accent chair placed at an angle? If so, what scale should the chair be, large or small? I have wall to wall shelves as part of my focal wall, will placing a chair on an angle there detract or make the look too busy with those shelves behind it?

Or, am I overthinking it and the space should be left blank?

Thank you so much for any advice you may have!

– Katie

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Katie!

Thank you so much, we also have a giant overthinker here too. Haskell’s first suggestion that we agree with is that a desk could give you a great place to rest and write. Then, we would suggest adding an accent chair to the space between the L-shaped sectional and the wall. A smaller, more compact chair would likely fit well in that area without making the space feel too crowded.

As for scale, we would recommend choosing a chair that is proportionate to the size of the sectional so that it looks balanced in the space. A large, oversized chair may overwhelm the area. Positioning the chair at an angle, as suggested, could work nicely to draw the eye into that part of the room. Placing the chair near the bookshelves could help direct attention to that focal wall as well. Testing out options by borrowing chairs from other rooms first could help determine what works best for the overall flow and layout.

Overall the space looks large enough to accommodate a chair without issues. Filling that empty area would balance out the room and make the seating arrangement feel more complete. Thanks and good luck!

How to Decorate

Also Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect finishing touch. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.