Tips for Creating a Livable Yet Stylish Home from HGTV's Candice Olsen

Comfortable and chic don't have to live miles apart. Find simple tips for designing a home that's functional and beautiful.
Brown Contemporary Living Room With Rustic Coffee Table

Brown Contemporary Living Room With Rustic Coffee Table

From

Candice Tells All

Candice Olson, host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All," created this living room that blends style and function. She says, "It's important to know what makes the most sense for your lifestyle and home, so don't choose colors, fabrics or even materials that won't work for your family, children or pets." This living room's rustic wood coffee table, dark upholstered armchair and patterned area rug ensure a family-friendly space.

Similar Topics:

It's important to make your home both stylish and livable. There is one word that designers either love or hate: function. Personally, I love it. I really believe you can have the right balance of both style and function.

The one thing you need to do when embarking on a design project is to be realistic. Think about this question: How does your house have to work for you and your family? If you're like me with a young, busy family full of kids and pets, you should never have anything white in your house unless you're sure the material is stain resistant.

However, you can find the right mix of function and style. Just make sure you think your design decisions through carefully. If you're a large family that spends all your time doing homework in the kitchen and family room, then a large kitchen island or an open-concept kitchen and family room will probably work really well for you. If you're a retired couple who loves to cook and entertain, your priority might be gorgeous kitchen appliances, so you splurge on a chef's dreamy (and stylish) gas range.

It's important to know what makes the most sense for your lifestyle and home, so don't choose colors, fabrics or even materials that won't work for your family, children or pets. Be realistic about what you can and can't live with because there are some things you might love the look of, that are very stylish, but just aren't practical with a Great Dane. For example, I absolutely love the look of white Carrara marble countertops, but they can be stressful in a kitchen because they stain so easily, especially by red wine or coffee. You don't want to always be on high alert for spills, or be the crazy lady saying, "Don't touch the counters!"

That's not to say if you have a busy lifestyle with kids and pets, you can't have a gorgeous, stylish home. Companies have caught on and now function can be stylish, too. For instance, there are great-looking, durable fabrics that are made to handle extreme wear and tear. Some are even made with Teflon. Sometimes you might pay a little more for a high-performance material that looks great and can stand the test of time. Be smart about it, and if you get a light color sofa (or you had one before the kids came along), consider having a slipcover made that's in a dark, machine-washable fabric.

If you have a hectic home life with lots of activity, think about your choices and always go with the most durable materials you can find. Or tell you kids to stay in their rooms until they're old enough to go to college.

Next Up

HGTV shows how to designing around kids and still have style

Discover how to create a home that's functional, stylish and kid-friendly.

Incorporate Design Trends Into Your Home

Discover tips for updating your home with the latest design trends; without falling victim to fads or having to redecorate your home every six months.

HGTV Dream Home 1998: Beaufort, SC

HGTV Dream Home 1998 is a classic, low-country beauty, located just outside Beaufort, SC. Discover the Southern charm that makes this house a home.

HGTV Dream Home 1997: Jackson Hole, WY

HGTV Dream Home 1997 marked the start of an exciting annual project. Take a trip to Jackson Hole, WY, and discover the rustic charm that made HGTV's first Dream Home a warm and cozy success.

HGTV Dream Home 1999: Rosemary Beach

HGTV Dream Home 1999, a glorious tropical retreat in Rosemary Beach, FL, is a dream come true in architecture and decor.

Cane Pattern Decorating Tips

Check out these tips for incorporating it into your decor without going overboard.

HGTV presents a Q&A with Designer Candice Olson

The queen of divine style: Get to know Candice Olson. Discover where she finds inspiration and her best advice for new designers.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Organic Style

Almost 50 years after his death, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's organic style continues to influence designers.

Create a Chic Living Space

The first challenge the designers face is to redesign two bedrooms, a dining room, a living room and a sunroom in their Nashville lake house — with 31 work hours and a budget of $15,000.

HGTV Dream Home 2006: Lake Lure

Lake Lure's spectacular scenery and opportunities for relaxation make it a perfect spot for HGTV Dream Home 2006.

NEW: Live TV

Don’t miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Luxury Home Giveaways

HGTV Smart Home

A sophisticated Southern home in Raleigh, N.C.

HGTV Urban Oasis

A 1,300-square-foot bungalow in the heart of Asheville, NC

HGTV Dream Home

A waterfront escape in Merritt Island, Florida