Self-proclaimed interior styling nut Erin Francois (francois_et_moi) has developed a fan club of fellow DIY enthusiasts who follow along on her popular blog, Francois et Moi, as she and her husband modernize their Minneapolis Tudor. We got the scoop on her favorite home décor trends, her go-to paint colors and her top tips for diving into a DIY project.

What’s the first thing you notice upon walking into a house?

Natural daylight. From energizing to moody, light level really plays into a space’s overall feeling. 

What décor items do you think instantly transform a space? 

A fresh coat of paint, throw pillows and area rugs are relatively easy additions that work wonders in transforming the look of a space.

What are your go-to Twin Cities shops for home goods?

I love thrifting! Arc’s Value Village in St. Paul, the Salvation Army in the North Loop and the Picket Fence Gals in Lindstrom are a few of my favorite spots. I also love Arlee Park, The Foundry Home Goods, and Tangletown Gardens for plants, accessories and advice.

What are your tips for someone looking to try some DIY?

Start small. If you’re new to DIY, find your sea legs with an inexpensive smaller project. Then gradually work toward more complex projects where you’re learning one or two new skills per project.

Enlist a friend. Tackling a project with a friend is not only more fun but also great for troubleshooting or a second opinion along the way.

Take a local class. Projects in Person in Hopkins offers a range of DIY classes where you can learn how to use power tools and make something cool for your home all in one night.

Embrace imperfections. Handmade pieces aren’t meant to be perfect but instead unique. These imperfections are all a part of creating a meaningful home that’s as individual as you are.

How do you thoughtfully mix design styles?

I try to bridge differences in style through some kind of common denominator, like a limited color palette. Introducing a new style as a set of two, such as a pair of chairs, is another great way to make visual sense of a contrasting look. Truly though, there are very few hard and fast rules when it comes to mixing styles, so if there’s an unconventional pairing I love, all the rules kind of go out the window.

What are your favorite paint colors?

Home Decorators Whisper White and Benjamin Moore White (yep, it’s actually just called White!) are my go-to white paint colors. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist is a beautiful soft gray for when you want a light, airy feel without going completely white. And Behr Brooklyn, a deep jewel-tone green, is my pick for setting a wonderfully moody vibe.

What home décor trends are you loving right now?

Social impact: I love that on the whole, we’re paying attention to the social impact behind the pieces we’re bringing into our homes. We’re focusing more on the backstory (Where was it made? Who made it? What materials?) and finding a personal balance between artisan-made and mass-produced.

Caned furniture: I’m loving the versatility of caning as it’s a look traditional, boho and modern minimal enthusiasts can all get behind. Bentwood caned furniture is particularly striking my fancy at the moment.

Vintage wool rugs: They are always on rotation at my house! Their unique color palettes make them a great starting point when pulling together a room, plus they’re durable, cleanable, and are packed with history and character.

How did you learn to trust your gut when it comes to interior styling decisions?

It’s an ongoing process of honing and understanding my personal style. If I see something I’m really drawn to or that I even dislike, I try to figure out why: What do I like here? What doesn’t quite work for me? There are still times that I’ll second guess a decision. In those moments, I’ll go back to inspiration images I pulled at the start of the project to check in and make sure I’m still on track with the original direction. Honestly though, sometimes finding the right solution comes down to trial and error, and that’s OK, too!