How One Blogger Transformed Her Living Room Into an Elegant and Empowering Escape Room

This holiday season, blogger Erika Ver is most thankful for a space in her house that features a mix of modern farmhouse, bohemian and mid-century styles.

When it comes to decorating your house, it’s important to include home decor that is filled with meaning, memories and of course, a little bit of beauty.

Erika Ver, the blogger behind design and lifestyle blog Peony & Honey, most enjoys spending time in her cozy living room punctuated with paintings and trinkets that remind her of her family. Rather than plastering photos of her loved ones all around her home, the Cleveland, Ohio creative collects art pieces that represent the important people in her life, placing them with intentionality. Thanks to personality-filled pieces such as mismatched frames and bohemian sketches, she has successfully styled her living room in a way that makes visitors feel as if they’re strolling through an underground art museum in Brooklyn or even Paris. Très chic.
 
Ver first began styling her living room several years ago because that’s where she spent most of her time due to health issues. Ver’s living room couch became her permanent resting spot, which made her want to give her space a fresh makeover in order to create an enjoyable ambiance.
 
“When you’re stuck at home sick, there’s not much you can do,” said Ver. “I thought, ‘Maybe I can change my scenery,’ and that’s when the idea of creating a gallery wall with different art pieces came to mind.”
 
Ver, along with her mother and sister, began gathering various works of art, most of which are from Home Goods, for Ver and her husband’s home. The star of the show on Ver’s gallery wall to date is a portrait of a woman with flowers as hair, which was the first piece the three all agreed on. While the drawing is certainly elegant, there’s a deeper meaning behind the flower girl that hangs above Ver’s couch.
 
“To me, the drawing encapsulates who I, my mom and sister am––very feminine and strong,” said Ver. “I love flowers because when I think of flowers, I think of things blooming and perseverance. Whenever I’m having a tough day and I look at the flowers on the wall, it brings me cheer.”

Another trend that visitors may notice on Ver’s gallery wall is a quote or two. From, “Speak kind words and receive kind echoes” to something as simple as “Be kind,” Ver loves covering her wall in daily reminders that motivate her to be positive. At first, her vision was to hang her quotes in all-white frames, but when she began laying pieces on her living room floor and saw how different the frames were from one another, she loved it.

 
“When I first started collecting pieces, I noticed that they were drastically different from one another,” said Ver. “I laid the set-up on the floor and oddly enough––even with all the frames being different colors––everything worked. I think it all worked so well together because it’s so random. Every piece has some sort of significance to me. So it appears random, but really it’s an eclectic collection in the best way possible.”
 
Apart from Ver’s wall of artwork, one specific item that Ver holds close to her heart sits in the corner next to her tan, leather Poly and Bark couch––a rubber plant. Ver officially became a “plant mom” when she realized she had close to 40 plants around her house. She was in need of a larger plant for a lonely corner in her living room and that’s when she stumbled upon the perfect leafy candidate on Facebook Marketplace. The glossy rubber plant was among many being sold by the boatload from a user with a discerning eye . The owner of these plants wasn’t selling them to just anybody—but, according to him, Ver and her husband were the perfect owners for his plant.
 
“The man who we bought the plant from was moving into an assisted living home and he wasn’t able to care for his plants anymore,” said Ver. “He told me he decided to sell me the plant because he thought I’d be able to take great care of it––I felt honored. I could tell how much this plant meant to him, so a few months after caring for it I sent him a photo of the plant to show him it was doing well and he was so excited and extremely thankful.”
 
Ver and her husband have lived in their Cleveland home for four years and just recently, Ver said she was able to take a step back, look at her living room and admit that she’s finally happy with the design and feel. According to Ver, getting the space to a state she loves has been a process. When Ver first moved in and began styling her home, she admits that she made some design faults, filling her living room with teal couches and geometric prints. But today, Ver is in love with her “farm-henian century modern” space.
 
“I would say my living room’s aesthetic is farm-henian century modern––a mixture of modern farmhouse, bohemian and mid-century,” said Ver. “My style has changed and evolved so much throughout the years, but I think I’ve finally found it.”
 
When it comes to design, Ver believes that gratitude plays a lead role in the way she puts a room together. The story of her home is deeper than what meets the eye and if there’s one quote that she lives by that applies to all aspects of her life including decorating her living room, it’s “Do what you can, when you can, with what you have.”
 
“Each time we add a new piece or design element to our home, that’s where the gratitude comes in,” said Ver. “We don’t have a million dollar mansion and all of the highest quality materials, but we’re creating a place inch by inch that my husband and I love.”
 
For Ver, that journey is itself a kind of home: “Each step feels like an accomplishment and something to be grateful for.”