Justina Blakeney's literally written . Two times over. She's proven that your home can be your greatest escape—even coining the term "" to name her brand, based on her love of patterns, color, and plants—through her bold, free-spirited designs. So, when her parents told Tina (as she's known by her fam), and her sister, Faith, that they were planning on moving into an old apartment that'd been in the family for decades, the sisters knew they couldn't let their parents settle for a dated rental.
"It was last updated in the '80s, I think," says. "At first, I thought, 'oh god, my parents are going to spend the rest of their days in this dreary apartment!' The more I talked to my sibs, the more we realized what an opportunity this was to work our magic and create their dream forever home."
Faith and Justina achieved just that, and in the process, shared some takeaways you can take home to make your space the ultimate getaway—that you never have to leave.
Justina's known for mixing teal into her designs, but the bold color doesn't have to overwhelm a space. The cool tone's mellow enough to work as a focal point, and it's great to balance out with warmer colors, like terracotta or coral.
You'll see the shade throughout the house, and it's often evened out with warm wood tones, orange-y hues, and copper accents.
"People consider it this luxe fabric and get concerned with wear and tear, but in this day and age, velvet's often synthetic, and it wears really nicely," Justina says. "It's easy to clean, if you get the Perennials kind."
She recommends mixing velvet with less luxurious fabrics, like textured cotton and linen, so it doesn't feel too formal.
Whatever you collect can become art, as evidenced by the gallery wall. It ties into the hanging above the table, giving the space an earthy vibe.
Rather than skew too rustic, Justina and Faith stuck with a modern table, adding that a pedestal design's crucial for breakfast nooks so you don't bang your knees on the table's legs as you slide in and out of the booth.
Believe it or not, those are the original cabinets—though you'd never know it from the . Justina and Faith refinished them to a more pristine cream tone, though they had some reservations at first: Would the striped wood be too much when paired with the paseo tile walls and the hex tile floors?
"We decided to go for it, and they wound up working together," Faith says. Sticking with a light neutral for the cabinets—and removing the upper cabinets on the focal wall in favor of open shelves—helped keep things in harmony.
A big part of Justina's new bohemian style involves bringing the outdoors in. Every room in the house features some pop of greenery to liven things up.
"In a condo that can feel cookie cutter, creating arched doorways and paths can create a more sacred feeling," Faith explains. She and Justina rounded out a lot of the normally squared-off spaces to make them feel a little more special, helping one room flow to the next.
An oversized closet seemed perfect for loads of storage, but it was so deep things could get lost in it forever. And, when the Blakeneys assessed what they really needed out of the room, it wasn't another closet—it was a daybed.
They took out the shelves, moving them to another closet in the house, and turned the space into a nook where guests could sleep. And they didn't totally lose the storage—they added shelves under the bed, so they'd have an easy place to stow blankets and pillows.
"I consider the outdoor space another room in the house—it needs flooring, lighting, furnishings," Justina says. She set out to make the condo's terrace a hangout space in its own right.
Faith designed the built-in bench seating, which does triple-duty as a storage space and an outdoor bed. A vintage rug and several pillows the sisters made using Justina's Loloi fabrics line help the space feel cozy.
The transformation has made the space a top hangout for the whole family: "It gets as much use as the kitchen now!" Justina laughs.