3 Things I Learned While Shopping With Designer Natalie Kraiem at HomeGoods

I'm no stranger to HomeGoods. Like most people, I've found a treasure or two every time I shop the store. But when it came time to shop for a total bedroom redesign, I wasn't sure I could handle it on my own. That's why I recruited interior designer Natalie Kraiem, who also happens to be a HomeGoods style expert, to go shopping with me. Natalie showed me where to start (big furniture first!), and helped me pick the best items in the store—all for less than $1,200. You can watch our entire shopping spree above, but here are the three biggest lessons I learned from her that day:

Rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to metals.

"Silver and gold, sometimes people think 'Oh, how am I going to mix them...' I always mix metals," Natalie told me. I was worried that silver table lamps would clash with the gold-accented nightstands we had picked out, but Natalie encouraged me to mix the contrasting metals.

You can use neutrals, but there's a catch.

It feels like neutrals get a bad reputation for being boring, but according to Natalie, you don't have to rule them out. "I don't mind doing neutrals, as long as you have texture," she says. For example, we found throw pillows with knots and shaggy fur that gave them a little something extra. Even the nightstands we chose had faux-patina all over the surface that took them from blah to beautiful.

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Brad Holland

You can pair matching items...sometimes.

"I like matching nightstands in general," Natalie told me. She even suggested matching lamps to go on the matching nightstands. But when it comes to things like mirrors, baskets, and other decorative accessories, she taught me to change things up. For items that don't match, Natalie suggests looking for colors that contrast each other, and mixing different sizes. We did this with the baskets, picture frames, and jewelry boxes we found.

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Brad Holland

If you're not sure what will work nicely together, look out for something on each end of the design spectrum. Choose one that is "clean and classic," and another that is more playful and can act as the accent.

For more tips from Natalie, watch the full video above.

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