Fashion Forward: Decor Edition

Designing for You

Story and photography by Susan Hodell 

I’ve always been an advocate for breaking the rules a bit when it comes to fashion. That doesn’t necessarily mean wearing my high school prom dress to the office, but I do love a good, well-tailored, cigarette-leg pantsuit, with a crisp pair of retro Adidas sneakers! Fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s all about expressing yourself and feeling your best.

The same guidelines apply when I go to style a living space. Like with fashion, I’m always excited for a new trend. But the room doesn’t feel quite right until I put my own spin on things.

The two worlds are more closely related than you might realize! What’s hot in apparel influences the world of decor in a major way. That cigarette-leg pantsuit I’m obsessed with? Menswear-inspired pieces are huge in women’s fashion right now. Without making the connection beforehand, what did I just have to have for our bed at home? Menswear-inspired sheets! I had to offset the slightly masculine linens, however, with a few blingy bedside lamps, because that combo felt like me. (My partner is a good sport, and he supports my styling adventures… most of the time!)

Another trend that’s taken over my closet and now my patio furniture is that omnipresent millennial pink. I swore off pink for so many years, but now, all my shirts are pink and so are the vintage metal shell chairs out back!

My tastes have changed and that’s what’s fun about cultivating your own style: it’s not permanent. It can grow and develop along with who you are and what you need at any given point in your own journey.

For me, work-life is busy right now. My style and decor choices reflect that, and are above all else functional. Skirts are hard to pull off when I’m lugging furniture around, but you better believe my pants will be vintage and they will be funky. At home, there aren’t a lot of knick knacks, because I just don’t have the hours to dedicate to dusting. I’ve gone pretty simple for the time being.

Going minimal didn’t affect my love for color, though. There are still plum-colored accent walls in the home office, and big bold curtains in the great room. That’s what feels like me and works for my life, and that’s what it’s all about.

When you’re able to cater your personal style to your needs and capture even a smidgen of your originality, it can be life-changing. When I wake up in a space that is organized to fit my day and filled with things I love, I’m motivated. I’m more likely to wake up early and make a real breakfast. I’ll prep a healthy lunch. I’m more likely to pack a bag, so I can swing by the gym later. I’m excited for my day.

And then there’s the OOTD — Outfit of the Day. In real life, some mornings are a struggle and I’m just lucky to find matching socks. But we all know how good it feels to be in clothes that work for your body and reflect your spirit. It makes you feel confident that you can tackle your day. It makes you feel optimistic. It makes you feel powerful. It’s good to be you. Show it off! SWM

Susan Hodell is the owner of Driftwood & Glitter. For more information, visit or Find Driftwood & Glitter’s vintage housewares at Vintage Love, located at 201 E. Jefferson St. in downtown Syracuse.