September 13, 2018
Meet Danielle Driscoll, who runs the interior design blog Finding Silver Pennies. On her blog, Danielle showcases DIY home renovation and decoration projects, and shares downloadable prints of her own artwork. She’s also the author of a new ebook, On the Tip of my Paintbrush - Painted Furniture Techniques. We talked about her about creativity, mixing the modern and antique, and how she draws inspiration from both the New England coast and English countryside.
Where did your love for DIY interior design begin?
When I was little, my parents had a restaurant inside a colonial mansion, and my mom did all the interiors. Through that, I fell in love with old homes. My love for using oriental rugs and pillows in décor — that’s my mom’s influence. Growing up, she’d always take me to yard sales and antique stores.
What are the most defining elements of your personal aesthetic?
We live in an old house in Scituate Harbor, which is a coastal town south of Boston. We live right up from the harbor. I love walking on the beach with my husband and the dogs and kids, where we collect sea glass and treasures. A lot of the colors I like — blues, white, grays— are from the ocean. The coastal lighting is also very inspiring.
The other thing I’m inspired by is that my husband is from Cornwall. I met him when I studied abroad junior year of college, and then lived with him in England for five years. I love the look of a country house, and the eclectic way that most English people decorate. They don’t just buy everything from one store. They have an antique here, a beautiful rug from there, and slipcover furniture. I love the coastal aesthetic, but I love the English look layered on top of that, where it takes time to build up.
How does creativity factor into all your work?
Through my blog, I discovered all these things that were inside of me, but I don’t think I’m any different than anyone else. I think everyone is creative. I recently started this Creativity Over Coffee series, where I interview people about their creative process. Hopefully it will inspire my readers to say, “oh, they did it, maybe I can too!”
Is there a specific corner of your home that you feel most creative in?
A place I feel creative in is my “She Shed.” It has shiplap walls. It’s my coastal oasis. We have two boys and two dogs — sometimes it can be crazy and messy in the house. I can go there and pretend no one needs me.
Say a friend approached you for budget-friendly interior design tips. What are the first pieces of advice you’d give?
The first one would be wall color. It’s something that doesn’t cost much, but it can transform a room. I painted a lot of rooms light colors, but I’m actually painting my husband’s office dark to feel cozy. Also, candles and pillows always add character without the expense.
How do you balance vintage and modern aesthetics?
All-modern can feel cold to me, and all-old can feel like a thrift store. When you mix them together, the interior feels livelier because the pieces play off of each other. For example, I love to pair a vintage rug with a slip-cover couch, or display modern art next to an old dresser. You need a mix of wood and painted elements, so that pieces retain character and importance in the room.
How do Revival rugs and pillows play into your home’s décor?
I love oriental rugs just because they are so durable. If something spills, just clean it up right away and vacuum. To me, they are an investment you can pass on to your kids, as something more than just a rug.
When picking out the pillows, I thought of the rooms I wanted to use them in. At the time we had a dark chesterfield couch, but they also work now with our new white couch. I chose a pale pastel pillow to go with linen bedding, for a coastal feel. I can’t help it, I always love blue. I try to branch out and then I’m like, look at that blue, it’s so pretty! Sometimes, you can’t help it; you just like what you like!