I’m Paige Wassel. WAS the Newsletter is your weekly dose of design inspiration and a moody slice of paradise. 


I’ll bet you $5 you didn’t know that I:

  • love the brand COS (or maybe you did know that)

  • drink natural wine (as recommended by my friends) BUT I secretly love a deep deep cheap cabernet

  • listen to a different musical every week. Top choice: Sound of Music. Currently listening to: Hairspray.


January is dark, cold, and dreary (even in LA), so I’m out shopping for some design sunshine. This week, I’m thrifting in ATLANTA and I’m shining light on these items:

Why not warm up your place with one of these pieces?


I’m not going to sugarcoat it; interior design can be hard and furnishing your home is expensive. You may think because you have good taste in fashion, interiors should be easy. Ha, ha, ha… no. With fashion, you can buy chic pieces on a whim, then donate or resell them the second they go out of style and you won’t break the bank. But try doing the same with an 18th century French chifforobe.

With interiors, basically all purchases are big purchases, so you want to do it right the first time. And you want to do it in a way that lasts. Before you make a lot of expensive mistakes, remember this: don’t chase trends. Trends trick you into thinking this is the only way you should decorate. Trends are ephemeral, even though they’re the fastest way to date your home. Trends are that mean friend promising that of course you look great in low-rise joggers.

So, here's my guide on how to avoid trends/figure out what your style really is.

  • Look for inspiration. You must start collecting inspiration everywhere you go, from restaurants to hotels to friends’ homes. Real life is the best inspiration, but don't let it overwhelm you. Take in little pieces. If you go into someone's home that you love, don't try to mimic everything they've done. Incorporate small bits into your own place. When you copy someone fully, it doesn't feel authentic. Do you want your home to feel like you or like them?  

  • Like and subscribe. Follow a variety of social media accounts. Don't just hitch your wagon to one account that appeals to you. Dig into others to figure out what other flavors of design you like. The caveat is, social media makes trends go viral. People can get really excited over whatever the new thing is and then it gets all this hype. If it’s trending on TikTok now, it will be in a thrift store in two years, count on that. (If you still love it then, you can scoop it up on the cheap.)

  • Shop your mom’s house. Okay, maybe not literally, unless she lets you raid her basement. I draw a lot of inspiration from the people in my life. The way my mom decorated our house when I was a kid left a lasting impression. While we don’t have the exact same style, she has classic pieces that I've replicated in my own décor. My friends are equally inspirational. If I love something that Kate does, chances are good I’ll try something similar in a small dose. You’ll build your own taste by paying attention to those with whom you surround yourself.

  • Open a book. I love drawing inspiration from art books and magazines, where experts put their years of experience on a printed page. Not only do these give me great ideas, but the books and magazines themselves become part of my design.

  • Start small. You may not have the funds to buy the big pieces you want right now, so draw inspiration from what you already have that you love. When I moved back to LA, my place was completely unfurnished. But I had a lot of art. I had a lot of vases, books, small items that I've collected over the years that I adore. Being surrounded by these small things helped me figure out the bigger pieces I wanted to incorporate. I mean, I’d ask myself, Will these coffee table books look good on this coffee table?

  • Get personal. Personal items that you’ve inherited from, say, your grandma or grandpa are timeless. Meaning stuff given to you by someone who you love will always be cool.

  • Be patient with the process. Curating a home takes time. Don't rush into buying something. If you want an MCM console, don't just go straight to Wayfair and press Add to Cart. Give yourself a minute to look for an authentic one, or to find something you truly love. If you need furniture right this second, shop on Facebook Marketplace and buy that piece as a placeholder for your forever piece.

Check out my Pinterest if you want to see some half-ass-put-together boards (even though I do cherish this thing).

Trust me when I say you can find your taste. Everyone has a personal style, it’s just a matter of digging in to discover what you love. Find the people or the accounts or the inspiration that will help you build a place with your stamp on it and take bits and pieces from all of it. Remember, it’s not a race. Take your time and spend your money wisely on pieces that will last. Because you only want to haul that antique chifforobe up the stairs once.


Benjamin Moore: Paper Lantern

Finish: Flat

Room Light Level: Low to mid