Two Harris Doyle Interior Designers Were Featured in Bham Now!
Nathan Watson from Bham Now sat down with two Harris Doyle Homes designers, Jessica Salinas Balentine and Haylee Dodd, to discuss making your home festive for the holidays. The designers put together a special presentation of fall and Thanksgiving decor at the Simms Landing model home to show everyone how it’s done. Keep reading to discover some tips and tricks that will have you decorating your new home like a pro.
Meet Jessica and Haylee
Jessica Salinas Balentine (left) and Haylee’ Dodd (right) with all the fall colors 🍁. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
Jessica Salinas Balentine: Born in Hawaii and raised in Alabama, Jessica moved to Birmingham several years ago with her husband.
Haylee’ Dodd: Originally from Birmingham, Haylee’ recently graduated with a degree in interior design, which she gets to utilize every day with Harris Doyle Homes.
Jessica: “I joined the Harris Doyle team about two years ago as an Interior Designer and I absolutely love it. I actually found the position through social media, and when I interviewed with the Interior Design Manager we instantly clicked. It’s a wonderful work environment; they’re very family-oriented and encourage a healthy work/life balance.”
Haylee’: “I recently started working for Harris Doyle, about six months ago. I actually got the job three days after graduating from the University of North Alabama in Florence. I feel like I’m ‘adulting’ very fast! Plus, my name is Haylee’ Dodd and I work for Harris Doyle—two HD’s—so it feels like it was meant to be.”
When you’re designing a space for the fall season, where do you start?
Jessica: “For me, I always like to start with the pumpkins. I like to support local, so I’ll visit local garden shops like Leaf & Petal to pick up pumpkins and gourds. They have so much color and texture, so it’s always fun to add them to tables or put them in corners of the room. Really, I recommend anything that adds color to a room, whether it’s a throw pillow, a blanket or anything else. Even small things help!”
Haylee’: “You can also think about special fall scents that you want around your house. We recommend something natural, like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus. You can find those candles almost anywhere!”
Even small changes, like new throw pillows and blankets can make a huge difference. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
What are some good Thanksgiving colors to look for in your decor?
Jessica: “Your fall colors are a great place to start; plum, burgundy, mustard yellow—basically, the beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees. They all complement each other really well, so that’s where I draw a lot of inspiration from!”
Haylee’: “When I think about interior design, whether it’s for Harris Doyle or myself, I like to get down to the basics. Texture, colors, patterns, lines, and shapes. I always say don’t be afraid of color. Just have fun with it! With design, there are no right answers. You can make anything look good as long as you’re confident in your choices.”
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If I’m having people over, how should I decorate the table?
Haylee’: If you ever need inspiration, Pinterest is your best friend. When we decorated our table for the model home at Simms Landing, we knew we wanted to play into the Thanksgiving vibe—so we have a really nice floral centerpiece with lots of greens and earth tones. And of course we had to put a few small pumpkins and gourds on the table!”
Little pumpkins and gourds add so much fun and life to your Thanksgiving table setup! Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
Any final tips for our readers?
Jessica: “At the end of the day, your home is a reflection of yourself. I love thrifting, so I decorate my space with one-of-a-kind pieces I find at thrift and antique stores. And you don’t have to find everything at once—you can always curate your collection of decorations, finding a few pieces at a time.”
Haylee’: “I agree. If you’re struggling to decorate your home, I always like to start with one piece that brings me joy and then work my design around that. Once you have something to start with, you can mix and match your throw pillows and blankets around that. And don’t be afraid of textures, patterns and materials!”
Feel free to reach out to the Harris Doyle design team at any time with design and decorating questions. Click here to learn more about our design studio and process when building your new home.
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