Amber Guyton of Blessed Little Bungalow Is All About Affordable Design

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Amber Guyton closed on her very first home in San Antonio, Texas back in December of 2015. Eager to have a place to call her own, Guyton already had decor and furniture staged by the time her family came to visit only one week later. They were blown away by her setup and encouraged her to pursue decorating as a side hustle, as she already had a full-time job in the corporate world of financial services. Guyton's blog and soon-to-be creative outlet, Blessed Little Bungalow, was later born in 2016.

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The online journal stemmed into Guyton offering decorating services to both those only a car ride away and those states away, exposing her to the world of e-design. In a culture where more and more jobs are going virtual, interior design is no exception. Guyton creates mood boards, shopping lists, and even layouts for clients far away while keeping in touch via video calls.

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The designer likes to switch up her location every so often, and moved to San Francisco before settling in Atlanta, Georgia.

"I feel like every two years, I have a quarter life crisis and decide I want to do something different," Guyton told Hunker. "Maybe it's a millennial thing, that we're just not our parents staying somewhere for 40 years and retiring."

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Her clientele has moved with her, making e-design all the more tempting, but she still sees quite a few clients in person. She was able to turn her side hustle into a full-time career beginning in June of last year.

"I'm very passionate about personal finance and helping people love their home within a budget," said Guyton. "It kind of bled from one career to the next."

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Since personal finance is so crucial to the designer, the most important aspect of Blessed Little Bungalow to Guyton has been making design financially accessible. After growing up in a single-family household in South Carolina, the designer came from "humble beginnings." She would have never dreamed of having the chance to hire an interior designer or buy high-quality furniture, but now she is helping others create their dream spaces.

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"I take pride in meeting my clients where they are financially," she explained. "I have clients who are millionaires. I have clients who are social workers and teachers. A lot of times, people might hear 'affordable design' and think it's an oxymoron, but I don't think that's the case. I think you can definitely invest in quality pieces without going beyond your means. It's about knowing that there's a balance between investing in a quality piece that will stand the test of time, but also not feeling like you need to spend an excess amount of money for something to 'look good.'"

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Keeping the entire process within her client's budget may mean heading to Target for a rug, or going to Home Goods for floor lamps, but the designer will do whatever needs to be done to lift the monetary burden when it comes to furnishing a space.

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With no formal training, Guyton takes a non-traditional approach to interior design. Instead of regarding the process as transactional, the designer aims to keep the conversation as open as possible. She really wants to know how her clients feel in their home and how they use their space, before focusing on the beauty aspects. Is their home a place of solace or a place to entertain? Have the kids infiltrated every room with toys, and are there any pets? What feeling does each room elicit? Guyton wants to "get to know the humans of the home" before working on the space they live in.

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"I do believe that everyone should be able to walk into their home and feel relief, and feel like it reflects them," said Guyton. "I think one thing that I realized a lot more with clients during the pandemic is that people [often] don't like where they live."

As a designer, Guyton finds herself drawn to colors and lots of artwork. As a self-proclaimed maximalist, she loves mounting as many items on the walls as possible. While empty space and neutral colors have been recent trends in the design industry, Guyton swears by filling a room with things that bring you joy, whether it's art, color, or patterns.

"People are always like 'wallpaper is back,' but no, wallpaper has always been here," explained Guyton. "You're just getting on the bus finally. I love all things hanging and decorating for walls."

Blessed Little Bungalow has been a one-woman show for a while, except for a virtual assistant who pitches in on administrative tasks, but Guyton hopes to build a team one day. With no interest in full-service interior design due to the complicated logistics, the designer is just enjoying entrepreneurship and working on additional opportunities in content creation for the time being. (Just wait until you see how beautiful her Instagram is!)

"I'm just enjoying going against the grain and doing things non traditionally," said Guyton. "I'm excited to see more e-designers coming into this industry to make it better, because the interior design industry is constantly changing. It's been an awesome world to be a part of."

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