These KC bloggers don’t just write about style, they bring it home.
Story by Kelsey Cipolla | Photos by Jennifer Wetzel
Melanie Knopke, Style Scout
Being clothes-minded can have big benefits. Just ask former retail buyer Melanie Knopke, who started her blog Style Scout after moving to her husband’s hometown of KC from Chicago as a way to reconnect with her fashion roots in 2009.
After making the leap from big city to slightly smaller city and deciding to stay at home with her son, Knopke was looking for a way to put her energy and passion to good use.
Initially focused on baby items, the first iteration of the blog was pretty basic, Knopke remembers. But with her kids growing up, these days it’s loaded with her personality, which comes through in the blog’s bold and bright design as well as her personal stories and fashion picks.
Naturally you’ll see plenty of wearable fashion trends and tips (recent posts herald the return of flared jeans and show how to wear white after Labor Day), fun finds, like metallic flash tattoos scooped up at Birdies, photos of items she’s coveting and love for local goods on her website. But you’ll also find family photos and a rundown of where she’s been and what she’s been wearing.
“Now I have more me time, more on my personal style and more original photography,” she says.
And she’s got more on her plate. Through her blog, she’s been tapped for a variety of local fashion gigs, which include writing for local media outlets and styling Park Place’s online look book, fashion shows and TV appearances as well as jewelry events for Tivol. Knopke is also gathering her favorite finds for KC shoppers through Style Scout Market events, featuring local vendors such as Charlie Hustle, Sorella Studios and Fifth House Intimates for a one-day shopping extravaganza.
Her online presence hasn’t only boosted her fashion profile—her home has also been the beneficiary of her love for blogs, which helped inform her taste when it came to choosing the decor for her family’s first home.
“I hadn’t started blogging yet, and I had a hard time decorating because I just didn’t know what my decorating style was,” Knopke explains. “I was always confident with clothing, but when it came to filling a house, it was like ‘What do I really love?’ It took reading blogs and Pinterest and those types of things to say, ‘This is what I really like.’”
Knopke discovered she was a fan of mixing and matching pieces as well as thrifting, a familiar shopping philosophy that has led her to discover hidden home gems.
“It’s the thrill of the hunt,” she says. “I love going to HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx or estate sales in Kansas City. My favorite pieces have been antiques or these random finds at hole in the wall type places.”
Treasured finds include an antique dresser she painted pink, which adds charm to her home’s master bedroom. Knopke’s house also features a few holdovers from the couple’s former Chicago apartment as well as an impressive art collection. But not everything has to have history—she’s incorporated items from Ikea, like an attention-grabbing light fixture in her daughter’s bedroom.
Blogging’s role in her decor didn’t end with providing Knopke a design crash course. She also got a little decorating help from a fellow blogger, Lindsay Dress of home-centric KC blog Sadie + Stella, who stepped in to give Knopke inspiration for the living room that had left her in a design rut, as well as the bright coral-accented closet fit to serve as Style Scout headquarters.
“I love it because it’s a place to hold all your pretty things,” she says. “Most closets are pretty white and boring, so it’s kind of a fun place to add an unexpected pop of color.”
It’s a bold look for a closet, but Knopke isn’t one to shy away from color, especially when the payout is so stylish. See more of her finds and fashion picks at melanieknopke.com.