Home Decor

Inside the Homes of KC’s Style Bloggers: Tobe Reed

These KC bloggers don’t just write about style, they bring it home.

Story by Kelsey Cipolla | Photos by Jennifer Wetzel

Tobe Reed, Because It’s Awesome

Because It’s Awesome isn’t just a blog about creator Tobe Reed’s home interior love—it’s how she found out she has a passion for decor.

Reed started blogging with a partner as a way to promote her freelance graphic design services but after spending time perusing other blogs, she discovered an obsession with interiors and chose to venture out with her own home-focused website, where she’s been honing her taste since 2010.

Named for the criteria she uses to determine what makes something blog-worthy, Because It’s Awesome features photos of jaw-dropping homes from across the Internet as well as chic art and decor elements. And it turns out a lot of people love the same things she does, leading to friendships with readers that have resulted in her attending their weddings, an unexpected benefit of the blog.

“Maybe I still don’t really know who I am as a decorator since I have no formal training in interiors what so ever, but I think it’s been awesome because it’s allowed me to find ‘my people, ’ people who obviously share the same obsessions, the same aesthetic,” Reed says.

Blogger and design lover Tobe Reed shares photos of beautiful interiors as well as her own home projects, like the home office makeover she completed earlier this year as part of the One Room Challenge.

Now Reed, who works for Hallmark in addition to running her blog and taking on side projects, isn’t just seeking out inspiring images to share—thanks to Because It’s Awesome, she’s had opportunities to share her skills as the one putting together beautiful rooms like the ones she adores.

See inside other fashion blogger homes:  Melanie Knopke of Style Scout  |  Kathryn Mansur of Everyday Chic

Last year she tackled patio and nursery closet makeovers for Home Depot’s The Apron Blog, and this summer Reed accepted a challenge closer to home—reinventing her home office in just six weeks as part of the One Room Challenge, a test of design prowess that’s inspired many decor bloggers and their fans.

What started as a bland room was transformed into a chic area for Reed to work and store inventory for her One Kings Lane e-store, (where she sells stylish finds from across the Midwest) with design elements anybody could use in their own home: upgraded fixtures on a chest of drawers, a fresh coat of paint, streamlined organization solutions, a marbleized contact paper-covered closet and plenty of playful trinkets, including a working gum ball machine.

Most of Reed’s home finds are secondhand, but she keeps things feeling modern with new upholstery and linens. Another way the home stays feeling fresh? Some decor items only stay with the family temporarily before they are sold through the blogger’s e-store.

The rest of Reed’s house is filled with secondhand scores given modern updates, a collection that could only be curated by somebody who loves interiors as much as Reed—she says she has already requested to be buried with her Milo Baughman dining chairs.

“Certain people have an appreciation for pieces that have a story and have had a long life or are a little bit beat up,” she says. “I buy a lot either in consignment or antique shops.”

Another soft spot for the blogger? Brass, which fills her home as well as her online store, where people can order pieces hunted down by Reed and her mother. The pair have gone so far as to rent an SUV and take road trips to hunt down the right items.

“I’m an emotional buyer, so I always tend to buy things that jump out at me,” Reed says. “If I can’t leave without it, I buy it. Conveniently I also sell antiques and vintage goods, a lot of my brass, so I haven’t reached hoarding status.”

With the addition of the store as well as the birth of her daughter, Because It’s Awesome has become more about Reed than she planned. But with loyal readers voicing their support on social media and through the website’s comments section, it’s evolved from blog to community.

“I never really intended for it to be a really personal thing,” Reed says. “I just found this niche thing that other people enjoyed too, and I thought that’s what they know about me and appreciate. But the more you blog, the more you expose yourself in little bits.”

Follow along at Becauseitsawesome.blogspot.com.

Toby Reed designed a dining room that features several of her favorite elements: the color blue, brass and a set of Milo Baughman chairs that she scored during an online flash sale.