Allyson Payer’s Bright, Modern Home
Not only does Allyson Payer, the Senior Editor at Who What Wear have impeccable taste in fashion, but we have been gushing over her new home that Allyson and her husband recently built in Raleigh, NC. Allyson tells us what her visions were for her home, what she wanted the overall feel to be, what her absolute dream home would entail, and how she is staying cozy with a put-together look while working from home.
You are the Senior Editor at Who What Wear. Tell us about that!
I’ve been at Who What Wear since 2014, so I’ve really seen it evolve, which has been so exciting. People always ask if it’s difficult to come up with topics to write about, especially since I work from home full-time, and it’s really not! Fashion is constantly changing, so fresh story ideas just come naturally, and I also do some beauty and home decor content, so that keeps me on my toes as well. I’ve always done anywhere from 9 to 15 stories a week, so the pace is really fast and there are lots of opportunities to be creative with that much content. I changed careers to take this job so it was my first job in fashion, and I really lucked out.
Your fashion taste is impeccable! What is your home decor style like?
Thank you! I became very interested in home decor (for the first time, to be honest) when my husband Mark and I were building our house. Our amazing interior designer Dana Waldron helped us with the decor, furniture, layout, and paint colors, but we chose all of the finishes ourselves before she came on, which was all new to us! I did tons of research and spent hours on Instagram and Pinterest, and did my best not to second-guess myself too much. I always say that we wanted an L.A.-style house in North Carolina. I’m not into a lot of color but there are accents here and there—mostly sage green. The house is Prairie style, so we wanted it to maintain that mid-century modern feel, but I was very wary of things looking dated in a few years, so it’s a mix of styles, with some Scandinavian and modern accents mixed in. It’s all subtle though, so you don’t walk in the front door and instantly know that we were going for a certain “look”.
If you had to describe your dream home, what features would it entail?
It would definitely need to have a large closet. That’s very important to me, as I’ve spent so many years cramming my wardrobe into tiny closets in New York and L.A. Also, a nice outdoor space. We have a covered patio with a fireplace and we spend so much time out there. I love backyards that feel like a private little oasis. A home with big windows to let in lots of natural light is also a nice feature to have, as well as pale wood flooring throughout the house, high (preferably vaulted) ceilings, and wood beams. I love wood beams so much. They’re so timeless and they give a bit of a European feel, which is always a good thing. I’d want it to be modern but not cold, but I don’t need it to be cozy, per se—just calm and uncluttered.
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You live in North Carolina! What do you love most about living there?
It’s a beautiful state. I live in Raleigh, so I’m about two hours to the beach and three hours from the mountains. You really get the best of both worlds. There’s a burgeoning culinary scene, which is also a huge plus. It’s a sizable city with plenty to do but it’s not as overwhelming and hectic as the cities I lived in for the decade prior to moving here.
What are a few of your favorite wardrobe essentials you think every woman should own?
To name a few, structured oversized blazers, straight-leg jeans, a camel coat, black loafers, ribbed tanks, boxy T-shirts, pleated shorts, a silky slip skirt, and slide sandals of every heel height.
What are a few current trends you are loving in both fashion and home decor?
As far as fashion trends are concerned, I’m all about comfort lately, so tiered dresses, oversized button-downs, sweatshorts, crochet cardigans, and flat square-toe slide sandals are on my shopping list right now. I also love chunky gold jewelry and ‘90s baguette bags, like the little nylon ones that Prada brought back. For home decor, matte black fixtures and hardware, wallpaper (in moderation), rattan furniture, ribbed glass, dried flowers, black marble, and sage green are the ones I can’t get enough of.
What are you currently loving wearing when it comes to being both productive and comfortable while in quarantine and working from home?
I’ve worked from home remotely for almost five years now, so I guess I’ve been building my stay-at-home wardrobe for a while now. I’m more productive when I get up and put something on that I could feasibly wear outside, so I have a lot of jeans with a little bit of stretch (Agolde is my current favorite for those), Re/Done T-shirts, pull-on shorts (I love the ones from Everlane and Lou & Grey), Reformation sweatshirts, oversized Madewell button-downs, Ugg slide slippers, and Alo Lounge leggings. I usually wear a bit of jewelry too, as it keeps me from feeling sloppy.
What’s next for you?
It’s honestly kind of hard to know lately, with the way things are in the world right now. I had planned on taking lots of trips this summer but those are off the table for now, so I’m taking things one day at a time and trying to adjust to the new normal. It’s been nice spending more of my free time in our house and really settling in (we moved in November 2019) and slowing down a little bit. I’m finally not terrified of using our gas stove and oven anymore! I wish I could say that I’m developing a new hobby or something during quarantine but work keeps me pretty busy. I just hope to continue to provide style inspiration to our readers as we all adapt to the many changes that life has brought this year.
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