August cover star Eva Longoria is today's InStyle.com guest editor! Check back throughout the day for exclusive content straight from the actress herself. Visit InStyle.com/evaday. Here, Longoria reveals her “deep, dark secret” and explains the inspiration behind her Eva Longoria Home collection for JCPenney.
You don't have to be a multi-hyphenate Hollywood starlet to create the perfect, lived-in home. In fact, as we learned from Eva Longoria, doing so is actually an inexpensive feat. “My aunt always said, ‘always make your house a home,’ the actress says. “She would come visit me in L.A. when I had no money, so we would go to the fabric store and get the cheapest fabric because curtains and pillows and a duvet are just squares.”
It was back then that the beauty learned she of her own passion for sewing as well as making a space feel special—the exact reason her new line for JCPenney is a labor of love. “It’s like when you color your hair and it’s like, ‘oh, this feels nice.’ It makes a huge difference so I always like the power of settings specifically, and that’s why I wanted to start with bedding. It’s like giving a facelift to your room.” Of course, years of experience in roles across various TV shows and movies along with a long list of philanthropic side projects haven’t changed her DNA. “I love being home. My favorite thing to do is just have an entire day where I pull everything out and make a huge mess and I just sew all day,” she says. Below, Longoria divulges the four well-kept secrets to transforming your house into a heavenly home.
1. Turn a hobby into a passion and spend more time indoors.
"The deep dark secret that no one knows about me is that I sew. I started sewing because I didn’t have throw pillows or curtains. They were very easy to sew. It’s just squares, so it’s straight lines. It would change the feeling of the place. It’s so easy to do. It can be inexpensive and you can really, really make major changes in a bedroom. I love home, because that’s originally where my sewing started and then it evolved into dresses for my nieces and nephews, and all kinds of stuff. That’s how I learned how to sew in circles.
I have an industrial sewing maching. I have surpassed the hobby level and I have a sewing room with a cutting table, and with a crossover stitching machine, a straight stitching machine, and then I have a slower stitching machine. So, I have many sewing machines and I have armoires full of material. I sew on patterns so I love to go to the sewing store and get patterns. I spend one day just cutting my fabric and the next day I pin my fabric. I am so fascinated by textiles, specifically home textiles. A lot of times I’ll see a textile and I’m like, 'I want to make a dress with this.' And my sister will be like, 'that looks like a curtain.' What I’m always drawn to is how they’re always decorative or ornate."
2. The right color sets the tone for your environment.
"I have four different beddings for JCPenney ($100 to $170; jcpenney.com). My favorite one is Solana ($130; jcpenney.com). I shouldn’t say I have favorites, but it’s a very calming color palette. When I redid my home, stylist Robert Verdi did my bedroom and then we got to redo our trailers on Desperate Housewives, so he redid my trailer to an exact copy of my bedroom. And what he did was he did my entire bedroom purple. Blue is also good for bedrooms. It creates a relaxing atmosphere. I like lavender so one of the first sets I did was the Solana. I like light colors and I don’t like over powering patterns on a bed. I remember when I was little having a lot of yellow bedding. One was Tweety Bird, so, of course, that was yellow, but there were others. That was the theme of yellow that was comforting. There’s something about yellow and gray. It elevated it."
3. Don’t be afraid of mixing in accessories.
"I’m just a huge pillow fan. ... They really spice things up whether on a bed, on a couch. I also love throws. If you’re sitting on a couch and you just wrap yourself up in a throw. I have these amazing throws, and I’m not just saying that because they are mine. We did some samples and I had them at my house—we only had three—and everybody said, ‘What is this throw?’ It just feels so delicious against your skin. I love sitting on throws, being wrapped up in a throw, whether you're on a bed or a couch, reading a book or watching TV. I think that’s another nice way to be cozy. Also, I have so many beautiful decorative throw pillows ($30 to $40; jcpenney.com) that you cannot sit on because maybe the beading is metal or what have you, but all of my throw pillows makes it very comfortable to lay against and I think that’s important. That it’s functional."
4. Be sure to incorporate personal elements with a rich past.
"One of my favorite gifts for people to give me is unique material from wherever they visit. I remember one time—I would sew a lot for Desperate Housewives—Justine Bateman gave me the most beautiful fabric with three different screens of fabric, and that was the sweetest thing ever. It was a lovely sweet gift and I thought, ‘See? That’s somebody who loves me.’ I’d rather have that than all of the presents in the world. I collect throw pillows from Turkey to Spain. I just like to bring back different textiles that you can’t find anywhere. That’s one think I wanted to do with my line, is to provide these unique patterns that people don’t have access to. You don’t have to travel to get the Marrakech bedding ($100; jcpenney)."
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