'You will live in someone else’s home': Tan France urges against this decorating mistake during any redesign

The Queer Eye expert gets personal about passionate home design – in an exclusive interview with H&G

Tan France
(Image credit: Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair via GettyImages)

When redesigning our homes – whether it's a small nook or a whole room renovation – we find ourselves looking to the same place for inspiration: social media. 

Over time, it's natural to let the enviable spaces we see online influence how we design our homes (especially when they look as beautiful as the celeb homes we frequent the most). However, while it is one thing to draw influence from certain elements in these spaces, Tan France warns against copying these rooms entirely. 

'When renovating your home, I advise against exactly replicating spaces you see on social media,' the Queer Eye expert shared in an exclusive interview with H&G.

'I’ve seen people desperately trying to make their home look like someone else’s space – and there are already probably multiple versions of that home that all look almost identical. My home looks quite different from most people's homes, and the reason why I feel it so passionately in my heart is because it's so personal to me and my family.'

Creating a space that reflects our personalities and celebrates our favorite possessions – while incorporating elements of the homes we see online – is the solution. 

'Go with the aesthetic that you love online but find ways to make it personal to you – otherwise, you will live in someone else’s home,' France says. 

In Tan's case, he worked with designers Tom and Cara Fox from The Fox Group, a studio based in Utah. They collaboratively brought his home (a red brick Tudor-style mansion) amid the Salt Lake City mountains alive. So, how can we follow his teaching? 

Naturally, redesigning our spaces involves furniture shopping – something that France recommends doing online. 'There’s a misconception that you can’t touch things online, but you can still touch them. You can also probably return that thing. If you are shopping at the right places, the places that will offer you a refund or a credit, you can return those items quickly,' he explains.

To make the experience easier, he recommends Citi Shop, a new browser extension designed to assist shoppers looking for deals on decor, whether we're looking for the best dining tables, luxury bedding, or accents and accessories.

'I do talk about online shopping a lot, but people think returning online goods is complicated, and it’s not. It's never been complicated,' France comments.

I find it more complicated to go out hunting around all day. Yes, it might take 20 minutes to drop off my return, but it’s still going to save me hours of my day instead of shopping.

Tan France
Tan France

France is a British-born designer now living in Salt Lake City. He is best known as the fashion expert in Netflix's Queer Eye, and host of the web series Dressing Funny, and co-host of Next in Fashion, alongside Gigi Hadid. He also released a memoir, Naturally Tan in June 2019.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.