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It’s already been established that Lauren Conrad has a flawless home. But the lifestyle queen didn’t do it alone.

Interior design expert Katherine Carter lent Conrad a hand with decorating her former California pad she shared with husband William Tell, and the world has her to thank for helping to create the perfectly styled space.

“I like my living space to feel clean but welcoming,” Conrad told MyDomaine in October. “I feel like your home should be a representation of your style.”

Carter helped bring this vision to life through her number one design tip: keep the basics classic, and add personality with the extras.

“I’ve always been an advocate of a neutral palette,” Carter tells PEOPLE. “The key is to have fun with accents; art, throw pillows and accessories. These are the items that can easily be replaced as you get tired of them or current design trends fade out.”

In the living room, all-white walls with wood-lined windows and furniture allow for Conrad’s personal collections to shine, while a fireplace that went from eyesore to eye-catching serves as a stunning focal point.

“This fireplace wasn’t always so pretty. It was originally a fake brick façade,” Carter says. “We had it demoed and turned into a crisp white, modern fireplace which still keeps with the integrity and style of Lauren’s home.”

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Trying to figure out how to get the simple yet chic look for yourself? Follow Carter’s advice and you’ll be channeling Conrad’s California-cool style in no time.

Shop smart. “Invest in large items first which typically hold higher price tags, like sofas, beds, rugs, lighting, art,” she says.

Don’t go too trendy. “Depending on your budget, try not to decorate according to ‘current interior design trends’ unless you want to redesign every couple years,” Carter advises. “I suggest keeping most of the large furniture items and paint colors neutral.”

Search for your style. “Take some time browsing the web or talking with your designer about what your desired style aesthetic is,” she says. “I find it’s helpful to think about a place you may have been on your travels or a hotel room you loved.”

Start fresh. Carter suggests a big move as an opportunity to clean house. “I suggest bringing items from your previous living situation that are along the lines of family heirlooms, art and furniture that is timeless,” she says, adding this rule to live by:“Ditch the futon.”