• Dorothy Parker

Elevate Your Space Since You're Safer at Home.

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Simple Interior Design Ideas to Elevate Your Environment.

We are already midway through summer and wading through a global pandemic in addition to social unrest. I don't know about you but I feel the struggle every day.

I delayed my writing for a spell and and have taken some more time to reflect and further educate myself on Institutional Racism, Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racism.

This post is going to focus on elevating your space because when your home is peaceful your brain can focus on things in life that matter.

It's almost August and with the Coronavirus still raging here in the US we are facing the reality that staying at home is the safest place so we don't get sick or pass it along to others. This is hard for everyone and endlessly looking at the same walls does not help elevate an already stale mood.

Keep reading for some simple design upgrades to help elevate your space and mindset.

Adding art into the mix is one one of my favorite things to do to refresh a space and add some new inspiration. I love the above piece by Melissa Koby. Add this and some other pieces together for a gallery wall that makes a statement and like magic you have transformed a room.

When it comes to my walls I mix it up, a lot. One combination can include a found piece or two from local artists and combine it with with some fun kid art.

Early in my design career, I knew a visual artist who always said, when it comes to home displays, "mix the rich with the poor". This is advice that I love and have followed for years.

For a successful gallery wall, mixing the rich with the poor can involve all types of mediums. You can use anything, including art from named artists or other collectible pieces, then mix it with thrift store art or eclectic items found at home.

Combining really special pieces with random found objects creates visual interest and it tells a story. Find pieces that speak to you and add them to a frame or hang them in a collection. Some found objects I've framed for gallery walls include feathers, postcards, family photos, even jewelry and vintage tools.

Mixing paper prints with sculptural pieces helps break up the structure, adds texture and forms attractive negative space.

As shown here frames aren't always necessary. Find appealing prints and tape them up for a more causal and flexible gallery wall.

Gallery walls are so popular that most home retailers have jumped onboard. Shown left is a framed set of art curated by Artfully Walls. They come framed or unframed and the set even comes with instructions on how to hang the pieces in your space.

Here is a great example of adding art with an art ledge. The styling of these pieces is fun and successful by using a variety of types and sizes of frames then arranging the pieces so it creates a triangle pattern. Having two of the pieces unmatted and flanking them next to the centerpiece helps create symmetry and pull the eye out.

I love this layered look created by WhalesWay. Using a shelf to lean pieces and hang other pieces creates a full display and gives dimension.

Pro tip: keep the space in between frames equal for a professional finish. Use blue tape if needed and start with the larger focal piece and build out from there.

Painting is one of the most cost effective upgrades you can make to your home. Whether it's completely changing the color or giving your walls a fresh coat after a year or so, new paint will refresh your space and make it feel clean and new.

Here at dplusb we love bold color, especially when it's from our favorite colour houses, Farrow & Ball.

This rich green color is Treron No. 292 and will fit in nicely with the trend prediction of green being the color of the year in 2021.

Painting the trim and ceiling a dark grey isn't for everyone but it works well here in this moody space with the ever trendy Fig Leaf Tree that gives the space height.

Paint doesn't have to be a solid color endeavor. This mural by K’era from K-Apostrophe is a great substitute to plain color, wallpaper and framed art.

Want to stick to neutral colors? Farrow & Ball has a great collection of Easy Neutrals with whites, greys and beiges. Here is a lovely example featuring their Purbeck Stone No. 275.

One of the reasons I go to Farrow & Ball is because their colors are formulated using high pigment colors, meaning they either use very little to no grey or black pigments in the color process. This gives their color a deeper and richer color.

Farrow & Ball is great but the price point is most certainly not for anyone on a budget. We use Farrow & Ball for clients who have a large budget and are particular about color and it's reaction to lighting.

Additionally, while their colors are wonderful, it is a selective array.

Benjamin Moore is a great alternative and has a huge variety of colors. They have a Off White Collection, Designer Classics, Historical Colors and everything in between.

When you visit the Benjamin Moore website they have some great suggestions to help you find your perfect color. In summary they recommend:

  1. What are the colors you live and breathe in your everyday life? Pick colors that you are drawn too that already exist in your home: your clothes, tableware, decor and pair those items together to start building a color story.

  2. Once you've made a color story visit the paint store (or your interior designer) and look at paint colors in a fan deck that are in that color family. If you want an accent color for trim or other details look at contrasting colors to your selections.

  3. Do you want high contrast or something more subtle? If you want to be bold, pick stronger colors. If you want a more understated home design pick subdued color.

  4. Look at your outside environment for inspiration. To quote the Benjamin Moore website: "geography can help formulate color palettes that personally resonate".

I love using the Pantone App to find colors based on what photos I take. Here is a great palette that incorporates neutrals and the blue of the sky.

With so many people working at home a little inspiration can go a long way. Home design, both interior & architectural, have been inspired by nature more and more.

If you're not in the market for a big design change these simple additions to your home will brighten your space, lighten the mood, and even clean the air for you.

Flowers and plants are the easiest way to bring a little nature into your home life. When you use a reputable flower designer they can last up to a week. Change the water and trim the stems during that time and they might even last longer. Some of my favorite summer flowers are dahlias, roses and amarith as shown above.

House plant are all the rage right now, on Instagram you can find over 4 million #houseplant posts. Adding even a touch of greenery to your #wfh setup has been shown to improve brain function.

Adding greenery to your home correlates nicely with my last post that quoted great trend predictor, Li Edelkoort, saying that "natural space will become very coveted". Now that so many people have been at home for so many months, natural space is coveted space so bringing that inside is a perfect solution.

You can even add some life to those gallery walls. These hangings are just a couple of examples to juxtapose life and art into your environment.

Thanks so much for reading and let us know if you could use some help with your home projects. xoxo, dplusb

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