9 Ways to Make Dreamworthy Rooms

It would be nice if we all lived in our fantasy homes with our wraparound decks and views of the sea and ideal, large kitchens. But the majority of us don’t. We reside in the homes we could afford in the regions where we reside. Which doesn’t mean our houses can not be inspirational and beautiful and comfortable. It just may take a bit more effort and imagination to get them there.

The fantastic news is, small, inexpensive changes actually can make massive impacts in a distance. A new coat of paint, the couch in a different place — these things could be transformative. Listed below are a few tiny things you can do in a weekend using a tiny budget. Go ahead and create your dream home.

Lisa Petrole Photography

1. Paint an Accent Wall

It adds thickness and color, and it makes art look about a hundred times better. Additionally, if you don’t like it, you can simply paint it back.

Obtaining the Accent Wall Right

BEFORE: The wall in my den was too dark for the size of the room, and after some time it felt gloomy. The area turned into a repository for what I didn’t know what to do with. In other words, it had been majorly cluttered, and not in a nice way.

AFTER: I painted a dark brown wall a bright green (Benjamin Moore’s Basil Green in 150 percent), got rid of some clutter and voilà, a cheerful place I love to be in. I also replaced the hanging light and moved some furniture around a bit. The distance is totally transformed, and I love it.

2. Hang Some Curtains

You can create drama, feel and color by hanging curtains in unexpected places. Here they turn an ordinary bunk bed into a private fort. Additionally, they hide clutter.

Nicole Lanteri Design

I replaced boring sliding closet doors with long curtains, and I love the look. It’s pretty, possibly even a little glamorous, but the best part is I will sweep the drapes aside and watch that the entire closet at once.

The Virginia House

3. Paint Your Cabinets

Can you have hideous, outdated cabinets in your kitchen? Paint them. Sure it requires some time and effort, but it costs a fraction of what replacement them would price, and you end up with the exact color scheme you want.

Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture

These cabinets were not dreadful, but they are so bright and beautiful in these colors. Nobody else has this exact kitchen.

Before Photo

Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Consider what a massive different a few cans of paint created within this kitchen.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets


4. Get Rid of Some Stuff

Here is how you do it Clean the room. Then sit down and calmly look around. Get rid of whatever catches your attention in an annoying way. I like a good deal of stuff, but even when you’re a maximalist, you want only the stuff that gives you pleasure. Too much of a fantastic thing is still a lot.

Less is more: When there are fewer things, the things you enjoy get detected.

Declutter Your Bookshelves

Jeri Koegel Photography

5. Paint the Insides of Your Own

This works in every area, in built-ins or standalone pieces. It’s a terrific way to upgrade and personalize old furniture, and it works for renters, who might not have the ability to paint walls.

Mary Prince Photography

You don’t need to go high contrast or supercolorful. A subtle change in color will add interest and depth.

Dick Clark + Associates

6. Rearrange Your Furniture

You can create whole new areas — a reading corner or another TV area — just by rethinking the furniture.

Arrange a Room for Entertaining
Go Rogue With Furniture Arranging

A few things to think about when rearranging furniture:
Go for it. Move it around. If it doesn’t work as you thought, move it again. Make sure everything is not just pushed against the wall. Here is the most common “error” in decorating.Think about producing intimate spaces inside an area instead of setting up a whole room.What is the focal point? You can have over one.When you are standing in the entry to the room, is it inviting you?

Caitlin Wilson Design

7. Change Your Throw Pillows

Switching accent cushions can change the entire mood and look of a room. This mishmash of colors and textures adds playfulness for this otherwise formal area.

Supon Phornirunlit / Nude Decor

All these Queen Elizabeth silhouettes set the tone for this whole room. I would call it cheeky elegance.

Little Black Door Designs

8. Create a Gallery

select a wall, a tiny room or a corner and create a repository for all those things you love but don’t have wall space to get. Hang art, posters, family photos and prints of various shapes and sizes. Some folks are extremely meticulous about planning out what to hang where. I do mine (in other words, lazily), and it has always turned out nicely.

Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design Inc..

It is possible to create a different look by with an organizing principle such as size or frame color. All these have large white mats, that tend to make everything look gallery-worthy.

Guide to Creating a Gallery

Don Harris

9. Swap Out the Lighting Fixture

When we moved to our home, every room had those square foot, flush-mounted House Depot ceiling fixtures that simply scream “rental.” Through time we have slowly swapped them out for announcement pieces we adore. Our bedroom features a nassa shell chandelier; our hallway and dining area have clear globe lights; our den has a Moroccan goatskin and henna light (I kid you not).

Kelton Mack Designs

A single, stunning light like this Maskros pendant can be the primary characteristic in a room and adjust the look of the entire space. It doesn’t need to be costly.

See related

8 Awesome Ways to Splurge With Silk

Silk’s roots result in an enchanting background. As the story goes, a Chinese empress was sipping tea under a mulberry tree when a silkworm’s cocoon fell into her cup and started to unravel to a gorgeous shimmering thread. Since then the Chinese have used silk cloth for clothes, arts and decor.

The cloth has become a staple in the house for lampshades, rugs, draperies, upholstery, wallpaper, art, pillows and much more. The intensive production process makes this a treasured and expensive textile, though it has come down in price over the years. Nowadays most silk averages $25 to $45 per yard.

See if any of those terrific examples of silk in today’s houses would get the job done for you.

Wall coverings. Silk wall coverings add elegance to any room — and often fall to the eco friendly category too. Wolf Gordon’s silk is antimicrobial, antibacterial and rapidly renewable, also it’s a low carbon footprint and contains recycled content.

Terri Symington, ASID

Window remedies. The appearance of silk window treatments can’t be replicated by imitation silks. To attain the luxurious effect exhibited here, the draperies will need to be lined with flannel. There are several reasons for lining: The draperies look better and hang fuller, with a magnificent, rich and abundant appearance; the lining protects the silk from sunlight, which makes it last longer; and lining also provides a fantastic insulating material layer.

Watch more about drapery linings

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Lighting. A silk color gives this ceiling lighting a beautiful glow. Pure silk sunglasses are obviously much more expensive than synthetic ones, but they add a layer of richness.

Terri Symington, ASID

Rugs. When silk is woven to a wool carpet, its unique sheen contrasts beautifully with the wool and gives the carpet a gentle hands. Silk’s prism-like fibers represent light in several different angles.

ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints

Upholstery. Historically, French bergére chairs were upholstered in silk. Silk may be delicate, so you may want a backing applied when using it for your upholstery. Silk also stains easily, so don’t use it in eating spaces or heavily used areas.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Silk velvet. Silk thread woven into darkness was so expensive, only royalty could afford it. It’s still expensive now, averaging $200 per yard. Silk velvet has a beautiful soft drape and a polished coating. The fabric is so soft the rest dries readily, leaving a mark or impression — a feature that defines the velvet as being made of silk. Because of this, not iron velvet, since it will crush the fibers and leave an imprint which often can’t be removed.


Blue Sari Tapestry – $860

Art. Silk’s jewel-like appearance works well for art and tapestries. Avoid hanging silk art where sunlight will strike it, since it is going to fade. For framing silk, then use museum glass to conserve the silk best.

Timothy De Clue Collection & Design

Pillows. Cotton includes a lavish, sensual sense that makes it a fantastic fabric for cushions in the living area or bedroom. It may be washed in cold water and air dried, but it is going to fade, so dry cleaning is suggested. Some fabric protectant sprays can prevent soil and stain penetration, but be sure to test the spray on an inconspicuous area first.

Tell us: how can you use silk in your home decoration?

See related

Cremone Bolt

A cremone bolt secures a door or window using a surface-mounted vertical rod. The turn of a handle raises or lowers the rod into a secured position at the bottom or top of the door. This conventional mechanism is not uncommon on French doors and casement windows, but it is not as secure as contemporary locks and is chiefly used inside.

Emily Winters, Peabody’s Interiors

Mounted on the surface rather than internally, the cremone bolt is more decorative than secure.

Emily Winters, Peabody’s Interiors

A cremone bolt has vertical rods that slide into a secured position with the turn of a handle.

Door pairs don’t always have a cremone bolt on both the doors; the more lively door can be easier to operate with a sliding bolt.

360 Yardware

This surface-mounted security bolt is similar to the cremone bolt, but the rod does not run the length of the door. A flush bolt is the contemporary equivalent of this, but it is recessed into the door and hidden from view.

Actual Carriage Door Company

Dutch Doors

This sliding bolt is especially designed for Dutch doors.

360 Yardware

Another frequent bolt, revealed procuring the bottom of this gate, is called a cane bolt, due to its shape.

See related

Geometric Runners Shape Stairway Style

Since rounding up my preferred striped stair runners, I haven’t been able to have runners off my mind. And I have come to the conclusion that I love geometric-patterned runners just as much as striped ones. Stair runners in general are great for injecting colour and pattern into an interior whilst at the same time protecting high-traffic stairways. Patterned runners in particular hide dirt and wear and tear exceptionally well while bringing snowball into almost any style space.

Exactly like a striped runner, a geometric-patterned runner could be set up in two different fashions: Hollywood and waterfall. Even a Hollywood runner hugs each nook and cranny of a staircase, with the carpeting affixed to the tread, round the nose and to the riser. A waterfall runner drops directly from the nose of the tread to the rear of the next tread without being affixed to the riser face in between. Either fashion accommodates a bold geometric pattern beautifully.

Which geometric-pattern fashion runner could you choose for your home’s staircase?

Uma Stewart Interiors & Lifestyle

I appreciate when a stairway’s carpeting choice is tied into the plan of the home’s surrounding areas. Inside this entryway, the runner’s geometric pattern functions beautifully with the inlay strips in the hardwood flooring.

Brian Watford Interiors

The Ember Ring runner is extra wide to accommodate all these wide actions.

Busy geometric patterns hide dirt and wear and tear, making them ideal for high-traffic areas like staircases.

Zoe Feldman Design, Inc..

Large-scale geometric patterns have the ability to make spaces feel grander. David Hicks’ Hexagon House stair runner provides pattern and height for the penthouse in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Michael Robert Construction

A navy and white geometric-patterned stair runner, held in place by stair rods capped with pineapple finials, is the best accessory to this coastal home.

Jute Interior Design

Installed in the Hollywood style, this runner follows the shape of the stair. The dark brown geometric rug was stapled underneath and around the nose of each tread.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior layout

Installed in the waterfall fashion, this carpeting flows down the stairs, tacked where necessary.

A dark brown and cream geometric-patterned stair runner, held in place by stair rods, functions flawlessly within this traditional Long Island, New York, home.

Gast Architects

This geometric-patterned carpet is affixed to the riser, which classifies it as a Hollywood-style runner. Installing a runner in this manner prevents dust and dirt buildup behind the collapse of the carpeting.


Geometric patterns can be very coastal chic. In cream and sand, this beach cabin’s staircase screams beachfront elegance. Note that the runner is fit to the stairs and continues round the small landing.

See related

Eliminate Your Lease's Green Element

From solar panels and reclaimed wood floors to recycled tile and low-E windows, homeowners have plenty of options nowadays in regards to green layout. However, what about tenants? If you lease your flat, some of these larger-scale changes may not be an alternative, but there are still adjustments you can create on your own (or with your spouse’s permission) that will decrease your energy needs, save you money and make for a healthier house and world.

Have a look at these 16 great ways to start.

Studio D – Danielle Wallinger

1. Put in a toaster. In case you have access to your own thermostat, replacing the regular controls with a programmable variant (such as this one) can save you a bundle in energy costs. See the Energy Star website for more information and tips about how best to plan your thermostat. Ask your landlord and see whether you can get reimbursed for the update.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

2. Use power strips — and turn them off if they’re not in use. Power strips can help avoid”vampire” energy usage that happens when devices are still suck power even if they are off. Have trouble remembering to change them off? For a little additional cash, you can purchase a”smart strip” (such as this one from Belkin) that can automatically shut off power.

Gut Gut

3. Ask your landlord to lower the water heating temperature. Shifting the water heater into the”warm” setting with a maximum temp of 120 levels will save energy and prevent accidental burns. This is especially important should you have small ones around the home!

Union Studio, Community & Architecture Design

4. Use caulk or weather stripping around windows and doors. Make your flat warmer in winter and cooler in summer by filling gaps where air escapes. In case you have a fireplace, make certain the flue is closed.

Leclair Decor

5. Seal over VOC-containing paint. If you become aware of a strong chemical odor from the paint on your walls when you move in, look at getting permission to repaint yourself. If you receive the go-ahead, use a nonbreathable primer such as B-I-N shellac-base primer at first to pay the old paint; it will seal from the volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and also prevent additional off-gassing. Then, follow that with a coat or two of low-VOC paint.

Notice that while B-I-N primer itself is not eco friendly, it finishes off-gassing in a matter of hours, whereas conventional paint can keep on emitting poisonous fumes for ages.

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

6. Install dimmers or detectors on light switches. Not only are dimmer switches helpful for creating a wonderful ambience, but they can also help save energy by letting you keep lights at the lowest level required. As an excess step, you can ask to install vacancy detectors, which automatically shut off lights if no one is in the area.

7. Switch to CFL or LED bulbs. In case you have not completed it yet, change over all of your bulbs from incandescents to CFL or LED bulbs, which last much longer.

8. Open windows and use fans to improve airflow. New furnishings, paint and other finishes can all impact the air quality in your property. Even if you live in an urban region, air quality is generally much better outdoors, so make sure you open your windows for a little while every day in most seasons.

9. Get an air conditioner. To really improve the air quality inside your flat, put money into an air cleaner with a HEPA filter, and make sure you keep on top of filter replacements.

Brennan + Company Architects

10. Create a DIY water displacer to your bathroom. Reduce the amount of water your toilet uses per flush by putting a liter bottle filled with water inside the tank.

11. Put in a converter to your bathroom. For much more water-saving potential, you can put in a dual-flush retrofit in your current bathroom. Run this repair by your landlord — he or she could even be prepared to reimburse you.

12. Switch into some low-flow showerhead. It might appear a bit intimidating, but replacing a showerhead is a fairly simple procedure, and you can even eliminate it and take it with you when you move.

Scheer & Co..

13. Reuse water onto your houseplants. A simple method to save a bit of water is to pour all of those half-drunk glasses of plain water in your watering can instead of down the drain. You won’t need additional water for plants again!

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

14. Utilize your window coverings to regulate temperature. During the summertime, shut up windows and shades to keep the flat cooler during the heat of the day. Fling open the windows during the evenings to refresh the atmosphere and allow in a cool breeze.

15. Hang blackout curtains.
This add-on for drapes or shades doesn’t only keep it dark from the bedroom in the early hours, it can also help insulate your flat.

Aidan Design

16. Check if your utility company provides a more”green power” option. Some towns are currently offering renewable energy. If it’s offered in your area, it might mean that a part or all of your electricity could be bought from wind farms and other renewable sources.

See related

Green and Clean: Ecofriendly Bathroom Sinks

If bathtub sinks haven’t made your heart, remain with me, friends, because the toilet lav doesn’t have to be this ho-hum. Plus, a few of the sexiest sinks are green to boot up. In reality, these salvaged and recycled-content lavs may leave you gazing down instead of at the mirror.

Minarc RUBBiSH sink

Recycled rubber sinks. Hubba hubba! Minarc’s sleek and renewable RUBBiSH recycled rubber sink starts with old rubber tires which are melted and purified, then shaped into a sheet that is stretched over a base framework and anchored to the drain collar to shape the sink. My tires must be so lucky.

Salvaged sinks. Using salvaged materials provides a chance to get creative. Nearly anything bowl-like can be a sink, even so long as a hole can be drilled in it and a drain can be connected. This salvaged cast-metal basin makes a stunning and character-rich counterpart to the mod orange partitions.

Bathtub Vessel Copper Sink

Engineered aluminum sinks. Timeless and durable aluminum is a natural at the bathroom, with its inherent antibacterial and antifungal properties. And it may be an ecofriendly choice too once you use a recycled aluminum sink, like people from family-owned Premier Copper Products, whose sinks are comprised of 99.9 % recycled copper. The wealthy character of the sinks comes courtesy of hands hammering by artisans and preaging the aluminum over an open fire to develop its heavy patina.

Eleek Inc..

Eleek’s Zazen Sink

Recycled bronze countertops. Amp up your bathroom’s elegance with inimitable bronze. Eleek a certified B Corporation whose cast bronze countertops are made of 90% recycled content, recommends leaving the bright metal raw and uncoated, adding that ” … a living patina is a manifestation of the lifetime of the object. Use it. Enjoy it. Allow it to tell its story” You can slow down the patina process or preserve the patina with the occasional use of wax, or remove it with a secure abrasive like Bon Ami or a scrubby sponge.

Tracy Stone AIA

Recycled aluminum countertops. Need further incentive to throw that soda or beer can into the recycling bin? The end product of your recycling may be sleek, modern recycled aluminum sink like this one. Postconsumer and industrial scraps frequently contain nearly all of the aluminum used in those sinks.


Velvet Cienega Sink

Recycled glass sinks. A luminous jewel for your toilet, a recycled-glass sink looks terrific in a very simple design which showcases the artisan stone. Alchemy Glass, one of several recycled-glass-sink manufacturers, has many sinks which feature recycled glass, including its Cosmic Burst, with shards of recycled glass fused into the container.

Contemporary home architects

Cement-based sinks. Cast-in-place concrete sinks, every poured for a special installation, offer ultimate flexibility to design the perfect sink for you and your toilet. Green your concrete with recycled aggregates like glass, porcelain or coal fly ash (though bypass the fly ash if coal isn’t produced in your region, since the transport energy interrupts any green cred).

Instead, Lithistone’s ceramic cement utilizes roughly 20 to 40 percent less electricity than Portland Cement, thus decreasing the sinks’ carbon footprint. The rest of Lithistone’s matrix consists of natural mineral ore, different levels of stone and sand, recycled material and natural mineral pigments.

DuChateau Floors

Wood sinks. Your lav may be an unexpected place for connecting with character by integrating natural materials, like wood. Just make sure connection is ecofriendly by seeking wood that is either salvaged or licensed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which implies, in part, that wood products come from responsibly harvested woods. And make sure you seal it with a no- or – low-VOC (nontoxic) sealer.

Gaspar’s Construction

Salvaged ceramic countertops. Traditional ceramic sinks aren’t bad — they’re certainly durable, lasting a hundred years or longer. And porcelain is largely made from natural substances applied to either a cast iron or stainless steel base.

But we can save those natural resources and maintain aged lavs from the landfill by seeking a salvaged porcelain sink; they’re plentiful at architectural salvage shops. If the surface is a small grubby or matte, get in touch with a local refinisher and request that a low-VOC finish.

Guides to greener construction and decorating

See related

Inlay Makes Rooms a Cut Above

Who says furniture can’t double as artwork? Not every bit in a room may be the star of the show, sure, but incorporating a few genuinely amazing focal points is a necessity.

To get a departure from routine timber, we are big fans of inlay. Inlay is created with a base object, usually made of some type of timber, and pieces of contrasting materials which are inserted into depressions inside. Bone is a popular decision to create showstopping patterns and contrast, but nowadays, it’s easy to get the look with no animal rights problems. Wood crowns, crowns, mother-of-pearl or even faux painting are fantastic choices. Take a peek at a few of our favourite ways to incorporate inlay.

Burnham Design

A space is instantly transformed by A gorgeous chest like this. The colour, texture and pattern of this inlay turn it into a work of art.

Rachel Reider Interiors

For a bit of inlay without committing to a massive part, a mirror or framework above a torso is a complex touch. A grouping of bone inlay eyeglasses is also a subtle and cost-effective means to incorporate this tendency.

W. David Seidel, AIA – Architect

Due to the general lack of accessorizing area in a bathroom, it can be difficult to provide that room a personality all of its own. Bone inlay turns a requirement — the mirror — into a focal point.


Made Goods Ines Chair in Black – $1,110

We’re always on the lookout to provide an injection of childhood to a formal dining area. Inlaid chairs include a splash of the unexpected when.

Elizabeth Gordon

Maybe you enjoy the contrast of the substances of bone inlay but are not thrilled about the overpowering pattern which often accompanies it. A stunning piece like this dining table is a superb alternative.

MJ Lanphier

These days, the look of bone inlay can be obtained with no harm to creatures; a skilled craftsperson will make paint look exactly like the real thing.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

Speaking of artificial … artificial bone is getting easier and easier to find.

Atypical Type A

Inlaid Mother-of-Pearl Flower Mirror – AUD 479

Another fantastic alternative to bone is mother-of-pearl. The look of mother-of-pearl pieces such as this mirror is fantastic.

Moroccan Style

See related

Design Calendar: April 5–26, 2012

See what innovative technology and products are light up the design industry at Germany’s Light+Building show or step within the house and curated collection of a San Francisco art collector. Our roundup of upcoming events around the world has something for you.

light-building. messefrankfurt.com

TRADE SHOW — April 15–20, 2012
Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre
Frankfurt, Germany

Energy efficiency is the buzzword at this year’s Light+Building show. Mingle with architects, designers, engineers and other business professionals from around the globe as you see what is new in lighting technology and products. This year’s show is expected to feature over 2,100 exhibitors plus also a”Trend Forum” imagining four house fashions: fluorescent modern, hot elegance, soft minimalist and natural neighborhood. Ideas for LED technology, smart metering and intelligent grids are also exhibited.

See more details


SHOWCASE — April 13–December 7, 2012
DreamHome 2012
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, First Floor, Chicago

Nine Chicago interior designers generated spaces with house furnishings from Merchandise Mart showrooms. Room displays include a game room and an outdoor dining room. This year’s DreamHome features operate by Jillian O’Neill Interior Design, Vincere (picture ), SemelSnow Interior Design and more.

Cost: $5 suggested donation to gain Nearly Home Kids.
Hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Ed Ritger Photography

ART TOUR — April 18, 2012
Private Collections: The Spring Art Tour
San Francisco

Peek within the house and personal art collection of one of seven San Francisco homes on the 12th annual Private Collections tour. (You have to select which of those seven to visit.) Collections vary from international contemporary to eclectic and include photography, works on paper and sculpture. The art collectors may also share their experiences in creating relationships with artists, curators and galleries. Proceeds benefit Enterprise for High School Students, that can help provide job placement and skills development for young people from San Francisco.

Choose from seven groups and email [email protected] with your choice. Buy tickets .


SHOW — April 2126, 2012
High Point Market
164 South Main St., High Point, North Carolina

Boasting 10 million square feet of showroom space and over 2,000 exhibitors, higher Point Market is the show to attend if you’re trying to see the hottest in retail home furnishings. The largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, it will bring over 85,000 individuals to North Carolina. Attend a market concert, catch lunch and listen on a design lecture, or stay on top of what is happening in the industry through various educational events. Also see the most recent products from your favorite exhibitors.


SHOW — April 24–26, 2012
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

This kitchen and bath business event will showcase the latest trends and products. Socialize with new products via your smartphone in a new multimedia product gallery. Network with other business professionals, find out how to stay competitive in your area and wander through this year’s”UNcontained display,” highlighting the lifestyles of five unique customers.

It is also possible to hear vice president of marketing Liza Hausman and kitchen writer Rebekah Zaveloff discuss”Marketing from the New World” at 3 pm on April 24.

See the complete schedule of events and pricing choices.
Hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

More design events: March 22–April 12, March 29–April 19, 2012

What’s in your calendar? Let us know in the Comments.

See related

Poppies Pop Up in Home Interiors

Clean, colorful and graphic, poppy blossoms are a designer’s dream. They represent the very best of the contemporary and classic camps: just frilly enough to sense conservative, yet so intense they can resist cutting-edge insides. Have a look at these 11 examples of poppy-themed décor for inspiration. Where will they blossom in your property?

Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Inc..

Double poppies painted onto the walls of the powder room, so realistic they appear almost three-dimensional, give a free-form, natural note to a starkly contemporary area.

Flea Market Sunday

Stylized poppy-print wallpaper blossoms supporting this particular bed. The bold graphic treatment eliminates the need for a headboard.

Rossana Novella

Dreamy and lush, a poppy painting artfully bridges the difference between bookshelves.

Thomas Deir Studios

Think florals are frumpy? Here’s your antidote. In addition to the whimsical blossoms curling up the kitchen walls, the light fixture evokes softly ruffled blossom in a thoroughly fresh way.

Birdseye Design

Poppies scattered on this particular kitchen rug provide a welcome base of colour in a darkened area.


A mosaic of tiles that form a poppy pattern feels like a streamlined twist on simply hanging a bit of art.

Ziger/Snead Architects

Minimalist poppies in this art create a vivid focal point. Like every thing else in the area, they are stripped down to their purest kind.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

What a lovely way to welcome guests: painted tiles in the entrance emblazoned with glowing blossoms. Stair fronts often have missed, however they are a prime place to put in a hint of graphic power.

Palmerston Design Consultants

You can not talk about poppies in interior design without mentioning Marimekko’s iconic poppy printing. It is so strong that just a dash of it is all you have to wake up a subtle space.

A Chick to Understand

Marimekko redux: Here, an overscale variant of the print makes a splashy shower curtain.

Urban Elements Interior Space

Poppies look just as pretty in inverse. These black ones against a yellow wall feel to be an ultracool photo negative.

When This Bloom Were a Space
Magnolia Magic Breezes Into the Home

See related

Rex Ray's Joyous Collages Come to the House

Rex Ray’s work is everywhere. Even when you’re unfamiliar with his name yet, chances are that you have seen his art on posters, record covers, fabrics and accessories. Ray’s appearance is unmistakable — and it’s hard not to fall in love with his vibrant and psychedelic-like work. The bright tones and lively nature of his pieces have a special and imaginative undertone which Ray was bringing to his artwork since he was rather young. “I knew I needed to become an artist when I was 11,” Ray says. “I think a lot of children have that urge. It is only a matter of if you can sustain it into maturity.”

Affordable versions of his artwork have always been important to him, and in 2011 he launched Rex Ray Studio and R2 Lab to produce stationery, home décor products and much more.

The art pieces in this story are gallery samples of Ray’s work.

Rex Ray

Art Is for Everyone

Ray has always believed commercial artwork often display the same level of talent since museum-quality good art. “I fell right into a loony set of Marxist, intellectual gays at Colorado in the 1970s,” Ray says, laughing. “They had a very democratic method of art, where they believed that all art forms were the same. Fine was just as good as commercial.” When Ray attended the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1980s, his view was legitimized under teachers Angela Davis and Ray Mondini. To him, art wasn’t about who had been looking at it, it was about how it had been making people feel.
This bit:”Untitled 3562″

Rex Ray

Music as Inspiration

After graduating, Ray started a freelance graphic design firm and worked for music, literary and art groups all around the city. Much of his first work comprised flyers for nightclubs and bands. “Odds are, if you went to any San Francisco nightclub from the’80s, then you noticed some of my work,” he states.

Ray had always been fascinated with record covers. In high school, he made his own photo sleeves for his 45s employing a camera, his own art, and a Xerox machine. “I’ve really carried the speech of graphic arts with me,” he states.

This bit: “Delcon”

Rex Ray

Since Ray racked up clients like City Lights Bookstore and Bill Graham Presents, his company grew, and his work was everywhere. “Originally, I had been prepared to forfeit high cover for imaginative freedom,” he states. “However, as I became more well known, there were more restrictions in my work.” As his clients became more prestigious, he found that he was working with more marketing firms, and the requirements were getting more specific.

In 1997, Ray started doing package designs for David Bowie. It was exhausting — and thrilling. “I sort of guessed that was my pinnacle from the audio world,” he states.

This bit: “Opaliane”

Rex Ray

Creating Art Only for Himself

At the point, however, Ray started looking for a means to escape from graphic design. “I had been getting so frustrated with so many hands in my work,” he states. “You emotionally internalize this criticism. When you’re an artist, then you become your own worst enemy in this sense. I truly needed to just get back to fundamentals and indulge in simple creativity.”

This bit: “Lasallia”

Rex Ray

While he was still grinding away at his graphic design day job, Ray started working on collages at night. He’d cut out large images with a great deal of white space from hoarded W and Rolling Stone magazines and paste them together. “It was very liberating to do this purely for myself,” he states. “It was all about the process rather than the final piece. I would let them dry, put them in a drawer and didn’t really look at them again.”

This bit: “Untitled 0797”

Rex Ray

Pretty soon, he’d countless collages piled up. On a whim, he put them all up on a wall at his San Francisco attic, which gave him a sort of revelation. “All of a sudden I realized that others might actually like these,” Ray says. “It was just like I’d invented a speech, and it was time to tell a story with it.”

This collagelike design is among the things Ray is famous for today. His vibrant and graphic pieces can easily be understood and loved by people with a variety of styles and tastes.

This bit: “Untitled 0032”

Rex Ray

Bringing His Function into Home Design

While much of Ray’s work was exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide, he wished to implement his view that art is for everybody. “I didn’t want to simply do museum-like artwork. This was artwork for individuals,” Ray says. “I needed people to buy it off the wall and hang it in their home — no frame ”

This bit: “Pleopcialis”

Rex Ray

When Metropolitan Home did a feature on Ray’s home, designer Jonathan Adler saw the piece. After falling in love with all the collages, he called Ray up to market originals in his store. Although Ray had licensed his work out before, this was a foray into a completely different kind of work. It was the launch pad for a lot more collaborations.

This bit: “Cirrosa”

Rex Ray

“What has been appeal to me about licensing is that this notion of having my work out there, of having everybody get to see it,” says Ray. “Working with various companies permits people to get my work who may not be able to afford one of my paintings.”

This bit: “Dabinett”

Rex Ray

The Future of Rex Ray Studio

Regardless of his deeply held conviction on the democratization of art, Ray, like many other artists now, still worries about his journey back to commercial art. “I am still very torn about licensing,” he states. “It is a big experiment for me.”


Rex Ray DODOcase to get iPad2 – $89.95

Today, Rex Ray Studio and R2 Lab continue to attract Ray’s diverse and vibrant work into the home. From stationery to iPad cases, messenger bags and a new line of shopping bags with Blue Q, Ray’s work has made the leap from your museum wall to the normal home.

This iPad2 case from DODOCase is a great way to get Ray’s work into your own hands. Bold and abstract, the case is made from black Moroccan fabric and is bound with conventional book-binding techniques.


Blik Wall Decals: Vibrant Velocity by Rex Ray – $50

Ray’s cooperation on Blik wall stickers was especially popular. If you would like to find some of Ray’s work on your walls, then this is a clever and customizable option. “I love making the work,” he states. “That’s my joy. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate.”

Rex Ray’s work has been included at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Modern Art, the Crocker Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Find more home décor goods at RexRay.com.

See related