As Long Island celebrates its reopening this summer, folks are once again enjoying outdoor adventures.
But even as the pandemic ebbs locally, it seems the notion of home as a haven – and more – will not be forgotten anytime soon. Therefore, it is important to maintain a happy atmosphere in one’s home, with mood-enhancing design elements and personalized decor. Be fearless! Pick a color palette that speaks to you, let go of that cookie-cutter mindset, and zhuzh up those white-on-white neutrals.
Claudia Grunberger of Grunberger Interiors in Great Neck was recently voted one of the top 15 interior designers on Long Island, knows a thing or two about creating uplifting spaces.
“I always love playing with color in a design scheme. I can use it in subtle, understated ways, or I can be bold and adventurous,” she shares. “It’s amazing the transformative impact color can have.”
People are welcoming stronger, more vibrant hues into their homes to boost mood and energy.
“The pandemic has had a major impact on our relationship with our home and created an increased awareness of how good interior design can improve our quality of life. Our homes need to function like never before,” adds Grunberger. “And with an upswing in home sales and renovations, design services are in high demand.”
People long for comfort. “Fabrics are soft to the touch and full of texture – boucles [looped or curled yarns], organic linen, cotton, velvet,” Grunberger notes. “Wallpaper has never been so popular: grasscloth, wood veneer, linen weave, silk and vinyl are available in a full spectrum of colors and add dimension and texture to a room. Bold patterns and digital murals are trending and a great way to add personality to a space.”
She adds: “The latest trends also aim to create a cozy look with curved furniture, an emphasis on natural materials such as rattan and terrazzo, and light woods (especially oak) for flooring/cabinets. Gray color history fades in favor of brown; warmer tones replace cooler ones.”
Blue (especially navy) remains a classic favorite while a richer, earthy palette gains prominence – olive, cinnamon, rust, caramel. Painted walls in rich colors can create a stunning focal point.
For a family in Great Neck, Grunberger used bright colors throughout. The kitchen dining area features colorful floral drapes with coordinating artwork and accessories adding a whimsical touch. The living room has a Ralph Lauren aesthetic with a warm mix of colors. The gold woven wallpaper is offset by a traditional gold, olive and red Turkish rug. The red onyx fireplace is the perfect choice for the deep wood paneling and reflects the colors of the silk curtains. The plaid and paisley cushions add visual interest and comfort.
In the teen’s bedroom, a lime green ceiling balances the somber gray wall, bright pink vinyl headboard and colorful wall art. In the second girls room, the designer opted for a metallic puppy wallpaper – perfect for her animal-loving client. Teal walls, a light geometric rug, patterned linens and throw pillows, and a renovated mid-century modern armchair with a houndstooth pattern and colorful piping complete the look.
More uplifting ideas
Additionally, Amy Luria was selected as one of the top 15 interior designers on Long Island by Luria Design & Style in Port Washingtonsays that many customers are looking for interesting textures, light and lots of color.
For a kitchen project, she used unique tile work on backsplashes and chose white cabinets with paneling. And the island has been painted a refreshing blue.
“Lighting is a big thing now; people are more aware of it because it improves mood,” notes Luria. “And art is big too. people hanging textured, [3-D] Mixed media artworks on their walls.”
Nowadays, even countertops can feature a color. “I like Cambria very much; They come out with exciting quartz textures and colors,” she adds. In another kitchen, Luria opted for a backsplash with confetti tiles in a penny round mosaic.
Donald Altman, a psychotherapist, former Buddhist monk and award-winning author of The mindfulness code and just mindful, offers wellness tips for working at home. He says: “Place your workspace near a window or where you can have a view of nature or the sky.”
“We need to center and calm ourselves using the tools of our awareness and conscious design of our surroundings. Working from home allows you to create a calming environment that brings you into the present moment, regulates your emotions, and motivates you.”
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