Think of your living room. What comes to mind? Sofa and chairs, obviously. The color and lighting? The electronics and floor probably crawl into the frame after you think of those. Is that all? It’s surprising how often the design of a space ends after we’ve considered those few elements, especially when we’re designing our own spaces. Now that so many spend so much time in our homes, it’s important that a room be more than a place to sit or stand, eat or work. Our spaces need to be intersections between our passions from the world outside and the comforts that come from hunkering down. Whether we’re inside to avoid pandemic, a gnarly snowstorm, or anything in between, we deserve to feel connected to the beauty of the world from the inside of our homes.
Photography by Marieke Verdenius
A well-designed room delights each of the senses. Whether it’s a candle from Los Angeles based Flores Lane or incense purchased at your local farmer’s market, the nose cannot be neglected. “Scent has become an essential part of my life,” says jeweler Aaron Changpo. As founder and creative director of jewelry line Varon, Changpo is an aesthete. The importance of flooding space with energy is not lost on him. “I'm not a minimalist, but I'm all about balance. Objects reflect my exploration through life and work. I believe objects have energy and that energy is a reflection of your persona. A comfort to oneself. By neglecting [the energy from objects] I would feel lost. But, on the other hand, it's good to have/work on detachment as well. Earthquakes and pandemics help in reminding us how nothing is permanent.” Embracing the lack of permanence at home can be energetic in itself.
Photography by Marieke Verdenius
Replacing accent pieces, like curtains or rugs, can reinvigorate a room. Dusting off a layer of dull energy with some new swarthy fabrics is an easy way to find some dormant creative vigor within you. Publicist Nick Boksa gets it. “If you are living in a space that has a lower ceiling, you can install [window treatment] to go the entire length of the wall. That will give you the illusion of having a space with more height.” Illusions in a home are so important.
With good art, we can trick our brains into forgetting about reality. The right art collection, whether it’s an expensive archive of sculptures and paintings from Christie’s or pieces curated from extensive Etsy searches, will inspire anyone who enters the inhabited space. “If I walk into a room with great art, I want to know the story behind it. Who purchased it, when, and why? It has the power to tell a story,” says Boksa. “When purchasing art, you’re the one that has to look at it all the time, especially now. Get something a little eccentric and fun,” he continues. Just like objects, art can create a mood within a space. It has the power to make the space vibrate at its highest level. But, vibrating at all may be nearly impossible without one crucial element.
“Music is important because it sets the connection between people enjoying a certain time. It is the common vibe, the common groove, the common experience that people share.” Yousef Kurdi is one of the many who believe nothing in a space is quite as important as the music being played in it. To many, music is life, and unfortunately, 2020 may be a year without it. No festivals, no concerts, no theatre. To bring music into a home is to bring life into it – an energy that is so palpable it’s hard to not be moved by it. “I actually moved about one year ago and the first thing I did was the sound system around the house. The central speaker [went in] the bathroom,” says Changpo. Eleanor Turner, an Angelino based citizen of the world, agrees with Kurdi. Life is all about the common groove. Polo & Pan, Satin Jackets and Hayden James radios on Spotify are the current soundtracks to her life.
Our homes are our havens. For the foreseeable future, we’ll have to put a pause in searching for culture in the outside world. Bring it in. We have the option to live in a place that holds us in place or one that pushes us forward. What do you choose?