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Letting your passion inspire your redesign

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Transforming your home with the arts

Take your living space from drab to fab by using the arts to inspire your home redesign. From dance and music to theater, you can infuse your passion for the arts into your home by accessorizing your space with eclectic decor that makes a statement.

Living room with drama masks

Think outside the box

Step it up

"I would encourage people to not only use visual art as a means for inspiration, but the fine arts in general," says Maya-Camille Broussard, a curator and designer in Chicago. "I usually study the elements of dance and see what I really enjoy and then incorporate that into my design. For example, if I want to use tap dancing as inspiration for my room's design, I may look at the history of tap dancing and how tap dancers carried wood pallets, so maybe I'd want to incorporate a lot of natural wood in my room." Broussard also suggests studying the dance's terminology (e.g., the term "flap" used in tap dancing could inspire flap pillows).

Do you enjoy salsa dancing? Adorn your space with the themes of lively, spicy and vigorous in mind by integrating vibrant, rich hues into your home when choosing your throws, rugs and curtains. Select bold textures and patterns for your comforters and accent pillows. You can also use salsa dress attire as a decoration model by furnishing your space with ruffled or fringed pillows and curtains.

Lights, camera, action

Metal spotlight mirror
Editor's pick: Metal spotlight mirror (wildorchidquilts.net, $54)

To create a room inspired by the theater, you'll want to get creative with the lighting. Add spotlight floor lamps or opt for recessed lighting or cove lighting fixtures. Adorn your windows and walls with velvet draperies that are rich in color and soft in texture. Toss in oversized pillows and use scented candles to create a cozy atmosphere. Don't forget to add a unique area rug to accent your space. Got a favorite play in mind? Broussard suggests visualizing the set design from your favorite play and taking some of those elements for your room's design.

Turn up the music

When it comes to music, get creative and think beyond pictures. If you enjoy jazz music, Broussard suggests focusing on textures such as smooth (silk, velvet) and hard (Lucite, wood) to use the terms "smooth jazz" and "hard jazz" as inspiration.

"I would also focus on rhythm by employing varying levels when you'd least expect. If I created a stairstep-style bookshelf, I might have several of the shelves dropped or raised suddenly to reflect the unexpected improvisation and syncopations that many jazz musicians incorporate into their music," says Broussard.

If you're a fan of classical music or soft rock, you can opt for a traditional look using neutral shades, rich colors, and symmetrical arrangements and accessories (such as large curtains, a floor lamp, timeless clocks, Oriental rugs and vintage pieces). If you enjoy pop or hip hop, you can liven up your space with a cutting-edge contemporary and modern style with colors and furnishings that make your room pop. You can also adopt urban-style home decorating, which encompasses a sleek, stylish look that is uncluttered with a few selected favorite pieces and tons of open space. Because this music genre infuses poetry and storytelling, add a personal item that is sentimental to you, such as family jewelry or a memento of a loved one, and let your space reflect who you are. Let a piece of the room tell your story.

Living room with guitar

Redesigning on a budget

Don't let your passion become intimidated by your wallet. Broussard points out that many people assume they have to buy all new pieces for a design when they can work within their budget by visiting a vintage thrift store or recovering furniture they currently have.

"You really have to ask yourself how much money you can spend. That's when the fun part starts and you can actually hunt for the cool eclectic items that necessarily don't cost a lot of money, but they add a lot of personality to your space," says Broussard. "Being open-minded is the key. Don't get scared because you think that you can't afford a certain look that you want. People will be pleasantly surprised if they know how far their dollars can go if they have an open mind and imagination about how different thrift items and vintage items can be used in a new light."

Other tips for the artsy gal

Snapshots

Broussard recommends cameras for photography lovers. "If you collect cameras, vintage cameras may be something you can add as an accessory in your home. I think that's a very cool accessory to have in your home and something you will appreciate as an art enthusiast."

Tip

Everyone loves a great book, but what do you do with your favorite reads after you've read them? Click here for ideas!

Lit chicks

If you're an avid book reader, find a way to present your book collection in a unique way. That could include showcasing some of your books on your coffee table or using your bookcase to display pictures, decorative statues and other fixtures.

Hang it up

Adorn your walls with art that you enjoy by creating your own customized framed artwork. Or, if you have found the perfect painting, Broussard says you can find inspiration in that design, which doesn't always have to be literal.

"It's OK to borrow the colors in the painting and carry that over to the space you are creating. You can enjoy the process of art appreciation and stretch that appreciation into your room design as well," says Broussard.

For more art-inspired decorating tips, visit www.themcbproject.com/blog.

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