Hi everyone! Nice to meet you…. I’m Daniela and my company is Mint Decor. We are based in Coconut Grove, Miami and specialize in Interior Design. Welcome to my blog!
For quite a while now, I have been thinking about starting a blog… So here we are! Given what we are all going through right now with the current pandemic, I wanted to make my first blog post about being creative during this time of quarantine. I know that at least for me, being creative is a way of life, a way of therapy. When I’m creating, I have an opportunity to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life (for now, it’s THE virus and all that goes along with it). Having to stay home more gives us all extra time to take a deeper, fresher look at our spaces- how we like or don’t like them for the amount of time we are having to spend there. What worked before may not work anymore. People are having to work from home for the foreseeable future and perhaps that home office wasn’t set up to handle the everyday work load. And for that matter, perhaps other spaces in your home need some rethinking too so they work well for you and your family during these changing times.
Also, just being in closed quarters with other family members has stripped many of us of much needed private space. Having a space to go to where you feel good and is just for you is always important- but more so under the current circumstances. In Design- spaces should not only function the way you need them to, but they should also make you feel good when you spend time there. In other words- they should feel beautiful to you. How a space feels, looks and functions has a direct correlation with your everyday mood.
So I say: If your space isn’t working for you the way you need it to, or you just need a change of scenery- Change it! It’s that simple- really!
Now let me just say that I am always changing things up in my home because I need to. I always have since I was a little girl. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, new energy, fresh look. It just makes me feel good- almost like when you get a new hair cut (for lack of a better example… lol). Change can be so empowering, and now is the time to take your own creative challenge and tackle it head on.
So what have I been doing during this time at home? Lots of stuff! See below……
PAINT: I started with paint. I’ve always had bold colors in my home- and don’t get me wrong- I love them too, but I was bored. I decided to lighten it up a bit, so I tackled each space, one by one and absolutely LOVE ❤️ the results. It was a much-needed change for me. And paint is one of the most inexpensive, high impact ways to make a change- not to mention it is DIY friendly.
1- CREATED A MURAL IN MY ENTRY: My daughter, housekeeper and I decided to create an entry mural inspired by Japanese Ink drawings. I have always obsessed with branches and trees, but wanted something rather abstract. For the wall colors, we used Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin as the background color and Benjamin Moore’s BlackBerry for the accents. It’s almost an abstract of tree branches crossing each other randomly and believe it or not, we painted all of those branches with a sponge! Yup… a sponge 🧽! Our entry looks fabulous and we could not be more proud of our work. Not bad for a weekend project 😊! See pictures here:
2- COLOR CHANGE: Next we moved on to the stairwell. We have a townhome and I always had the back wall painted in one of my favorite colors: Benjamin Moore’s Mulberry- a dark and elegant magenta. My home office is still painted in Mulberry and I adore it, but for the rest of the the home- I needed something calming. After a few days of looking at my paint chips, I chose Benjamin Moore’s Sweet Innocence- the perfect shade of calming light greyish blue…. Just what I needed! See color here: https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/color-overview/find-your-color/color/2125-50/sweet-innocence?color=2125-50
3- NEW WALLPAPER: We wallpapered the living room. My living room had a deep turquoise (which I also liked but was bored of) so I chose a very neutral, but elegant wallpaper in a natural hemp material. The background is a vanilla color and it has tiny metallic gold threads woven into it. Luxurious, yet subtle… It’s the perfect backdrop to the bold elements I have in the living room and matched amazingly with our existing floors. The Paper I chose is from one of my favorite wallpaper companies- Phillip Jeffries. For my living room, I chose Phillip Jeffries’ St. Germain Hemp II Gold on white and I couldn’t be happier. See pictures and link here: https://www.phillipjeffries.com/shop/CARD-NAT-STGERM/5981/
4- USING PEEL & STICK WALLPAPER IN FUN AND UNIQUE WAYS: My daughter has a nature-themed bedroom and I wanted to carry the theme into her bathroom. I decided on peel & stick wallpaper as a fun way to add a few decorative elements in random spots throughout the space. For this project, I didn’t want to overwhelm the space, just add some spice to it. I purchased one roll of palm leaf wallpaper reminiscent of the Golden Girls’ Blanche Devereaux’s bedroom and cut out the palm leaves individually to place in different places throughout the bathroom. I even fanned out some of the leaves by making cuts with my scissors to create additional movement. The end result is even better than I pictured. With Peel & Stick wallpaper, you get lots of bang for your buck, it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install. See pictures and link for our Etsy.com seller here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AccentWallCustoms?ref=shop_sugg
5- GIVING YOUR FURNITURE A REVAMP: Once I began to change things, I knew the next project on my hit list was to reupholster my ottomans: I had a small piece of gorgeous fabric and decided to make good use of it by reupholstering two small ottomans I had in my living room. They were covered in a black furry material as I had purchased them for a Halloween project a few years back and they had remained that way since. Now that the living room and paint colors had changed, they needed to get a facelift too. I chose F. Schumacher’s Cranley Garden in Document for this project because it is so rich and elegant. My housekeeper and I (she is always my partner in crime 😉 ) decided to take up this little project one weekend and it only took us a few hours. Once we cut the fabric properly, we sewed the top to the round portion and strung some ribbon into the bottom to pull it tight. It really served as a slipcover more so than proper upholstery but you can’t tell because the base of the ottomans is wooden. We just screwed the top back on to the bottom and the ribbon part remained inside. I’d say this looks pretty professional, don’t you? 😉 see pictures and link for fabric here. https://www.fschumacher.com/1314000
6- PLANTS, PLANTS, PLANTS! Since before the pandemic, I began to diligently work on my garden. To be honest, the community we live in had done a general planting before we moved in years ago, but nothing ever grew there and it looked terrible. Being the way I am, that was never OK with me. Finally, I decided it was time to take on the garden…. Turns out it was the best decision I made. I could have never known that during this quarantine and general stress we are all living in, that little garden would become my go-to spot. Being forced to stay home- we are all indoors more than not and getting out to connect with nature is more important than ever. I just want to point out that I am not a landscape designer and the way I approached the garden was in layers. I took several trips to the nursery before this pandemic- planting one group of plants at a time and then deciding what I needed to get on the next trip. Several trips and plantings later, I have a beautiful garden!
7- BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE: Having just completed my garden (though it will be ever evolving), the next thing for me was more plants! Yes…. you heard me- MORE plants smile 😃! I felt the need for greenery inside. I can’t quite explain it, but I just knew I needed some indoor plants sprinkled throughout the house. My biggest concern was how to water them without making a mess on my floors? After some research, I came across a fabulous solution: root balls! Turns out I found the sweetest lady with the most amazing green thumb. Her name is Renee and she has a shop called KREATIVE GARDENS in Coconut Grove and another on Bird Rd. She takes plants and creates these “root orbs.” The base of the plant is literally a ball of moss. These root orbs sit on a bowl and all you do is put water into the bowl when you feel the moss is not as wet as it should be. I was able to call Renee and FaceTime her during this pandemic. I chose my plants and she delivered them the same day. This solved my problem! No mess, beautiful plants, easy to care for- I am a happy camper! See pictures and link to her site here: https://www.kreativegardens.com/
8- LAUNDRY ROOM MAKEOVER: Lastly, I decided my laundry needed a reboot! We originally designed it with bottom cabinets and all open shelving on top (no upper cabinets). We’ve lived with that for about 7 years and honestly, it didn’t work that well for us. It felt messy all the time because we could see everything. I was over it! So I called up my carpenter and we added the missing upper cabinets around the laundry, as well as some cabinets on wheels next to the washer/dryer so they could be moved if necessary. The cabinets are a greyish white, so I went for the boldest contrast I could find: Black! Yes….. I painted my walls in Benjamin Moore’s BlackBerry (which I LOVE). In general, I find people are afraid of using black, but black is really a neutral. It can take any other color you throw at it and can be elegant and forgiving, especially in a laundry. Those walls will never look dirty- no matter what. I don’t know about you, but that is a plus in my book!
And finally, I don’t want my laundry to feel so Laundry-ish, so I decided to add some art work. Nothing formal, just fun stuff. After all, it is a laundry room and stuff can happen in there, so nothing too expensive. Anyone who knows me knows I have a special connection and adoration for all things HARRY POTTER. Yes… I am a Potterhead 🤓! A friend had given me some cute Potter art and it matched my rug perfectly so it was a win/win. Seriously, can that be any better… lol? And speaking of my rug, I used FLOR.COM to purchase my rug tiles. I have used Flor for several projects, including my kitchen because their floor tiles are commercial grade, durable for high traffic areas, include a rubber bottom so they stay in place, and are replaceable and customizable with easy peel and stick super strong stickers on the bottom. This makes for a perfect product for places like a laundry and I was able to install it myself- even cutting a few tiles to fit the space with a box cutter. I highly recommend their products! For this project, I used their “Lilting” design in Granite. See pictures and link here: https://www.flor.com/lilting