A July Letter From the Editor: This Month We’re Celebrating Colorful Homes
About a month into lockdown here in New York City, I noticed my friends, family, and colleagues taking up paint projects. My friend Emma painted an asymmetrical door on the way into her bedroom. Apartment Therapy’s Home Director, Danielle Blundell, painted an arch in her living room (you can catch a peek of it here). I interviewed Orlando Soria for an episode of The Couch Live, and he told me he couldn’t stop painting shapes on his walls. And I’m sure we all know someone who’s tie dyeing.
We also saw an increased interest in paint projects here on the site. It makes sense to me, especially as I start my fifth month of quarantine inside my one-bedroom apartment in NYC. These projects feel both fun and productive—a distraction from the monotony of home life, while simultaneously sprucing up the spaces we’re spending so much time in.
Of course, taking on a DIY home project is a luxury of time, space, health, and resources in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Our team is acutely aware that the COVID-19 crisis is nowhere near over, as virus numbers spike, parents weigh the risks of summer camps, families and friends remain separated, and schools debate how to handle the fall. We hope we can continue to be an at-home resource for you in the coming months, whether that’s smart disinfecting tips, advice for being cooped up with family, or yes, an achievable DIY project.
As we look down a summer, fall, and possibly beyond in lockdown, our second annual celebration of colorful homes still feels timely for July. In last year’s editor letter, I wrote: “One of my favorite parts of looking at our house tours each day is the inventive use of color from our audience all over the world—the ways people translate trends, timeless colors, and preferences into palettes that reflect back their personal styles.” That feels more true than ever, as I look at the creative before and afters our readers have submitted during their time in quarantine.
Lately I’ve been thinking of painting a shape on one of my own bedroom walls (thanks for the inspo, Orlando). No matter how long I’ve lived here, I can always find a transformation in a few cans of paint and a free weekend. And each little spruce-up feels like an act of love for this home, which has kept me safe and supported these last few months. I’m constantly bookmarking smart, colorful ideas from our features, editors, and readers to inspire my next project. Here are a few of my favorites from the past few months in case they help to spark your creativity. And if the only home project you can handle right now is scrolling Instagram, that works too.
Arches Are Everywhere
I think arches are one of the major design trends of the summer—perhaps all that time spent at home looking for a DIY distraction. I love this bold one above, posted by Clare Paint.
This Striped Dining Room of My Dreams
We published a house tour from Kaviya Ravi in April, and I honestly haven’t stopped thinking about her colorful DIYs ever since (you can also find her in our recent spotlight of 17 Americans at home). There are so many delightful, whimsical touches throughout. I wish I could copy her, but I don’t know if I’m artistic enough!
A Mix and Match Delight
Have you checked out our Small/Cool Experience at Home yet? If not, might I suggest you stop reading this letter and head over to see what our brilliant designers created in 120 square feet (virtually, of course, because of COVID-19 restrictions)? I love how this space came together from Carmen René Smith of Aquilo Interiors—such an effortless mix of paint, wallpaper, and art. And I can’t mention color without talking about that yellow couch.
We’ve already started on this month’s colorful celebration. Check out this Florida home filled with bright, secondhand finds, or this New Jersey loft filled with colorful pops. You can catch up on all of our recent house tours here. We’ve also been highlighting colorful spaces on our Instagram account if you don’t already follow. On Wednesday, we’ll publish a mega list of 100-plus ways to add more color to your home. And later in the month, we’ll publish our second annual compilation of our most colorful tours. We’ll also devote an entire week to Tie Dye (one spoiler: an Apartment Therapy editor is planning to tie dye her sofa… get ready).
In addition to planning this month’s content, I want you to know the editors here are continuing the conversation we started in last month’s editor letter every day. As our country continues to reckon with systemic racism, so is our team. We’re starting with an audit of existing content and features, to make sure we set goals that make us a more effective anti-racist ally, particularly in the home and design space. I’ll share more updates in future letters. In the meantime, here are a few pieces we’ve published in the past month or so that have really stuck with me—and I promise, there is so much more to come:
- Here’s How 9 Black Designers Are Finding Joy and Comfort at Home Right Now
- Here’s What It Really Means to Support Black Businesses—and How to Do It
- 11 Documentaries and Films to Stream About Black Identity
- Black Authors, Bookstore Owners, and Literary Leaders Share Their Favorite Books
- 83 Black-Owned Businesses In the Home Space to Support
- Red-Lining Has Been Outlawed for Nearly 50 Years. How Come We Still Feel Its Impact?
- How One Atlanta Neighborhood Endured a Century of Systemic Racism
What projects are you all working on at home this month? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Our letter from the editor series appears the first Monday of every month. You can follow Laura on Instagram here.