A Modern Bohemian Home That’s a Lesson in Living Colorfully
Dabito takes us inside his playful New Orleans home and shares his tips for creating color-charged spaces.
Published Mar 1, 2018 5:00 AM
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Color is the name of the game for New-Orleans based graphic designer, photographer, and self-professed modern bohemian Dabito—but you can call him Dab, for short. With an eye for worldly textiles and plant-filled nooks, the LA-born influencer and founder of the blog Old Brand New has been inspiring mod bohemes-in-the-making one post at a time. And since no space speaks to his signature style quite like his free-spirited Louisiana home, which he’s shared with his “heartmate,” Ryan, for the past four years, we asked @dabito to take over our Instagram feed for the weekend. But once we laid eyes on his Insta-worthy haven, we knew we had to know more.
“I use my home as a blank canvas and I’m not afraid to switch things around or swap pieces out and replace it with something else,” Dabito tells Domino. “A home should grow with you and seeing the evolution of my style is what I love about it.”
So how does one go about creating a contemporary boho escape? Read on for Dabito’s tried-and-true tips for infusing bold shades, playing with modern patterns, and balancing statement-making moments.
Color? It’s all about harmony.
Pairing the right colors can be tricky. Which is why it helps to think of your combinations in terms of warm and cool. Although the blue and turquoise sunroom happens to be Dabito and Ryan’s favorite spot to kickback with their pups, the light-filled living room offers a lesson in layering texture and color. Here, Dabito’s striped Van Dyver-Witt sofa (the first item they purchased for the home) is surrounded by a curated array of soothing hues and rich Peruvian textiles.
“I always think about contrast and balancing warm and cool tones in a space,” says Dabito. “I typically gravitate toward yellow, orange, blue, and green.”
A fresh pop of green on the front door serves as an appropriate counterpoint to the warm yellows and oranges within the space. “My decorating motto is always, ‘why not?!’ The outside [of the door] is yellow, so I wanted it to be a fun surprise on the inside as well!” he adds.
Get personal with a DIY.
#HomeOfficeGoals, anyone? This dreamy office proves a stylish (and efficient) work zone is nothing without a space-savvy desk and, of course, an inspired mood board. But the coolest part about this corner office has to be its hands-on character. Dabito picked up all of the pieces to craft this mid-century-inspired shelving unit from Home Depot.
“I think the best thing I did was spray paint the tracks and brackets gold,” he wrote in the tutorial on his blog. “It feels great to have a little workspace, plus some shelves to house my accessories.”
Of course, no true boheme would ever forgo plants—and lots of them.
Let your art fuel the room.
Feeling uninspired? Consider your favorite painting or a personal sketch your next muse. Filled with personality, the mustard yellow dining room (which he designed as a part of the One Room Challenge last spring) is at once formal, unexpected, and seriously fun. When it came to redesigning the dining space, he decided to let two large paintings by artist Leroy Miranda Jr. lead the way. “Sometimes, I find color inspiration from artworks and that can help dictate the direction of the palette,” Dabito explains.
While the original artwork and playful paint color give the room its cheerful tone, the semi-sculptural, statement light fixture above instantly elevates the space. “Light fixtures are a great way to make any space look unique and stylish,” says Dabito. “I love modern, simple, yet sculptural, fixtures.”
Surprise with tiles.
We’ve seen our fair share of pretty tiled bathrooms, but rarely do we find a ensuite that plays with print solely on the walls. In an effort to craft an unpredictable display that would never go overlooked, Dabito opted for a graphic, eye-level scene.
“I’ve been coveting these cubed tiles for many years and I finally found the perfect place to put them,” says Dabito of the edgy geometric pattern. “We didn’t want them covered up by a rug on the floor so we decided to install them on the shower walls instead.”
Make your outdoor space an authentic one.
Regardless of whether you have a teeny terrace or palatial backyard, it can be easy to overlook your outdoor space—especially when dreary winter temps have put you in a sour mood. But once warm weather strikes, trust us, you’ll want to have an al fresco retreat to call your own.
“Our favorite space we designed was our backyard patio, where we painted the walls black and added faux floor tiles to give it a bold, graphic touch,” says Dabito of his fern-filled oasis.
A collection of globally inspired finds—like the Moroccan pouf, Kilim pillows, and rattan swing chair—effortlessly complete the charming outdoor scene. The secret to a happy patio? Honing in on spiritual ambiance. When you put as much effort and thought into your outdoor decor as you do your interiors, it will quickly become your favorite spot to spend time.
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