The simplicity of using principles of art and design to elevate a space By Lorenza Mezzapelle Elements of art and design are oftentimes overlooked as a way to elevate a home or to evoke an emotion or mood within a home and, ultimately, personalize a space. Being in the process of renovating and redecorating my room, I was faced with the struggle of not knowing where to start. Having tried countless ways of incorporating my personal style within my space, I had yet to determine the best method of doing so. I was looking for an approach that would at once be timeless, and still remain personal. While the plethora of color-themed decor ideas on Pinterest are a great start to putting a space together, the use of elements such as texture, contrast, and balance are a simple step towards instantly elevating a home. Minimalist homes are aesthetically pleasing and the clean lines will make any decor enthusiast’s heart flutter, but if we are being honest, we all have sentimental items that we hold value to and would like to demonstrate in our respective ways. Similarly to the way that I style an outfit, I determined that the best means of approaching this endeavor was to begin with a statement piece, namely, a piece I value. Finding your statement piece doesn’t have to be difficult, and contrary to the outcome of your hour-long scroll through various decor-oriented websites, the piece you choose doesn’t necessarily have to “match” the rest of the space. If anything, your mid-century modern living room will look even more well-lived in, comfortable, and personal, with the addition of your favorite old blue armchair with which you cannot seem to part. Adding that red and orange hued abstract painting your uncle made you in your dining area will not only personify the space, but also serve as a conversation-starter. Good decor is not all about using similar tones and styles and having a cookie-cutter magazine home, but rather about incorporating a focal point or a statement piece, something that will aid in conveying your personal style or main idea, in addition to allowing for the rest of your pieces stand out. If you’re having difficulty finding or incorporating the piece of your choosing, integrating principles of design such as color, texture, form, and shape are always interesting elements to augment the quality of your space. Think; framing your favorite textile, highlighting your unique collection of tiny items by placing them on shelves, or using your grandparents’ antique trunk as a coffee table. Adding my beloved forest-green trunk to my bedroom not only combined my style within the space, but served as a nice statement as opposed to the neutral toned dressers and walls that were already in the room. Not to mention, serves as a great conversational piece among loved ones; a ton of family history is embedded within that piece. The key to upping the quality of any space is balance and contrast; finding your own unique way to have your charm serve as both a functional item, and an element of surprise.