In the age of Instagram and social media, our beauty, design and fashion preferences are often influenced by aesthetic trends. Whether it’s pastel nails, earthy shades or even the latest gallery wall craze, most of the things we see on our Instagram feed are pretty, but not very original. Going for something bold and bright is often daunting because it seems like a big commitment to something you may change your mind on. But one New York design studio is encouraging people to step outside their comfort zones and take the leap with unapologetically bright and colorful interior decor.
Artist and Designer Elyssa Dorf owns Cheery Designs, the design studio known for its signature pop culture-inspired, street art-style wall art and decor pieces. Whether it’s a print, a card or even a desk accessory, you won’t find anything in the Cheery collection that plays it safe. “In most cases, your walls, furniture, and even rugs are neutral. Let your art be the pop of color for your space to serve as a focal point amidst the rest of the room,” Elyssa says. “Art takes up little real estate compared to the other elements and therefore can be brighter, busier, and more eye-catching. Much like dressing in all black and wearing a statement necklace or scarf, art is the add-on that takes your space from drab to fab!”
The Skidmore College and Pratt Institute alumna has made it her mission to add a pop of color and more cheer to people’s lives, with her brand’s tagline being “gifts are sweeter with a Cheery on top”. She wants people to reevaluate the role of art in their homes and consider how it could have a real positive impact on their lives. “Your interior design style should be what makes you the most comfortable. If you decide to go out of your comfort zone, it should be with purpose,” she explains. “Whether the purpose is to prep for a family, to make your home more of an entertaining space, or to serve as a fresh start, as long as your decision aims to change the way you live in your space for the better, you can be confident in moving forward in that direction.” She adds that art and design can be a good way to represent the passage of time. “As we go through different stages of life, both our needs and wants change. So it is natural to switch up your space to match these ebbs and flows.”
With most of us stuck at home now more than ever, Elyssa feels now is the best time to try something different. “Without reinventing the room you are in, swapping out art is an easy fix that can transform the look and feel (and feelings) of a space. Imagine an all grey and white living room with no art above the fireplace, the stone fireplace being your focal point. Then, add an oversized colorful pop art piece on top of the stone, creating juxtaposition.” She explains that without doing any real DIY, you are able to transform your space by adding one single element that can command a whole room. Finishing this off with a colorful vase and some bright coffee table books can bring the room together and make it feel totally new.
This approach to art and design isn’t completely defined by Elyssa’s taste, but is actually scientifically proven in that color can release endorphins, and even have healing properties (known as chromotherapy). “When asked what my favorite color is, I always respond ‘rainbow,’” she explains. “I answer this way because I feel that colors, side by side, bring out the best in each other. Yellow doesn’t shine as bright unless it’s paired with darker colors, and orange pops the most when paired with blue”. Color pairing is an art in itself, and when done right can bring together the room that has been lacking personality and character. “While many things in life can be, and look, mundane,” Elyssa says, “your art should not be one of them.”
Find out more about Cheery Designs here.