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How to upgrade any apartment, tips from interior designer Ashley Danielle

No one can deny the feeling of comfort and peace that comes from relaxing in a space that reflects your own personal taste. At Common, we care deeply about helping our members feel at home in the cities they live in, and a key part of that is in our home’s interior design. The design and layout of your space are incredibly important to feeling settled and comfortable in your home. 

In celebration of our latest home opening, Common Gates, in Bushwick, we connected with Interior Designer and home decor expert, Ashley Danielle, to tour our space and take some stunning shots (see below). Keep reading to learn more about how she finds inspiration and her top design tips for how anyone can make a space feel like home. 

Hi Ashley! Before we get started, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?  

Yes of course! My name is Ashley Danielle, Interior Designer and Creative Brand Strategist at Style Meets Strategy. I graduated from Suffolk University with an accredited BFA degree in Interior Design. After graduating, I had the amazing opportunity to work under a handful of talented and well-known interior designers before branching off on my own.  My mother and I recently started an ethical handcrafted home decor business! The Little Shoppe NYC is a mother + daughter eCommerce curated collection of crafted home goods featuring small artisans around the world and local to Brooklyn. We believe in working with small artisan groups to support their unique pieces and help keep the preservation of culturally crafted goods. 

What’s your favorite part of working in this industry? 

My favorite part of working in this industry is problem-solving and being able to bring a client’s vision to life. I always say I am in the business of problem-solving and every problem has a solution. Sometimes a situation may seem impossible but really getting down to it and thinking of creative and unique solutions is very rewarding. As for my clients, I truly enjoy listening to them and hearing their thoughts about what they envision for their home. Being able to help curate that vision in the best way possible and go above and beyond for them is truly amazing. 

Do you have a favorite space in your own home? 

I’d say my bedroom is my favorite space (pictured below). When I first moved back to Brooklyn, I thought I’d be here temporarily but it turned out that I’ve decided to make it home. Originally I bought quick pieces to get by for the year but then I realized the space didn’t feel like my own. I decided to start all over and truly invest my time into making my bedroom the space that I feel the most relaxed and at peace in. It’s been a two-year process as I’ve lived in the space and taken time to really invest in pieces and see it come together beautifully. I am hoping to add the finishing touches this fall and hopefully submit it for publication upon completion.

Where do you draw inspiration for interior design ideas? 

I draw inspiration from social media, online design outlets and Pinterest. Some of my go-to accounts and websites for inspiration are: 

What are your best tips for upgrading a space?

  • Start by getting inspired

The best place to start with redesigning a space is simply by sitting down and being inspired. I love spending time looking at inspirational images from art, design, fashion and photography to ignite my creative spirit. Next, I’d recommend looking at inspirational images similar to your environment and figure out how you can implement a similar design within your space. If you have a large project, start with one room, and solely focus on that room. 

  • Pay attention to scale and proportion

Good design is about understanding how to balance the two. Proportion is about how well the pieces fit together and scale is about how the pieces fit within your space. These two principles go hand in hand, your eye will be able to tell when something is slightly off. Understanding your space and what works will go a long way.

  • From textures to decor, layering is key

Layering allows you to pull together all of the elements within your home while having a natural and cohesive feel. This effect can be achieved by various methods and arrangements but one easy way is to layer texture and pattern, simply through layering throw pillows or layering area rugs. The possibilities are endless when it comes to layering but the end results are beautiful and will help elevate your home to feel more tailored and luxurious.

  • Don’t forget the importance of color

The right color can truly make or break your home. Color can be used as a neutral blank canvas or it can help define your space. When selecting a paint color for your home, I’d recommend starting with online tools to help narrow down your selection, but always cross-reference with paint swatches.  Once you have your paint swatches, place it in the room (I just stick it on the walls) and spend some time with it. I’d suggest looking at the color at 3 different times in the day — this will allow you to see how it interacts with natural light vs ambient light.

  • Go for it!

Honestly, the best way to rearrange or design your space is to just go for it. Start working with what you have first to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Move things around, add to what you have, or remove a few pieces. This will start to get you thinking about how you’d like to live in your space and what is working or not working. Once you feel as though you are in a good place, you can then start browsing for new pieces to add to your space.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The simple principle applies to design, how do you design your home? One room at a time.”

Are you ready for a new space to call home? 

Whether you’re looking for a private apartment to fill with your own furnishings or a fully-furnished coliving space to add your own personal touch to, we have you covered! Head over to our site to easily book an in-person or virtual tour of Common Gates or any of our other homes across the country. 

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