Home décor is not something that comes naturally to me. While I love the details of beautifully decorated spaces, and appreciate the talent it takes to create them, I cringe at the idea of spending six hours at IKEA or even flipping through the latest copy of Better Homes at the doctor’s office. When I finally overflow with ideas, I turn to my own blank canvas and literally draw a big, fat blank. Overanalysis paralysis. But for those of us who do not have an eye for these things, I have discovered a few simple tricks that can spice up any room.
If you really do not have the time (or cannot be bothered) with home décor, nature is your best bet. Although my mom had our house filled with plants and flowers, oddly enough it never crossed my mind to do this in an apartment. It was my husband who insisted on going nuts with the greenery. Sadly, as the windows in our building do not open we opted for artificial plants. We even threw in a fake cactus, our little homage to the Abu Dhabi desert. Having greenery around, even if artificial, can really change the mood of the room and subconsciously boost your spirits.
I come from a background having grown up with traditional Arabian-style rugs This look is so embedded in me that I shipped my own rugs from the US and did not even think twice about getting anything else. Growing up as an Arab-American in a small Southern town made me really cling to my culture as much as I could, so I think I subconsciously assumed every Arab household must contain an Arabian rug. My husband, who also shares my culture, immediately vetoed my rugs as soon as we unboxed them. Long story short, while shopping every carpet shop in Abu Dhabi I discovered that one statement rug can really vamp up your whole room. If you find a piece you really love it can also even inspire the rest of your room décor.
It is amazing how one accent wall can change the look of a room. When I first moved to Abu Dhabi and was still job searching, I got pretty bored during the day and figured why not practice some DIY skills on my own apartment? I decided to take it easy and used a pretty stencil to paint a small section of our wall. After I showed it off to some family members (hey, I was bored, I needed to feel special), I got enough validation to complete the whole wall – which took an additional SIX hours. Although tedious, I love that way it came out and that it looks like a nice simple wallpaper from afar. Not bad for my first paint job! Please note that although this took some time, it was a very easy and repetitive process. To my husband’s dismay, I did not use measuring tape and decided to just wing it and it turned out just fine (though make that decision at your own risk). Stencils are a great option for those of you who do not want to go all out with paint. In the picture above, you can see how I used another stencil to spice up a plain white bookshelf.
With this newfound confidence I decided to tackle our living room. But…I did not want to spend another six hours, so I chose a much smaller wall. At the time, I had just gotten ombre done on my hair and loved it. So I thought, why not ombre my wall? I’m a genius. I know. I took color inspiration from my accent rug and decided to go for it. First, I looked on YouTube to see if this technique actually exists for wall paint, and to my excitement I found a really great tutorial on how to accomplish it. I love how it turned out and it is now our favorite wall in the whole apartment!