When it comes to color, graphic designer, artist and Clare Collective ambassador Lauren Hom doesn’t shy away from the bold and the bright. This is a philosophy she even extends to rentals—and in this case, the space she’s temporarily staying in while completing a one-year culinary program in New York City.
To bring a little life into her new bedroom, which she’s renting from a friend who also lives in the apartment, she turned to a duo of delicious greens—Extra Virgin and Daily Greens—to create contrasting walls that feel vibrant, unique and true to her color-loving aesthetic. The result? A green bedroom that feels like an escape from the city and a home away from her permanent home in Detroit.
We caught up with Lauren to get all the details on her revamped rental, from how she landed on her paint colors to advice for DIYing the paint job yourself.
Talk to us about the "before" of the room.
“Luckily, the building is new and there weren’t a lot of NYC apartment quirks to work around. It was really just a blank white canvas. Initially I thought that when I put furniture in, it would fill out the space. And once I did, I realized it was still missing that homey feeling. Because all the walls in my Detroit home are painted, I thought that that would make it feel like my space and make it feel like a cozy spot to come home to. I really enjoy painting, and it was a nice ritual to help settle into the space and prepare it for myself.”
You're known for your elaborate and colorful murals. What made you want to pare down and do a two-tone green bedroom look?
“I would have done a mural, but I moved a week before culinary school started and didn’t have much time to dedicate to decking out the space. And knowing that I’d likely need to paint over it before I move out in a year, it just didn’t make sense to dedicate a ton of time to painting something elaborate. That’s why I chose the two tones of green—for a little bit of visual interest and personality and to make it a little quirkier without sinking a ton of energy into doing my typical ornate murals.”
This apartment is a rental. Can you talk about why you decided to paint in a rental space?
“The reason that I took the plunge is because the juice was worth the squeeze to me. A year is an interesting amount of time. To some people, it wouldn’t be long enough to get the enjoyment out of the effort you would put into painting.
But for me, coming into a space that has colorful walls everyday for a year is worth the weekend it’ll take me to paint and paint back. That’s how I made the assessment. It brings me a lot of joy, it makes me happier to spend time in my space. I think especially in a city like New York, your living space and particularly your room is your sanctuary. It’s where you decompress for the day, it’s where you start your day. Making the space feel lush and alive and vibrant, I knew it was going to be valuable to me.”
How did you land on the duo of Extra Virgin and Daily Greens for your green bedroom?
“The reason I chose green is because my studio back in Detroit is very green. And I thought that using these two colors would be a fun way to bring that little nod to that into my New York City space. I’m kind of in a green era now. I’m even wearing a lot of green eyeliner lately.
I usually match colors to moods or purposes of spaces, and my friend I moved in with has a lot of house plants in the apartment already. So walking into the space, I was already struck by seeing so much greenery. That was part of the inspiration as well.
I just happened to be scrolling through Clare’s green section and thought these two looked nice next to each other. I thought there was enough contrast where when you look at them together, you can tell they’re different greens. I didn’t want it to be too subtle of a difference, because there’s a ton of light in this room and I can see how they could get washed out if they’re too similar.”
What tips do you have for those who want to DIY a green bedroom look, or something similar?
“My best advice for making the painting go smoothly is to get all your supplies set up first. Do your prep work right, put a drop cloth down if you need one, tape the edges of the baseboards and ceiling so when you do go to paint, you can just knock it out. Especially in a small space like this, it would be inconvenient to have paint cans, drop cloths and a ladder out for more than just the time I wanted to paint.
Then just paint and chill. Put on your headphones, put on a podcast, listen to an audiobook, get a friend to help and gab all day. It’s nice to section off the project into segments so when you’re actually painting, you can just get it done in one fell swoop. Because it can be demoralizing with any decor project when you stop and start.”
How did you decorate the rest of the room?“I picked out furniture and bedding ahead of time, so I had a general idea of what the decor was going to be. I’m renting the furniture because it’s just for a year. I was trying to set myself up with something practical, but also nice looking.
I think because I’m a designer, I had this idea in my head that I would use greens and blues and a pop of warm color, which is in my pillow and sheets. It all ties back to my brand colors. My colors have always been some form of a warm bluish-teal and warm red. It’s changed over the years, but that’s always been the color family I’ve worked in, because on a color wheel, those colors tend to complement each other. This room is a culmination of my natural design aesthetic, just pared down for a temporary space.
My roommate gave me plants to put in my room, and one of my concerns was if it was going to be too much green. But I actually really like it. I think because I have a tendency toward a more maximalist aesthetic, the green plants in front of the green wall actually create a cool monochromatic textural element. I also installed some dimmable and colored lightbulbs so I can change the mood in the room.
All these little elements contribute to my well-being and make my day-to-day more enjoyable. I think that outside looking in, decor can seem like a frivolous thing to care about. But when you actually put the effort in, it makes a big difference, and it’s almost like a way of caring for yourself. You put this love and effort into a space you get to enjoy every day. I think it’s well worth it.”