Escapism: The Art of Recharging

By Kevin Hamby

Spring is the season to clean out, clean up, refocus yourself, and make some time for relaxation. Interior designers this season are focusing on “escapism” and creating environments that are devoid of the many technology distractions we must deal with every day. 

Most of us spend so much time with our face in our phone that we tend to forget about the world that surrounds us. It can be a daily challenge just to remember appointments to keep and friendships to maintain, thanks to our constant over-programming and the information overload from social media. So putting the phone away and taking a break from reports of “fake news” just might help us create a new direction with a focus on maintaining sanity in our daily lives.

Creating an “escapist” decor at home may be challenging, but with these tips and tricks, you will soon be creating a special retreat to reconnect with yourself, organize the space around you, and become more aware of what is important in your life.

The bedroom seems to be the logical place to create a quiet nook. This year’s Benjamin Moore color of the year is Shadow 2117-30, which is a rich, beautiful steel-blue. The enigmatic, evocative color creates a calm, quiet surrounding. Darker paint colors with more of a saturated hue tend to make a space feel more content and intimate. Designers will often choose to paint not just the walls, but also the trim and moldings to give the space a more cohesive and unified expression.

Some of us live in smaller spaces where the bedroom seems to be our only sanctuary, so the bed is a prime choice to create a nest of relaxation and contemplation. Since the bed can be used for other things besides sleeping, consider making it a comfortable place to recharge and become centered. An upholstered bed is still popular in 2017, due to its look and feel of comfort and familiarity. The beautifully button-tufted velvet Harlowe bed from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams creates a peaceful place of respite where you can transcend distracting thoughts. Should you have a king-size bed, add six standard pillows and three European oversize pillows to finish your serenity nest.

It is important to balance the furniture in your bedroom, and one way to do this is to utilize a table on each side of the bed. Nightstands are sufficient, but a side table can add a unique stationary spot for non-technology items such as books, a framed photo of a loved one, and even a fragrant bouquet of fresh flowers. Using a pair of Gramercy side tables in dark stained mahogany and black steel from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams will enhance and complement the room’s other relaxing tones.

If your space has existing hardwood floors, or if you are in the market for installing hardwoods, one idea that will complete this sanctuary is the use of distressed-pine floors painted black. The patina of pine wood only improves over time, and will accentuate the dark vertical walls by creating a cohesiveness between the two planes. Floorcoverings International in the Heights is an installer of custom wood floors and other flooring products.

Rugs can feel great underfoot, and the textured Dorado geometric cowhide rug from Cantoni will provide a treasure of touch to your retreat.

The space would not be complete without accessories, and you can find some of the most interesting and artful pieces to complete your project at Eclectic Home, also in the Heights. Their gallery boasts a large selection of lamps, wall art, and tabletop accessories. With table and floor lamps, you can control the artificial lighting in the space, but we also must control the natural light streaming through our windows.  Using a contemporary blackout shade from Shade Stars, LLC, will create an intimate cocoon of rest and restoration to enhance your sleep.

Additional furniture should be included to offer more interest to your space. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Roxanne rocking chair with Tibetan fur adds a bit of whimsy to break up any somber scheme. Tibetan fur is a luxurious fur that feels soft to the skin and can relax the senses from everyday stress, and the rocking motion of the chair will make you feel like you are napping in a hammock under a cool shade tree.

Another way to relieve stress, of course, is through music. Iconic Systems in Montrose can create an aural relaxation zone in your bedroom (or throughout your residence) to welcome you home after a long day at work by playing peaceful music for de-stressing and preparing for sleep—or other activities that would be enhanced with music.

Bedroom clutter can be a serious source of stress for many people. Piles of clothes, washed and waiting to be folded or hung, apparel waiting to be sent to the laundry or dry cleaners, and footwear scattered around the bedroom are all deterrents to a relaxing, stress-free space. Tame your confusion and chaos with a closet makeover from Cutting Edge. They are experts at storage solutions, and can move you one step closer to creating the ultimate distraction-free bedroom.

No matter which ideas you implement, become your own “escape artist” by making time for yourself. Create the environment you need in your bedroom, and make sure it’s a sanctuary free from the stresses of work and social media—a space that rejuvenates your body, mind, and soul. Sweet dreams!

Kevin Hamby, RID, is a Registered Interior Designer in the state of Texas, professor of interior design at Houston Community College, and owner of Kevin Hamby Designs. He is an award-winning interior designer who works with both residential and commercial projects. kevinhambydesigns.com


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