Melissa Cripe is a prop stylist who lives in a funky, eclectic, 800-square-foot shotgun apartment in New Orleans. Every space in her home is colorful and filled with character, but the living space is the most fun. “The light in this open space is just the dreamiest,” Cripe says in her house tour. “And as far as decor: More is more is more!” Everywhere you turn, there are cool little details, like the lips-shaped pillow in the corner, the wallpaper on the second layer of the coffee table, and the square-framed vintage art.
Cripe considers her design aesthetic to be nostalgic, prop-filled (of course), and playful. “Stylistically, I’m drawn to the surreal world of ’60s pop art, so I playfully sprinkled that — along with an absurdist, French flair — throughout my home,” she says.
“I’ve divided my space to reflect the different facets of my creative personality,” Cripe says. While her bedroom is more soft and subtle, the living room and kitchen are a bit more “visually graphic.” So it’s no surprise that the coolest detail in the whole place is a hand-crafted DIY in the entryway between the living room and kitchen.
At first glance, it looks like a clever use for leftover wallpaper. Turns out, it’s not quite what you’d think. “Since I’m renting and not able to paint, I constructed this DIY arch to create a visual divider between the living and kitchen spaces,” Cripe says. She ended up freehand-cutting hundreds of “Matisse-inspired shapes” out of black vinyl to create this custom look that really is stunning.
If you’re in love with this level of detail but don’t have the time or steady hand to recreate it, you can always try with wallpaper. Adding some texture or pattern could really make this area pop. Typically, when you’re installing wallpaper, you’ll end up with a bit of excess you’ll need to trim off. Instead of throwing that extra paper away, you should use it to line your doorway.
“I love the living room most because it’s the first thing people see when they enter the apartment,” Cripe says. She designed the space to serve as a visual conversation starter, and the detail in the trim of the doorway is definitely worth talking about.