Space of the Week: This Dining Room Shows How to Use Color, Pattern, and Plants to Design a Happier Home

You won't believe that this "wallpaper" is actually hand-painted.

A happy home comes highly recommended, and for good reason. A living space that boosts your mood will make you look forward to coming home, not to mention, make you happier every moment you spend there. Since there's no tried-and-true method for executing a dopamine-inducing design, creating a space that overflows with joy is an extremely personal process. However, a single glance at this vivacious dining room design by interior stylist and jewelry designer David Quarles IV suggests that the ideal blueprint to creating a happy home involves plenty of color, pattern mixing, and plants.

Space of the Week, Dining Room by designer David Quarles IV
David Quarles IV

"For me, color is more than a choice of what to use in a space. Color is how I experience life!"

"There should be at least two or three elements in each space of our homes that bring a smile to our faces, serving as a constant reminder that in the grand scheme of things, everything is and will be alright," says Quarles (pictured, above).

Space of the Week, Colorful Dining room
David Quarles IV

Add pattern with wallpaper (or paint your own)

To make the most of the natural light that floods the dining room throughout the day, Quarles went with white paint, and originally had plans to use wallpaper for an accent wall. That the colorful design, undoubtedly one of the room's most eye-catching elements, was born during a moment of spontaneity makes it even more endearing.

"A lot was going on during that time—I had a parent in the hospital, and had a photoshoot happening in my home for which I had to finish the dining room design," Quarles says. "Once everything was OK with my parent, I made it back to the house, yet remembered that I still needed to finish the feature wall. Since there was still no wallpaper in any of the stores, I broke out my detail brushes and painted the wallpaper by hand!"

Layer colors

Quarles exhibits a lively way of layering colors by hanging a multi-hued painting on the accent wall, creating an uplifting palette that stems from the designer's rich cultural background. "I'm Creole, Dominican, Gullah, and Indigenous American," Quarles says. "Therefore, any colors that I incorporate in my art, jewelry, and home design reflect the vibrancy of colors commonly used during celebrations of my heritage."

Quarles also explains that he is a synesthete, or someone with the ability to hear color and visualize sounds, which further enhances his creative process. "I particularly process music, numbers, and emotions as color," Quarles explains. "So for me, color is more than a choice of what to use in a space. Color is how I experience life!"

Introduce plenty of plants

Speaking of life, plants are the perfect way to perk up your space. To practice self-care and maintain a connection with nature, Quarles currently has 101 plants. The majority of them are in this delightful dining room, leaving no confusion as to why it's such a happy place.

Get the Look:

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Lighten Up

IKEA Hanging Pendant Light

This affordable light fixture not only makes a statement, but it can be opened or closed to adjust the amount of light it casts.

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Wonder Wall

Brush Stroke Wallpaper in Blue

You don't need to be an artist to bring a painterly touch to the walls—just apply this peel-and-stick wallpaper. Want to make a more permanent statement? Opt for this brushstroke wallpaper from West Elm.

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Seats With Style

Green Target Chair

Because the pendant light fixture reflects a warm, coppery glow during the day, Quarles chose cooler hues for the accent wall and upholstered forest green chairs.

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A Timeless Dining Table

Target Mid-Century Modern Dining Table, White top with wooden base

With mid-century modern style, this round dining table will never go out of fashion. The 42-inch-wide table provides enough room for four to sit, yet won't take up too much space in a small dining room.

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Playful Planters

Yellow Textured Planter from Etsy

Introduce color and texture with a vibrant yellow planter. Get this lookalike from Etsy.

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Lay the Groundwork

RugsUSA Pink and Orange Rug
Rugs USA

Additionally, the interior stylist went with a set of vibrant curtains and a pink and orange Persian-style rug to fill the room with warmth and texture.

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