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Layer, Layer, Layer! Fearlessly Unconventional Design and the Transformational Power of Spray Paint

Designer Krys Melo

Palm Springs

Photos: Krys Melo


Design rules

For me, following rules too closely takes the fun out of designing! I guess my only design rule is “layer, layer, layer.” Sometimes I make up my own rules, but I usually end up breaking those, too.

"Sometimes I make up my own rules, but I usually end up breaking those, too."

Why is color so important?

Creating a color story is one of the first places I start when I design a room. There is a deep connection between color and psychology. Whether you realize it or not, color influences your thinking and mood. Color is also a big part of my Mexican heritage, so it feels natural to use a lot of it.

Secrets for capturing great images

Natural lighting and shooting at an angle a little lower than eye level are my little secrets to great interior photos.

What inspires you?

My husband and I both work from home, so we’ve learned to get very creative with our work spaces. Living in a small space can be challenging, but we make it work by creating functional multi-use areas. I’m very into mid-century style, so I keep a lot of vintage imagery and items around for inspiration.

Essentials to creating your personal sanctuary?

Surrounding myself with things that I really love looking at and that I have a connection to. Color is important, too, of course. I weigh how every color makes me feel emotionally before I use it in a room. I’m also a scent freak and love to use essential oils to personalize fragrances that match or change my moods.

Ways to bring a space alive?

Plants and flowers can add a ton of life to a space. Adding patterns to walls and furniture is a good way to spice things up as well.

Essentials to your creativity?

Creating is how I keep myself mentally healthy and happy. Being able to create beauty in different forms is essential to my wellbeing as a whole. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband and friends who understand and encourage me along the way.

Design hack:

Spray paint can transform almost anything.

"There is a deep connection between color and psychology. Whether you realize it or not, color influences your thinking and mood."

Five tips for designing a nurturing space:

1. Surround yourself with things you love.

2. Don’t be afraid to try the unconventional and change things up if they don’t work out.

3. Use colors that speak to you, even if they’re not traditionally used together.

4. It’s ok to take your time; don’t rush a space just to get it done.

5. And layer, layer, layer.


1. Something you always have in your bag?

Sunglasses, lipstick and old receipts.

2. The place you feel most yourself?

At home. I’m a major homebody.

3. Where do you shop to find your favorite pieces?

Local flea markets and and antique marts. Also vintage shopping apps like Whurl, EBTH and Etsy.

4. If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be?


5. Which designers or sites give you the most inspiration?

I’m a huge fan of daring designers. Dorothy Draper is a favorite. I’ve always been inspired by her use of color and pattern. I love sites like Domino and Atomic Ranch. Lately, I’ve actually been finding a ton of inspiration on Instagram.

6. What hashtags do you use to find awesome design on Instagram?

7. Where do you start when you remake a room?

I usually start by seeing what large pieces I can rearrange for a new flow, and then start choosing a new color palette.

8. What’s the fastest way to shift a space?

Change out things like pillows, accessories and rugs.

9. One of your favorite quotes:

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”—Jack Kerouac

10. Something we wouldn’t know about you?

Now, now… we’re all entitled to some secrets, aren’t we?

The 411

Krys Melo is a vintage lover and founder of Melodrama, a blog and Instagram account featuring DIY interior design, recipes and travel. You can usually find her rummaging through the vintage magazines at flea markets. She currently lives in Palm Springs with her husband and two dogs.

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