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Interior Designer, Michelle Butler

Michelle is the Principle/Owner of Design Studio Cayman, an award-winning interior design and home furnishing firm.

Q: What are your top tips for refreshing decor?

MB: To feel refreshed you have to create an oasis and there are three top priorities that I would set to achieve that experience. First, clean up and de clutter. Find a permanent home for every object and donate, give away or toss items that are just not used and not beautiful. Second, bring the outside in. Not only do plants clean the air inside our home they also make us feel happy and connected to our environment. Last but not least, make sure you have great lighting. It might just be a matter of changing the bulbs or cleaning the fixture. If you can install dimmers on the main lights you should and then you can balance the room’s ceiling lighting with a lower level lighting from lamps. When you walk into your home at the end of the day with warm lighting, clear surfaces and a perfectly placed spray of tropical flowers from the garden you will take that deep breath and feel wonderful.

Q: How do you go about selecting a colour scheme for a room?

MB: Think about how much time you are going to spend in the room you are painting, what the floor finish is, and what you are looking at out the windows. I reserve bold colours for rooms that are not used all day, every day as you will tire of them. A soft neutral is always a sure bet in the main rooms and then be playful in a guest room or powder room. Make sure that the paint colour does not clash with the floor as this is a very permanent item. For example do not use a yellow with a travertine floor as it makes both the floor and the walls off putting. Last but not least is the view. Many people think they should match the interior with the exterior colours, walls that match the ocean or green from the garden, but in fact you can’t match the tones in nature and it ends up as overkill. Rather choose a complimentary colour that enhances the view but still feels restful inside.

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