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Artistic Inspiration

The Butterfly Effect: This Designer Let Art Dictate Her Design

Dorothy Willetts, ASID, NCIDQ, is a California-based designer and owner of Willetts Design & Associates. For a recent project Willetts created the bedroom look to demonstrate how artwork can fit into everyday living. “Hirst Bedroom” is part of a series by Willetts, called 1 Room, 12 Looks, 24 Hours, where she created 12 different looks in the same space — one after the other. “I wanted people to see art in a familiar setting,” she stated. Here, it’s not used in a way that you would typically envision it.

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Photo credit: Taylor Sherril and Associates


The room’s design is based around a piece called “Entreaty” by British artist Damien Hirst. Willetts says she admires the work because Hirst has seemingly created unending blend of fantastic color combinations through his use of butterflies.

As a designer, Willett’s goal was to use the bedroom’s paint color to accentuate the art piece. She also wanted paint that had good coverage, since after completing this look, she was going to repaint the bedroom for other looks in her design series. As a regular Dunn-Edwards user, she knew the brand would not only work well in terms of coverage, but also have the right paint color to bring out the bedroom’s focal piece of art. That color was Dunn-Edwards’ Surf’s Up (DET583). The accent wall of Surf’s Up perfectly highlights the vivid colors in the artwork — and pops particularly well against the artwork’s white matting and frame.

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To let the focal wall be the star of the show, the designer used white accents and primary colors. The choice of furniture and a rug with clean geometric lines serve to complement the shapes and colors in the art and create more interest in the room.

Watch the look come together: