Outside the Lines | Using Color for Joyful Interiors

Outside the Lines | Using Color for Joyful Interiors

  • Kathy Sexton
  • 03/15/24

Outside the Lines | Using Color for Joyful Interiors

Your Home & Lifestyle Magazine

There’s a reason that fresh flowers bursting from the earth are such a welcome sight when spring arrives. After months of gray and white winter, their Crayola-bright hues can be a balm for the soul. Canadian designer and blogger Joanna Grzeszczak (who blogs under the name Joanna Anastasia) has adorned her home in the colors of springtime so she can enjoy them all year round—from butter-yellow cabinets in the kitchen to doors as pink as a bunny’s nose. “I would call it ‘dopamine decor!’” she says with a laugh. “I want things that make me feel good. That tricks your brain into thinking everything is OK. Look at all these colors!”

It wasn’t always this way. When she and her family purchased their 1980s Colonial Revival, “it was ‘eighties bonanza,’” Joanna recalls. “It was brown everywhere—the carpets and all the finishes were brown!” But three years of renovations have created a transportive world of pattern on pattern and eye-candy tones. The most challenging part of the renovation? “I had to stay on budget,” she says. “We did a lot of the work ourselves and didn’t actually hire anyone for anything. When it was changing flooring or renovating a bathroom, that would be my husband. I was painting, putting up wallpaper, trying to thrift pieces of furniture that would fit in and then making them over.”

And while the colors in her chosen palette are often pink and yellow, much of it is (ahem) green—in more ways than one. Joanna scored some finds she could upcycle right in her neighborhood. “I was lucky because when people don’t want something, they just put it on the side of the road,” she says. “I got the floral sofa that’s in my office and the green chairs. I manifested them one day, thinking, ‘oh, I would like to find some more wooden chairs for my table.’ And then I walk my dog and I see two already painted and chipped green chairs! I’m always trying to find something with interest instead of going to the stores.” Joanna scours sites like Facebook Marketplace to find pieces that still have a lot of life in them, then gives them a face-lift with paint. “Look for steady wood. The color of anything can be changed! If you like the form of something and it’s the right size and it’s comfortable, get it. You can always change the color of it later.”

Joanna is unafraid to mix pattern with pattern. “Whenever you go outside for a walk in nature, there are patterns everywhere,” she says. “You have big clouds and you have smaller leaves, and you have bigger leaves, and you have flowers. When you look at colors, even just when you’re in a forest or in a field, you have so many colors together and somehow it works. Whereas we were taught in design that we should use one color and one supporting color only, and that’s not true. Nature proves us wrong!”

As spring arrives, the designer recommends embracing the season fully with your home’s interiors. “Spring is a big awakening of nature,” she says. Take inspiration from the hues of the flowers, adding pops of color by picking up new throw pillows in a happy lavender or painting your front door cherry-blossom pink. “It doesn’t have to be expensive,” says Joanna. “It can be printable [art], or thrifted finds, or painting your kitchen island to add tons of energy and vibe into a cookspace,” she says. “You just want to bring nature in.” In short? Anything to put a spring in your step.


YHL/ Written by Kathryn O'Shea-Evans

Photography provided by Joanna Anastasia.

Outside the Lines | Using Color for Joyful Interiors
Outside the Lines | Using Color for Joyful Interiors

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