Designer Digs is a series featuring the living spaces of our favorite interior designers and home decor influencers, where they give us the full lowdown on how they live. It’s all the things we love about browsing virtual real estate listings, with the added benefit of hearing exactly what it is that makes these dream homes so special.
Dabito, the mononymous founder of the fun, funky, and colorful creative studio and online design resource, Old Brand New. As a “blogger, photographer, artist, décor guru, tastemaker, passionate vintage hunter, and lover of all things design,” Dabito is a true force of the digital design world.
Dabito and his partner split their time between LA and this stunning ranch home in New Orleans. For more inspiration, you can also find Dabito on Instagram.
New Orleans, Louisiana
“I moved here because of my boo!” said Dabito on their location choice.
Much like Dabito’s digital home, this 1950s New Orleans rancher is full of vibrancy and life. With its layers, bold prints, and bright walls, Dabito describes the 2,100 sq ft. space as “colorful, eclectic, and a little romantic, modern bohemian.”
When it comes to Dabito's design process, he's very moved by color. "I always start with color when designing a space," he explained. "I think about how I want to use color. Is it through furniture, paint on the walls, or wallpaper? Color can really transform a space. It's a mood, a vibe, and can also tell stories."
As seen in this post, the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home was essentially a blank canvas from the start. But a blank canvas means more room to play! The entire home was full of potential, and one particular room caught Dabito's attention.
“I loved the sunroom,” said Dabito of the sun-filled space. Years later, and now complete with dark walls, a plush, jewel-toned sofa, and a matching area rug, he still cites it as his favorite room––mostly thanks to the natural light that pours in from the large windows.
Perfect Dark Wood Floors
While the blank walls instantly called for Dabito’s love of color, he was pleased the floors could remain untouched. They're “a very dark wood and came with the house. I liked how dark and rich they were.”
Plenty of Plants
Plant-life offers another natural pop of color throughout the home, thanks to Dabito's love of greenery. "I love a lot of ferns. Bird's nest ferns are great!" he said.
But because he and his partner split their time between New Orleans in LA, they also require dedicated plant-sitters. "I have friends check in on my plants when I'm away."
An Outdoor Oasis
Just like the house, the outdoor area needed some extra love, too. “There was a shed before, but it was run down so we converted it into a patio,” explained Dabito. With only the bones of the shed remaining to create a structured overhang, the patio essentially functions as an outdoor living room. To add even more character to the space, Dabito “stenciled the floors to create a faux-tile look!"
A Love of Patterns
Tiles and bold patterns go hand in hand for Dabito, and when discussing his favorite aspect of the naturally-lit bathrooms, he said, “I love the cube cement tiles on the shower walls.”
Art With a Story
Along with opting to paint each room a different color, Dabito adorned his walls with a diverse collection of art. "Some of the artworks are my own," he said. "Some are from friends. Some are vintage. The ones in the yellow dining room is by a New Orleans artist, Leroy Miranda, Jr.
The Perfect Vintage Find
The home is full of special, unique pieces, but one stands out among the rest: “The vintage striped sofa was such a great find,” said Dabito. “It makes a bold statement in the living room.”
When it comes to finding the right pieces for each space, Dabito is all about choosing what you love—within reason. "I wanna say that I buy what I love and then make it work into the space," he told us. "But the bigger pieces definitely require a little more planning. Gotta make sure things can still fit into a space, otherwise it can ruin the flow."
The Kitchen Is on the List
If you’ve noticed an absence of kitchen snaps, there’s good reason for it. It’s the one area that Dabito doesn’t show publicly. “I would love to transform the kitchen,” he explained. But for now, this stays on the to-do list.
Tips for Coloring Your Own Home
As for Dabito's tips for incorporating color in the same, bold way, he suggests starting with a few key questions to find your inspiration. Ask yourself "are the colors from some of your favorite flowers? Is it a color you liked during one of your travels, is it your mom's favorite color?"
The answers should all lead you to a happy, joyful space.