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Embrace Your Space - @thistimeincolour

Copper Dantzig floor lamp with black shades next to orange sofaCopper Dantzig floor lamp with black shades next to orange sofa

Ola’s colourful home is every Maximalist’s dream, where every inch is filled with saturated colour, bold patterns and curated objects.

Ola Zwolenik has spent the last 4 years transforming her once beige and zestless period terrace into a space packed with energy and personality. With so many ideas, it’s unsurprising that her SE London home is ever-changing, from her latest loo project to adapting her dining room into a creative #WFH space! But one thing that remains is her absolute love of colour and commitment to being bold, brave and expressing her personality through her home.

@thistimeincolour’s home renovation story started when Ola and her partner moved to England from Poland straight after finishing uni. They bought their home in 2017, after 5 years of renting and feeling restricted in what decorating they could do. Though today Ola advises that anyone renting doesn’t make the same mistake in holding back from expressing personality just because of renting. Part of what her loyal 107K Instagram and 90K TikTok followers love about her accounts is her easy-to-do styling tips – things like melting dining candles into cool curvy shapes or where to buy vintage posters. For DIY’ers, it is the colour blocking decorating trend that Ola is most passionate about, but again says this can be as simple as painting an alcove in an accent colour or blocking shapes around objects, like a bed headboard or mirror.

Satellite ceiling light in a pink room, inspired by art deco designs.Satellite ceiling light in a pink room, inspired by art deco designs.

Q: What is your favourite room / space in your home and why?

 

It changes daily, but I’m currently in love with my latest project – the downstairs toilet, which is also the smallest room in the house. I was able to transform it completely with a beautiful Art Deco inspired wallpaper and DIY panelling in dusky pink.

George Monkey Table Lamp in a blue monochrome setting.George Monkey Table Lamp in a blue monochrome setting.

Q: Do you have a proudest DIY moment?

 

Anything that requires power tools! First it was a built-in alcove shelf, and now it is our hallway panelling. It was a big challenge to cut and align all the mouldings perfectly, but once I did, it felt like I was unlocking a new skill.

Q: Have you always been so daring when using colour in your home?

 

Not at all. I always wanted my place to reflect my personality, but felt limited by the fact I was renting. That changed in 2017 when we bought our first home and started decorating. I just allowed myself to be as creative as I want and decorate in a way that makes me happy.

 

Q: How do you make your interior design your own?

 

I surround myself with colours and objects that really speak to me. It can be as simple as finding a really unique vintage treasure at a car boot sale or as time consuming as searching for a rare piece of art by my favourite artists.

Satellite copper ceiling light in a bedroom setting.Satellite copper ceiling light in a bedroom setting.

Q: How have you styled your work-from-home space?

 

We use a small built-in desk in our dining room. It is a vibrant and eclectic space with a large painted arch with mid-century furniture. There are a few shelves to maximise vertical space and make it your own. I think it really inspires creativity.

Gold talisman table lamp and ipoh ceiling light put together in a bedroominspired by bold hues and art deco curves.Gold talisman table lamp and ipoh ceiling light put together in a bedroominspired by bold hues and art deco curves.
Terracotta coloured bedroom in a maximalism style.Terracotta coloured bedroom in a maximalism style.

Q: Where do you get your home inspiration from?

 

I read somewhere that finding inspiration is all about expanding your “visual library”. For me it is mostly traveling, experiencing different cultures, but also watching beautiful films or getting inspired by talented designers on Instagram. I think my guest bedroom is a good example. I wanted to create a Morocco-inspired colour story, but I added some vintage Polish art, and painted a retro-looking mural around a rattan headboard. That room is also a home to most of my plants, because I really love surrounding myself with nature.

Q: How would you describe your home style?

 

Colourful eclectic or curated maximalism. I combine many different styles, like mid-century modern, English traditional, Art Deco and bohemian.

 

Q:Describe your home when you first moved in?

 

A beautiful period terraced home from the outside, but lacking personality inside. Beige carpet in every room, all the walls painted in either magnolia or grey, white high gloss kitchen with glittery backsplash. Great potential with some original period features, though.

Pink art deco cloak with Regina gold ceiling light.Pink art deco cloak with Regina gold ceiling light.

Q: Do you have any tips for someone scared of using lots of colour?

 

Start with something small first and see how it makes you feel. It can be an accessory, a piece of furniture, tapestry or removable wallpaper. There are so many creative ways to incorporate colours, without having to fully commit. It’s also very renter friendly.

 

Q: Where do you start when you begin renovating / decorating a room?

 

I wish I could say my process in consistent, but that’s not necessarily the case. I usually start with painting walls and picking furniture. Almost all of my rooms at one point looked rather minimalist, but then I added more colours and patterns. I like taking my time.

Copper dantzig floor lamp with black shades in a navy room next to orange sofa.Copper dantzig floor lamp with black shades in a navy room next to orange sofa.

Q:How do you create your home aesthetic using lighting?

 

As much as I always consider practicality, it’s just as important to create the right mood. A floor lamp next to a sofa or armchair will create that perfect reading spot, but will also make a room look cosier. I like mixing old with new, playing with heights and shapes. Lighting can be a statement on its own, just like a piece of art.

 

Q:Where do you start when you begin renovating / decorating a room?

 

I really love choosing colours and painting. Whether it’s a wall mural or a piece of furniture, I find it very relaxing. Unless I have to paint ceilings. That’s just hard work!

Sheridan table lamp beside the bed. Sheridan table lamp beside the bed.

Q: If you had to live in the same house forever, what interior style would you go for?

 

Easy! It would be a Victorian or Edwardian house with a lot of character and eclectic decor.

 

Q: What interior trend(s) do you think your home embraces?

 

Colour blocking would be the biggest one. I like creating simple murals and being brave with colours.

Q: How does your colourful home make you feel?

 

Happy and proud. It gives me that comforting and calming feeling, but energizes me at the same time.

 

Q: Do you have any exciting home projects coming up?

 

We are actually converting our loft in the next few months. I’m really excited, but also nervous. It’s a big project, and a few new rooms to decorate. Even the existing master bedroom would have to change, because we are moving one of the walls. I’ve never actually designed a bathroom, so there will be lots of firsts. I’m sure it will all be worth it, though.

Thomas edison steampunk table lamp on a shelf next to fireplace.Thomas edison steampunk table lamp on a shelf next to fireplace.

Q: Do you have a room / reno idea that you regret / thought looked better at the time?

 

Not really. There were few times when I painted a mural, but changed it after a day or two. Sometimes things don’t work out how you envisioned, and that’s okay. It’s a process. The only thing I do regret is not being brave with my previous flats. You can still express yourself and do so much when you rent, even without painting your walls.

  1. Iconic Curin 12 Way 12W LED Gold Pendant Ceiling Light
    Iconic Curin 12 Way 12W LED Gold Pendant Ceiling Light
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