Pop-art posters cover the kitchen cabinets. Walls are panelled with aluminum. Vinyl decals adorn the mirrors. And one man is responsible for all of it.
Welcome to designer Jonathan Fong’s home — the canvas to his imagination.
Standing before crowds at the National Homes Show last weekend, the do-it-yourself designer challenged homeowners to take the reins when decorating their dwellings.
“Virtually anything can become a DIY project,” said Fong, walking across stage in personalized pants patterned in original photos.
Seconds later, Fong reveals pictures of toilets artfully covered in comics and wrapping paper. It’s this brand of fearless design that earned the crafty Californian frequent appearances on HGTV, Fine Living and a three-book deal.
But Fong describes his ascent to designer stardom as accidental. Just eight years ago he’d been a copywriter with little interest in decor, working at a Los Angeles advertising agency.
Only after moving into a brand-new, white-walled condominium, Fong began to experiment with DIY design.
“I was trying to flex my creativity outside of work but didn’t know where to start,” he said, adding that blank walls were the most intimidating part about decorating.
Drawing inspiration from a friend’s wedding magazines, Fong made fabric wall panels for his bedroom. Fixed to the wall with Velcro, the fabric boards came in a variety of white textiles such as silk and faux-fur.
“I did it without a professional, with my limited skill-set of gluing and cutting,” he said. “After I figured out the mechanics of doing it, I was emboldened me to try other things.”
The reason many people take a hands-off approach when decorating their homes is because they’re afraid to make mistakes, said Fong, adding error is an important part of the creative process. Safety, however, shouldn’t be sacrificed for creativity.
“At the end of the day, I want you to be excited about your home,” he said. “Be dramatic. Take chances.”