How We Live Home Tour With David Quarles
David Quarles, IV is a modern renaissance man. He's a talented interior designer, jewelry designer and if you love to eat well he chef's up amazing vegan dishes too. And probably the most fun fact, he'll show you how to work off those calories in one of his high energy Zumba classes. He does it all with style and I couldn't wait to show you his Memphis, TN home filled with two of my favorite design elements: color and art!
Tell readers a little about yourself and where you live. My name is David Quarles, IV, and I’m a designer - both of interiors and jewelry - as well as a fitness instructor. All things art-related hold my attention, and I often get lost in my creative imagination. I was born and raised in Memphis, TN with Creole, Dominican, Gullah and Indigenous American heritage. I'd describe my decor style as Global-Eclectic and Mid-Century Modern.
Do you have keepsakes or family heirlooms incorporated into your home decor? No heirlooms per say. Yet, I do have many references to the moon throughout my home. The moon is the center of a connection my mother and I have that stems from when I was a foreign exchange student in Spain, and I’d get home sick.
When we’d talk on the phone, she told me to always look up at the moon and know she was looking at it with me. That is also when we adopted the phrase “I love you to the moon and back.” My love and connection to the moon only intensified after that moment; in fact, she gifted me a wooden art piece with those words painted on it. Although it isn’t my style, the meaning behind it makes the art adapt to my decor style.
With that, I think it is extremely important to have items in our homes that speak to our family’s history and story. After all, our homes are simply an extension of who we truly are.
Have you completed a brag worthy DIY project? If so, tell us about it. I do, actually! My home was being featured in a local design and decor publication so I decided to redo my dining room. I’d recently bought new furniture, so I had that part of the redesign process complete. However, I planned on doing a wallpapered, feature wall. I ordered the wallpaper, and the day it arrived, my order was short 3 of the 5 rolls needed to complete my project. Moreover, I had a parent fall ill and be admitted to the hospital that same day so I immediately shifted my focus.
After knowing my parent was in the clear, I still had to solve the wallpaper dilemma and meet the fast approaching publication deadline. I only had enough wallpaper to cover a third of my wall, and that particular design was completely out of stock, so I pivoted and decided to paint my own wallpaper.
I came up with a color scheme and pattern then went to Home Depot and painted the entire wall with Behr paint samples; one of them was an “oops” paint sample but I just really loved the color!
It took me about 1.5-2hr to finish the hand-painted wallpaper. And honestly, it was a therapeutic way for me to process the remaining anxiety of having a parent healing from a major health scare!
Thankfully, everything came together in the end, the photoshoot went well, and my home made for a pretty cool magazine feature!
Why was it important for you to incorporate decor in your home that celebrates the many facets of your heritage? What types do you have and what countries are represented? I love my cultural heritage and let it influence how I live my life in every aspect. So in the home, I think it’s important for us to have touches of who we are culturally to show a healthy amount of pride in ourselves. And now there's an ever-increasing amount of Black artists out there painting us in real-life settings, it’s a great opportunity for us to show support to those artists for breathing new life into a form of expression that oftentimes in history didn’t represent us nor our story.
Being of Afro-latinx background, I have art that intentionally reflects the variety that makes up my family’s cultural story. I have a few prints from artist Rickey Charles of New Orleans, as well as some original art from various painters in the Dominican Republic. One of my absolute favorite paintings is one that I bought in DR and now hangs in my dining room. I adore this painting so because it combines my love of dance, music, visual art and community all in one canvas! Too, it depicts the many different hues present in the Dominican heritage - something not too often seen due to a history of severe colorism. But, that’s another (important) discussion for another day.
Since art is usually displayed in a home to express our love and affinity to a certain subject matter, I feel that having art that reflects us culturally is one of the highest forms of self-love.
For those that are hesitant to incorporate African decor into their space or don’t know where to start, what's one piece of advice you’d give them? As I’d tell any of my clients, choose what speaks to you. Start off small, buying one or two pieces - be it a sculpture or woven fans - and gradually layer them into your decor. Since African decor is full of texture and pattern, it can be too much for a space if done in large amounts.
However, just as the art or decorative piece itself was carefully crafted to tell a story, we should apply that same method to including African decor in our homes. Take your time to curate a home with pieces that speak to your cultural history with care and intention. And since it’s all beautiful, what a fun process it will be!
At Reflektion Design our mantra is, See Yourself at Home. How does your home reflect who you are? One thing about my home is that it is colorful! In daily life, I like to bring cheer and joy to myself and to others. There’s enough in this world to rob us of such. For that reason, I like for my home to be as uplifting as the person I set out to be. Balanced out with a majority of white walls and neutral furniture, I let art and other decorative accessories bring in the color and cheer into my home!
I respond to color a bit differently than most. I’m a synesthete and I specifically process sound and emotion as color. So the palette I choose for my home must reflect the joyfulness I aim to feel, while picking me up on those not-so-easy days.
Where can we find you online? I manage two Instagram accounts, one for design and fitness - @david.quarlesiv - and another for my jewelry design brand - @ivbydavid. My website is davidquarlesiv.com. There, I share design tips, recipes, style advice and the site also serves as the method to book my design services.
Looking for items to bring more of you into your home checkout the shop: www.reflektiondesign.com
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What is your favorite design element in David's home? Use the comment section below to let me know what you think!
P.S If you enjoyed this home tour, check out our previous tour featuring interior designer, Nikki Green you're gonna love it!
That dining room is so luscious! Love this space. It’s beautiful and cultural while looking very comfortable.
I totally enjoyed reading and learning more about David. You can definitely judge by his decor, he’s a joyful fun loving kinda guy and then to top it off to learn that he is such a person is even better! Thanks for sharing him! Btw.. the dining room and bedroom is completely the bomb-ass decor.. totally hot!
Amazing feature! So much I didn’t even expect… so much soul & meaning.
AND we have the same light fixture. Just in different a finish & in different rooms!! ❤