By Dezign — Lessons from The Dezign Diva

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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Interior designer Karen Booker aka The Dezign Diva has spent decades honing her craft and being an evangelist of living in design. On day five of #designweekja2020, Booker took the Jamaica Observer's Instagram Live feed by storm with DIY demonstrations and an enthralling conversation with Life and Corporate Coach Fabian Thomas.

Booker has leaned into these uncommon times as she's a firm believer that there is “life after our circumstances”. Due to the pandemic, she too has been forced to, as we say in Jamaican parlance, “wheel and come again”. Her pivots include making great scented candles from beeswax and essential oils and creating subscription boxes that each contain the essentials to lift any area of the home. With a pair of 96-inch light-filtering drapes, complementary sheer curtains, a 24-inch decorative pillow cover, (all from Booker's Signature Collection) and a scented candle, you can affordably add a bit of pizzazz to a reading nook, den or corner of the bedroom.

If buying home décor is not possible at present, no worries. The Dezign Diva inspires others to use what's already available to them. Booker is a big believer in upcycling and even has a Second Life Collection available at her ateliers on Hope Road and Ocean Boulevard.

During her DIY demos, Booker created an eye-catching centrepiece using silk flowers, and by the time she was done, you could almost believe fresh hydrangeas were prettily arranged in a vase. The next demo showed viewers how to make napkin rings out of cardboard roll tubes. You know, around which kitchen paper is wrapped? With a bit of burlap ribbon and the brandishing of a glue gun, Booker made some nifty napkin rings.

Booker later took the conversation about Living in Design to a philosophical level with the assistance of Thomas, who was overflowing with bon mots and sage advice. Looking directly into the camera, he encouraged viewers to stop “paying lip service” to their lives and reinforced that a “design is a plan that gives an idea structure”. This didactic part of the presentation wasn't off-brand for Booker. She offers courses; a new cohort starts online in January and is a big believer in lifelong learning.

This year has indeed thrown several curveballs, but Booker is using the lessons to share knowledge and uplift on multiple platforms. She is undeterred and seems to take seriously the words of the poet Edmond Jabès who wrote in Drawn Curtains “Hope: the following page. Do not close the book.”

#designweekja2020 is made possible with the support of the National Housing Trust, National Commercial Bank, ARC Manufacturing Limited, and H&L Rapid True Value.




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