artwork

Baby, It's cold outside!

Brrr... it's been pretty cold here in New Jersey! Right now it's 7 degrees, and it might get up to almost 30 by the afternoon. Although it's miserably cold, the winter is a great time to hibernate and catch up on some good books and movies indoors. And while you're inside all cozy under a blanket your eyes may wander over to that blank wall you've been meaning to decorate.... now would be the perfect time for that indoor project!

Need some inspiration? There are many options for filling your walls with art. You can choose a single piece of art or large photo that you took. Another option is to create a gallery wall. The variety of gallery walls have just exploded over the years and there are many ways to create one. So below I've outline a few of my favorites with some examples of each.

The Cohesive Gallery Wall

This style gallery wall creates a clean looking aesthetic, which makes it a good fit for traditional AND contemporary interiors. By simplifying the color palette and using similar frames you can create a uniform look. You can then create a grid with the frames for a geometric look, or can mix and match frame sizes for some variety.

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(source: design*sponge)

THE ECLECTIC GALLERY WALL

Can't commit to just one color scheme, have to much artwork you'd like to use, or jut aren't a matchy-matchy person? Then try creating an eclectic gallery wall. Start by laying out all the pieces you'd like to use on the floor and move pieces around until they fit well together and the artwork complements others surround it. Keep in mind frame size and artwork color, you want to mix and match so the overall gallery will look well balanced.

(source: Emily Henderson)

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(source: Samantha Gluck Interiors)

KIDS ARTWORK

Do you have a little artist at home? You can showcase their artwork and make it feel special by using frames like these below.

Mantle Styling

During this unrelenting winter I've gotten a bit of fireplace envy. It's been fun looking at some fireplaces online (like this post) and thinking about how to style them. There are so many ways to accentuate this focal point that there really is no wrong way to do it. In a previous post I explained some key elements of a vignette, or decorative way to arrange accessories together. When styling a fireplace mantle many of the same tips hold true. So now if you're looking for some ideas of what to use, here are some fun options! 

1. Mirrors

This is one of my favorite design tricks, not only do mirrors reflect the light in the room and make it feel bigger, but if you angle the mirror back you can catch your chandelier / light fixture in the view which adds a dynamic element.

2. Family Portraits

This is a classic item for above a fireplace. You could hang one large portrait flanked with sconces for symmetry, or could lean a few different sized portraits for a more relaxed feel. 

Creative Solutions for Necessary Evils

My car was in and out of the shop this past week and I've finally gotten it back, horray! It was challenging to coordinate two different schedules around one car, and there is limited public transit for travel within NJ. NJ to NYC - no problem. Eastbound travel within New Jersey - not so easy. Anyway I'd be just as happy to not own a car but alas I still need one! That got me thinking about all the necessary evils that we deal with, my car being one of them, and there are certainly plenty in the decorating world! 

Here are the top 4 necessary evils that came to mind right away:
- Incorporating a TV into a room plan
- Designing around floor & wall vents for HVAC
- Plugs and wires for connecting our digital world
- Cash (always a necessary evil!)

What other necessary evils do you find hindering the way your rooms work? I'll address each of those above and I'll start with the TV. I think this is something we all deal with and there are many ways to make it work!

#1 - The TV is Bossy

Necessary: for entertaining, watching TV & movies with friends and family

Evil: When living rooms are bossed around by the TV it results in uncomfortable room arrangements.

With new technology and flat screens there are many options you can use to incorporate the massive black screen successfully into your decor :)

For Wall Mounted Screens...

I love the idea of using artwork to hide the screen when not in use. There are many variations on this idea: you can lift a painting, slide to one side, or my favorite is splitting the artwork and sliding to each side for a balanced look. If you choose a more abstract artwork it would look just as good open as it does closed.

Lowe's: I love this simple DIY video from Lowe's, click here for the link.

Or if you look around I'm sure you could find a decorative box with accordion doors that open, similar to this one at Horchow that is sold out. 

Horchow

Or try incorporating the screen into a gallery wall. I think this one works particularly well because all the frames and matting are black so it relates to the TV. In addition the wall is painted a medium gray and the unit below is also black. Very cohesive.

via Decorating Files blog

Projectors

Floored At ICFF

Happy Labor Day weekend! I hope everyone can take some time to enjoy this last official weekend of summer. I can't believe how fast this summer has gone, I was just starting to get the hang of it.

As the weather starts changing we turn our attention from the beautiful outdoors to our inside environments. One way to make our rooms cozier is by adding an area rug. There are unlimited colors and patterns to suit just about any interior. One of my favorite things about them is you can change them according the the seasons... a sisal or flatweave during the summer then a plush wool carpet in the cooler weather. Such a small thing that makes a huge impact!It's visual, it's tactile, it's a great element of the room design.

I saw lots of beautiful carpets and rug designs at the ICFF this year. I really like the creative use of materials, silky accents, sculptural hand carved piles, and original patterns. Here are a few of my favorites, what do you think?

Designer Rugs

Based in Australia Designer Rugs creates various collaborations with designers and artists that have hand tufted piles that are carved for some luxurious volume.

Greg Natale - New Regency

Pavement Empire

Their collaborations with artists translate their art style into carpeting with unique patterns and design, like this one from Minnie Pwerle below.

Minnie Pwerle - Camp Sites

M&M Design

M&M Design International presented a colorful collaboration with artist Rai Alexandra. Her abstract expressionist style uses hand torn collage and assemblage. Looks like fun!

Artwork on Display @ 1600 Penn

Earlier this week we shared a picture on our facebook page showing a chandelier that is currently decorating the White House. Today we'd like to take a look at some of the art that has been on loan over the past few years. It was amazing to read about how much impact these artwork decisions could have on an artists life - such as in one case increasing the artwork's value up to 300%! Not too shabby.

Sometimes presidents are praised and/or criticized for their choices (naturally), especially if the art was chosen for any political implications. The Obamas preferences tend towards modern art and they, along with their selected designer Michael Smith (!) made a wish list of about 40 artists. From there the list was narrowed down and here are a few images of my personal favorites.  Check out these links for more information (wsj) (nytimes). And check out the Google Art Project for an interactive tour!!