I am obsessed with details. Finishing touches such as the trim on a drapery panel to how a work of art is framed can make or break the overall design. As a self professed art addict, I especially love working with clients, artists and my local framer to showcase the works of art to make them shine.
Later this month, I head to Las Vegas (my virgin voyage!) to attend the West Coast Art & Frame Expo as part of a Design Blogger Tour organized by Steve and Jill McKenzie. We will be seeing the latest and greatest introductions in framing as well as a variety of new forms of art reproduction.
See below for some works from my personal collection and client portfolio on how the variety of framing elevates the art.
A client’s colorful interior in Birmingham features large-scale works on paper by Windy O’Connor. The champagne toned metal frame pulls out the brushstrokes in the painting and still anchors the space. Dark oil rubbed bronze picture lights tie in with the stair rail and door hardware. A bold 19th century rug brings out the orange in the paintings and introduces the palette for the house.
In my library, a commission by Favorite artist Amanda Talley through Hidell Brooks Gallery provides a a focal point for the fireplace wall. A dark floater frame punctuates the darker strokes in the painting. The interior of the bookcases are painted to repeat this color.
This is the beginning of a gallery wall in my living room. A variety of watercolors and small paintings collected from our travels tells the story of our treasured memories. The wall has grown and been rearranged to include other paintings seen here…
A contemporary collageby Brad Thomas is placed in a gilded frame with a block motif to play off of the curves in the artwork. The work is floating on a linen mat in order the appreciate the intricate detailing and writing along the edges of the work.
Several of my favorite works have been found through Gillian Bryce who shows at 214 Modern Vintage in High Point as well as Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. This oil painting by Bernard Segal is in a vintage gilt frame and enhanced with a linen mat and fillet to make the work larger. The empty space of the linen mat gives the viewer a chance to appreciate the small compact bursts of color in the painting.
Another work by Bernard Segal, this is one of a pair of watercolors. I framed the works in a simple gold frame which pulls out the gold in the painting and floated them on a linen mat in order to appreciate the deckled edge of the paper.
A “pile” by Selena Beaudry (also through Hidell Brooks) is floating on a white backdrop and framed in a deep modern white frame giving the work a shadowbox effect. Our dirty pink entry hall walls enhance the pinks found in the watercolor.
One of my prized possession is an interior rendering by the Dean of American Design, Albert Hadley. A charcoal mat enhanced his pencil rendering and make it extra special.
I found this abstract encaustic at the Marche Biron in Paris. Maurice Morel came to Paris in 1927 to pursue his double vocation of artist and priest. He found a mentor in Artist-Poet Max Jacob, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, who was a close friend of Pablo Picasso and other artistic-literary notables of the period. In 1933, Morel helped stage a ground-breaking sacred art exhibition, Art Moderne d’inspiration religieuse, which included works by Picasso, Andre Derain, Tsuguhara Foujita, and Georges Rouault, who would become the priest’s lifelong friend and supporter. I fell in love not only with the work, but in the way it was framed….a frame within a frame. An ingenious way to add importance to a special work.
The starting point for the entire design scheme was this pastel confection by Kate Long Stevenson at the beloved “Pink House,” a center for breast cancer survivors herein Charlotte. She donated the work in honor of her friend. Again, we used a floater frame to set off the painting from the brick backdrop while pulling out some of the darker tones in the painting.
Be sure to follow along as we take in the sights of Vegas with my fellow design blogtour pals… Holly Phillips of The English Room, Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Schwartz of Cloth & Kind and Vicki Bolick of The Ace of Space. We cannot wait!
Welcome to my virtual “Artists Salon” for Dering Hall’s Wired & Inspired Showhouse in collaboration with the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center! When asked to design a space inspired by my favorite city, I let my imagination run wild creating my fantasy penthouse in New York City. Be sure to click here to see the rest of the showhouse on Dering Hall including spaces by Angie Hranowsky, Beth Webb, Cathy Kincaid, James Wheeler Designs, Cloth & Kind, Tammy Connor, Yvonne McFadden, Melanie Millner, and Karen Ferguson.
INSPIRATION IMAGE: WILLEM DE KOONING’S ART STUDIO
Living in New York City in my twenties made an indelible impression on me. I felt like I had encountered the center of the creative universe that attracted the most talented, imaginative, and artistic people I had ever met. Since space was so precious and provided solace from the grind of city living, I became fascinated with how people treated their interiors. I used to fantasize about my “dream” apartment and this is my version of heaven…a penthouse overlooking the Chrysler Building, surrounded by a blend of iconic furnishings and paintings by my favorite abstract expressionists that also came to New York for inspiration. Whenever I need to get my creative juices flowing, New York is always my city of choice…taking in the latest exhibitions, observing what is happening on the streets, and soaking up the vibe of the city.
WIILEM DE KOONING/ Gotham News, 1955, oil on canvas
HELEN FRANKENTHALER / Tutti-Fruitti, 1966, acrylic on canvas,
A double height penthouse overlooking the Manhattan skyline is the perfect backdrop to showcase the works of my favorite artists. The Farrow & Ball color palette of the interior was inspired by the city lights, bold colors in the paintings, and Babe Paley’s infamous “taxi cab yellow” living room decorated by Dean of American Decorating Albert Hadley.
The large scaled embroidered linen kaleidoscopic pattern used for the drapery illustrates the creative process of Patrick Frey who is constantly playing with shapes and colors to keep his work fresh and exciting much like the Abstract Expressionists featured on the walls.
On the pillows, another multicolored fabric by Pierre Frey depicts Japanese theatre masks, yet also evokes Picasso’s Les Desmoiselles D’Avignon at MOMA.
The Jean de Merry chandelier reflects the edgy glamour of the city.
An ebony and gilt Origami cocktail table by Angelo Donghia adds a 70s/ Halston-esque vibe to the space.
A hand crafted hide rug by Kyle Bunting is a work of art on its own, yet the small scale of the pattern plays off of solid upholstery fabrics and large scale of the drapery fabric.
A pair of “Hadley” lamps by Chrisopher Spitzmiller pay homage to legendary NYC interior designer Albert Hadley while the touch of black punctuates the bold palette of the interior.
A Cuff Console by Natasha Baradaran plays with negative space and becomes another work of art placed against the taxi cab yellow walls.
A very special thank you to artist Becky Clodfelter for bringing my interior to life with her amazing talent!
The A-Ha moment is one of clarity. It is a defining moment when you gain real wisdom that can be used to change your life. This moment can be inspiring, surprising, original, deeply personal and worth sharing. It often arises when there is an obstacle that needs to be turned into an opportunity.
Last week at Blogfest 2012, the editors from House Beautiful encouraged us to share an A-Ha moment from our design work. Up and coming designers Michael Herold, Jill Goldberg, and John Call shared their A-Ha moments with the group and challenged us to do the same.
My A-Ha moment came while working on the Pink House, a unique respite for breast cancer survivors and the Carolina Breast Friends organization. The Pink House serves breast cancer survivors in numerous ways: Wellness Education, Library and Computer Research Center, Fitness and Nutrition Centers, Self-Image Services, Arts & Crafts Workshops, and Counseling Services.
When I first saw the house, it was a beautiful historic home that had recently been renovated, but there were no funds to furnish the interior. What seemed like an insurmountable obstacle at the time turned into the most wonderful and fulfilling opportunity.
|The Living Room
Upholstery from Charles Stewart
|The Living Room
Accessories donated by Circa Interiors and Antiques
The organization wanted us to create a sophisticated, calming and feminine atmosphere. This was a haven where women would come together for fellowship, support and inspiration.
|The Living Room
Re-upholstery donated by Design Services, Inc.
Albert Hadley said, “Decorating is not about making stage sets,…it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.” We wanted the survivors that entered this space to feel like their spirits had been lifted and their souls nourished.
|Painting donated by Kate Long Stevenson
in honor of her friend Neil Maddux Miller
We found several pieces at local flea markets and tag sales. With some refinishing, new paint and re- upholstery, we were able to turn others people’s cast off furnishings into beautiful pieces for the Pink House.
Window Treatments donated by
Custom Window Treatments
|The Sun Room
Carpet donated by Stark
When we first began this project, I honestly did not know if we would be able to pull it together. We had several different rooms that needed to flow together along with random assortment of found items and upholstery that needed some unifying element. I finally understood the expression “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” Fortunately, we ended up with our A-Ha moment and we were all thrilled with the final product.
Renovations donated by J.E. Dunn Construction
|Yours truly with Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful
and Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding
for Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brusnchwig & Fils
is like a lady without lipstick,” said the inimitable Diana Vreeland. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am sharing my favorite red rooms by legendary designers, artists and trendsetters…
|Photo by Horst P. Horst
Interior Design by Billy Baldwin
Ms. Vreeland is worthy of a blog solely dedicated to her larger than life personality and style. She worked as the fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar from 1937-1962. She left to become editor in chief at Vogue for the next decade. She gave all of her models, editors, photographers and stylists total creative freedom. After leaving Vogue, she worked at the Metroplitan Museum of Art as a special consultant to the Costume Institute. She organized several blockbuster shows including the Ballet Russes, the World of Balenciaga and Romantic and Glamourous Hollywood Design. When she lost her vision in the 1980s, she said it was because she had looked at so many beautiful things.
Ms. Vreeland used her surroundings to reflect her dynamic personality and was always drawn to red. She worked in a lacquered red office, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day followed by a shot of scotch. She only liked red flowers, used red ink for her notes, and preferred to be dressed in red from head to toe. She asked Billy Baldwin to design a room for her that looked like a garden, but a “Garden in Hell” which is illustrated in the image above.
|The Red Room at the White House
Interior Design by Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen
The Kennedy Archives
The Red Room at the White House was the favorite stateroom of Jackie Kennedy. The color red has always been associated with power, excitement and celebration. It grabs your attention and gets people to take action. It is the Chinese color of luck and prospertity and the offical marriage color in India.
|Interior Design by David Hicks|
Using red in an interior space can be tricky. Red makes a statement and is typically used in rooms for entertaining or in small rooms to make an impact. In the examples shown here, most of the designers (except for David Hicks and Billy Baldwin) have offset the use of red by adding, white, black, cream and blue to create a graphic punch.
|Interior Design by Mark Hampton|
Mark Hampton worked for Billy Baldwin before venturing out on his own. His daughter Alexa says her father used their apartment as a design laboratory to try out new ideas such as the red lacquered walls with the white contemporary sculpture above the fireplace.
|Mrs. Astor’s Library
Interior Design by Albert Hadley
|Interior Design by Miles Redd
Influenced by Mrs. Astor’s Library
Photography by Francisco Lagrisse
The library of Brooke Astor by Albery Hadley has always been a personal favorite. Mr. Hadley’s use of brass inlay to define the bookcases and add detail to the walls was pure brilliance. I love how Miles Redd reinterpreted this idea for a modern day library seen above.
|Interior Design by Mary McDonald
Photo Courtesy of the Kips Bay Showhouse
For the Kips’ Bay Showhouse, Mary McDonald took a narrow, obscure hallway and added her glamourous touch with a red backdrop, ebony accents and wonderful contemporary art.
|Interior Design by Ruthie Sommers
Town and Country
Ruthie Sommers created this cozy interior for cocktails, reading and entertaining. Imagine how it looks by candlelight!
|Interior Design by Miles Redd
Miles works his magic once again with the charming window treatments playing off the red walls. The room is sophisticated, yet playful at the same time.
|Interior Design by Mary McDonald
|Interior Design by Mary McDonald
Both of the images above illustrate how Mary McDonald used red as a backdrop and then punctuated the spaces with black accents. If committing to red walls sounds overwhelming, consider using red in small doses which still has a big impact. A red door, pair of red pillows or lamps, or even painting the back of your bookcases red can add a livley finishing touch to any room….just take Dianne’s advice!
Here are a few favorites from High Point’s Fall Furniture Market. Any of these can add some much needed flair to any interior…
|Gossip Chair by Oomph|
1. Oomph was one of our favorite lines at High Point. Along with the Gossip Chair above, all of their tables, mirrors, and lanterns in lacquered finishes would give any room an extra punch of personality.
|Wallpapers by Jonathan Adler|
2. Anything by Jonathan Adler puts a smile on my face. His new line of wallpapers does not disappoint. You gotta love a designer that has his own Manifesto including such truisms like “We believe that when it comes to decorating, the wife is ALWAYS right, unless the husband is gay.” and “We believe in Palm Beach Style: Louis chairs, Chinoiserie, Lilly Pulitzer, The Breakers circa ’72.”
|Cocktail Table by Chelsea Editions Furniture|
3.Chelsea Textiles has always been known for their embroidered fabrics and needlework pillows. Now they have introduced a Mid Century Modern Furniture line that includes side tables, desks, chairs and cocktail tables like the one pictured above. The colors range from teal to raspberry and everything in between.
|Zig Zag Side Table by Festoni|
4. We discovered Festoni for the first time a couple of years ago in High Point. Since then, their booth is always a must see every time we visit. Their linen wrapped and lacquered pieces come in a range of colors from chocolate to poppy. They have cocktail, bedside and game tables along with chests and consoles.
|Color Palette for Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands|
5. Speaking of Lilly Pulitzer, HFI Brands launched her eponymous furniture line this summer. The palette of colors is above and the pieces themselves are stunning. Even though the pieces have a retro flair about them, they would work in almost any interior with the appropriate finish and fabric.
|Wing chair by Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands|
|Scroll Cocktail Table by Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands|
|Mirrored Console by Bungalow 5|
6. Bungalow 5 ‘s booth gets “Best in Show” for styling. All of their pieces looked fabulous against the cerulean blue walls. Their new mirrored furniture line included Asian inspired consoles and vanities.
|Diego Bed by Oly Studio|
7. Oly Studio was another beautifully styled showroom. After looking at booth after booth of merchandise crammed into small spaces, it was heavenly to walk into their ethereal showroom. The murals on their walls should be featured in one of their upcoming ads. They set a beautiful backdrop for their furniture. This bed above caught my eye. It can come in a gilt, silver or bronze finish and reminded me of a Giacometti sculpture.
|Duffy Table by Made Goods|
8. Madegoods has always been a favorite resource for mirrors and accessories. This ceramic side table called “Duffy” reminded me of the Pierre Cardin furniture from the 1970s.
|Turot prints from Natural Curiosities|
9. One of my favorite designers from LA introduced me to Natural Curiosities last year. I adore all of their Specimen, Graphic and Abstract Art. For this collection, they took one of their Turot Geometric pieces(which used to be a Swiss educational aid) and added color to the diagonals. These were introduced at market this Fall.
|Etagere from BeeLine Home|
10. This etagere was created by one my all time favorite designers and inspired by another. Bunny Williams of added this etagere her collection at BeeLine Home this year. It was inspired by a piece that Albert Hadley has in his New York apartment. Hadley’s bookcase was built in 1936 to commemorate the Olympics being held in Berlin.