Art inspiration: why didn’t I think of that?

Every now and again I see something in a magazine or on Pinterest and think, “that is so clever, why didn’t I think of that“?

Recently I saw some fabulous art work that was made up of something I have right in my garage, antique print trays. These are so common and can be found at almost any flea market or antique store for around ten bucks a piece.

Antique print trays

Antique print trays

I bought six of these trays (many years ago) and at the time I had some fabulous creative ideas about what I would do with them. Well whatever my brilliant ideas were at the time have long since been forgotten because five of them sit in a corner in the garage covered in dust and spider webs. I did make use of one of them to display some shells. Okay, not all that creative, but it served a purpose at the time and looked good in our “coastal inspired”  bathroom.

shell tray

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and look what I saw while touring the Hampton Holiday House Watch Case Factory. Dozens of print trays fastened together, sprayed matte black and then embellished with some wood cut outs.  What a great and affordable way to add texture and visual interest to that huge wall as well as reference the history of the factory. I love it!!! Genius…why didn’t I think of that?

printing traysWM

Huniford Design Studio

Just wondering if my husband will freak out if I bring home another dozen or so of these trays. On the other hand, we ARE trying to downsize so maybe I better pass. Anyone need five dusty print trays?

Friday’s Photo: Salon style art wall

Large scale and over-sized art work is very on trend today, but what if you have a collection of smaller pieces?

I just loved what C.R.Laine did in their High Point showroom.They grouped an assortment of small framed pieces that the eye reads as one big over-sized piece of art… Right on trend!

CR Laine Showroom: Linda Holt Photo

CR Laine Showroom: Linda Holt Photo

Of course the orange tufted leather ottoman and the gold lamps with the orange shades looks pretty great as well.

What do you think?? Do you love it?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday’s Photo

I often challenge my clients to think outside the box when looking for art for their walls. Who said wall art must be flat?  Here is a wall grouping of clay pottery that I saw on display last Spring at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Wouldn’t you smile every time you walked into the room if this happy colorful collection was on your walls?

Have a great weekend!

I’m sorry I can’t find the artist’s name. If any of you know who it is please forward it to me.

 

Self Healing After A Traumatic Week in Boston

A week ago today, two brothers made the decision to intentionally kill, maim, injure and terrorized innocent individuals, the city of Boston, our Nation and the World. The bombings at the Boston Marathon hit me really hard. Maybe because it is my city, maybe because I used to live in Watertown and maybe it is because I have watched the Marathon from the finish line countless times.

4 innocent victims of Marathon Bombings

The more I think about it, I realize what has upset me the most is that there is no explaining why these two young men did what they did. They don’t fit into the usual “box” of  explanation. They were not terrorist from a far away place and they were not mentally ill.  No, according to their friends and neighbors they were likable, polite young men living the American dream. Although not much has been said of the older brother, the younger one had everything going for him. He was bright, popular, athletic, and attending UMass on a scholarship. By all appearances he could have been any 19 year old kid…he could have been my kid. This is what has shaken me to my core. What on Earth could we have done to prevent this?

After a week of stress and sadness I needed to get away from the TV coverage and begin my own mental healing. I feel much better today and I thought I would share with you what I do when my mind is in crisis. I go out into Nature. Usually it is the Ocean I seek out and a long walk along the beach but yesterday it was into the woods with my camera and a quiet talk with God and the trees.

I find that looking through my camera lens takes my mind off the outside world and all my worries. I focus on making discoveries through the lens and I enter some type of timeless, peaceful state. Yesterday it was tree trunks and the multitude of textures that helped heal my trauma of the past week.  They were spectacularly beautiful to me and every tree appeared to me as a masterful painting. Here are some of my favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed discovering them.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

As an added bonus to make my day complete, I was able to grab a quick shot of a family of turkeys in a farmer’s field.

Linda Holt Phot0

Yes, for me nature really does heal me from within and I would like to end with one final image of the youngest victim and his message for the World.

Martin Richards and his message to the World.

 

As always I love feedback. How do you heal after a traumatic event?

Art For the Love Of Dogs

This past Labor Day weekend we made a visit to a very special Chapel that I have heard about for years.

If you have ever loved a dog and especially if you have ever loved and lost a dog, you must pay a visit to the Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury VT. Located high on a hill called Dog Mountain the Chapel was the final masterpiece of artist Stephen Huneck.

dog chapel 1

My husband and I own two prints by Huneck and actually met him many years back when he owned a gallery on Nantucket. His artwork was centered around dogs and the chapel was a culmination of his art and his lasting tribute to all dogs everywhere. Built completely by hand starting back in 1977 Huneck completed his dream and opened the Chapel in 2000. The Chapel resembles a 19th-century New England church from the outside, apart from the steeple topped by a winged Labrador.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Situated on 150 scenic acres Dog Mountain is a paradise for a dogs (and their human’s) with walking trails, a dog play ground and plenty of free doggie treats. There is even a swimming hole that is clearly marked “swimming for dogs only”.

Stephen Huneck Dog mountain

When you approach the Chapel you are greeted by a medley of dog breeds and a sign that proclaims: “Welcome: All Creeds, All Breeds. No Dogmas Allowed.”

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Once inside, prepare to have a very moving experience. Soft spiritual music plays and visitors are encouraged to leave notes honoring their dogs that have passed. As you can see every wall is covered with photos, notes, stories and memories of loved and lost dogs.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

The pews are supported by Huneck’s iconic Black and Yellow Labs.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

The stained glass windows were my favorite part of the Chapel and I love Huneck’s color combinations. Each window features dogs doing what they love: eating a bone,

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

sharing ice cream cones,

and getting lots of love.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Reading some of the moving tributes to the dogs was difficult for me as our current dog Tucker is over 13 years old and we lost our 12 year old dog Maddy to Cancer just over 3 years ago.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

We pinned a note to the wall honoring Maddy and attempted to introduce our Weimaraner Tucker to Huneck’s Weimaraner but he wasn’t too interested.

Huneck dog chapel

He was actually spooked by the whole experience and just wanted to go back outside…or go eat some more treats.

As moving and beautiful as the Chapel is there is a very sad story associated with it. In 2010 after some serious financial struggles Stephen Huneck took his own life. His wife Gwen is doing her best to keep the chapel open but without her husband to keep his art going she currently owes thousands in unpaid taxes. The State of Vermont is threatening to close the Chapel and sell off the land in an auction. We did our part by making a small donation and buying a “Good Dog Bad Dog” reversible bandanna.

After such a moving experience we did cheer ourselves up by taking photos in front of the World’s Largest Maple Syrup can. How happy is that!

How about you are you a dog lover like me? Have you ever heard of Dog Mountain and the Chapel that Huneck built?

 

If you would like help decorating your house or choosing color give me a call.

LA Bound Courtesy of COLOURlovers

Tomorrow morning I fly from Boston to Los Angles to spend 4 days studying with international Color Guru Leatrice  Eiseman. Leatrice is a world renowned  color titan, the director of the Pantone Color Institute and one of the key people responsible for picking the much anticipated color of the year (Tangerine Tango for 2012).  It has been a dream of mine to attend Leatrice’s class; I own all 5 of her books and often look to her color pallets for inspiration in home interiors.

2 years ago I had the privilege of studying with another Color Expert, Maria Killam. Maria taught us how to choose color correctly by understanding and working with color undertones. I learned about “flow” and how colors should “speak” to one another. It truly changed my business over night and the knowledge I learned from Maria was invaluable. From what I understand, Leatrice’s class goes  more into the psychology of color and how color affects our mood and behavior.

The most exciting part of all this is that I actually won a full scholarship to attend the class. I entered a contest just before Christmas through a web site called COLOURlovers. If you haven’t heard of this site and you love color you MUST check it out. For the contest I  had to upload a color pallet that “spoke to me” and write an essay on how color has impacted my life. This is the pallet I choose along with the photo I took that was my inspiration.

 

COLOURLovers 1st Place Scholarship winner Linda Holt

 

I never imagined that this photo and corresponding  pallet would connect me to such an exciting opportunity and make a dream come true. The competition was fierce so I am shocked and humbled that I won. I’ll be signing off now for a week or so, but when I return I promise to share all my newly gained Color knowledge with you all.

 

 

If you would like  help choosing color, decorating or home staging contact me at 617-965-3342.

Lessons from Arkansas a.k.a Tobi Fairley’s Design Camp (part 2)

Today in part two of ” Lessons from AR” I have 3 more tips to share from designer extraordinaire,  Tobi Fairley.  If you missed my first three Tobi Tips you can read them here.

 #4. Don’t try and make something work that you don’t love. I think we have all experienced this at one time or another. Say you have a dated sofa. You don’t love it but to make it work you find a wall color to go with the sofa, then window treatments that have the same colors, then you find a rug that also “goes with the sofa” then you work in your accessories.  What you end up with is a room designed around something you never really liked in the first place so you never really love the room. Better to start from scratch than to try and make something work you don’t love.

#5. Beware of living only with “decorator art“. When Tobi said this, I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. I call it ” staging art” and I use it all the time when I Stage a home for sale. It is generic art that doesn’t offend,  or make too much of a statement. You know the kind; mass produced and sold at your local Home Store.

Something like this:

 

"Decorator art" a.k.a Staging art

 

A small amount of decorator art is fine to add some color or to fill in where needed but original art that has meaning and speaks to you is what will stand the test of time and enrich your life.

Original art does not have to be pricey fine art. Your kids drawings, photo enlargements taken by a loved one, or the $6.00 etching you bought 15 years ago from that colorful street vendor while on your honeymoon will all have meaning for you and give your room some soul.

Here is a hallway in my home where I have a collection of small water colors my son did in high school. They cost zero dollars and I found the frames on sale at the Crate and Barrel Outlet for $5.99 each. I never tire of looking at these and they are a great topic of conversation when friends visit.

art work by Ben Holt

#6. Carefully consider the architecture of a home BEFORE you build or buy. What looks interesting, different, cool, or unusual  is usually NOT easy to decorate. Super tall ceilings, large arched windows, or big open floor plans might seem like a good idea at the time until you actually try and arrange your furniture, hang your art work or put up window treatments.

 

I am not sure what is going on with this room but I bet it looked great on the blue prints.

And although these windows are gorgeous; it would be a challenge if you needed window treatments for privacy.

 

So going back to Tobi’s very first lesson #1:  always think about Function Driven Design. If  it makes sense to how you live on a day to day basis then you will always feel comfortable, and decorating your home will be a lot more enjoyable.

 

I hope you enjoyed my 6 Tips from Tobi, and as always, I love reading your comments and feedback!

If you would like help with choosing the perfect Color, Staging your home for sale or Redesigning a room, give me a call.

 

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