ORC week 4: All about the art

Well here it is week four of the One Room Challenge  hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. What had been a ticking clock has now become a booming drum constantly beating in my head. I have less than two weeks to complete my large family room before the photographer arrives on the 9th.

I did make some progress this week as those of you who follow me on Instagram saw. I am super excited about my newly lacquered campaign chest. I purchased it for a song at the Habitat Restore and then had my cabinet maker lacquer it in Sherwin Williams Indigo. It came out spectacular!

Lacquered Campaign chest

Lacquered Campaign chest

I was blown away by how good the refurbished hardware came out. If you saw the hardware “before” in last weeks post you know it was in pretty sad shape.

My cut and bound sea grass rug was also installed this week. I needed something that would wear like iron and handle the wear and tear from our dog.

seagreass rug

As you can see I had it cut out around the fireplace so that it wouldn’t look like a landing strip pad running down the middle of the room. Having a rug that fills the whole room has made such a difference in making the room feel more cohesive as well as cozy. BTW, it’s only curling up on the edge there because I took this photo right after the installer left. It will lay flat within a few days.

Still waiting on my furniture which will arrive hopefully the end of this week into the middle of next week.

So now my thoughts are on to the art for the room. I already own a fabulous oil painting that will be going directly above the campaign chest.

art piece

So the dilemma that had been keeping me up at night was what to do for art on the huge expansive wall above the sofa. It is almost 7′ of wall space! My budget is more than blown so it had to be something very affordable.  I do not like big box store art or what I call “staging art” because I only want to bring things into my home that have meaning or speak to me in some way. I needed to get creative.

My solution? I decided to create a gallery wall that could be ever changing as I find just the right pieces going forward. Since I don’t have the luxury of time, I decided to simply enlarge some of my photography and display some glass trays and blue and white plates that I love.

Here is my initial planning.

Preliminary gallery wall planning

Preliminary gallery wall planning

I purchased about a dozen white frames from Michael’s during a 40% off frame sale and played around with different frame sizes and arrangements on the floor until I found something I liked. I didn’t have much time to decide which images to enlarged as I looked at the lead time for delivery and realized I had about had about ten minutes to make a decision in order for them to arrive on time. I choose some photos from our favorite vacation spot and a few more abstract ones. Just like with the frames I ordered way more images than I need because I want to play around with placement once they arrive.

So all in all, if everything arrives on schedule, I am in fairly good shape. I still have a lot to do but now that I have decided on the art I feel a lot better.

I would love to hear from you. What do you think of my affordable wall art solution?

It has been eye opening following all the other ORC participants as some are doing great, and others have huge challenges to deal with. I feel very fortunate in that I have two friends, Meredith Bohn, and Kelly Rogers also participating in the challenge. When we need a word of encouragement or get stressed we have one another to lean on. This has made such a big difference in my stress level.

Be sure to check out everyone participating here.



Friday’s Photo: Is this art?

There is a video that recently went viral showing Joshua Bell, a world class violinist playing in the NYC subway system. Bell is one of the most celebrated and gifted musicians of our time but because he was out of context people just walked by as he played and gave little notice.

Years ago I walked into a modern art show at a Boston gallery. There was a drill and a tool belt laying on the floor in the corner. I looked at it for the longest time trying to decide if it was part of the exhibit of just left there temporarily by a worker. It really didn’t matter, the point is, art can be and is absolutely everywhere. We don’t have to be at a museum or art gallery to “see” art.

rusty mailboxWMI know everyone is in agreement that nature is the most amazing art of all but what about simple everyday objects? What if my neighbor’s rusting mail box is the most spectacular work of art the world has never seen? Look at the colors, the textures and the complexity of layers. To me it is a masterpiece…what do you think?  Is it art?


Friday’s Photo: nature vs. art

While scrolling through my cell phone photos last night I spotted these two images almost next to one another. Both were taken while on vacation in Arizona. The photo on the left was taken on our drive back from the Grand Canyon and the one on the right is a detail shot of a vase taken through an art gallery window.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

It’s always interesting to discover how artists find inspiration. I wonder if the artist of the vase has spent a lot of time looking at cloud formations. Pretty cool don’t you think?

have a great weekend everyone!

Friday’s Photo: Tiny dining space with pizzazz!

A tiny space carved out for dining and made special with a statement art piece.

 ID Creations/Linda Holt Photo

Holiday House Hamptons/Linda Holt Photo

Who said downsizing has to be boring?  If it’s just the one or two of you isn’t this really all you need? A little table, a few chairs and a fabulous piece of art?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

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?

3 Top trends from Kips Bay Showhouse

Day 2 of my recent trip to Kravet Blogfest began with a private tour for all the bloggers of the famed Kips Bay Show house.  I’m  not going to write about the rooms because there have already been dozens of blogs and articles written about the house, the designers and the decor. Instead, I would like to share what I saw as the top 3 trends.

1. Lacquered walls, ceilings and furniture. Lacquered furniture has been popular for awhile now but the show house featured several rooms with lacquered walls and ceilings. Many of the colors were deep jewel tones and although beautiful, a note of caution; best to use a professional if you want this look in your own home. This is definitely not a D.I.Y. painting project.

The dining room had lacquered dark teal  walls with a gold leafed ceiling.

Dining Room photo via A.D.

I loved this bathroom with turquoise lacquered walls, moldings and vanity. It felt like being inside a jewelry box. I also loved the giant round gold mirror that took up the entire wall.

Turquoise lacquered bathroom A.D. photo

This purple lacquered ceiling was certainly the focal point of this room.

2. Large scale art. Almost every room featured LARGE  scale art work. I especially liked the triptych photographs of  pond reflections that was hanging in the second floor hallway. Large scaled photography is certainly something you can create for your own home as long as you have a decent digital camera (10-12 megapixels). I also found several online sources that will make large canvas sized prints from your images that won’t break the bank. One that I just recently looked into for myself is Modern Digital Canvas.

The “lounge suite” created by Louis Garcia-Maldonado had two of my favorite pieces; a large photo of Kate Moss

and this wall sized painting of a woman floating in a pool.

3. Wallpaper. If the show house walls weren’t lacquered they were wallpapered. Personally, I have very mixed feelings about wallpaper. The house I grew up in had wallpaper in every room so I have some good memories of it, but I have also spent countless hours removing it from 2 different houses we’ve owned. I do appreciate the look though, especially for powder rooms, bed rooms and entrance ways. I found “La Petite Writing Room” so peaceful and soothing. Can’t you just imagine curled up in that chair writing lovely notes to all your lovely friends?

 The “Modern Family Room” had very graphic black and white wallpaper along with black lacquered trim and moldings as well as a light purple lacquered ceiling.

The sitting room below incorporated all three trends; large scale art, gold lacquered ceiling and wallpaper.

My favorite wallpaper in the show house also made the biggest statement. It is a new Fornasetti design of fish from Cole and Son. Obviously this would not be for everyone and I would probably tire of it in a year or two but I thought it was so fun in this sitting room.

here is a close up of the fish…so detailed.

 After the show house tour it was off to the Hearst building and an HGTV sponsored lunch. The inspiration and fun just kept on coming!

What’s your favorite trend from Kips Bay? Do you have any of them in your house?

The Hot New Art Trend You Can Create Yourself

One of the hottest trends in interiors today is super large art photography. Even though I no longer make my living taking photos, this is a trend that really excites me.

I’m not talking about the 16″ x 20″ wedding photo hanging in your bedroom. I’m referring to HUGE photos that make a powerful statement and become the focal point of the room. Since not all photos  look great super big I thought I would share a few tips for creating your own wall worthy photos.

Look at interesting shapes and forms. I snapped the photo below with my cell phone while getting off a plane in Charlotte, NC.  The sun was just going down and created a beautiful back drop for the shape of the plane and the abstract view of the city of Charlotte way in the background.

Click on any photo to enlarge

I designed a room my photo might look good in…maybe a down town loft space or a bachelor pad.

Photos that tell a Color story make great art photos. Color is one of the most import decisions when decorating a room and the photos below create a wonderful color study of green and purple.

Here is the fun room I chose to put these in.

Take photos from different angels. Rather than always taking your pictures straight on, think about different angels you can use.

Flip your images to Black and White. Yes I know, black and white photography is so “old school” but in my opinion even mediocre images look better in black and white.

joes pond VT

While I was visiting the Boston Design Center last week I couldn’t help but notice this window vignette.

and then today this image was on Mrs. Howard’s blog…very coincidental don’t you think?

Mrs. Howard

Mrs. Howard

yup.. definitely one hot trend.

What do you think of large art photography?  Have you considered using it in your home?

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