Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Fast Work // A Fresh, Eclectic Entry Hall and Living Room

1This is a living room and adjacent entry hall that I turned around fast for some clients on a small budget (less than $5K) last year. Their rented 1940’s bungalow had some cool vintage character, including a working fireplace and original windows. Unfortunately, all the walls had been newly painted beige…and my clients were not beige kind of people! They agreed that changing the character of these front rooms with paint was going to be a worthy investment, even for just a year or two.

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With some projects, the art is a part of the finishing touches. With this one, we looked to it as a starting point for color. These clients had become engaged on a ski trip to the Swiss Alps, which I considered a sexy jumping-off point for the design! I showed them reproduction vintage travel posters that could reflect their history – and also be framed and shipped fast. The one that really resonated with them featured black and white with deep blues, which gave us an interesting palette to mix with grays and wood tones.

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Sampling blue paints for this project was my happy place!
The one we picked very inexpensively defines the entry, and gives the tiny space a presence in the living room by drawing your eye there. These clients love sailing, so this was a bold color that didn’t feel too crazy for them. I tried out this black dresser from their bedroom to ground the blue a bit further, and it turned out to be a perfect fit as an entry piece with storage.

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The contrast of the deep blue in the entry with white walls in the living room made the space feel instantly fresh.
My clients wanted to keep some of the Traditional furniture that they had been given by their parents, but were ready to jettison an overstuffed gingham sofa and a few ornate tables for some pieces with cleaner lines and a more low-slung Mid-century style.

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Everyone’s favorite new piece is the vintage dresser, found at a flea market and used here as a credenza. While its wood had an ugly grain and looked terribly beat-up, I was sold on the distinctive brass hardware, which was miraculously all intact. It was also a well-made piece, with the scale and storage we were seeking. We patched up the wood in places, and painted the dresser a sophisticated blue in a durable glossy finish to make the hardware shine.

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The sofa was custom-made, but most of the other pieces in this space were either sourced online and delivered fast, or picked up on a World Market / Ikea / Target styling haul. Many are still available.

All photos by Tessa Neustadt

Resources
Ralph Lauren Paint – Harbor Blue in Entry, Picket Fence in Living Room, Rue Royale on credenza in Living Room
World Market – Riveted table lamp bases, Tribal Drum shades, Deer Departed canvas, Leila sunburst mirror, glass vase, pillows, candle holders, frames
Ikea – Llapljung Ruta rug, Hektar floor lamp, Fejka potted plan
Crate and Barrel – Pastis walnut and white lacquer nesting tables
West Elm – Nook coffee table, Martini table in brass, throw blanket
Urban Outfitters – Moda leather chairs, hand sculpture
Target – Small floor lamp, trio of brass wall decorations, tall wood vase
Allposters.com – Zermatt by Pierre Kroenig print, framed
Huset Shop – Hay tray table
Melrose Trading Post – vintage credenza (restored and custom painted by Natasha Jansz Design)
(Clients’ own – Leaning mirror; black dresser; Edison glass cloche table lamp – similar at World Market)

Design Inspirers // Tribute Art: David Bowie, George Michael & Prince

Last time I talked about some of the special design inspiration I found recently at QuiltCon 2016 – a quilting convention in Pasadena. In addition to the events and products a quilter would get excited about, there was plenty there for art-lovers like me. And what is a more unifying form of art than music? Musicians are the artists we most often feel connected to and claim as our own. These tributes to David Bowie, George Michael and Prince blew me away.
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David Bowie quilt by Holly Hickman with Moda Fabrics

 

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Every Little Hungry Schoolgirl’s Pride & Joy by Rebecca Burnett

 

IMG_6803 IMG_6805Young Prince (Charming) by Stacie Dolin

I thought of this quilter when I heard Prince passed away last week. I remember studying the detail when I was standing in front of it a few weeks ago, and thinking I could see her love for the Purple One in every stitch.

 

Design Inspirers // QuiltCon West

Though I have never quilted anything, in the last few years I have often admired quilts as spectacular pieces of art. Alissa Haight Carlton is a fabulously creative lady I know, and she’s the one who told me about The Modern Quilt Guild. It’s a huge organization, and among its members are some seriously talented artists who are passionate about this medium. Alissa is the MQG’s executive director, and they mounted QuiltCon West 16 in Pasadena last month. Along I went for some general visual inspiration, and I was not disappointed.

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Big Love by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Not your grandma’s quilt, right?  I am so inspired to put some of these kinds of modern quilts into some fresh interior spaces.

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Let’s Connect by Christopher Thompson

When I think of elements you would find in my favorite kind of interior designs, I think of engaging art…interesting fabrics…tactility…warmth…pattern…geometry – all things that are inherently a part of many a modern quilt! 

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Central Pivot by Kim Eichler-Messmer

I would love to design a quilt for a project – as a wall-hanging, or something to cover a bed. Given my enduring obsession with textiles, I imagine that choosing the colors and prints of the fabrics and arranging them into a pattern would just be a slice of heaven.

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The Big Swirl  by Betsy Vinegrad

My all-around crafts-iest friend is Scott, and he has actually been part of a quilting circle for years. He made a very fine QuiltCon companion, and I think we have found a new tradition.  Scott is a big fan of Hillz, so this was obviously his favorite.
IMG_6717 Hillary Quilton by Diana Vandeyar

Something I did not expect to find at QuiltCon (although it totally makes sense) was the most glorious array of cotton fabrics I have ever seen in one place.

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So many of them spoke to me, and I had to completely restrain myself from snapping up bolts of the stuff for pillows. (As a matter of fact, now that I look at these pictures, I’m having a lot of remorse about that restraint!)

How sweet would all these pink prints be in a soft nursery? The mama cats carrying their kittens in their mouths is everything.

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Another fantastic find at QuiltCon West was the work of Aussie textile design goddess, Kim Andersson. Check out her website to see all the wonderful prints she has designed.

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I wish I knew where to buy these Good Hair Day pillows readymade!  At least you can find the fabrics and the patterns to quilt them yourself on Anderrson’s site.

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Speaking of hair, I did buy just a few yards of some gorgeous textiles at QuiltCon. I had them made into pillows immediately.

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The indigo print can work in so many styles, and how about these ladies for some special design magic?

Take Me Away // Marina Del Rey Hotel

106289528c495b61dc5591dcf98fd25bLast summer I was a bridesmaid for the 6th and (I assume) final time in my life. With the bride being April, my BFF from high school, this is what bridesmaid duty looked like.

IMG_2087Basically I helped the bride get dressed, and did my best to make sure she felt relaxed and gorgeous. So easy and fun!

As an added bonus, the reception of this beautiful wedding was held at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, where the airy lobby and bar became a new source of design inspiration for me. The hotel was renovated by the Pacifica Group, and I found that the thoughtful mix of design elements – nautical, mid-century, Moroccan, organic and more – all added up to a California Eclectic feel that works great for a hotel on the marina. I showed you the wonderful seagull sculpture installation that greets you in the lobby (above). Here are some other things that caught my eye.

Mid-century style furniture mixed with organic pieces like the live-edge coffee table….
image1…all working together with this very contemporary textured wall-treatment.
5ce26ac44da90a89c3d0354a7504a533I’m delighted by unexpected details like this in the floor
image2And this lounge area looked so fun and inviting!
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2d8ce043b366952b68adfa0d1d219faeSALT, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, has contemporary lighting features warmed up by mid-century style furniture.87b54bb43606415cd62189ea7b829345I love the mixture of Wishbone chairs with the quilted texture of the vinyl on the lounge-ier chairs.
f928a1e5eeb5bf2030b3826d143494d7The marina itself is a beautiful sight. I don’t get to this part of L.A. very often, so looking at all these boats bobbing around on the water made me feel like I was on vacation.967-0945a1ed05da7f70493d36317c73e363In fact, I think this place would be a great location for a Staycation!ef5fdf5a3b2f65bf8722c48905eb8874Photos 6-10 are from the Marina Del Rey Hotel website, the rest are by me and a kind bartender at Salt.


Take Me Away // Napa Valley Working Vacation Weekend

A design project in the Napa Valley had been a long-held little dream of mine, and in 2015 it has come true twice! Earlier this year, it was the tasting room for a small winery in St. Helena. And then this Fall, I started collaborating with a dear friend on her lovely new cottage in Napa. This is a picture of the bungalow where Emily used to live. So charming, and the scene of many good times over the years. We want more of that feel with the new place – an unpretentious warmth.

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Emily’s new house doesn’t come with quite this much vintage character, but it is on its way to revealing its own charms. After a few weeks of Pinterest back-and-forth based on floor-plans and pictures, last weekend I made an overnight trip of it and finally met the house in person. Amid the beautiful distractions of the Napa Valley and time with my friend, the mission was to review design progress, develop some ideas further, and of course get some good shopping done.

IMG_4876I was very pleased about some key pieces of new furniture that had arrived. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with these dhurrie chairs, and this is my favorite colorway.  I adore these hues and that texture paired with the copper Martini table. Emily was initially a bit skeptical when I pinned this chair, but now it’s true love.

IMG_4877This gem of a bentwood rocker was picked up at an estate sale, and Emily is in the midst of re-finishing it. We decided on a rich black stain to contrast with some of the other furniture in more naturally finished woods. It is such a gorgeously sculptural chair, and is going to look great next to a big plant.

IMG_4933This is part of a gallery wall for which I did a preliminary lay-out. Emily has a fair amount of art that she has collected in 20 years of travel, and I love that it’s a mix of media including textiles and photography. We sorted through it all and made decisions about how to frame and hang the best pieces.

To wrap up Day One of our work, it had to be a dinner at one of my favorites in Downtown Napa, Angele Emily and I sat at the bar, where the people-watching and eavesdropping was almost as good as the food and wine!IMG_4892

And then we saw Janeane Garafolo, who I hadn’t really thought about in years, do standup at City Winery. Since Emily and I became friends in college in the 90’s (probably J.G.’s heyday, as far as high-profile work goes), nostalgia made us curious to check out her current act. Happy to say we laughed a lot – her comedy held up!

Day Two was all about shopping. The Napa-Vallejo Flea Market turned out to be NOT what we had imagined (at all!), so we quickly moved on to sourcing vintage furniture online. I introduced Emily to the world of bidding on Ebay. (We missed out on a sweet midcentury credenza, and then found an even better one and won it for a steal!)

Then Emily showed me the brick and mortar stores in Napa that she has been prowling for inspiration.  Poor House is my new favorite, with so many pieces that looked made for my aesthetic – a perfect mix of simplicity and distinctive details.IMG_4923So inspired by everything in the vignette above, from the quilted leather of the chair, to the streak of red on the desk!
IMG_4921The swooping lines and rich walnut finish of the lounge-y chair (above) caught my eye, as did these bar-stools, which hit just the right “warm industrial” note for me with the leather and the leg details.IMG_4915

Antiques on Second is a store I will return to with a truck one day.
IMG_4909I have such a weakness for campaign furniture. My current projects have no room for this folding bench, but I want somebody to give it a home in an entry hall or covered loggia. IMG_4910These chairs also deserve a good home. That green! So much character. I’m going to run with this idea sometime for sure.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday evening and time to head home to L.A.. My farewell to Napa and Emily was made less sad by the spectacular sunset we got to accompany us on the drive to the airport.

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I’m not allowed to show up at home after a trip without a special little surprise for my kids, so I made sure to stop at The Roost Napa on my way out to look for gifts. Here’s one I found for myself!

IMG_5042I was going to have so much remorse if I didn’t buy this tote bag. My passion for its playful print is unbridled!! And it will always remind me of this special little trip.IMG_5027

And I didn’t forget my girls, who got these awesome finger puppets. They were only a buck each, and the details are wonderful. As expected, they were a hit with this little monster.
IMG_5022Weekend Mission Accomplished! A bit of work, a bit of play, and lots of fresh inspiration for this project and my work next year. Thanks, Emily!!

Design Inspirer // Mark Khaisman

Mark Khaisman is a Ukrainian artist whose work delights me.

Khaisman 1His medium is packing tape and plexiglass!  And he bends it all to the light in such a nuanced and brilliant way.

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The effect is mesmerizing and beautiful, and I am hooked by the subjects of his portraits – often my favorite classic movie stars. It makes Khaismain’s art feel soothingly familiar, yet totally innovative.

Sean Connery… swoon!Mark Khaisman Sean

“Mark Khaisman treasures the alchemy whereby a commonplace material is transformed into a fine art medium because he sees it as enabling him to deconstruct the hierarchy of culture by filtering it through association with mundane material.”  (via Wikipedia)

This installation reminds me of Versailles, Grey Gardens…and every time in my grown-up life that I have packed up and moved!Mark Khaisman installation

Artists like Khaisman inspire me to explore my crazier design ideas.

mark Khaisman phone I would design a room around any of these pieces in a heartbeat.

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 Images sourced here.

 

Design Details // Vintage Travel Poster Art – Aloha Hawaii

I have a special affinity for vintage poster art. Old movies, concerts, advertising images, political propaganda – I love what graphic artists do. And I love the way this kind of art can easily give a space a point of view. Vintage poster art is usually graphic and vividly colorful. It also frequently captures the nostalgia of a bygone era, so it can bring immediate warmth and charm to a room.

I love the color combination and ruggedly adventurous feeling of this one!

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When I am helping my clients find art that is meaningful to them and gives me an exciting design direction, I often like to find out about their heritage, and the stand-out places in their memories.Then I see if I can find a vintage travel poster that reflects it. An actual vintage one is great if they are looking at it is a collectible piece, but a well-framed quality reproduction will also work. For some current clients who have just doubled their square footage and are in need of a lot of new art, Hawaii is the place. I hope they can choose just ONE of these images. We want the overall vibe to be eclectic, not “Tiki Ti!”!

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The image above is my favorite candidate. The bright colors and optimistic spirit of it would make it a great focal point in the Playroom that a little boy and girl will share. This blue and red one below could also work well to energize white walls.

Hawaii 3 This next image with the hula dancer is a bit more expected. The iconic symbol of Hawaii makes it a bit less interesting to me than the other choices, but I was drawn to this one by the color. We have a lot of blue in the house, and the orange would complement a couple of our areas beautifully.Hawaii 4All images are posters that can be found at All Posters. To personalize a search on the site, type in “vintage travel” and add the location that may evoke some good memories of your own.

 

Take Me Away // Bemelmans Bar, NYC

This weekend I attended a charming baby shower with a “classic children’s books” theme. It got me thinking about one of my very favorite places to have a drink!  Bemelmans Bar is at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side. It is named after Louis Bemelmans, creator of the Madeline series of books. His murals cover the walls of the bar, making it a most unusual and delightful place to throw one back.

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Bemelmans’ characters even adorn the lampshades on the tables! I love all the detail – there is so much to take in, but it all feels very warm and soothing.

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This bar is the only place where Bemelmans’ work is on display to the public. The space has a dark, clubby feeling at all times of the day, but the whimsical scenes the artist painted on the walls make it an uplifting place to drink. BB7Sitting in this bar for a little while, as I often do when I am in New York, puts me in touch with that part of my childhood self that wanted to jump into the books I read.  Sipping an Old Cuban at the same time makes me very glad to be a grown-up! This place is a treasure.

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Design Details // Kid’s Library Wall

I’m working on a Nursery design at the moment, and something I always consider for a kid’s space is a library display wall.  As in any room, books can give a space a sense of the people who inhabit it. So I think of walls like this as rotating gallery installations that can reflect whatever a kid is into for years to come. They are a sure-fire way to make a design feel personal.Book Wall 3

Library display walls are practical – a way for little ones to easily survey and access the books that appeal to them in their height range.Book Wall 4

Because the shelves don’t require much depth, they are a great way to make use of a throwaway space, such as a wall behind a door.Book Wall 5

Ledges like these can be store-bought, or custom-made to fit a space by someone with moderate skills and basic tools.
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Below is the “Before” picture of the little anteroom entrance to my kids’ bedroom (off to the left). There is a closet door to the right, so all I could do here was put something inviting on the wall.17 BeforeBooks it is! Four shelves up the length of the wall, spaced about 18″ apart, each just 2.5″ depth from the wall. My husband did this project in a few hours, including shopping for the wood and painting it white. (You can email me if you want the exact specs.)17 New

If there hadn’t been a closet door-swing in the way, I would have installed one of these swing-arm sconces above the books – in a white powder-coat finish.sconce

Rejuvenation’s Reed Sconce

I would love to do a library wall like this in my studio one day. I will surround myself with some of my most inspiring and beautiful coffee table books and vintage magazines.

Gallery Wall Books

Source

The uncredited images in this post can be sourced via my PInterest page.

 

 

Design Inspirer // Jess Black

These beautiful abstract paintings by my friend, Los Angeles artist Jess Black, are the kinds of artworks that bring a point of view to a space. I would use one of these pieces in a range of interior styles, but always where the art could be a focal point.

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Jess works in a large scale, so it’s hard to convey the presence of his paintings in a blog post. The detail of Warrior (below) makes it kind of mesmerizing in person.

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Jess has been named the official artist of the Special Olympics World Games, taking place here in L.A. next month. He produced this painting, inspired by the organization’s Circle of Inclusion, which represents the acceptance and inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities. (My daughter, Saskia, has Down syndrome, and Jess’ friendship with her is what moved him to donate his time and talent to the cause. Thanks, Jess!)

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The painting has been sold, but affordable prints of The Circle of Inclusion are available through Saatchi Art. With a simple form but such a variety of colors to draw from, I can see this one looking amazing in a gallery wall collage-type arrangement, mixed in with other prints and paintings and photographs of different sizes.

 

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