So excited about today's global home "get the look" theme - art! The personality, the edge, the unexpected and endless possibilities of art make it one of my favorite things to collect, and bring into a room mix. There's just nothing that changes the feel of a room like art. I'm joining Corinna from A Designer at Home and Stephanie from Casa Watkins Living as we share our individual approaches to adding art to the mix in creating a collected, layered and global look. This is week three of four as we walk through some ideas for building this look, layer upon layer:
In the previous weeks, I talked about my approach to a layered look in our current home. Both because our house is small, and given that I tend to switch things up fairly often, I've chosen to keep the main layers more classic. This allows me the flexibility to play around with the top layers - my favorite! Don't get me wrong, the larger pieces (furniture, rugs) in a space absolutely play a huge role in setting the tone, and can steer a room in one direction or another, style-wise ... but the decorative layers are just so fun.
For the longest time, our dining room felt unfinished to me. The table, chairs and banquette were all there, and I tried out different art arrangements over time. But, it needed something more. The banquette is such a huge piece that no matter what art I placed over it, it wasn't enough. I love the banquette and definitely wanted to work with it. The room as a whole really needed an art solution to match the visual weight of the banquette. A few months ago, I moved most of the art from our living room gallery wall into the dining room (more on that project here!). The gallery of art definitely completed the room, in this case. Most of these pieces were collected at thrift stores, over time. (And yes, it takes time, but that's part of the fun - be patient!) One of the things I love about thrifting is that something will catch your eye that your friend may not care about at all - especially with art, which tends to be so personal - and this is what makes your home yours! Don't be afraid to grab something different, if it resonates with you. Your home should be a reflection of you and your family!
And another example of some recent changes... these three lovely ladies just moved into the kitchen (from the dining room), along with some favorite photos and notes hung casually with washi tape. Partly, the photo collage was to camouflage the light switch, but I'm a big fan of bringing in personal photos just about anywhere - just love the casual and sentimental touch they add. This view also shows the relation of the kitchen to the living room -- they're basically in the same room. :) The dining room is open to these two spaces as well, meaning that changes to any one area really affect all three, making for a constant juggling act! (And as the week went on, I found a few more old photos and the collection grew... )
Another casual collection, over our dresser.
Even one simple piece can really set a tone, make such a statement. I love this thrifted floral print over our dresser (in an older version of the room :).)
And, baskets! I can't forget baskets. Especially in a spot where you need something simple, baskets are the way to go. With the open floor plan balancing act, this collection of baskets over the sink ends up being the perfect compliment to the rest of the art in the space. The top and right baskets are more like trays (thrifted many moons ago), and the bottom basket is from a dear Ethiopian friend and it's been up here so long, it's faded - but I still love it!
Although I'm still working on finishing up the front hall / entryway (thus the bare lightbulbs :)), here's another great basket example I couldn't resist sharing. Picked these up at a thrift store recently, not sure exactly what I would do with them but knowing they would come in handy. I may still add a painted pattern to them, but the simplicity is really refreshing at the moment. We'll see how the rest of the space evolves!
Funky masks are great fillers as well! (thrifted!)
You guys must know by now that I'm all about simple, accessible, affordable solutions. I'm on a mission to convince you that these ideas are doable for anyone - really! The above pieces in my blue office are just two pieces of fabric scraps, framed in the opposite direction in Ikea Ribba frames. I mean, it doesn't get much easier than that... right?! I know that larger-scale art can be pricey, and this is a fairly affordable way to fill a large wall. You could easily do this with additional frames, to fill a larger space. This is also a great way to fill a void in a gallery wall. Dig through the scrap bin at your local fabric store for an interesting pattern or print, and frame it up!
Our living room before the gallery moved into the dining room. In addition to thrifting art, we love to find art during our travels. Again, nothing fancy! Egyptian Papyrus and Mexican Amate papyrus, both in more Ikea frames! (What would I do without those Ribba frames?!) The pink embroidered dragon was picked up in Chinatown, here in San Francisco for a few bucks. (I think it was supposed to be a napkin or handkerchief... now, art!)
For a more modern art option, large-scale photographs are awesome.
So, next time you're at a thrift store, go ahead and sort through that art section and grab something that catches your eye. Even if you're not sure where to put it. If you love it, you can make it work... try it in a few different spots until you find the perfect place! You've got this.