Friday, September 28, 2012

#3 Making a House a Home Series...Oversized Art

Do you have a photo gallery in your home displaying favorite family photos?
While we all love a well designed photo gallery, I ask you to consider some less conventional options for displaying family photos.  Regular sized photography can get lost on a wall unless it is grouped with multiples,  but when super sized it suddenly becomes  star quality art and can stand alone or with a few pieces.   
Here are some examples to consider:

The celebrity in the room could be you!

Art was mixed with other meaningful pieces to create an interesting wall.
Looks like somebody loves Brooklyn,DNA art and martinis.

Interesting cropping can create some pretty creative art that could spark conversation over coffee.

Link: The Ten Cent Designer

Have a blank wall that is art needy, but waiting for something special?

Link: Leibowitz and Mclachlan on Desire to Inspire

Don't forget the family pet! He becomes interesting art as well
when enlarged.

Create Martha Stewart Living

Is your family room empty because you are waiting for a great piece of art?
Don't you love  voyeuristic quality of this art?

Photo Credit: Katie Kunz
Not sure what to say about this art in the breakfast room of designer Karen Walker and her husband creative director, Mikhail Gherman, but no one would argue that it is interesting.  I tried to find the artist's name, but had no luck. Anyone know?  Please tell me if you do, so I may properly credit.  This picture came from The Shelby but no credit listed.
Home of designer Karen Walker & Mikhail Gherman as seen on The Shelby

If you are into the gallery wall look, here are a couple of options that
take it to another level from the average gallery.. 
Your art can go from this:
Dimples and Tangles Blog

To This:
Credit: I Heart Faces

Companies like I Heart Faces can take your photographs and create digital images for display.  The options are endless.  Look on line for the type art you want to create and you will find lots of options.

 A  gallery wall can become interesting when created with enlarged vintage photographs. The same could be done with family photos. The key to making this look is  to make all the photos black and white to create unity.  The awesome trio of lighting elevates this gallery wall into an art installation statement.
Credit: Fresh Home

Mary Schannen, a photographer who writes the blog, Melange Photography
Created this amazing gallery wall in her office of her children.  The art fits together like puzzle pieces.  

Look What I made on Be Funky

Make sure to go visit my friend, Heather  at

Show her some love &
Sign up for her Great Giveaway

Waylande Gregory Asia Small Bullet Bowl
(4 1/2" diameter  x 1 1/2")   Product Value $105

Starting September 26 until October 7th, 2012 at 5pm EST you can follow the steps below to be entered for a chance to be selected to win this

.... tell her I sent you!

Have a Fabulous Friday!  My series "Meet My Fabulous
Friend on Friday" will be returning next week!
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lesson #2 - Making a House a Home!

Yesterday, we talked about using art created by children to add a sentimental touch to your home.  Today I am sharing with you other options for your walls that will add a unique element to your home.

Art by Carter Kustera, Interior Design by Lilly Bunn
Photography by Emily Gilbert

America's favorite portrait artist, Carter Kustera of Brooklyn, NY, takes the art of silhouette making and creates something current and fresh, for every member of the family!  Kustera who worked in store branding for Jonathan Adler and Barney's has a well respected resume.   Each custom piece is signed by Carter.  He Benjamin Moore paints as a preference for colors. 
Credit: Carter Kustera
If you would prefer silhouettes in another form, you can have a silhouette put on all kinds of things at Simply Silhouettes.    My favorite items at Simply Silhouettes  are fun pillows  for $80 each.   Choose your background and send an image and they reproduce a custom digitally created silhouette pillow just for you!  How fun is this for a child's room or a playroom?  What grandparent
 or pet owner wouldn't love these?

Simply Silhouettes

Here is a room using silhouette pillows
Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

 Another option for personalized art using your photographs

Modern Bird Studios creates personalized modern art from your own photographs.   Each piece is an original piece of studio art created with a combination of digital, hand and painting processes. 
Modern Bird Studios

Available on 100% canvas or acrylic mounted to oak,
 they offer a variety of sizes.
Modern Bird Studios

Gregg Deal, creative director of Modern Bird Studios, personally signs each piece on the back.  Check out all the sizes and options here!
Modern Bird Studios

If you have all the portraits you need or aren't into portrait art or silhouettes, you could add a personal touch to your home by choosing your favorite number and having a print made of it at evajuliet .  It could be a birth date,
anniversary date or the number of people in your family.  The etsy store evajuliet
will create this custom piece for you on archival paper for only $28. unframed.
You tell them the significance of the number and they will
 include that in script below the number.

Credit: evajuliet on etsy

Or if you would like to include all your special dates in one print
The Memory Gallery on Etsy will custom make this style print for you unframed for $24.  Just send them the dates you want to include!

The Memory Gallery

Another personalized fun idea for art for your home is this
Subway Art Sign, created using information unique to you!

Geezees Custom Canvas $160

Here's a creative idea from California Callahans Blog for making fingerprint art.
Via California Callahans
Well, hopefully you find something interesting to add to your home.  All of these ideas can be purchased by clicking the links.  If you are into DIY, there are tutorials for almost all these items online.  Search on Pinterest by simply typing in whatever you are looking for in the search bar!

Have Fun Creating a Haven in Your Home!  

Tomorrow, other ways to personalize your home for your family!

Don't forget to sign up to follow my High Point Market Style Spotter 
Board Here!  That way you will see my choice for top market trends first!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lesson #1 Making a House a Home...

   Our lives are always in transition, therefore our homes are in constant transition as well.   Our family, decor, likes and dislikes all change with over time.    One of the ways we can find security in our changing world is to surrounding ourselves with things that bring us joy, whatever the stage of life. 

Often, we are think if we can just get that new car, get to the next stage in life, get those new lamps, we will be happier.  Things don't make us happy.  My guess is that you will throw out those lamps, before you would
 your child's first grade art!  

  Dig out your children's art, your art, your hubby's art, parents , your niece's art,etc.  It doesn't be a Rembrandt, any art will do.  Make a really cool gallery with art from the people you love! 

How great would this be in a play room, hallway,family room, breakfast room...

Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Art by big brothers or big sister would make great art for their sibling's nursery!
Credit: Lonny Magazine
If you aren't into the cutesy look ...
Children's art can have a more clean line look when reduced in size and 
organized in a large frame like the collages of Jan Eleni,  NYC 
Credit: Jan Eleni
 There are other ways art can be displayed to bring you joy in your home.  If you don't want to display family art on your walls, how about creating a book of your  family's art?  This would be a great gift for a grandparent.  It can be proudly displayed on a side  or coffee table for viewing .
Credit Tonya Staab

You could do something really amazing like Pamela Bell, one of the original four partners of Kate Spade,  who created a special memory for her 12 yr old's birthday party by allowing the birthday girl and guest to draw on her John Derian sofa which was still only covered in muslin.  They created a "graffiti sofa" which is one of a kind and a real conversation piece.   The art was done with fabric markers.  Can you imagine the conversations over that sofa?

While the party guest and birthday girl worked on the sofa, her son painted a chair of his own.

Credit: Phil Mansfield for The New York Times

The final product.... unique, priceless, magnificent!  

All you need for this project is fabric markers and a muslin chair.
 Ikea has several well priced chairs that would be great painted this way!
Who knows may be this will be a Christmas present for someone special!
IKEA Hovis


   Yes, Granny just might have to have a paint class with her grandchildren and paint a chair!  After all, she claims to be in the business of "making memories".   
Or may be we will just make a big tablecloth and let the whole family paint it!
Wouldn't it be fun to paint a table cloth  for each holiday to
 give as a gift to a loved one?

The way you choose to incorporate your family's artwork into your home
is only limited by your imagination!

Sneak peek of the one of several ideas coming up...
Via Carter Kustera

Click Here to Follow My High Point Style Spotter Board!!!!!
Be Sure To Sign Up To Follow My High Point Market Style Spotter's Board On Pinterest so that you see all the trends when I spot them!!!  This is different from my regular Pinterest board ,
 High Point Market is Oct 13-18th  

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Every House Tells A Story...

To us our house was not unsentient matter--it had a heart and a soul and eyes to see us with, and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction. We never came home from an absence that its face did
not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome--
and we could not enter it unmoved.
- Letter to Joseph Twichell, quoted in Mark Twain: A Biography

Does your home have a soul?  Does it tell the story of those who live within its walls?  If not, indulge me as I take you on a journey to find the soul of your home.  I am not talking about just pinning up school projects or family photos, but rather a deeper journey to tell your family's story in a way that is unique to you and to each family member.    

Diane Keaton's Library, designed by Stephen Shadley and photographed by Scott Frances
Often times a house is decorated by the woman of the house choosing her favorite furniture,fabrics and accessories or following the lead of her designer.  While this is totally an accepted manner, there are far more unique pieces that can be added to the design.  Anyone can choose popular furniture lines, the designer fabric du jour or sought after accessories, but what really sets your home apart from your neighbors?  How can we create a soulfulness in our homes?  

We must find creative avenues to express our inner selves in an external way through our decorating.  In doing so, we may be able to honor the personalities of the people who live within the walls of the home. This may sound far fetched, but it is possible.  It doesn't happen quickly, but the process is rich within itself. 

Once we find our own authenticity, how do we then find it for each member of our family?  How do we weave each of these individual threads together to create a nurturing home for our family?  The home we are working to create could be considered a tapestry of sorts.  


From The Book "A Perfectly Kept House is the sign of a Misspent Life" by Mary Randolph Carter
Project by Pamela Bell

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Friday, September 21, 2012

What Does Your House Say About You?

Photography by Kim Christie
"There are those who spend lifetimes in houses that have nothing to do with who they really are. They may be perfectly designed, yet if they fail to reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, the very essence of intimacy is missing and this absence is disturbingly visible." ~ Rose Tarlow

When you decorate your home do you take into consideration that your home tells a story of the people who live there?  Do you consider the varied interest of your family members?  When you redecorate your kid's rooms, do you ask what color they would like to paint it?  If they have any ideas they would like incorporated?
Do you have a family wall?  A gallery of family photos?  A shelf with everybody's favorite book displayed?  If not, consider each room and what story you think that room tells.  If your house isn't a reflection of the people who live there, what does it reflect?  We find comfort in familiar surroundings.  Places that make us feel welcomed and at home.  You deserve a special place with all your favorite things and so does your family.  It's the little things in life that bring us the most joy!  
I challenge you to put your home to the authenticity test.  Let me know what you find?  Does it reflect your family?  I have some ideas that could make your house unique to your family.  We will be discussing those ideas next week!  

Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brizo hosts Cocktail Party With Jason Wu for Blogger#19 Group

 When Brizo whisked us away after the Jason Wu fashion show to MPE Penthouse for the after party, I couldn't help but think how lucky I was, to be part of this event.  Just three short years ago, if anyone had told me, if I would be attending a fashion show of any sort, during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC this year, I would have thought they were crazy!  Yet, here I was in a NYC penthouse after attending Jason Wu's show, with a group nineteen other talented designers from across the country known as Blogger#19!  This exciting day and all the other events of the week, were courtesy of my favorite luxury line for the home, Brizo!  How amazing is that?  How lucky am I?

While we were waiting for Wu to arrive, we chatted with one another and met a few Blogger #19 alumni we had returned for the party.  The team from Brizo, had excelled at making it a night to remember.  The views from the terrace were incredible, the food was delicious and the venue was amazing!   

At 6 o'clock he arrived....Jason Wu, man of the hour!  The moment we had all been waiting for!!!  He slipped quietly into the room and began chatting with guests rather nonchalantly.  He made his way around the room greeting familiar faces and indulging those of us who walked up to meet him.

Wu talking with Connor who was responsible for connecting Wu with Brizo, along with Richard O'Reagan, President of Delta, and Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design for Brizo

 Jai Massela welcomed Wu and thanked him for allowing us to attend his show, which she deemed, "one of the most sought after fashion shows of the week".  To which Wu nodded and said, "if I weren't' Jason Wu, I couldn't get a ticket".  After the laughter stopped Wu answered questions about his vision and inspirations for his new line.  His said his focus was on " the feminine form".  The inspiration was drawn from two photographers famous for photographing the feminine form, Helmut Newton and Lillian Bassman.  Newton for his erotic, sexually charged photos and Bassman for her soft, feminine interpretations.  Wu spoke passionately about his work, but also revealed a bit of his warm-hearted humor, when asked about his phrase du jour.  He quickly spouted out  "Excuse My Beauty", and then explained it was a funny line from an old "Cops" episode!  This man is not only brilliant, he has a sense of humor!

 Next we enjoyed the Brizo after party tradition of Wu viewing his show for the first time with the group. I can't tell you how fun it was to watch Wu as he watched months of hard work culminate into a reality!  

Everybody was intensely watching the show and watching Wu watch the show!

There was so much energy and excitement in the room.  As designers, we all know the feeling of completing a project and feeling like it was a job well done! 

 Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design for Brizo continued the discussion with insights to how the collaboration between Brizo and Jason Wu began.   They discussed Wu's request of a "black faucet" and how Brizo answered his request.   Yet another example of how Wu sets trends rather than follows them which is in line with Brizo's way of thinking as well.  It makes sense these two fashion forward thinking lines would merge to create fabulous products for the home.  This union is proof that fashion is more then just what we see on the red carpet or the runway, it is a lifestyle.   Brizo and Jason Wu share the same vision that good design is as important in your home as the clothes you wear. Their common goal is to bring innovative designs that are timeless and fresh to the marketplace.   

At only 29 years of age, Wu is another example of how transition can make you grow.  Although, Wu's transition from doll designer, to fashion designer and then designer of home goods, doesn't seem like the same journey of transition that I have experienced with grieving, I am sure along the way, he had times of doubt, anxiousness and apprehension, but relied on faith in himself, his goals and hard work to get to the successful place he is today!  This amazing designer brings so much joy to so many people!  Thank you Jason Wu for giving of yourself and your time to us.  Thank you Brizo for an amazing trip!   I will forever be grateful to the Brizo Team who invited me and for the many friendships I made with other designers throughout the country!  

Jason Wu with the Brizo Team....

A special thank you to:
Brizo Marketing and Products Teams:
Richard O'Reagan, President, Delta Faucet Company,
Brian Nobbe, Marketing Director, Jai Massela Senior Channel Marketing Manager,
 Laura Brooks, Senior Brand Manager, 
and Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design 

Our group of Designers -Blogger #19 September  2012

THE AMAZING #Blogger19
Michele Alfano of Mod Design Guru
Pamela Copeman of Pamela Copeman Design Group
Edyta Czajkowska of Edyta & Co Interior Design
Christy Davis of Vining Design Associates
Manvi Drona Hidalgo of Mochantini
Sandy Espinet of Sandy Espinet
Laurie Gorelick of Laurie Gorelick Interiors
Denise McGaha of Denise McGaha Interiors
Jennifer Mehditash of Mehditash Design
Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Designs
Stacy Naquin of Stacy Naquin Interiors
Whitney Porter of Ferguson
Courtney Price of Courtney Price Design
Jennifer Reynolds of Jennifer Reynolds Interiors
Rebecca Reynolds of Cullinary Kitchen Designs
Lakesha Rose of L Design Group
Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs

(Thank You to Jennifer Reynolds for the list of Blogger #19 Attendees)

(Big Thank You to Jayme Thornton Photography for
use of all the amazing photographs on this post!)

P.S.  & A Happy Birthday to Jason Wu
 who will be turning 30 on
September 27, 2012!!!!
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