Friday, July 4, 2014


Original art can be the catalyst for a great room.  
Originally featured on House of Turquoise, this living room is a great example of how important art can be in creating a beautifully designed space.  I admit the wall color is quite spectacular, but what would the room look like if the art was   replaced with a starburst mirror?
 Let's see....

See what you think...Here is the room with a starburst mirror in place of the art.  It works, but it isn't nearly as dynamic.  
What do you think? 

 I always ask what the budget is for art in the initial interview with a new client since original art is an integral part of my design work.  It is necessary to know how much of the budget is allotted to art.   If the client has great art, I'm always excited.  If the client doesn't have great art, I must then convince them the importance of art in creating a uniquely designed room.   After I convince clients to invest in original art, it almost always becomes a favorite part of the project.  

 Clients typically fall into two categories: they are either  art collectors and have original art or they are intimidated by art and afraid to purchase for fear they will make a mistake.  

When a client has great original art, it makes my job so easy.  I take cues from the art for the room's color palette.  If we don't have art to work with, I often suggest we go shopping for art and use what we find as a springboard for the design.  My favorite gallery in Charlotte is Hidell-Brooks.  The owners, Katharine Hidell Thomas and Rebecca Brooks, have an amazing curation of talented artist on display in their studio.  Katharine and Rebecca are both so knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to choosing the right piece of art for your projects. Click here to view information about their gallery and see the artist currently showing in their gallery.   I recently incorporated a couple of Jenny Nelson's paintings from their art for a photo shoot I styled for Traditional Home Magazine.  I can't wait for the article to come out in mid August.

Here are 5 tips for buying original art

1. Get Educated if buying art for an investment.  If you have never purchased original art, look to the experts.  Visit a local gallery or enlist the help of a designer who can educate you on what to look for when buying art.

2. Overscale Art Makes a Statement. Don't be afraid to use a large painting in a space.  

3. Buy original art when you travel.  It's always fun to look at a piece of art from your travels and remember the day you purchased it on a fun trip.  The art will serve as a decoration for your walls and also a memory of your travels.

4. Art doesn't have to match the room.  Some of the most dynamically designed rooms contain art that doesn't have any of the colors of the room.

5. Don't take it too seriously.  It is ok to buy art just because you like it.  Every piece in your house doesn't have to be gallery worthy.  Have fun with it!  Sometimes children's preschool drawings framed are the perfect original art!

When Traci Zeller and I decided to open our joint studio(Studio 202) we knew we wanted original art for our walls.  We have several artist in house.  We would like to welcome Harrison Blackford to our studio!

Harrison hails from Greenville, South Carolina.  She studied art at Sewanee: University of the South and is known for her abstract and impressionist art.  Her art is vibrant and colorful. 
  Harrison is also available for custom commissions.  Check out her website to see the full range of her work.  

We currently have these paintings available from Harrison through our studio.

"Dry the Rain"
40" x 60"
Acrylic on canvas
White boxed frame

"Watch Over Me"
30"x 40"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped lavender painted edges

"Sweet World"
36" x 48"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped off-white edges

"Never Can Say Goodbye"
36" x 36"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped lime green edges

"Saturday Dance"
40" x 60"
Acrylic on canvas
Natural wood boxed frame

 "Baja Ballad"
30" x 30"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped 3" edges painted teal

"Sink or Swim"
30" x 40" 
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped teal edges

"Steal Away"
24" x 36"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped teal edges

"Here, There, and Everywhere"*** 
48" x 72"
Acrylic on canvas
Gallery wrapped teal edges

Don't you need some original art in your life?

 IN STUDIO 202?  

Need help choosing the right art for your home?  Contact Lisa Mende Design at (704) 561-1466 or email me at

If you are an artist and would like to become a partner in our studio contact me at

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Happy 4th of July!  I'm happy to say we survived Arthur! 
Looks like everyone is headed to the sandbar...
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  1. Original art always makes a room and it elevates the design to a higher lever. I adore art glass as well and would have placed it in a spot to shine on its own away from the amazing painting!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. Good point Karena! Thank you for stopping by on the 4th! Happy Holiday to you!! oxox

  2. Love the pictures you posted with the gray sofa and they are lovely! I think gray would be a good choice too, especially if you "live" in that room. I'm sure whatever you decide will look beautiful:
    Interior Design Idea


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