Friday, May 16, 2008

"x" sort of marks the spot

Finding the perfect balance of artwork to form my salon-style wall in the office was a bit more of a challenge than I was anticipating. I wanted to mix color landscapes, black and white content, and both original artwork and reproductions. I was very deliberate in choosing what types of images and colors I wanted to use. During this process I kept the room's light blue, pale golden yellow and khaki color scheme in mind. Once I had picked the images, I had to find an appropriate frame for each one. To cut costs, I relied on my private stash of unused frames, which was actually sort of limiting. Then I needed to cut each piece to size and clean the glass on all of the frames. It came together, but it took a while.

To get them into a nice configuration on the wall, without spending too much more time, I followed these steps, inspired by Cottage Living's September 2006 issue.

First I traced the artwork onto paper. For this I used drawing newsprint and computer paper. Remember to mark an "x" on the paper where the hanging hardware is located on the piece. I also labeled each one with a sharpie, so I could visualize the compositions relating to one another.

Next I cut out the shapes, and started taping them to the wall in different arrangements. Then all I had to do was hammer nails right through my little "x" marks for the appropriate hanging spot. (While this idea works in theory, I still found myself adjusting several nail holes once the pieces were all hung.)

The final result is an eclectic mix of art work whose colors and subject matter complement one another. Nothing fights for attention. Using images from art books as well as some original artwork, and placing the pieces in unmatched frames gives the wall the texture and interest it needed. Plus my cat Basie finds it soothing.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

summer's hot and cool hues

Bliss Living's Carrie comforter set

I have been really inspired by the rich and electric colors I am noticing for summer decorating. Soda pop orange, bright turquoise, deep royal blue, mocha espresso and subdued coral. I already have softer, paler versions of these colors throughout my house, but have been scouring the Internet for ways to perk up my rooms for summer. Here are some finds that got my attention:

Anthroplogie's Coral Courtyard Curtain panels would add a gorgeous dose of color and dramatic over sized pattern to my living room windows. The Moka Leaf Doormat could grace my front porch or fit nicely under my kitchen sink.

Bliss Living has an outstanding bedding collection that incorporates all shades of coral and blue. A few Mia Floor Pillows around your coffee table set with candles and a Caribbean dinner would be a stylish, but casual way to entertain friends this summer.

West Elm's overlapping squares chair has always been a design I admire. Now I am thinking the arm chairs would look excellent in the Saffron hue at my dining room table, joining two other chairs upholstered in a pale aqua damask pattern. The iconic print pillows featuring classic sea creatures would add whimsy and just enough nautical style to the white sofa in our living room.

More than likely, I am just dreaming about acquiring these beauties, but I am just really loving this summer color palette. It brings together the complementary colors of orange and blue, creating a curiously balanced example of summer's warm vs. cool dichotomy.