Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Step Closer!!

My design for our Front Living Room is one step closer to completion!!!

The large euro pillows are just examples. I will be making smaller versions that will fit on the new sofa....that will be magically appearing in my house....

....I'm still trying to figure out how to sneak this baby in....

Why do couches have to be so BIG?? 

The hubs would say that my purse is ALMOST big enough. 

AND Look at these Brand spanking new stripes!!!

I still have a little more wall to go on the opposite side, but I had to share! I also had to share another example of Hunter Boots being used as a prop....see what I mean?? They just always work! 

It took about 4 hours to get this wall done AND this tip I'm about to share is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!

 If you are considering painting yourself some stripes:  When you see that HGTV DIY tip, commercial thingy, where they tell you to use ACRYLIC MATT MEDIUM on top of your tape line before you start painting.....LISTEN!! It works!! I learned the HARD way several times.
I was all "I don't need that silly matt medium stuff!! I'll just be careful and save myself a step and some money" 

That was stupid. 

Each time my stripes looked like poop, so trust me, that silly matt medium stuff is exactly the stuff you need and it will give you perfectly crisp lines! No kidding! Just brush a thin layer right on top of the tape and about a half inch into the area where you are going to paint and it will seal the tape so that the paint can't bleed through. You can find it at any art supply or craft store. 

Acrylic Matt Medium is now considered "genius miracle medium stuff" in my house! Go get some! 

More to come soon!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Black. It's What's For Dinner

I would like black walls to be as commonplace as beef is for dinner.

Mainly so that the myths regarding dark walls will be laid to rest....and also so that people will stop saying "OH MY GOD!! You painted a wall BLACK??!? Are you like Goth now or something?!?

I am always asked, "Won't dark walls make the space feel smaller?"

My answer is always "it depends". There are so many variables and what's "small feeling" to some, isn't "small feeling" to others. Sometimes "small feeling" translates as "cozy" or "calming"...it always depends on the space and the person and their own personal tastes and associations.

Then there are also layers to consider. Simply using a dark color as a background that will be layered upon with lighter, brighter colors, then it doesn't always matter how dark the background is.

A perfect example: A hefty portion of black with heftier portions of white. The black isn't weighing down or darkening the room at all.

The black adds a moody, dramatic, seriousness that his room wouldn't have without it. It can only be a personal reflection of the person who lives here.

I think larger doses of black can put a new, edgy spin on traditional design.

 and can also amplify eclecticism...

and enhances the appearance of rustic natural elements....

Let's not forget this perfect match....black and brass....

and black makes cool randomness, even cooler....

And black and white stripes......

....are just so fun! I may show you all a few of my own new stripes soon!

pssst....look at the Hunter boots! How do they always look so good in their surroundings? Like they are always meant to be part of the decor. If ONLY I could create a product that not only would be worn people for years and years, but also be used as a prop in their decor. Genius!

 And this is one of my favorites from Country Living....
....the stripes make the "country" and "antique" look here, edgy and new feeling. It's hard to describe, but without the stripes, this room wouldn't look as fresh.

For some reason black gets a bad rap and I'm here to say "black ain't whack"...that's right....in the right setting it's completely elegant and sophisticated. It provides instant "ooh la la" and sophistication for the price of paint AND a little courage.

I took the plunge this weekend and painted a wall black.  I admit, it was scary. I'm used to painting black walls in places that I don't actually live, and the result was completely worth the stress! After I painted the wall, I was over my fear of black and started some stripes down the front hall...it was exciting and then I realized that you actually CAN get a little carried away with your new found confidence in painting things black. The hubs had to ask me to put the paint brush down. True story. Who knows what else I would have painted!

Pictures to come soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Environmental Bio-chic

Environmental Biology isn't really my thing.

It was especially NOT my thing when I had to take the class in college. I didn't think it would actually inspire me or even be relevant to me as a design major...I mean, how exactly does visiting the water treatment plant translate into classic home decor??

But...turns out that decor inspired by Environmental Biology IS pretty relevant and inspiring these days!

Y'all know John Derian knows what's up:

He's pretty serious about his environmental subjects.

The creators of these lab-like kitchens also know what's up....

I get it now....and I thought the only good thing that came out of that class was the ability to identify trees.

 This is a shagbark hickory


And the Adler Planetarium....

....it's exterior is covered in a stone called gneiss....a 3.5 billion year old metamorphic stone mainly found in Scotland, but can also be found in the great U.S. of A, specifically, in the land of 10,000 lakes....
......I carry this information around in my brain involuntarily! 

Examples with a few nods to the biology lab.....

The key for me is black. 

Black is a magical color. Black makes all ordinary biological life forms and lab equipment look way cooler than they actually are. Black makes green look even greener and somehow, makes all things written upon it in chalk, completely factual. 

Now I'm itching to paint a wall black!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Manet Is My Pimp!

Edouard Manet that is, you know that about him, right? Besides being one of the first 19th Century artists to approach modern-life subjects, despite facing great controversy, he was the pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism...blah blah blah.... he kind of saved me, and he's my pimp, because lately I've been all...

....pathetic and dying on the floor like this Dead Matador (Manet 1864-65)...except instead of dying via a bulls horn, I've just been dying creatively. On the inside. It just happens sometimes, and then I eat lots of bacon and chocolate and stare off into space for long periods of time and mope around and whine to all of my friends, and write run-on sentences, and then all of a sudden it's all ok again. Because of pimps like Manet....and my friends...and the chocolate..

Anyway, these two drawings.......

....besides being highly romantical and therefore appropriate for our bedroom....

.....are my own drawings based on two of Manet's master drawings. Back in college, we had to do about 900 master drawings, and I always found myself inspired by Manet. Mainly because his sketches were great examples of simple and elegant line variation. To sketch so simply and accurately with just a few lines isn't easy. Let me tell you!

Somehow framing these drawings and hanging them up made me come back to life. Creatively. That's why Manet is my pimp, and I guess, since I'm naming pimps and all, the guy behind ArtWorks can be considered a superfly pimp, because he hooked me up with these silk mats and bamboo frames!! AND whoever grew that orchid....well...they're a pimp too!

I thought I created a clever combination with the drawings and the bamboo and silk by referencing a non-existent connection between Manet and Orientalism and/or Japonisme. Turns out it was Monet, not Manet, whose work was influenced by Japonisme in the late 1800's. Woops! I still think it would have been clever!

  So. That's why Manet is my pimp. AND that's why we're just gonna have to re-write his biography and say that he was indeed influenced by Japonisme.

You wouldn't guess he's my pimp just by lookin at him would ya??

P.S. You lovely followers and friends also saved me from being the dead matador :) You're the bestest for always checking out my blog, despite my lack of posts, and run-on sentences!