The hardest part of my job as an interior designer is artwork (also, wallpaper, which honestly is just a whole wall covered in art). I work closely with clients and address artwork as thoroughly and often as it takes, but sometimes at the end of the project, I encourage clients to take a look and find art for themselves.
Now, remember you can frame absolutely anything and it will look artistic and professional. I was over at a client’s house the other day and was loving her art collection. She pointed out a shadow-box style framed piece of a lovely quote in French, and told me it was the inside of a cardboard box that she just like the look of. She also had a framed paper placemat-style menu from a restaurant in Paris that she kept from her honeymoon – it had lovely wrinkles in it!
Keep an eye out for things you like the look of, or mean something to you! Book pages (or a bookmark even), an old postcard, a letter from your family, an old map with worn seams, a fabric patch, any of these things can be framed and look natural, professional, and artistic. One of my favorite things right now is pressed flowers, especially meaningful ones like your wedding bouquet. My favorite company that does this is Emblem and Pine.
Collect things you love, then take them to get professionally framed (I recommend no mat – shadowbox style) and you will have the most unique art collection of any home that you know.
Also, keep your eye out in thrift stores, at farmers markets, and out and about wherever you are!
If you would like to seek out art that you love, and are willing to do the work, you can save yourself some money, and with some tips and tricks, it can look just like the real thing.
As I started this article by saying – the first step is falling in love!
There is so much art out there! I promise you will find something you fall in love with. Keep searching and researching and figuring out what gives you emotion and sticks in your head. Search for some specific genres: photography, modern abstract, traditional painting, botanical or architectural prints, minimalist, then search within those genres. Oftentimes you like one genre and then find other, specific art that you love in other genres even if you don’t like the more general category.
The best way to save money with artwork is to use printable resources and then frame prints yourself. Start searching! Here are some resources.
Now, once you choose your amazing art that you fall in love with, there are many places you can print and frame to hang on your wall. You can even do it at home, especially if you are using a floating, glass gallery frame or shadowbox. Or, you can also upload directly and get it printed and framed at: https://www.framebridge.com/ or https://simplyframed.com/
I am so excited you are starting out on your art journey! Remember when it comes to art, follow your heart (oh my, I’m regretting thinking of that now) and explore. Find things you love, include unexpected things, and every time you look at your walls, it will feel just like home. Holes can be filled and pieces can be replaced, so feel free to experiment! You’ll end up loving every wall in your home.
I was honored to put together two designs for a client who wanted a light, bright, and kid-friendly space. Their love of saddle-colored leather was the main starting point, with layers of texture and details that come in the form of plants and interesting artwork.
One of my favorite coffee table alternatives is a large, leather ottoman, totally kid-friendly, and wears so gorgeously over time. I especially love pieces that look better with wear than they did new.
I am often asked at my job – what is best way to choose when purchasing a whole room of furniture that can’t be afforded right away. It certainly is an intimidating proposal, and with an open floor plan, a whole living room layout, dining room layout, and entry, that is a lot of expensive pieces to buy and it feels like you need them all at once.
The secret is being intentional and asking yourself how you use each of your rooms and what you would actually use most. But don’t forget that your home is the place that you live and love, and for me, work, so don’t forget to find pieces and details that bring you joy every time you see them.
Buy first what you would use right away
If there is something that you would use every day that you can afford first, definitely make it a priority. In our new home, the first piece of furniture we splurged on with our new budget was a more expensive, new bed for our master bedroom. It was worth the splurge and it makes us feel spoiled every single night or anytime we relax in bed. The second large purchase was our live-edge dining table. We love having people over and often sit down for casual lunches or larger dinners, so as soon as we received our table we started planning. Having our dining table comes with the added bonus of also filling our home with our favorite people.
Something we don’t have quite yet is the nice coffee table that we are currently saving for. This is something that would definitely be nice to have and we would use often, but isn’t necessary to enjoy watching TV together, having people over to sit on our sectional, or for the main purpose of our room. For you, though, a coffee table may be necessary! As you think through these things, be honest with yourself about what may be worth waiting and little to get exactly what would last you years and years.
Buy second what you want the most
It’s totally cool with getting super excited about certain things and specific furniture pieces! The thing that makes your home – your home are the things you see everyday and are pretty much obsessed with. For me, it’s my big prints of my husband’s photography and a high-end essential oil diffuser. Seeing these things will keep you excited about your future purchases and especially if they are little things, filling your walls or shelves with a little decor you love is affordable and inspiring. A few fake plants, a cool, industrial lamp you can see from your desk, or a chair for your reading corner that really makes your home feel like you are worth prioritizing too!
Buy last the things you still need
As you have been living with your space for the period of time that it takes to save for the first two steps, I am sure you have come up with many things you would like and use! Living with your space is the best way to figure out what you need best for your family. Keep a single list in one place in your phone or home, and prioritize it after writing things on your list for a while so you don’t make any compulsive purchases. I always prefer chatting with my husband about these decisions, since he has a steadying presence and logical thought process, so I don’t get swayed by anything that only I want on more surface level and we can really have what we need as a family in every room.
Fourth: Don’t buy anything in addition
The secret to saving money in your home is not about what you buy, but more about buying only what you could use and what you really, really love. Simple right! Nope, in reality, this is the hardest part. But our responsibility to our environment and our pocketbooks means figuring out where to say no and how to stay happy with what you have are really the most important things we can do in this process.
Since I read the most in the winter, a cozy corner to turn pages and admire the snow out the window is a necessary addition for my intimate home spaces. The glowing white of the snow out the window and the soft sound of flipping pages bring add a different feel to winter.
I absolutely love the feel of monochromatic spaces. It allows you to focus on texture, quality, and subtle differences without too much contrast. It is such a calming and peaceful sense to be in a space totally surrounded by a single color in unnamed shades,
Autumn is the season of warm sweaters, burning fires, and deep natural woods. Warm tones are found absolutely everywhere, and autumn leaves burn the colors of the sun.
I love the fall! Since it is my favorite season, I go all out. I want my clients to feel the season as much as I do!
Blue may feel like an unexpected color for autumn, but the deep sea of Autumn blue washes a space in encompassing color without feeling fully winter. Cozy materials, and natural accents add to the feeling with reminders of the warm tones you typically think of when autumn crosses your mind.
Deep, midnight blue fill the evening sky on fall nights, and gray skies are washed with swaths of cool gray. Also, any warm colors stand out incredibly well against the strong background of peacock blue. And neutrals just add to the calming effects of calming, romantic, deep blue.
Jason and I have probably the most different styles that we could possibly have. Jason would prefer a studio apartment penthouse with minimal furniture. He has a dark industrial aesthetic and likes simple materials, with natural accents, and like a little bit of lodge too! My favorite combination of colors of gray and gold, and I love feminine touches, vintage accents, and lots of architectural detail.
At least we both prefer neutrals right…
As we think about owning a home sometime in the future – I want something historic and adorable, of course – we want to both feel like we belong, and can spend tons of time here, together. But as most homeowners know, combining styles is difficult and time consuming.
It’s important to me that even though my job is interior design, my personal style doesn’t take over our space. Because it’s ours together!
A balance of pastel purple, blush pink, and sky blue bring similar tones all together while being united by a calming succulent pillow. A modern marble pillow keeps the updated shapes and materials connected, while bringing neutral black and white, while bringing in metallic gold.
I’m going to share a secret with you – two of my favorite things in the world are the color purple, and bunny rabbits!
I have always said purple was my favorite color, but it wasn’t until recently that I really accepted that fully and started reaching for purple things in my life first. In my opinion, purple in interior design is definitely harder to include than almost any other color. It holds a very specific emotion in the space, and adds a reminder of the classic, formal history it holds.