Friday, July 24, 2015

Bold walls

I am helping a neighbor with their master bedroom decor and the walls are this completely saturated turquoise. The color is heading towards navy but has tons of green to it. 
They have hardwood floors and white plantation shutters also.

I am going to suggest a richly colored rug and white curtains with a trim on the leading edge.


I have even started a Pinterest board for them to help visualize my suggestions.

How would you work with this wall color?

Monday, July 20, 2015

A personal word about my art

Long ago, another artist clearly and obviously used the same title as a painting of mine. The copying of others went far beyond just titles but it still rubbed me wrong because the painting was intensely personal.

This painting, "11 Julys" came from an intensely personal experience, just like the one from several years ago. Some of my work is about the experience of making it and that alone. Some is about my emotions while I am making it and this is one. My original title was Eleven Requiems but I thought it was too sad.

This quote articulates a fraction of what my painting is meant to tell.

Do titles of art intrigue you, bore you or turn you off to a piece???

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New artwork

"Intermezzo" 36x 36 oil on canvas

I have been hard at work on a new body of work that is heavy on neutrals. It is intended to head off to galleries in August.

"Speranza" 36 x 36 oil on canvas

Some have watery, turquoise colors and warm greens too.
It feels like I am busiest with new work in the summer which is the worst time for it. My 6 year-old wants to be outside and even as I write this we are both in our PJs far later than we should be.

"Guide us" 60 x 48 mixed media on canvas

It has, however, been a joy to watch the different grays and browns relate to and change each other as I go through the process.
You can see all of the new work thus far on my website or follow along on Instagram or Facebook to see them as I post them.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Protecting floors

Even though I know it is not the best thing for a good rug or the floor underneath, I put this Persian directly on the floor just inside my front door. I had the idea that a rug pad would be too thick and either make the door hit it or a tripping hazard.

Years ago, when I was in my first few apartments I bought inexpensive latex pads and by the time I moved my floor looked like this. The material sort of melts a bit and is like hardened chewing gum. I knew I did not want to make that mistake again.

 Last year I bought this "as seen on TV" product to prevent slipping and the result is laughable.

I got a superior-lock low profile pad from and it fixed the slippage problem without being too thick it is made from felt and 100% natural rubber.

I was surprised to see the variety of rug pads available. Everything from super cushy to a thin natural rubber non-skid pad.
Did you know natural rubber is the safest material to use on all floors. While pvc pads“Stick” to floors, natural rubber will“grip” floors. Natural rubber has very low VOC’s and comes directly from
real rubber trees, thus out-gassing and floor staining is never an issue.
RugpadUSA is super affordable but you can get an extra 10% off if you sign up for their email list.
Go here to check it out.

This was a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thoughts on using a formal living room

Do you use your formal living for the sophisticated soirees that it was decorated for? Yeah, me neither.

 It somehow doesn't sit right with me have a room that is rather museum-like in one's house. Why bother? I will tell you that the layout of this particular house allows me to enjoy the room without being in it sometimes but still that seems a waste. I have met people that turned this room into a playroom for their kids and the resulting plastic wasteland is a huge turn-off right inside the front door, for me at least.

It may seem silly but the way I use my formal living room is to have relaxing phone chats. It's as far away from the noise of TV as can be and the pretty things I love are right there to look at while I talk.

In addition, moving my little desk into the living room makes for a very pretty place to write checks and handle other sundry office chores. When it was in a different location it did not always stay tidy but the higher order of the living room shames me into always leaving it looking nice.
It is perhaps still not living up to it's full potential and when I have elegant parties in it I'll be sure to post here. Until then, I am enjoying it anyway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mixed metals and new tables

I love to mix fun things in with unfun things. Who doesn't, right?
Well, I had the occasion to brave summertime 95 traffic, albeit on a Monday morning, to take my daughter to her college orientation and then make the roundtrip again on Tuesday.
A quick stop at the nearest coffee shop on Monday had me peering into the window of Random Harvest. I knew the Old Town Alexandria location but this section of Arlington, while unfamiliar, is now a favorite.They were not yet open at that hour but I knew my Tuesday trip might just be timed right for a visit. The visit proved worthy. It is a lovely mix of old and new and quite affordable for a place of that quality, I thought.

Most of my furniture is vintage.
It's funny how changes happen to a house and it's decor. Things got shuffled about for painting this room and adjacent ones and I discovered things I wanted in different places. I needed a table next to this chair, which is my perch for the rare occasions I watch TV. We tried a few we already have and I got a feel for the correct size. I was positive I would find something online or at Homegoods and my impatience almost won. Mr. Designdumonde had the winning words with , "I don't care what kind of great deal it is, I don't want any furniture that we don't love and intend to keep." Wise indeed.

Nesting tables- Random Harvest

This fantastic set of metal and stone tables was indeed a deal at $295 for the pair but one I will not tire of anytime soon and I feel comfortable that they could move to other rooms in my house..or next house as the case may be. 
As I photographed these I also noticed how much I loved the casual feel mixed metals can lend to a space. 

Table  from CB2

 The polished chrome of this table and the polished steel of my original vintage Brno chairs mixed with the brass accessories and the legs of my mid-century console really keep the room interesting to me.
 I also love the high-low mix and it happens to be the only room we allow toys in. 
Toys? What toys? It was a great laugh that I was able to photograph this with minimal tidying and still keep the pink Lego box out of the shot.
If you are local check out Random Harvest at one of their 4 locations and on Facebook

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An art-filled little girl's room

You may have seen this lovely watercolor by Ellen Levine Dodd on Instagram. It is the newest piece of art in our collection and was a birthday gift from Mr. Designdumonde to our daughter for her 6th birthday. Seems like a strange gift for a 6 year-old but we have worked to fill her room with art and she has requested some of it.

Quite a few pieces are my own but I do my best to add variety.

On the console to the left is one of my many pieces by Sally Kelly. These were the start of the collection in her room.
A flower painted by her older sister and one of her own also add to the vignette.

Above the console table is a newer abstract of mine. I originally had a painting by Jenny Andrews there but the scale was wrong and it looks far better just outside the door on our newly painted gray walls, hinting at the art to come.

Above my daughter's bed is a painting I did years ago but just could not part with.

Curtains - Serena and Lily
Beds - Antique
Side chair - vintage
Wall color- Benjamin Moore Key Pearl
Bedding - Martha Stewart and custom
Console -Target

These tiny watercolor paintings are just gorgeous. You can get your own at Anne Neilson fine art, Serena and Lily or by contacting Ellen.