Trans-formative Value of Art
Below is a guest post about what I will call ‘the power of art’.
S Interior Design uses a generous definition for the word art. We believe that art should make you smile when you look at it. So, that said a nicely framed picture of a vineyard you visited could indeed be great art, as could a child’s drawing. The key is in the presentation—don’t expect a poster thumb tacked to the wall to be pleasing to the eye. Invest in the proper mat board and framing and you will be amazed at what can happen to your child’s painting from 5th grade.
Although I’ve always been a big fan of interior design it has only been recently that I’ve truly begun to have a full appreciation for the trans-formative values of art. I must confess, I always thought ill of those overly proud of their new painting, sculpture, or art. I was an avid fan of contemporary styles, with a minimalist approach. I was of the opinion that the sleek look, along with sparse furnishing and sharp lines, gave a real clean, organized, powerful aura.
Recently however, I’ve come to appreciate an appropriately placed piece of art. It can add true depth to a room, granting reflection and meaning where previously there was blank space. Whether you feel the way I once did, or share my current views, here is why I now consider art to be a trans-formative agent in a room.
The greatest way in which a piece of wall art transforms living space is adding a depth of reflection. Artwork inspires reflection for various reasons. Mainly for these three:
This is one of the most powerful ways art makes one reflect. Art, whether through beauty, abstractness, or sheer uniqueness, makes one wonder. To consider that a human made this piece of wonder causes a further wonder that someone was not only able to, but had deeper motives. Humans, being naturally curious, can’t help but reflect and consider what might have been the motivation and thoughts behind the creation.
The wondrous qualities of the artwork itself.
This is often the initial way that artwork causes us to reflect and wonder. It draws the eye, pulls us in, and suddenly, before we know it, we’re standing and reflecting and staring. Thinking about the amazing, unbelievable qualities of beauty, strength, power, subtlety, or whatever aspect the painting best personifies.
The depths of your own imagination.
A surprisingly large portion of artwork plays off the imagination of the viewer. Almost all abstract art relies on the viewer to draw their own, deep conclusions based upon what can actually be surprisingly simple. This leads the perceiver to wonder and reflect at the depths of their own imagination, and reflect upon not only what lies in the depths of imagination but also what in the artwork causes such a visceral reaction of thought.
To help capture the attention needed for reflection, and further add to the trans-formative value of artwork, one should attempt to subtly orient furniture toward artwork. Many people will throw a painting on a wall and be happy. Or, if someone is over proud of their new painting, they’ll frame it, hang it up, throw a light feature on it, and attempt to force everyone to stare at it. This can, in ways, be worse than hanging art without accentuating it.
Artwork should be subtly brought to attention. To do this, try placing it somewhere where people usually face. For example, place it somewhere it can immediately be seen upon entering the home. Or, if in a bedroom, have it facing the bed. Somewhere where the eye will naturally happen across the artwork.
I still firmly believe in a minimalist approach to interior design. However, I believe with the right piece of art a room gains much-needed depth. Try including a medium-sized piece of art alone in a clean, uncluttered room. Enjoy the reflection, beauty, and depth added. Everyone must follow their own heart’s guidelines when making their own living space, but I hope you have appreciated my own thoughts on the trans-formative properties of art.
Author Bio: Edward Stuart is an interior design aficionado, and follows all things design and fashion. He is an online publisher for the framed art expert www.framedart.com and blogs on the topics of interior design, home decor, and fashion tips.
Woke to get the newspaper (yes, I still read an actual newspaper) and was greeted by a phenom known as night-blooming cactus. I wanted to share and suggest use of the wonder of nature as artwork in your homes and offices. I show you 2 pictures:
1- straight shot from my iPhone
2- altered slightly in Adobe Photoshop
Imagine printing this out and surrounding by a colorful mat board and thick frame–You get unique artwork with a very small dollar investment!
Ask an interior designer about how to best use mirrors in your room designs and you are sure to get a lot of different responses. S Interior Design always tries to use mirrors when they can reflect a beautiful accessory or piece of artwork. Below is a guest blog post on the subject of mirrors and how you can use them to your best advantage in your home. I am certain you will get some great ideas and perhaps be inspired to re-hang your existing mirrors in different places or purchase a new mirror.
If you are looking to give your room a quick facelift without spending a zillion dollars on the same, then I have solution for you. Placing decorative mirrors will add a new dimension and result in more light for your room. When placed appropriately, the mirror can give the room a whole new look.
Adding mirrors to rooms that are small or look congested will make it look roomier and brighter. The trick is to place the mirrors on the wall opposite the window so that the natural light from the outside is reflected inside. The reflection of the room in the mirror causes an illusion of a larger and spacious room. Also, if your rooms have no windows placing a turned on lamp in front of the mirror will diffuse the light across the room and make it look brighter.
Full-length mirrors with frames when placed against the wall in a room can work as an art piece and be the focal point of the room. A mirror placed in front of your favorite painting will emphasize it more and make the colors in the painting more vivid.
Finally, a mirror in a narrow passageway makes it look broader. I have added a white antique mirror at the eye level in my passageway – it not only makes the passageway look broader, but also lets me get a quick look at myself before I leave for work.
The best part is that there are so many shapes and sizes to choose from. You can have one or more mirrors on the same wall, but make sure the size of the mirrors are proportional both to each other and to the wall.
So what are you waiting for? Let your creative juices flow and add some mirrors to your room and give it a new look without breaking the bank!
Renuka is an editor and writer for a shopping blog called Pocket Change which is a part of Become.com’s shopping network and has categories where they write about everything from interior design to men’s and women’s fashion.
There must be a voice somewhere whispering “refresh and update your bathrooms” as this is the second guest post in a week I am sharing on this topic. don’t worry, it is not a repeat of the prior post, so take a read and perhaps get inspired to do some bathroom updating yourself this weekend!
Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to Suffolk Rentals, NY Rentals, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.
If you’re looking for an easy home makeover project to do this weekend, look no farther than your bathroom. With these easy tips, your bathroom will be looking fresh and chic in no time.
Bring in some bold or neutral splashes of color (depending on the wall colors) in a simple way by buying a new shower curtain and new towels. Your towels do not have to always be out of sight and can be folded over a bar, washcloths can be folded on the vanity, or you can have an extra towel or two on the back of the toilet. Don’t forget your bathmats and window curtains if you have them. Toothbrush holders, soap dispensers or dishes, and bathroom cups will also add a nice accent of color if you match them with the towels and bathmats.
S Interior Design would say that your accessories don’t need to strictly match, but rather coordinate well with one another.
Make your vanity look modern with some new hardware. By changing the handles and knobs, you can modify the look of your cupboards and drawers in minutes. Add a new, modern mirror and update the sink faucet. Change your old lighting fixture to a stylish modification. If you do not want to change the sink or faucet, bringing in a large mirror that covers most of the wall over the sink, and adding bright new light bulbs is a quick and easy update. How many times have you gone into a bathroom and found the lighting is just awful for sprucing up and getting ready for the day. Lighting makes a huge different when it comes to a bathroom. ]
We could not agree more with the lighting commentary!!
If you want to change up the entire color of your bathroom, bringing a new color to your walls is a simple afternoon project that can result in a major room transformation for little money. Your bathroom is a small room in comparison to the rest of your house so deciding to paint it is not as much of a time and money commitment as it may be in another room. Since the room is small, experiment with a bold color. If you don’t like it, it’s easy enough to change it to something else. If you decide to change the color of your bathroom, choose a neutral color for all of the accessories mentioned above. If you decide on a neutral warm tone, spice it up and definitely add those bold accents. Remember though, that since it is a small room, staying away from dark colors is a good idea to keep your bathroom feeling open and fresh.
S Interior Design varies from this opinion on staying away from dark colors…..we say go bold, go dark if that is what your design scheme needs. Small will not feel any smaller.
With these simple steps, you’ll be surprised at the dramatic changes your bathroom can go through in a weekend. Share any other smart and chic ways to update a bathroom here!
Below you will find a guest post from Valerie Gravel representing Smart Tiles on the subject of bathroom renovation. Smart tiles are a fabulous option for a home owner who is a DIYer!
After the kitchen, the bathroom is the room you use the most every day. It’s where you get ready in the morning before you dash off to work and where you take a few minutes to relax in the evening while soaking in a hot bath or a shower. If you’re thinking of giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover, here are a few trendy tips you might want to take into consideration.
Merging one room into one:
People need more and more room to escape the fast paced society in which we live, that’s why the size of bathrooms has increased over the last few years. Merging two rooms into one like a bathroom and bedroom is a trend that has been exported from the hotel to the home and it is catching on quickly in the home renovation world.
Technology is all around us and we rely on it almost 24 hours a day. You can have a television in your refrigerator door now, so why not do the same for your bathroom. Imagine watching your favourite movie or television program in your bathroom while you soak your worries away in a bath. What could be more perfect than that?
Heated floor tiles:
Tiled bathroom floors are cold all year round. Heating them with a radiant floor heater is a good idea because not only will the heat prevent you from getting cold feet; it might actually help you save money in the long run. It’s true that installing a heated floor may raise the cost of your renovations, but once tiles have been heated, they retain their heat for a long time and they continue to warm the room even after the heater has been shut off. Therefore, a heated floor might help you save a couple of dollars from your heating bill.
Even if the trend dictates that bathrooms are becoming larger, not everybody has the space to double the size of their bathrooms. People who live in smaller houses or in apartments might want to put multiple mirrors in their bathroom to create an illusion of grandeur that will make the room look bigger than it actually is. Also, mirrors come in some many different shapes, sizes, and frames nowadays that they can look great in any type of bathroom decor.
Renovating while still being kind to our environment is a trend that has been catching on not only in bathrooms, but in every room of the home as well. Imagine recreating a spa like atmosphere in your own bathroom. With the help of wood furniture and even by encasing your bath tub in a wooden frame, you could relax in spa without ever having to leave your home. It’s also quite eco-friendly to install low flow toilets and energy-efficient lighting while renovating your bathroom.
Painting with neutral colors:
Bathroom colors have always been neutral, and that trend never really went away. While I am not condemning the use of color in the bathroom, neutral colors should be your palette of choice if you plan to add a new coat of paint to your bathroom. It’s better to favour relaxing colors like beige, olives and pale tones. If you’d like to add contrast to your pale room, use dark furniture or colored accessories.
Choosing the right lighting:
A bathroom shouldn’t be too bright. Since the room is used for different reasons throughout the day, different types of lighting should be installed to keep things lit up or tone them down when you need to. Consider installing a dimmer switch to set the proper mood when you want to relax in the bath or the shower and install bright lights where a woman would normally put on makeup.
Changing without spending a lot
If you’re not considering to have your whole bathroom made over, you could just change a few existing elements to refresh your existing decor. Custom sinks and counter tops are all the rage and self adhesive tiles used as a frame for your mirror or as a backsplash will add diversity to your bathroom without the need of contractors invading your home for weeks to come.
Slipcovers, love em or hate em? People generally have a positive or negative opinion about slipcovered furniture.
Personally, I like the look of a custom made tailored slipcover. I also like the functionality that comes with a slipcover made of a washable, easily cleaned fabric. Slipcovers allow you to quickly and easily change the look and feel of your furniture without investing in brand new pieces. You can have a lighter, brighter look for summer, and switch to a heavier weight more textured fabric for Fall and Winter.
A quality workroom can fabricate custom slipcovers for your existing furniture. Keep in mind, it probably will not be inexpensive. Variables that will impact the cost are the fabric you choose and the size and detail of the furniture you are making the slipcover for.
An on-line resource for slipcovered furnishings is the Nantuckit Furniture Company
The Pottery Barn is perhaps one of the best known sources for slipcovered seating options.
Here are some pros and cons to consider (Source: http: http://www.yourdecoratinghotline.com)
Potential for wrinkles. I hate the mussed, wrinkly, unpressed look of something that laid in the dryer for days (even if it didn’t, it always seem to look that way!). And who wants to have to iron their sofa?!
Unless your slipcover is custom-made, it rarely fits the furniture well necessitating lots of tucking and pinning and clips to hold the look together.
Today slipcover options include ready-made styles that are more fitted, new furniture that comes with a set of slipcovers, and custom-made slipcovers. In addition to the usual sofas and loveseats, slipcovers are also now available for chairs (including wing backs and recliners), ottomans, dining chairs and even bed headboards and footboards.
Slipcovers encourage reuse and recycle. You can simply cover up tired, faded, torn or stained upholstery – giving a fresh new look to your room without having to throw out your current furniture. This is environmentally conscientious.
So consider the pros and cons and decide if slipcovered seating is right for your home.
Last we spoke of scale and proportion. Today’s post will talk about BALANCE.
Just like you are attracted to a color but don’t really know why, you will be attracted to either a SYMMETRICAL design style, or an ASYMMETRICAL design style.
Symmetrical balance creates a mirror image by the placement of items that are identical on both sides of a central point. Think 2 twin beds with a nightstand in between. The beds have the same bed style and the same bedding, the night stands and lamps are identical. How does this picture make you feel?
Symmetrical balance suggests formality, orderliness and restraint.
Asymmetrical balance requires finding objects that are compatible but varied enough to be interesting. Objects and furniture balance well because they are judged by their visual weight, not pairings. For example, you may have a large sofa on one side of a room that is balanced by two large chairs with an accent table in the middle.
Okay, how do you react to the picture used to illustrate asymmetrical balance?
Look around your rooms and you will quickly see what type of ‘balance’ of design elements you are most comfortable with.
Tomorrow wear a non-matching set of jewelry if you usually always ‘match’ . Start playing around and see where it all leads!
Understanding and following design elements and principles will net you the best design outcome.
Part 1 will speak to the SCALE AND PROPORTION
See an example of a room designed with proper scale and proportion
Scale: The size of a space or an object, such as the overall dimensions, largeness or smallness of a room, an object or a pattern.
Example: Fabric with a small scale design versus a large scale design
The key is to combine both small and large scale patterns. For example, use the small scale design fabric for a chair’s upholstery, and the large scale design fabric for accent pillows on a solid toned sofa in the same room.
Proportion: The size relationship or relationship of the parts to a whole. For example, the size and placement of the arm, or the height of the back of a chair compared to the total chair.
Both of the chairs shown are icons in the design industry. The first, the Mackintosh side chair was designed in 1900 (fooled ya, bet you thought a current day modern furniture designer designed this). It is a good visual example of how out of proportion elements like the ultra tall, thin back of this chair don’t ‘fit’ with the seat and height of the chair.
The second chair is the famous Morris chair. by design it is basic looking and designed for human comfort. The Morris chair is very well proportioned.
Where do the ‘trends’ for interior design come from? In a word-FASHION
This year’s direction has an overall theme of modern elegance and casual luxury. Shine, plush textures neutral color palettes with pops of bright color are in the fore front.
Gray is the basic neutral of the year. Try gray velvet for a sofa or chair. Take it to the next level by diamond tufting the back. This bed by Bernhardt is a perfect visual example of the style that is becoming ‘in trend’.Take it up a notch by adding some extra bling in the form of diamond/pave buttons in each of the tufts.
Yellow, navy, teal and cobalt are the pops of color to use on top of your neutrals. Pillows and throws of these ‘happy’ colors on the top of your neutral linen sofa will bring life to any room.