Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The nasty colds of winter have finally slapped me across the face, forcing me to slow down, take a break and just grin and bare it through sneezing, coughing feverish days and nights.  It wasn't all bad, though, because it gave me a chance to catch up with my on-demand list, put all the final holiday decorations away and take note of what's worked and what hasn't this year in my decorating projects.  A few clients in 2012 were a tad annoyed when I left walls in their homes void of any artwork because, quite honestly, I hate to rush those final pieces.  I refuse to buy art at retail establishments and, in a strange way, purchasing art for someones home feels like I'm buying ornaments for their Christmas tree, organizing their purse or tucking their kids into bed...in other words, it feels a bit too personal for the intrusion of a designer.  A sofa is a sofa..no real sentimental attachment unless Grandma passed it on to you, but artwork feels like the jewelry on a lovely outfit...if you don't have diamonds to wear to the ball, don't wear anything at all, I say!  So, for the most part, I like to leave walls empty, allowing the homeowners to find flea market treasures, or wait for a family member to gift something (and many times clients will call years later to have me place artwork) but sometimes those creative efforts are seen as lazy excuses for not finishing, so I hesitantly dress walls with my own ideas of creative expression.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.  One incredibly inexpensive favorite is to take canvases from an art store (or use older canvases no longer appealing to the client) and wrap them in vintage fabrics, scarves, shirts with interesting prints, etc.  I've often taken over-sized canvases, wrapped them in sheets and used them as headboards (cutting sheets to two inches larger than canvas all around and using staple gun to attach on back of canvas, then hanging just above bed).  Another favorite of mine is to take random frames I've found at garage sales or antique stores (the fun part is to purchase frames for no more than $5/each) and paint them in the same color, hanging them on a wall for dramatic effect (imagine a little girls room with white walls and an entire wall of floor to ceiling frames in hot pink). While the ideal in my opinion is for a client to find meaningful pieces to display on the walls of their homes, it doesn't take much to create dramatic focal points!