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on the hunt for good art

collectors crush: rosenfield collection

November 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

The Rosenfield Collection is a site for public consumption containing 1,864 ceramics from the collection of David and Louise Rosenfield. This is a really exciting idea for big collectors – giving the public access to your art during your lifetime via the internet.





Artists: Brooke Noble, Kevin Snipes, Rob Sutherland, Sunyoung Chung, Pieter Stockmans.

The First Rule To Decorating With Art: There Are No Rules

April 22nd, 2011 · 5 Comments

I recently received an email from a young collector who wanted to get some advice on how to think about home design and art. This is one of those question that comes up time and again so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my thoughts on the topic.

Devon wrote, “I’m moving into my first ‘grown up’ apartment and as I accumulate furniture and everyday detritus I also want to start collecting art… I’ve noticed that a lot of pictures of interiors feature art that matches the decor… that seems kind of trite to me, but I’m new to this. I also noticed on your blog that you talk a lot about how certain art ‘goes together’ because of color, use of space, form, etc…so I guess my question is, are there rules to follow when accumulating/placing art? Does it have to or should it ‘match’ decor? Should I look for commonalities?

A very ‘matchy’ but still very modern bedroom

The answer to this question starts with the vision you hold of your ideal home. Knowing what you’d like to accomplish with your home is perhaps the biggest challenge, but once tackled really informs every subsequent decision you make. Below I answer the three big questions Devon is tackling:

No. 1.

To match or not to match? Well, do you want to live in a space that looks like it’s right out of a glossy magazine or do you prefer a more lived-in or bohemian feel? In other words, how much do you want your things to match?

To draw a comparison, the bedroom above is a very modern, minimalist-leaning bedroom with a lot of matching. By contrast the bedroom below has a very eclectic look, mixing what looks like flea market finds with a few modern drawings and some very bold prints. They both work really well and show there’s no “right” answer when it comes to matching; it’s really a matter of personal preference.

A lived-in, eclectic bedroom via The Selby

If you’re going for a very specific or “done” look then that will likely influence what kind of art you collect. You will want to ask yourself if the bright-red painting you fell in love with will really work in your very Scandinavian white and wood living room. However, if you’re taking a more laid-back approach of mixing and matching then by all means buy art as it strikes you. With this kind of organic decorating part of the fun is experimenting and seeing what works with what.

A mix of small drawings framed as a group via design*sponge.

No. 2:

What role should art play in a space? This may sound opaque but really what it means is this: do you want your art to blend in with your space and give it a little warmth? Or do you want your art to be really bold and grab your attention? Bold can mean big and graphic (like in the black and white bedroom), it can mean lots of contrast (color or stylistic) and it can also mean bold as a collective (like in the second bedroom).

Smaller, more subtle art accents the room via Apartment Therapy.


Bright, graphic art sets off modern furniture via Apartment Therapy.

No. 3.

Should an art collection all “go together?” Your art does not need to have a common thread, and you shouldn’t be weighted down by the worry of how each new piece will “go” with the others. Quite simply art is special because it’s unique so it’s important to keep that in mind. On the other hand themes or commonalities across art create structure and really help a space look more polished and put-together. Themes can be much more subtle than an artist or a medium; a theme could be a mood, geography, era, influence, etc. It can be anything you conceive of and can be as wild or conceptual as you want.

A series of stark landscapes creates a clean look. Elle Decor via Stephmodo.


A grouping of simple, graphic art that plays off of the graphic textiles via design*sponge.


Just one example of being creative with mixing and matching art. via whitetapestry.

Note: What to avoid: art that really, truly doesn’t go in your space will scream out at you. If it’s way too big or too small, too contrasting or too stylized you will probably sense as much. If you question your judgement, invite some honest friends over to give you an opinion.

Olaf Hajek’s Berlin Pad

December 3rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

I suppose it’s not terribly surprising that superstar illustrator, Olaf Hajek lives in an understated but impeccably-stylish apartment in the heart of Berlin. (His apartment was featured in Freunde von Freuden back in October). Still, when I see how incredibly cool and multi-talented folks like Hajek are I have to remind myself to be inspired instead of just plain jealous!

Hajek’s apartment is stunning but I was struck by how stark it is in comparison to his rich and moody artwork (such as Fruits, below). But Olaf states, “My style is part naivety composed with sophistication” – a philosophy that is clearly inline with his work in illustration.





Apartment Crush: Laura From Stella Mag

October 28th, 2010 · No Comments

Have you heard about Stella Magazine yet?

Well, that sold me right there.

I read about Stella and Stella founder, Laura, on Bloesem and these photos of Laura’s cool, punchy Copenhagen apartment took my breath away. Don’t the Danes and Swedes have the best style? I love Laura’s white floors, eclectic art and unabashed pops of girly pink (which look totally sophisticated against her modern furniture and graphic art and wallpaper). My copy of Stella is pre-ordered and already I’m already dying to see more of Laura and co.





A Berlin Illustrator’s Effortlessly Stylish Home

October 8th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Sarah Illenberger‘s Berlin apartment was recently featured on design blog Freunde von Freunden. Illenberger is a “3-D” illustrator and designer (not exactly sure how that translates from German?!). She was an only child raised in Munich among a super- creative group of family friends. Sarah left Germany to study graphic design at St. Martins in London.

Illenberger’s home has the typical European architectural details (super tall ceilings, huge windows that open onto terraces) that make us Americans swoon. Sigh. But it’s Sarah’s laid-back yet sophisticated style that is a real standout. You can tell she doesn’t take decorating too seriously and is not afraid to mix furniture and accessories as she sees fit. As a result her home has tons of unique personality and is the kind of place you’d visit and never want to leave.




Victoria Smith’s West Coast Bohemian Home

September 28th, 2010 · No Comments

You may know Miss Victoria Smith as the charismatic lady behind West Coast design blog, sfgirlbybay. Well, Victoria has honed her bohemian modern style down to a T and nothing represents it better than her beautiful, artful home.

Just look at all this great art! And Victoria has done an amazing job of framing and displaying it all (which is half the battle!). She seems to have it divided into two categories or mini-collections: portraits and lighter, graphic artwork. Here’s hoping we can all learn a thing or two from sfgirlbybay..


All photos via Smith’s flickr account.