Tag: art

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Displaying Art

A few weeks ago, I started exploring kitchens with character–first admiring wallpapered kitchens and then discussing kitchen islands that break the mold.  Then I got distracted by other pretty rooms and…well, life.  In short, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m excited to pick back up where I left off and praise kitchens that prominently feature art today.

In my observations, there are 3 parts of a home that are typically under-decorated: kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms.  Still, of these 3 spaces, kitchens are usually the least likely to feature art.  Perhaps the flinging of food poses too great  threat.  Whatever the reason, there’s sometimes nothing more thrilling than breaking with convention.  Here are 8 kitchens that do just that…

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

The bohemian thread that defines this home endures even in the kitchen.  Here, boldly patterned tile, a Kurdish rug, and a grandly framed painting impart character in spades.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

In this polished kitchen, cabinets are painted deep blue, walls are clad in marble, and a still life hangs above the sink–lit by a brass lamp.  Typically, we see a window above the sink, but art seems just as fitting.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

Miles Redd adorned the subway tiled walls of this kitchen with an oversize print depicting a white tiger.  The striking art is balanced by a burst of magenta, courtesy of the adjoining room.  Combined, the two bold statements set this kitchen apart.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

In this dramatic kitchen, two paintings preside over an accessorized shelf.  However, the backdrop on which they hang is actually chalkboard paint, allowing for impromptu works of art to accompany them.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

In Kris Jenner’s all-white kitchen, art imitates life and animates the far wall, where a cluster of white vessels echo those in the foreground.  The painted backdrop is solid green, providing a pop of color.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

Rustic and elegant, this space feels just as cozy as any living room with a roaring fire.  The brick accent wall is enhanced by an oil painting flanked by antique candle sconces, dripping with oversize crystals.  Pleated skirts and weathered wood contribute to the patina that envelopes and charms this kitchen.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

Although most of the examples of art in kitchens we’ve seen in this post feature one singular focal point, that’s not the only way to go.  Smaller pieces, displayed en masse can be just as appealing.  This the approach Michelle Adams took in her character filled kitchen.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 3: Art | Motley Decor

An art filled home deserves an art filled kitchen like this one.

Why create imaginary and unnecessary boundaries?  Why not extend your personal style to every inch of the house?  Go ahead: hang some art in your kitchen!


Trending: Architectural Photography

It keeps rearing it’s head in über stylish interiors: architectural photography. From cylindrical subway tunnels to elaborate Gothic churches, architectural photography is quickly becoming “a thing”. Here are 7 gorgeous examples to prove it.

Trending: Architectural Photography

Exhibit A: the Christian Liaigre London store with chic black furnishings and an oversize photograph of a gilded enfilade.  Photo by Paul Robida.

Trending: Architectural Photography

And check out this enviable living room of Ron Marvin’s (via Domino).  Above a sea of inviting textures and masculine neutrals, is a stunning photograph of a (considerably more formal) interior.

Trending: Architectural Photography

With a creamy palette and brass light fixtures, this living room (featured on Nuevo Estilo) feels feminine and serene.  However, the art choice–a stormy photograph of a building’s facade–adds a little drama and contrast.

Trending: Architectural Photography

This bedroom styled by Megan Morton (who also makes the bed pictured above) is an inky black cocoon of R&R, in which, an architectural photograph of hanging chandeliers sheds a little light.

Trending: Architectural Photography

The exquisite Alessandra Branca designed this dining room (photographed by Veranda) and quite possibly drew her jewel-toned palette from the photograph that hangs above the sofa.

Trending: Architectural PhotographyTrending: Architectural Photography

Both of these last two examples are courtesy of Raji RM + Associates and–as far as I can tell–Raji Rahhakrishnan doesn’t put anything in a room that isn’t to-die-for chic.  In the first example, an architectural photograph towers above a mantel, kept company by a quirky little red side table.  In the second, a floor-to-ceiling piece dominates the corner of a living room surrounded by wooded views.  However, in both examples–or rather all of these examples–architectural photography acts as a design counterpoint that elevates each room.  No wonder we keep seeing them.

4 Lessons I Learned by Visiting LACMA

If you live in the LA area and haven’t visited LACMA, you’re missing out on one of our city’s gems.  With an impressive permanent collection and fantastic traveling exhibitions on display, a trip to this art museum never disappoints.  It’s one of my go-to places to take out of town guests.  Such was the case on the Friday following Thanksgiving, when my husband, in-laws, and I piled into the car and headed to LACMA.

As I browsed around, taking in everything from paintings by Picasso to ancient Indian carvings with mind-blowing attention to detail, I couldn’t help but relate the LACMA experience to home decorating.  It struck me that some of the tactics LACMA’s curators employ can be put to work in the home.  Here’s what I learned…

1. Use Color to Establish a Mood

4 Lessons I Learned from LACMA | Color

Each room is saturated in a single shade befitting the subject matter.  The the ancient Indian art I mentioned earlier was housed in a sea of deep, espresso brown, imparting a sense of history.  By contrast, more contemporary and provocative works of art hung against a background of sterile white.  Furthermore, as I moved around the various exhibits at LACMA, the different colored walls served as a clue as to what world I would enter next: the sobering world of Weimar Republic or the mysterious realm of “The Magic Medium”.  Regardless of the discipline, color made the first impression and began the process of establishing an atmosphere appropriate for that particular room.  This is also true in the home where bedrooms tend to come in soothing shades, while dining rooms are often painted in energizing hues.

2. Diverse Works of Art Can Live in Close Proximity

4 Lessons I Learned at LACMA | Diversity

Although each room in LACMA is thematic, that theme is not always instantly apparent.  Paintings, sculptures, and installations coexist in a space and, when the common thread that unites them isn’t obvious, I find myself more intrigued.  The same can be said for the art in your home.  If the pieces seem disparate, that’s ok.  The unifying element is your individual  taste–a function of your beautiful, multi-faceted personality.

3. Frames (or Lack thereof) Matter

4 Lessons I Learned at LACMA | Frames Matter

A painting’s frame is an important extension of the art, the artist, or even the art owner.  In some cases, the frame is a better indicator of time period than the art itself.  A frame’s color might pick up and emphasize and important shade within the piece.  By the same token, a simple–or even an absent–frame might focus the attention on the art’s message.  If you’ve ever had anything custom-framed, you know that the possibilities are endless and sometimes overwhelming.  If such an endeavor is in your future, take a page out of LACMA’s book and let the art–and how you feel about it–guide you.

4. Plexiglass is Your Friend

4 Lessons I Learned from LACMA | Plexiglass

A friend with an energetic 10-year-old and Chihuly glass art in storage recently asked me if she should retrieve her delicate treasures and display them in plexiglass cases or just wait until her son was older and skip the plexiglass.  I was emphatically in favor of the former and my recent trip to LACMA only reinforced my position on the matter.  While seemingly overtly utilitarian, a protective encasement can denote a sense of preciousness (not unlike the frame of a painting).  If museums like LACMA use them to to surround priceless artifacts, why can’t home decorators use them to display and protect everything from Chihuly glass art to their children’s pottery?


Note: All photos in this post are from LACMA’s instagram feed, which I follow highly recommend.

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