Providence Design: It’s Spring and Time to Get Outside!

Spring is our very favorite season…We are so ready to get out and dig in the dirt and enjoy the sunshine after being cooped up all winter!  We love helping our clients plan outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and useful.
Herbs are so fun to plant, and they give instant gratification in this kitchen cutting garden…
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It’s time to clean out those fountains and plant annuals you’ll enjoy all season long.  We like to plant in the ground where the sprinkler can take care of them and also in pots, which lets us layer and achieve different heights.  You can also move the pots around to different locations when entertaining.
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One of our very favorite spaces to decorate is a cozy porch…Great for relaxing with family or entertaining with friends…
We love, love screened in porches.  We did this one several years go and it’s still our clients’ favorite spot in their home…
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Love a fireplace on the porch too…makes everything cozy and beautiful year round…
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We like to mix materials and furnishings on outdoor porches just like we do inside the home.  But remember: less can be better or the space can become cluttered looking.  This little courtyard is perfectly manicured and well appointed.  A great spot to enjoy morning coffee…
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Always edit…But no reason to skimp on great details like this awesome old concrete statue or the antique iron balcony console with the concrete top…
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We furnished the porch off an upstairs master bedroom in Fayetteville in a fresh palette of blue and white.  A perfect spot to sit and watch the neighbors stroll by.
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Slip covers can be wonderful used outside…We use them all the time.  So easy to throw them in the washer to keep clean.
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Outdoor entertaining is what Spring is all about…Every detail for this party was planned to perfection.  Notice how well the bright colors coordinate and pop off the neutral background.  And again we have mixed lots of different textures for interest.
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Set aside a weekend to do some outdoor cleaning and planting…Make a list of a few fresh additions like pillows, lanterns, or garden statuary…When you have pulled it all together… throw something on the grill and invite a few friends over…That’s just a good time waiting to happen.
It’s your turn.  Let’s talk!
Providence Design is Mona Thompson and Talena Ray, a sister duo who are antiques dealers and interior designers. Learn more about them on their website, providenceltddesign.com.

Outside the Box with D. Keeley: April Update

Hello, and happy April! Well, it has already been a busy spring here at the Outside the Box House! As you would expect, flowers and plants are popping up everywhere in the garden, and it is a lovely sight!

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The tulips are in full swing. I planted a mixture of three white varieties: one early-, one mid-, and one late-blooming, so the show lasts three times as long as a single variety. The first wave has been great, and I can’t wait to see the next two!

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In fact, everything has seemed to be blooming at once and came together perfectly for one of this month’s highlights: a garden tour and lunch by the ladies of the Evergreen Garden Club of Little Rock.

Even as the tulips exploded, the daffodils were still in full force, and the dogwoods had just begun to open.

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The dogwoods were so lovely that we took some of the branches inside to create a dramatic display on the dining room table.

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Elsewhere throughout the house, we made several gorgeous arrangements from various spring flowers gathered and given to me by a friend. Their natural beauty was the perfect way to bring the feeling of spring indoors!

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The bath got an arrangement of its own, made from delicate soaps, perfectly molded into realistic leaves.

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Back outside, in the courtyard, the ladies and I lunched on delicious boxed meals from Bouchée, a wonderful bistro located on the Downtown Fayetteville Square.

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More spring branches and hurricanes converted into terrariums by adding Maiden Hair Ferns adorned the tables.

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The weather was perfect, although a tad bit breezy, and the ‘Snowdrift’ Crabapple trees in the fountain garden lived up to their name, showering the whole courtyard with tiny, white petals!

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It was a beautiful, fun day, and it was a pleasure spending it with such a wonderful group of fellow garden lovers. I hope you are enjoying this spring, as well, and have the opportunity to get out and Live Outside the Box! See you next month!

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Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit dkdesignoutdoor.com.  

Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: Feminine Flair

Springtime always seems to inspire me to bring out the more feminine, girly side of my decorating persona. And when I saw the latest issue of At Home, it fit that mood perfectly. The home featured on the cover is the perfect picture of subtle femininity — sophisticated and ladylike without overdoing it. It doesn’t hurt that one of my best friends lives there. ;) The pretty pastels used in the space have me thinking of pinks, purples and light blues for Spring.

Home of Eliza and Alec Gaines, Designed by Susan Walsh
Photo by Nancy Nolan
At Home in Arkansas

 

Design and photo from Florence de Dampierre
House Beautiful

 

Design by Schuyler Samperton
Photo from Samperton.com

 

Design by Kemble Interiors
Photo by Claiborne Swanson Frank
Vogue

 

Design by Jamie Meares
Photo from Furbish Studio

 

Design by Nick Olsen
Photo by Brittany Ambridge
Domino Magazine

 

Design by John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon
Photo by Patrick Cline
Lonny Magazine

 

Design by Kit Kemp
Photo by Simon Brown
Featured in Kit Kemp: A Living Space

Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Shelve Your Life

 

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We all want our houses, yards, and work spaces to evoke our personalities and to highlight our interests and energies, right? But I think we may spend so much time paying attention to the big items, that we sometimes forget the key to energizing—and personalizing—those areas may literally be in the small stuff.

A great way to infuse your home with real warmth might just be stacked right in front of you: your bookshelves. Instead of lining up best sellers and that old set of World Books in dust-catching formal rows, occasionally punctuated with a formal photograph, why not jazz it up? Add some light, color, small art objects, and yes, the occasional book, to create a sensational view of who you are at a glance.

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It’s actually quite simple; make each shelf a little world of its own, by incorporating what you already have. You’ll want unifying elements for every shelf, such as candid group photos, unusual books, or at least books with interesting covers, found objects, little art pieces, and one or two colors you really love, which can be found in ceramic pieces or vases. By using the same sort of item in each shelf, you make it all look that much more important, even though the pieces you use are pretty small, and maybe not especially noteworthy by themselves.

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But when used together, and in just a few shelves, they rev up your room and brim with warmth and personality.

Utilize photographs with settings and activities that are informal, ironic, or just plain fun, instead of showing formally posed subjects. Translation: if it’s a photo from Olan Mills or Sears Portrait Studio, you probably don’t want to use it.

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Look around your house for small, insignificant pieces of art, crafted items, things you’ve picked up on vacation. And don’t forget unusual found objects. Each one can be a focal point for a shelf. I bet as you pick them up and place them on shelves the fond memories of the trip or purchase will come back to you, and these little artistic finds will become that much more special, that much more personal and vibrant.

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Look at your books as sources of interest, and not just to read. This time, think about how that book can be used as something artful or interesting on a shelf. Old books, parts of antiquated sets, hand-me-down volumes, unusual titles, covers, or typeset are what you should look for. And you’re not going to line them up platoon-style, either. Lean, tip, stack, prop. Position your volume any way except the way it was lined up on the shelf before. And don’t forget a book can make a great riser for a little art piece or candle.

Find a single color or pair of contrasting colors to use in what you already have, such as vases, ceramic pieces, pottery, and maybe something you’ve put away and forgotten about. And don’t forget geological possibilities, either. That little fossil, crystal, geode, or even a lowly—but unusual–rock you picked up can make a powerful statement on a shelf, when placed along with a photo, book, candle, or other small object.

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Don’t forget your decorating trinity; three objects make for the best design. And carry out your theme on each shelf. When you finish, step back and gauge your work. Does each shelf ‘pop’? When looked at as one piece, do your shelves all of a sudden make a statement? The same shelves that just a short while ago did little more than act as ordinary storage? If you can answer ‘yes,’ then I’ve done my duty. You now have another unexpected source of personality, color, and design, a place for your friends to admire and enjoy when they visit.

**ENTER TO WIN a chance to have Chris H. Olsen give your home a Curb Appeal Makeover this spring! For details, CLICK HERE.**

Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.

Talking Textiles with Kelli Wilson: Textiles à la Tara

Last month I took you inside the luxurious plantation home of my present client. We discussed the drawing room and how we “grew” the view by installing draperies in a way to frame the windows.

In the main entrance, or grand hall—which leads to the living quarters—we accented the  height of the ceilings by installing coffered copper ceiling tiles with a custom crown molding, also from copper. We added faux-finished library panels in a copper paint and installed a sensuous silk Damask by Lee Jofa within the framework. Then, using the same damask fabric, we balanced the entrance on the opposite end of the grand hall by using it on a custom drapery treatment installed directly below the copper crown molding.  I wanted to add some depth to the draperies so I lined them with a complimentary silk stripe and added two bands of coordinating trim down the lead edge of the triple widths of fabric. I also added the banding across the bottom of the valance treatment above the doorway.

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We added another layer of textiles by using a striped silk by Ralph Lauren on the walls above the chair railing down the main hall. Below the chair rail, we applied an over-scaled Damask wallpaper by Osborne and Little.

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With such a lush variety of textures, textiles, and patterns coming together in one area you truly do create that feel of plantation living…à la Tara! More textile talk coming next month!

Kelli Wilson is the creative mind behind Kelli Wilson Consulting, based in Little Rock. 

Ready, Set, Round Top! with Providence Design

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It’s Round Top time! We are packing our bags and readying the trucks for our 12th year shopping the fields.

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This time we are super excited; not only are we searching for fabulous pieces for our store, but we are also buying for the Southern Living House, which opens April 23rd in Waterview Estates.

It’s really coming along nicely!

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Time to shop. On we go, past the fields of Blue Bells…

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… parking next to the cows, that’s where we begin.

Round Top truly has something for everyone.

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You never know what you might find or who you may see there.

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Swing by the store when we return to see what we find, and don’t forget to tour the Southern Living Idea House. It opens April 23rd and runs through May 16th.

Are you as excited as we are?

Providence Design is Mona Thompson and Talena Ray, a sister duo who are antiques dealers and interior designers. Learn more about them on their website, providenceltddesign.com.

Lindsey Binz Goes Green

Pinch Me, It’s March! Spring is ALMOST here. YAY

Other than Madness, this month, I think of the color green!

As in grass, trees, shamrocks and… Rooms!

Yes, I am so over brown and ready for some new growth and bright colors.

It seems like just yesterday that Emerald was the color of the year.
Maybe because it is still very much on the scene, and for good reason.
“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Mixing small amounts of various shades of green can liven up even the most neutral spaces.

Kay Douglass Design

Kay Douglass Design

 

Something a little more bold, like a green sofa, is perfect for an eclectic home.

Devon Dyer

Devon Dyer

 

Green window panels would be the perfect amount of green to give a room a glamorous feel.

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Veranda

 

Bringing the outdoors in is another way to incorporate green.
In this space I designed a few years back, I covered the floor in astro turf. It was perfect for the durability and comfort of a kids play room. It’s very easy and inexpensive too!

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The kitchen is always a great place to add some green.

Here we used glass tiles behind the range to accent my clients decor and hand painted island.

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Some of my favorite green items that I would love to see in my home, or a clients!

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1 Ro Sham Beaux, 2 Vintage Le Corbusier , 3 Bassett Furniture Fabric, 4 Surya Rug
Happy (almost) Spring!!!

Lindsey Binz is the founder and principal of Lindsey Binz Home Company,
a firm specializing in helping people find and make their dream home(s).
If they need to sell another one first , LBH can get that done too!
Visit her website at lindseybinzhome.com

Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: Mirrored Walls

I recently moved into my first home as buyer, not a renter. This has obviously brought on a flurry of decorating ideas that were never allowed in my previous abodes and has resulted in a few bold choices. One of the existing quirks of my new digs (and trust me, there are plenty) is a mirrored wall in the dining room. My first reaction was repulsion but now I am kind of crazy about it. And of course more and more mirrored walls are popping up in my inspiration files these days. It makes the room larger, more glamorous and fills it with so much light. But layering is key: paintings, furniture, smaller mirrors all look fabulous in front of a mirrored wall and have the ability to tone down the 80s-ness of it all. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

Design by Hugo Guinness and Elliott Puckette Photo by Vogue Living

Design by Hugo Guinness and Elliott Puckette | Photo by Vogue Living

Design by Peter Dunham Photo by Max Kim-Bee Veranda

Design by Peter Dunham | Photo by Max Kim-Bee | Veranda

 

Design by Design Services of Florida Photo by Rett Peek At Home in Arkansas

Design by Design Services of Florida | Photo by Rett Peek | At Home in Arkansas

 

Design by Chloe Sevigny Photo by Francois Alard House and Garden

Design by Chloe Sevigny | Photo by Francois Alard | House and Garden

Design by Adrienne Vittadini Photo by Melanie Acevedo Veranda

Design by Adrienne Vittadini | Photo by Melanie Acevedo | Veranda

 

Photo by Michael Eastman

Photo by Michael Eastman

 

Design by Lisa Fine Photo by Simon Upton Elle Decor

Design by Lisa Fine | Photo by Simon Upton | Elle Decor

 

Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Three Summer Garden Stalwarts

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Yes, you read the word ‘summer’ in my title. It may be a bit chilly outside and you’re currently hearing the steady tink of sleet against your window, now’s the time to start thinking about your summer color. I have three plant suggestions for you that will fill up your flowerbeds, provide bountiful show, and require only a bit of maintenance. They are Rudbeckia, also known as Black-Eyed Susan; ‘Knock Out’ roses in a cherry, cheery pink; ‘Limelight’ hydrangea, which provides an icy color contrast to the first two members of this hardy triumvirate. And, as we all know, three is the best number in terms of design.

I recommend these bloomers also for three reasons; color, texture, stamina. But you’ll like them for three other reasons: low maintenance, contrasting hues, and their ability to fill in any place you put them.

Rudbeckia has been around for a long time, but is just now getting the respect it deserves. You’ll find it in both annual and perennial varieties, and it can be depended upon to perform when everything else has grown too weary of the heat. I’m talking as much as six months of color, depending on the hybrid you select. It even comes in a dwarf variety, called—of course—‘Little Rudbeckia.’ And you can be forgiven if you still refer to it the way you did as a kid, ‘black-eyed susan.’

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Rose hybridizers have been hard at work for years on a bush that will bloom in many conditions, thrive in neglect, and bloom for an extended time. The ‘Knock Out’ series does all that. The color I like is the hot pink one, and it doesn’t fade, like other bloomers will in scalding sun. And it contrasts perfectly with the gold of rudbeckia. It won’t grow tall and rangy like typical roses, either. Which means you can put it behind your rudbeckia and be confident that it will know and keep its place. And you won’t grow tired of the color, either. Even if you’re not a pink person, the bloom color has a liveliness you’ll enjoy.

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Finally comes the glamorous member of the team, ‘Limelight’ hydrangea. This mid-summer bloomer is not the blue mophead you may be thinking about, but rather, is its aristocratic cousin, with blossoms in a sherbet shade of chartreuse. The blooms are erect in the summer breeze and the plants won’t flag in the heat the way mop head hydrangeas do. Plus, all you have to do is prune them back in late winter or early spring for large reliable bloom cover every year. And, rather than plant a third hot color, you’ve injected a bit of cool into your planting.

Place your ‘Limelight’ at the back of the border, so it can nod and gaze out over rudbeckia and ‘Knock Out’ roses.

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And note how these three fit well into beds and against the backdrop of any style house. Lovely in masses, too.

Their height arrangement seems flowing and natural and there’s no real point of one plant leaving off, and another taking its place. Their growth habits mean they mingle well.

The Rudbeckia are masters at reaching for the sun, and finding all the spaces to fill. They thrust over foundation plantings and provide real energy to summer beds.

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These three really will fill in wherever they’re placed, and fit in not only with each other, but any neighboring plants as well.

They aren’t expensive, delicate, or fussy. But these three will give you the show you want, and won‘t play out before the season ends. What else could you ask for? Unless you require them to feed and water themselves, they’ll do everything you want and more.

Live Life to the Fullest!

**ENTER TO WIN a chance to have Chris H. Olsen give your home a Curb Appeal Makeover this spring! For details, CLICK HERE.**

Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.

The Art Fix with Joshua Plumlee: Scale Matters

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(Architectural Digest March 2014, design by Sandy Gallin)

Large scale art—pieces sized anywhere from 4ft x 4ft on up to 6ft x 6ft and bigger. The bigger, the better. Big, big, BIG!  (Size does matter in this case.) Scale is equally as important to a room as textile and color—maybe even more so. Maybe scale is the single most important factor governing a successful room design. Maybe. But more on what I think makes a room successful later.

Back to art. BIG. ART.

Place an over-scaled piece in an entryway and instantly you will signal drama and excitement. Or in a living room to establish conversational interest. Or in an intimate space, such as a bedroom or private study for an enveloping sense of glamour and solidarity.

Here’s how I look at art…

Mankind needs an arena in which it’s safe to loose oneself. Art is that arena. We all need an environment in which we can feel safe in stepping out and away from the everyday, from the mundane. Art in the home helps us lean a little bit closer to inspiration and all that is beautiful. Wonderful art has the capacity to transcend the everyday and carry the viewer somewhere more extraordinary. And this factor is compounded by introducing large-scale works into a space.

Art is a lifestyle. It is for sure my lifestyle. Collecting and surrounding myself with artworks. Someone once used the word “custodian” in regards to how I treat my home and its collection of art. And it’s true. Somehow I feel safe knowing that at the end of the day, I can come and be surrounded by beautiful things that I love. Oh, and also my family and friends. But they’re not as important. Stuff is more important.

Anyway, what I’m talking about here is somewhat philosophical but not impractical. So let’s get into the meat of it – the fun part!  Take a look at some these spaces, made all the more impactful thanks to the inclusion of large-scale artworks…

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(design by Coddington Design, photo by Matthew Millman)

Notice how the furnishings are relatively normal in proportion to the rooms, however, the artworks command attention due to their size. Try to imagine these rooms with much smaller pieces and that commanding authority is lost.

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(image source unknown)

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(Robert Brown Interior Design)

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(from Collected Cool by Jay Jeffers, photo by Matthew Millman)

I’ve written previous blog posts on gallery wall installations, tightly connected groupings of smaller pieces, even a post on what I dubbed “humble art,” or artwork that you might find in a flea market or even DIY. And all of this has a valuable place in the home. But basically what I’m saying is that each home should have at least one large-scale piece of work, whether you buy it from a fancy gallery or make it yourself. Proportionality and scale—and having fun with those elements in regards to your art placement—is key to elevating any space.

Check out this Manhattan apartment by designer-genius Steven Gambrel…

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(Architectural Digest Feb 2015, design by Steve Gambrel)

Notice how that single large painting forces you to look at it. It’s like, “look at me, look at ME!”  And yet, while its color and energy provide a sophisticated, nuanced foil to the otherwise balanced tonal palette of the room, it’s largely the proportion that makes such a statement. Check it out again in classy black-and-white…

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It still packs a punch. And how great is that teeny-tiny painting on the other side of the window??!  It makes me grin it’s so good.

That painting by the way is the work of Cecily Brown, an amazing New York-based artist. She carries on the tradition of the Abstract Expressionist master Willem de Kooning, currently an unhealthy obsession of mine. I’m obsessed in the sense that I cry a little bit everyday over how I can’t afford his work. He’s dead, so pretty much each of his paintings is worth about a trillion gazillion dollars. Note: after you die, your work is MUCH more valuable. Write that down.

Anyways. De Kooning. Look him up. Buy a book. If you haven’t, you need to. If you’re not interested, then you should be. And if you’re still not into his work, then shame on you.

Here is a foyer, very traditional in look, but instantly energized and made current by introducing a lyrical, expressive work by de Kooning. We won’t talk about how much I want to sneak into that apartment and steal that painting and then try and run away with it tucked under my arm.  But again, notice how its scale is at once arresting, unexpected and still completely composed and curated. Brilliant.

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(Vanity Fair 2010, photo: Jonathan Becker)

That’s about it for now. But take another look at some more spaces with wonderfully over-scaled artwork. Notice how the proportion of the art somehow manages to be both center-stage and also complement the rooms’ furnishings. Melts my heart. Cheers!

Active in the Little Rock design scene since 2006, Joshua Plumlee is passionate about reimagining elegant interiors with a focus on original artwork and an unconventional approach to luxurious style.