Reader Design: Gemma's Artsy Home

Today, we're off to visit Gemma's bright and fresh home; this Boston place boasts a ton of quirky prints, color and texture, tons of natural light, and some seriously amazing art. Ready for the tour? 

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Even the entry way smacks you with style right away! From the design extraordinaire herself:

I have a hard time defining or labeling my own design style in my home; it’s more of a feeling. I definitely have certain shapes that I prefer; for example, I always pick furniture with clean simple lines, and art tends to be the same way. I prefer minimal designs, and I don’t like anything ornate which is probably why I’m attracted to mid century furniture pieces. By sticking with fairly simple shapes, it gives me a lot of room to decorate with other aspects like color, wallpaper, art, and lighting.
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Each room uses that basic formula - simple, clean furniture + geometric shapes + interesting accents - and just knocks it out of the park. The use of natural elements like wood also helps each space feel incredibly balanced. 

One of my major design goals is to have the house be interesting and inviting but not cluttered. Some areas have really bold wallpapers, but I try to keep all the other elements very simple so as not to overwhelm the room.
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Even the mudroom gives a major statement!

My mudroom is a good example of an over the top wall covering, balanced by very little else in the space - necessities only. But that said, the house is comfortable. We have 3 little boys and they play all over and do what little kids do, so storage is a must. Every cabinet in our family room is packed with games, toys, legos, and stuffed animals so that they can easily access stuff they want to play with, but also put it away again.
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One of the key ways Gemma adds interest is art.

My favorite design elements in our house are our pieces of art. Looking at beautiful artwork gives me such genuine pleasure and an emotional connection. We’ve collected our art from all over the place from varying sources, and the pieces are all very different. Many are one of a kind items we’ve found in vintage stores, others are from estate sales, and others are from galleries. Art is the one place we are willing to splurge.
 
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In the bathroom, the star of the show (other than that tub...wow!) is the iconic Slim Aarons Palm Springs photograph (he's a personal favorite of mine). 

Two other ways to add detail? 

Lighting is another great way to express yourself; it can be a forgotten element yet can bring so much interest into a room. And a personal favorite of mine, books - I read a ton and I love holding and having books. My next project in fact involves some serious shelving to house all of our books that are currently homeless!
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This house has to be one of the most original ones I've seen in a while. What a place to raise and spend time with your family!

Gemma, thank you so much for the tour.  Follow Gemma along on Instagram @gemmavanderswaagh for more! 

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Reader Design: Nicole's Thrifted Nest

A moment of levity comes this week with Nicole's beautiful home. Now, most of you know Nicole as a #howyouhome co-host along with our very own Chelsea. Today, she's giving us the inside scoop on her Nashville home that we've come to admire often in those little Instagram squares. 

Nicole and her husband moved from NYC to Nashville several years ago and are now renting in the area. That means Nicole gets the opportunity to be extra creative about her decorating!

From Nicole:

I like to define my style as eclectic but with a classic spin. It’s definitely a mix of midcentury modern, boho and eclectic with traditional touches. All of the styles together create a more unique look.
 
 

Her living room here has it all - boho elements, thrifted finds, plant life, and some amazing mix-and-match patterns to keep it interesting. 

I’m inspired by the ocean so blue seems to be my go-to choice of color to decorate with. I love pictures of the ocean, boats, and anything tropical. It just relaxes me. A home that is collected over time and from many different sources makes it more unique to you. A ton of my home is from Craigslist and thrift stores! Not only does that make my home more personal to my family but it also makes it more affordable. I prefer to keep a more polished look though so I get rid of unnecessary clutter or pieces that don’t add anything to my space.

I wouldn't call Nicole's style minimalist, but she's certainly careful about the items she chooses to surround herself with. 

‘m not gonna spend a lot of money on things that are trendy. I’ll either thrift them, come up with a way to DIY it, and use accessories as a way to change things out with the trends and seasons. We’d rather spend our money on things that are timeless and will stick around with us for years to come.
 
 

The bedrooms are all kinds of wonderful with their textiles and wall hangings. They're the kind of bedrooms I would have loved to slumber in after Tuesday night - anyone agree? 

Nicole, thank you for letting us in to see more outside those tiny squares. Your home is beautiful! Follow Nicole along @sweet_domicile for more! 

We're off the Reader Designs next week for Thanksgiving but I'll see you all in December!

Oh Grow Up... Art ||Flip List Item No.4||

For a few months now, my collection of original abstract artwork has felt...off.  It's like you're trying to copy your mom's crowd-pleasing artichoke dip and yet it just doesn't taste the same when you do it - you feel me?

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In an effort to solve this art conundrum, I declared "Grown-Up Abstract Art" as item No.4 on my furniture flip bucket list and began to do some research on what ingredients may be missing from my art collection.  After consulting pinterest, I kept stumbling on some delicious abstract art showcased in gorgeous, minimal floating frames.  

Source:  Ellen Dodd

Source: Ellen Dodd

And so my first theory was formed.  I rummaged up some spare wood trim to fashion a make-shift gold frame for one of my smaller pieces, but when I finished it still felt juvenile somehow.  

After mulling over it for a little while longer, I began to think that perhaps my portions were off.  I love to paint but I'm no professional artist - when I paint, I can't help myself: I love ALL THE COLORSSSSSS.  But perhaps I need to balance out the generous helpings of bold pops of color with some graphic patterns and white elements like this large piece I painted to help stage the cowprint bench.  [It actually sold at our Pop-Up Shop at Sweet Clover Barn so I never got the chance to mix it into my new abstract art recipe.]   And interestingly enough, despite my obsession with large-scale abstract art, I don't actually have any pieces hanging in our apartment. 

Ok so let's meet the "art ingredients" I do have in stock and let's see if we can mix them together for a winning combo.

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Van Gogh's   Les Alyscamps

Van Gogh's Les Alyscamps

  • "Les Ales Camps" - a 3rd Grader made this piece at a school I worked for.  The elementary art program was doing a series on Van Gogh and this young artist was studing Van Gogh's Les Alyscamps (which she mistakenly labeled as "Les Ales Camps" in the top right corner lol.  I loved the playful take so much that I had it printed on a canvas to hang in my office.
  • "Unnamed" - this is the largest piece of abstract art I've done and yet I haven't found a place for it.  I think I feel like it would overpower any of our small spaces so I've never hung it in our home.
  • "Hadley" - this is the piece I tried to give a floating frame.  I think the proportions are off and I would like it better if the frame were thinner and little daintier.
  • "Picasso" - this is another piece I can't take credit for.  I just love this line drawing so much that I traced it on some paper and popped it in a frame - forgive me Pablo P.
  • "A Riot of Color [in a dreary world]" - name that movie!  I painted this poppy-inspired piece while watching a Heath Ledger favorite (may he rest in piece).  You may recognize this pop of red from staging this piece here

For plating purposes, I've enlisted the help of a fresh flip who'll be heading to his new home in DC soon [I removed the original toe-kick and added tapered legs with the nickle caps cut off and painted the top and sides a glossy white].

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Art Recipe No.1:

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Playful "Les Ales Camps" with a side of "Picasso" garnished with plant, brass candlesticks and record player served on a Mid-Century Record Console Table with storage for your vintage record collection.

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[How cool is that rolling door for space-saving storage?!  And there are four compartments inside with removable vertical dividers.] 

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To combat my tendancy to over-saturate with color, my thought here was to pair the two "lighter colored" art pieces on a white-wall background.  The smaller graphic "Picasso" cuts the intensity of the color in "Les Ales Camps" and the record player.

Art Recipe No.2:

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A large helping of "Unnamed" abstract with a side of "Picasso" drizzled with candle sticks and a fern for garnish.  Since "Unnamed" is such a powerful flavor, I also tried to soften it with the dainty print and anchor it with a large plant. 

Art Recipe No.3:

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Spiced "Riot of Color" and "Hadley" with creamy "Picasso" served with natural elements encased in glass cloches and garnished with a potted fern.

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[Look at that gorgeous wood grain in the slats of the console table's rolling front.]

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Since I was using two bold paintings, I again employed the "Picasso"print and accented with the airiness of the glass cloches.

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[Fun fact: the stand for the raw mineral is just one of my fluted candlesticks turned upside down].

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Which recipe hit the spot for you?  Any suggestions on how to make my art collection more flavorful/ refined/ spicy?  Leave your tips in the comments below!

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Mid-Century Record Console Table
48"W X 18"D X 29.5"H
SOLD
$525

If you are interested in a custom order like this piece, please contact me at  cate@stylemutthome.com

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Check in on the progress of this year's furniture flip bucket list: