Posts Tagged ‘Original Art’

Book Review: From Classic to Contemporary by Cullman and Kravis

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You all know how much I love design books. I can’t get enough of them! I even have a new library in my recently renovated home where my collection of design and architecture books live and they are alphabetized so I can get my hands on the perfect book at a moments notice.

I love to scour design books to find new inspiration, to fill my weekends lingering on innovation and creativity and I use books in all of my designs as accessories for a collected look that’s functional too!

Today I’m excited to share From Classic to Contemporary a new design book that is sure to become one of my favorites. This is the third book by the distinguished design firm Cullman and Kravis; you might recognize them from the 2017 AD100 list! This amazing firm out of New York City focuses on mixing traditional interiors with contemporary art to create fabulous interiors, which are comfortable without being overly formal. And friends, if you love color like me, then you will LOVE their work.

As you can tell from the cover, this book is a collection of their most extraordinary designs. Throughout the book, you will see several traditional design elements such as detailed crown molding, ornate antiques, and elegant chandeliers. These classic components are contrasted by contemporary art with clean lines to give these spaces a fresh look that is right up my alley!

Here’s just a little sneak peak at what’s inside the book! I love this study in bright sky blue and bold red. The traditional carpet introduces all of the colors that are echoed in the beautiful bulls eye art above the sofa. Yes, please!

And is there anything more chic than an all-white living room? Cullman and Kravis add pops of color in the art mixed with the metallic elements in the art and coffee tables for sophisticated style. I love the exposed wood backs on the settees to mix in a more natural element. This design is more modern than the previous study space, but carries out the idea of a formally comfortable space.

And I’m in love with this kitchen! The octagon motif on the ceiling, the crisp white cabinets, and the serene green accents are fabulous! It features all of the modern appliance luxuries for anyone who loves to cook while maintaining a cozy aesthetic with dark wood floors and exposed hinges.

I’m already feeling so inspired and cooking up some fresh ideas for a few upcoming projects! What do you think? If you want to get a better look at these interiors and the rest of Cullman and Kravis’ amazing designs, get your copy of their book (or gift it to the design lovers on your list this holiday season) here- From Classic to Contemporary: Decorating with Cullman & Kravis






Being Smart with Art

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There’s one part of a room’s decor that is critical to setting the mood and enhancing the design – the art! I love to select art that fits the mood of a room and my client’s personality. And using original art as often as possible also keeps the design unique and personal.

I love to support emerging artists and Minted is one great resource for those artists online! And yes, you may think of Minted more for their stationery. I know – I love that, too. They have been making my annual Valentine’s card (which I do instead of Christmas) for the last several years, and the designs and quality are amazing.

But now, I can choose Minted not just for my personal stationery needs, but for my design work because they now have a terrific trade program for interior designers. Minted has original art by hundreds of independent artists and they offer the pieces in limited-edition runs. But you’re also able to customize the size, colorway, and framing on many pieces. You can even commission completely original art!

And I recently used this amazing service to get the absolutely perfect piece for my daughter’s room. She is my little baker and her favorite quote is by Julia Child. She was so excited when Minted already had it in their line in the Typography collection. And being able to get it in the color and size we needed made it the perfect finishing touch for her room.

If you aren’t a designer that’s eligible for their trade program, you can still find incredible paintings, drawings and photographs on Minted here. They’ll even give you styling tips and ideas for hanging art! It’s like having your own gallery expert on hand.

Do you love original and limited-edition art as much as I do? And how do you use art in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!









Tobi TV: 4 Ways That Art Can Inspire Your Decor

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I love original artwork! I collect a lot of original art, and I love to use it when I’m designing homes for clients – it actually often inspires my designs. One-of-a-kind pieces really add personality that can’t be recreated in another house or room.


The key to using original art in your home’s decor is to let it inspire the rest of the room, and to allow the art to be the focal point. It really will give you space that is all your own and is full of personality.

So let’s take a look at some of my top tips for using art to inspire you:

I’m feeling inspired already! Here is a quick recap of those top tips:

  1. In a neutral room, use a brightly colored painting to add that pop! You don’t always want to match to the painting, but do use the colors in the art to inspire the palette for the rest of the room.
  2. Choose art that has sentimental value for you, or that reminds you of a special moment or person in your life. It will add meaning and emotion to your room!
  3. If you have a piece of art that’s by a famous artist, like the painting in my client’s home by Dale Chihuly, hang it front-and-center so it can be enjoyed by your family and your guests.
  4. If you’re a collector, edit your art so that pieces will complement each other, and will complement the rest of your decor.

What art or items do you collect? And how can they inspire your home’s design? I hope these tips have you looking at your art in a new way and seeing how each piece can inspire a room’s decor! Please let me know in the comments below how you’re using art in your home!







For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

5 Ways to Create a Magazine-Worthy Room

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If you’ve ever flipped through one of the great shelter magazines like Traditional Home or Elle Decor and thought “why don’t my rooms look like that” – you’re not alone! Even for those of us who are trained to be interior designers, creating a magazine-worthy room is hard work. There is so much thought and planning that goes into each room. But I’m going to make it easier for you by giving you my top 5 tips for getting that editorial look!

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1. Edit! Coco Chanel always said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” That’s exactly what you should do for a room, too. You want to clear out the clutter and knickknacks and give your room space for the eye to move around! Look at your favorite homes in House Beautiful or another magazine and you’ll see what I mean. The rooms are free of “noise” and even the smallest space seems more open and airy because it’s been edited with just the right amount of furnishings.

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2. Use original art. You can really set your room apart from others by using original art – it gives your room personality, and a look that can’t be replicated. It can also give you inspiration for the color palette in the room – just be sure to let the art be the star.

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3. Fortune favors the bold. Consider a bold color or an out-of-the-box pattern in the room. The spaces that really capture attention aren’t cookie cutter – they have a personality, too. You can add that through a fun color on the wall or a graphic pattern on a fabric. Don’t do something just to be different, though. It should be a choice that makes sense for you and for the room!

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4. Fresh flowers. Notice all of those amazing homes in the magazines, they almost always have flowers, branches, or live plants in them. But now look closer – they are usually fresh and in one color family. That again lets the eye “rest” in the room – a big multicolored bouquet would be fighting with all the other colors and points of interest in the room.

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5. Proportion and placement. If a room is big but the furniture is smaller proportioned, a room will always feel “off.” And the reverse is definitely true, too! You want a room with a mix of proportions so the space feels balanced. You also want to be sure that they’re placed in the room correctly – balancing heavier items with lighter ones and skirted upholstery with exposed legs, will give the room a great look. I’m also a stickler about the placement of lamps and lighting. Be sure you put the lamps where you need them – my pet peeve is to see lamps on the outside edge of a bedside table unless you’ve also layered swing-arm lamps at the bedside so you can see, for example. If you’re going to read in bed, lighting should be close to the bed. So use this sort of common-sense approach for getting published and just good function of your space.

Most importantly, study the rooms that you love from your favorite magazines. Notice the color, balance, proportion, and personality in each one and pull out the details that you love for your own spaces! It can be great inspiration for your finished room. Good luck!







Tobi TV: Series of Art

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Hanging a series of art is a great way to fill a large wall or to add interest to a room. I love to use several coordinating pieces together, or even one large piece of art that’s been framed in individual sections.

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But how can you hang a series of art successfully? I’ve put together a list of tips to help you achieve this look like a pro, with a few examples from my art collection with Soicher Marin! Take a look:

See? It’s easy to create fabulous looks with several pieces of art! Let’s recap those tips:

1. You don’t have to hang a series of art in a grid. Consider hanging coordinating pieces in a vertical or horizontal pattern instead.

2. Think about “wrapping” art around a corner – you don’t have to stick to just one wall!

3. Hang a series of art close together – say 2 inches apart – to let the group read as one large piece.

4. Pieces hung in a series don’t have to be all exactly the same. By using the same frames and selecting art in similar color groups, you can mimic the look of a series.

If you have a large wall in your home, or you have that one room that just needs something, consider a series of art to give your space some personality!