Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

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!









Top Tips for Hanging Art

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In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about the importance of choosing the right art for your rooms, and today I want to talk about how you should hang that art. It can create an unbalanced look if your art is too high, or too low. So here are some general rules to keep in mind:

1. When selecting a frame, coordinate it with the art, not necessarily the room. Frames should complement the artwork and allow it to be the focal point, not overpower it.

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2. Framing and hanging a group, series, or collection can be difficult, but it makes a statement. When hanging the group, think of the collection as one large piece and place the center of it in the 60-66” eye-level range.

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3. When hanging art over furniture, keep them close together. A good rule of thumb, 6” or less between the art and the furniture. And in most cases, no more than 4” between art pieces in a pairing or grouping.

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4. Let the space dictate the art selection. Often, architecture can “frame” the artwork. If you have a small vertical space, select a vertical piece or stack 2-3 pieces vertically to emphasize the architecture. If the space lacks architectural interest, consider adding molding that frames your artwork and adds impact to the room.

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5. Mixing different types of media in the same room is important. Too many paintings is boring, but paintings combined with works on paper, or sculpture is fresh and exciting.

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But the #1 rule for hanging art? Measure twice! It will save you from patching, rehanging, and repainting. And if you are hanging something ambitious like a gallery wall, you can also create paper templates of your art and hang those on the wall to determine the best layout before you hammer in the first nail.

So what are your best tips for hanging art? Let me know in the comments section below!







Modern Art and Minted Giveaway

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I was recently asked to guest judge an art contest for Minted, an amazing online marketplace for independent artists and designers. The Art Fair Challenge was inspired by art shows and fairs around the world, and was open to all works of art that can be reproduced on paper.

Judging this amazing art exhibition was a tough job! There were so many gorgeous entries, from paintings to photography to collage to pen-and-ink drawings. But one work really drew me to it right away – it was Mingle by Julie Song Ink.

The first thing that caught my eye is the color – I am known for my use of color and this blue just grabbed my attention. But what really made me select this gorgeous artwork as my favorite was the movement and excitement created by the swirls and splatters. It actually reminds me of the creative process I go through in my own work. It is a vibrant and electrifying work!
Isn’t that a gorgeous piece? And now it will be available in Minted’s amazing line of cards and art! And they really do have an extensive line – in fact, they are going to offer one of my blog readers the opportunity to win a $500 gift card to purchase cards, stationery, gifts, or art from their site! Isn’t that amazing!


We will hold a drawing on Thursday, Oct. 30. All you have to do is register by filling out the form to the right of this blog post – and the bonus is that you will get a free download of my Top 10 Ways to Add Style with Color! Register between now and 5pm on Oct. 29 and we will draw a name from all the entries, and will announce the winner here on the blog on Oct. 30. That lucky person will have $500 to splurge on the Minted site!

Good luck!



Italian Inspiration

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We interrupt this regularly scheduled Motivational Monday to bring you a post about inspiration.

As a designer, I need to regularly fill up my creative well and there is no better way than through travel. A change of surroundings not only gives me a different perspective, it gives me a chance to discover new ideas and inspiration for my designs, whether it’s through color, architecture, flavors, or awe-inspiring sights!


After back-to-back photo shoots and a non-stop work schedule, I need a break to recharge my creative batteries. And I am SO excited that tomorrow I’m heading to bella Italia to go to Mercanteinfiera, Italy’s largest antique fair! I’m attending this amazing show in Parma with The Antiques Diva for a special whirlwind tour, filled with gorgeous vintage finds.


And I’ll be on this fab trip with a few other talented designers that you may know–Los Angeles designer Mark Cutler, Dallas designer Denise McGaha, and Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs in New York City. If you would like to see what is inspiring me and my designer friends, be sure to follow my Instagram feed with @tobifairley!


I plan to soak in the colors, patterns, and stunning art on display (and I’m sure I’ll sample a bit of the pasta, parmesan, and prosciutto, too!). I know I’ll come back refreshed, renewed, and recharged – ready to take on new creative challenges!


To see these photos including this Parmesan factory, visit my Pinterest board called Destinations.

I’ve got to get my suitcase packed so ciao for now!


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Talking Antiques at 1st Find at the Farm

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Olivier Fleury

Olivier Fleury

So: You love great design. But. Have you really explored the wonderful world of antiques? Antiques are such an amazing way to add texture and depth to your designs.

Art & Antique Hunter

Art & Antique Hunter

If you’ve been to the Antique & Design Center of High Point during your treks to High Point Market in the past few years, then you already know it is the number one place to go for forward-focused design, gorgeous antique furnishings and fabulous art.


Olivier Fleury

And, now, the Antique & Design Center is launching an exciting new event to kick off their debut at the Atlanta Market this January 7-8th! It’s called 1st Find at the Farm, and I am truly honored to be the featured presenter at such a highly-anticipated event!

If you love design–and you love antiques–but aren’t quite sure how to bring all that love together, please join me at 1st Find at the Farm on January 7th. That afternoon, I’m going to be speaking on a topic that I hope will really reinvigorate your designs and give you a fresh perspective on mixing pieces of different ages–and with different histories–in your work. My presentation is called “Finding Inspiration in the Mix: Layering Antiques Into Your Design for a Fresh Look.”

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Following the lecture, you’ll also get a chance to walk through the show with me, and afterward we will get to rave about our favorite finds over a private dinner. This part of the show (my presentation, tour and dinner) is RSVP-only, so grab a ticket before it sells out!

And the setting for this show is going to be truly spectacular! Imagine: Many of the top antique dealers in the U.S. showcasing their most stunning pieces out on the rolling hills of the Broder Family farm, just minutes from downtown Atlanta. Talk about “Finding Inspiration in the Mix,” try this country/city combo to break you out of your rut! Good music + good food + gorgeous setting + great design = perfect combination!

The whole thing promises to be 100% AMAZING, and you definitely don’t want to miss it! To purchase your ticket in advance–and to get all of the event details–visit the event website.


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