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Paintings + Portraits Love You

Vintage and reproduction landscape and portrait paintings can be found in so many spaces around the globe from grand castles to tiny city apartments. Thankfully they’ve been popping up more and more (especially portraits) and are being used in fresh ways (on pillows, bags, ceramics) though I still love them installed on a wall in interesting arrangements. Most recently, vintage portrait paintings have made their way to gift wrap… And seriously, this is awesome.


Wow, right?!? So on trend, too. Above we have the clever and stylish design duo behind Something’s Hiding In Here to thank for this. I love their clever how-to on the Martha Stewart Craft blog – brilliant idea, “You can directly color copy an old portrait or bring a digital file to a copy center to be printed for you.” Oh yes, please!


These photos show the home of stylist Emily Henderson who shared her California digs with super cool lady Victoria nearly a year ago and I noticed that nearly every room had a portrait or two. Hot!

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

Ever since Leslie Oschmann gave me one of her vintage painting bags when I visited her in Amsterdam in 2010, I’ve had vintage paintings on my brain!  We have tons of them at flea markets in Germany selling for nearly nothing. I’ve seen so many of these same paintings adorning walls in numerous homes featured in chic magazines and as props in catalogs throughout the years and I’ve noticed portraits quite often in the homes of stylists, bloggers and my online friends. Above you can see a photo of Leslie’s bags made from vintage landscape paintings that I took. You can lay your sweet little eyeballs on more work that she’s done on her inspiring super fab blog.


Leslie also designed a series of portrait pillows for Anthropologie recently as well as numerous other things from quirky altered chairs to travel bags and you can view all of Leslie’s work here. The photo of her pillows on that pretty disheveled bed above was shot by Pia Jane Bijkerk.


See that vase above? Oh yes, of course you do. It’s a beauty. I love the Adam Harvey ceramic collection, I picked up a vase and a bowl at Anthropologie when I was teaching a mood board workshop in their London store this past September. The moment I spotted Adam’s work with the pretty ladies on them I grabbed a vase and a tiny bowl and made a very spontaneous purchase! But I don’t regret it, I love looking at both of my Adam Harvey pieces each day. They sit on my IKEA cabinet – I think they cost more than the cabinet but that’s how I roll… High and low, old and new, I love a good contrast as I’m sure you do as well if you think of how you decorate. Anyhoodle, you can view more of his crazy intricate work on his website. Speaking of modern interpretations of portraits, I also really like this screen printed scarf on the wall as art from Dutch mag VTWonen and this more modern portrait on a kitchen door, also from VTWonen but the poster is from France I believe. It’s not vintage but I still love a good portrait and digital modern work suits me just fine.


Here’s something else that is quite fresh and modern from Dutch design firm ixxi. I really like what they are doing with the old masters but you can also upload your own image or images to their site and create your own great work of art.


This is a well composed display of portraits in this photo from Homelife. I’m a fan of this look.


You can also try some landscape vintage paintings in case portraits creep you out. Seriously, some people don’t like eyes on the wall staring back at them! The above pic is from Better Homes & Gardens and looks sooooo cozy. I want to clear that table and lay out a massive handmade pizza with some red wine and play a little Frank, Dean and Sammy, baby!


I really love this dining room, looks like something I’d see in Berlin for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that nothing works but everything works. Berliners are good at that. :) This is from my new favorite Tumblr blog, Convoy. If you know the origin of this photo, please let me know. The downside with lots of Tumblr accounts is the near impossibility of ever finding the owners of the photographs. :( Drives me a bit bonkers.


How about a little George Washington action from Lonny mag. It’s subtle but obvious at the same time. And yes this room was designed by design giant Jonathan Adler!


If paintings aren’t your thing, maybe you can try sketched portraits or vintage photographs? I shared this photo before on decor8 but it’s one I keep going back to. You must have rooms that you keep going back to a million times. This one really resonates with me and funny thing is, there isn’t a drop of sweet or cute or girly in it. Telling, I think. Perhaps my taste is evolving as I am? One thing that it is though is quirky and I’ve always been quirky and abstract and quite spontaneous when it comes to decorating…


Have you thought to add a portrait painting to a kid’s room? What do you think of this idea? Also from Lonny.


This is quite a fancy writing desk set up, don’t you think? The portrait of the pretty blonde who seems to be gazing outside (certainly not concentrating on her work!) is nicely placed, it tells a bit of a story or it could just be my own imagination….

Are you a fan of vintage landscape paintings, portrait paintings or modern interpretations of them? Where do you display yours if you have them? Where would you like to display them if you currently do not? Do you think they work in a child’s room? Or?

(images linked to their sources above.)


Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips, Rooms on December 14, 2011

Your comments...

  1. Misty DuBois commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 12:23am

    “A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.” Hedy Lamarr

  2. the chronic utilitarian commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 12:33am

    i think they would be lovely in a child’s room,
    as long as the subjects weren’t grimacing.
    can you imagine the future’s therapy bills for today’s grimaces? :)

    lovely post.
    the chronic utilitarian´s last blog post ..faux snaux, faux shaux

  3. fenny setiawan commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 3:15am

    I saw so many inspiring details in the images that you shares. Love those little kitchen for little one.

  4. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 5:14am

    Goodness gracious! I am drooling over here!
    Kate @ Songs Kate Sang´s last blog post ..Lisa-Jo and the chocolate-lovin’ (in)courage team

  5. Jenni commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 7:11am

    I always find myself browsing family photos in hallways and entry ways during social functions. It’s a good excuse to shy away from chatting for a little bit without looking rude…so I think portraits would be PERFECT in those spaces…more for me to examine while sipping tea and my husband’s work parties ;)
    Jenni´s last blog post ..Fresh Holidays: Fancy Cool Gift Wrap Ideas

  6. tinajo commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 7:49am

    I do love vintage portraits (as well as vintage photos) – they are beautiful. :-)
    tinajo´s last blog post ..Winter of weirdness

  7. Lise commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:30am

    Thank you for all this nice pictures, it’s beautifull!

  8. Emiko commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 12:31pm

    I especially love the landscape portrait cluster mixed with the retro chairs. Such an unexpected and refreshing combination. Great ideas!

  9. Laura Trevey commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 12:38pm

    I wonder what the lady is thinking ~ she is a lovely source of daily inspiration :)
    Laura Trevey´s last blog post ..Homemade Goodness – Gingerbread Cookies

  10. Bobby commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 3:17pm

    Loving the flowery bag, and the lampshade. Cool stuff!

  11. Jessica commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 4:28pm

    Love those bags!
    Jessica´s last blog post ..Day Twelve: Earth Ornament

  12. Nic @ Yardage Design commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 4:42pm

    Wow – what a treasure trove of ideas. I’m always searching flea markets for old prints, and these ideas give me more inspiration. Thanks!
    Nic @ Yardage Design´s last blog post ..union jack cushion … my way!

  13. Anne commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 5:14pm

    I believe the shot from tumblr is from a Swedish real estate site,
    Great post!

  14. Bonnie McCarthy commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 5:56pm

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this trend -love it!! I am also completely inspired by the way the pictures are grouped and placed on the walls in an unusual and interesting way. Just great!
    Bonnie McCarthy´s last blog post ..At Home with Holiday Cards

  15. Janice commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 6:32pm

    I love these! i love how the printed image is all you need and some simple string for tying to make a gift look fantastic.

    Leslie’s bags are simply amazing. I covet. In a very bad way.
    Janice´s last blog post ..DIY: after + before

  16. dialoguewithspace commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 6:41pm

    I come everyday on your blog and it all the time a beautiful surprise !
    Love all your post and sense of style !
    dialoguewithspace´s last blog post ..MY NEW PROJECT

  17. Lee Melahn commented
    December 15th, 2011 at 9:49pm

    We have scoured flea markets from Paris to Pasadena collecting the works of weekend painters. Our entry hall is a collection of pansy paintings, the kitchen is filled with still lifes of fruits and vegetables, and an Audubanesque portrait of a swan hangs over a milk-painted chest in the back hall. When the art at Sothebys is beyond your budget, flea markets can turn up precious finds.

  18. Old New House commented
    February 10th, 2014 at 5:58pm

    Wow these portraits are amazing. Especially love the handbags – so unique and original with an authentic feel

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