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Artsy Walls: Creative Inspiration from Kerry

decor8 reader Kerry Pitt-Hart would like to share her artsy walls with us. She put so much thought into her submission, and with the various colors and techniques she used on her walls, I know that you’ll find her space creative and motivating — maybe to get started on your own walls? Here’s what Kerry has to say about her space. Please read her comments because they really help the images come alive. Trust me, you’ll see…

“Ever since staying in the Historic Building at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco several years ago, I’ve wanted to add wood paneling to a wall as a reminder of the wonderful room we stayed in. Even though we live in a rented flat, we decided to finally do it. After a lot of measuring, cutting, sanding, and painting, we finished a wall that before was blank and cold. I’m so happy with it, and wish I could take it with me when we leave. We’ll just have to do it all over again I suppose, but this time, we’ll know what we’re doing.”

“I also included a room that I painted in a bright coral orange. It’s such a bold color that I wanted to try it in a tiny space first. Depending on the light, especially the light from a lamp, the walls glow like a sunset. I chose this color to remind us of our niece who passed away earlier this year. Her favorite color was orange.”

“The colors and patterns I used in the living room were chosen based on a painting my husband did, the one in the center with the blue bird perched on a tree. I wasn’t planning this, but instinctively, it just happened. When we first moved in, with boxed piled everywhere, I hung it on the wall to make the place seem more like home, and to cover up a huge screw and a bright blue anchor! I never took it down. The chandelier in the foreground was a paint-splattered, rusty brass mess that I tried to revive, but couldn’t. So I shrouded it in some silk. When turned on (it has a dimmer!) the glass shades glow like fireflies. Most of the pillows and the slipcover were ones I made. The red, diamond-patterned one on the chair was an old Diane von Furstenberg dress that I took to be altered. The tailor ended up making it too small, so rather than tossing it, I made it into a pillow.”

“I also included one of the walls in my studio. The “coraled” branch is one I found on a walk one morning. I painted it in this vibrant Chinese Red. The little shelf has an ever-changing display of papers, clippings, shells, seeds and anything else that inspires me.”

“This stenciled wall is the Piece de resistance. It took forever! Though I suppose it should have since the wall is some 6 x 8′. The stencil itself is 2′ square, and the paint is a metallic rosey-lilac color. Even though it seemed like it would never be over, I ordered some more stencils from The Stencil Library, and once I’ve cut them out (you save money if you buy the uncut version), I’ll be at it again, though I seem to be running out of wall space.”

“Then there is this mural I’m working on. There is a tiny space that is only 4 x 4′ off a room at the front of the house. Too small for seating or a table, I decided to decorate the walls. This is something I began back in June, and haven’t gotten around to finishing quite yet, since I have 100 other things on my ever-growing list of things to do. It’s a work in progress, but the bird silhouettes are made of fabric, and the Art Deco-like trees were done freehand in glitter and paint. I intend to add more flowers and further define the branches, and perhaps add a butterfly or two. :) Thanks Holly. I’ll continue to enjoy what you do and be inspired.” – Kerry Pitt-Hart

Thank YOU Kerry. I applaud your use of stencils, and that you refer to The Stencil Library, a resource I also use because they carry the best selection. Stencils are an affordable alternative to wallpaper and can be just as beautiful. For those that rent, it’s a lot easier to stencil and repaint when you move vs. convincing your landlord to allow wallpaper, so stencils are a smart renters option. Although you may fall in love with your work, and sadly, once it’s on the walls, you can’t take it with you! In addition to Kerry and her beautiful stencil work, I think Maine-based design duo Wary Meyers demonstrates that stencils can be hip and very now. DIY molding, and hand painted motifs on walls can be chic too, and looking at all the custom work they do for their clients (see examples below), it’s easy to see that a good designer doesn’t limit themselves to a few techniques, but explores several. Thanks again, Kerry!

Wary Meyers stencil – amazing!

Wary Meyers

Wary Meyers stencil work

Wary Meyers stencil work – close up

(images from kerry pitt-hart and wary meyers)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, walls on April 28, 2007

Plaid Pony Vintage

Meatloaf, spam, and hamburger helper may no longer be on the menu, but it doesn’t mean we have to forget everything from our past. If you’re looking for a little flashback, click on over to Lara Long and her store, Plaid Pony Vintage. From clothing to housewares, Lara even carries these neat polaroid pictures for $50 each taken by her husband, also available as notecards, $18 for a pack of six.


Look at this stuff, is it not the best? Where’s Ward and June Clever anyway, and those days of domestic perfection? I actually owned these McDonald’s action series glasses… I was born in the 70’s, so I remember most of these things. By the way, is the yellow and white lamp and doxie pillow not the best? I love the shine on that lamp, although it’s plastic, it would look great on one of those white lacquered desks with a white shade, banded with a slim ribbon trim in a white/yellow chevron pattern, perhaps?


(images from plaid pony vintage)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, vintage, walls on April 27, 2007

Hybrid-Home Limited Edition Prints

Designer Dora Drimalas just released these limited edition silk screened prints that really pack some modern punch for $40 each. A quad of four over a bench in an entryway would make quite a statement, don’t you think?


Of course, you have to casually leave a matching handbag (maybe in green?) on the bench at all times. Gives it that effortless look that convince guests things just happened that way, yet you spent hours finding a bag and then positioning it perfectly in place. :) Decorating can be so nutty, can’t it? But we’re all obsessed and loving every minute of it…

Pick up your Hybrid-Home prints from Dora over at Design Public right here.

(images from design public)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on April 27, 2007

Edith & Edna (Portland, Maine)

Another beautiful stop I hit whilst in Portland was Edith & Edna, a new store that stocks only items that are handcrafted by artists, but not just the locals, but from talented designers across the globe, from Morocco to Sweden. Joanna Mendicino, Zid Zid Kids, BlaBla, Alena Hennessy, Curious Bird, Karin Eriksson, and dozens more, they’re all there waiting for you to buy, cherish, love forever. Corny I know, but I feel a sense of excitement when I buy handmade.

I was instantly charmed the moment I approached the store, as the window display was really sweet and stood out amongst the other windows along busy Market Street. I actually purchased a few items directly from the window, I couldn’t resist. When I stepped into the store and browsed the wares, I was happy to see so many things I’d written about on decor8 before, so of course I highly suggest shopping Edith & Edna when you’re in Portland.

This is Julie George-Carlson, one of the owners that I had a chance to chat with (her business partner, Brandie Mayes, wasn’t available). She was packaging my new goodies when I snapped this picture. What a sweet lady she is!

The location is prime, the store is so fresh and inspiring, and after you finish shopping, you can hop across the street to Starbucks to chill out. After Market Street and topping things off with an Edith & Edna experience, my brain started to spark and sizzle a little bit (sensory overload), so I grabbed my fave mocha light frappuccino and looked through my bag of goodies. :) If you aren’t a Starbucks fan, head down to the waterfront for cold bubble tea (love!). I actually did both, because bubble tea is a rare find in New England, it’s more of a west coast thing, I highly suggest it.

I love their business cards, or shall I say, business blooms. Clever idea. Julie gave me this one, it’s crafted from magazine pages. Oh, and thanks Julie for your exceptional service and for allowing me to photograph your beautiful store!

By the way, here’s a glimpse of the general area for the non-locals. It’s so pretty there, great architecture, yummy seafood places, you can truly make a day of it in Portland. And don’t miss the Portland Museum of Art. (Psst: If you are a Currier member like me, you can get in free right now.)


(images by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Shop Tours, small business, travel on April 25, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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