Friday, May 30, 2014

Year of Change Challenge May {Anything Outside}

The theme for this month was to do something outside and yes, it was that vague of a challenge. We wanted to leave the challenge open for interpretation and let the creative juices flow. And we were lucky enough to be joined by two guest designers this month, Emilie of Shell and Chinoiserie and Kari from Kari-Joy! I can’t wait to show you my little project for this month so let’s get to it!

This month was tough for me. There are so many outside projects that have been on my to do list. The #1 project on my list is to re-store and re-finish the wrought iron railings on our front porch. But this month was so windy that each day that I attempted to start, I hesitated. So, it is still on my list of things to do.

But our front porch hasn't really been utilized. Mostly because I haven't bonded with this home yet. The style is sort of a Canyon/Stucco style and my New England roots yearn for clapboard siding and a porch swing. I decided to add a hint of East Coast charm and character to the porch, but I didn't want it to be a Coastal theme with too much going on that would fight the style of the stucco and rock that we are stuck-o with ;)
So to bring some of that "at home" feel to this space, I thought I'd add in a few of my favorites that my Mother used to have on our patio when I was growing up:
and Succulents.

I created a little green corner by utilizing an old Adirondack Style Bench that I've had from 4 moves ago (when we lived in S. California). I gave it a sand down and a quick coat of paint (I like the rustic look, but for a more finished look use 3 coats of 
glossy exterior paint). The bench was already a faded pale green which I wanted to replicate. I used "Spring Green" Exterior by Glidden.

And then, I got into planting some pots! 
And let's just say that I like things a little eclectic...
Here is my REVEAL!!!

The finishing touch was using this Dash & Albert rug from Layla Grayce.

Dash & Albert "Tortola", Layla Grayce

Be sure to stop by and check out the project from Suburban BitchesCommona My HouseRosa Beltran DesignShell and Chinoiserie, and Kari-Joy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Contemporary Art Roundup Volume III {Hillary Butler + Incorporating Art in Small Sizes}

This week I've been sharing my love and appreciation for Contemporary Art.
If you've missed my previous posts hop on these links to catch up ;)

Today, I am so excited to share with you 

Memphis, TN artist, Hillary Butler.

Image of "Lakehouse"  {12" x12"}
"Lakehouse" by Hillary Butler, 12"x12", $95
Hillary's oil paintings are fresh, colorful, abstract representational landscapes. 
I fell in love with Hillary's style because the sort of free-flowing, airy vibe that her brushstrokes create feels like wind-blowing movement. Her paintings transform the space that they inhabit, bringing joy and light with them. She has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and is represented 
by Agora Gallery, NY. Like the other artists I featured in Volume I, Hillary sells her own art directly to you in her Big Cartel online shop and her Etsy Shop.

Image of Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotter features "Great Plain"  { 24" x 30" }
"Great Plain" by Hillary Butler
as seen in Better Homes and Gardens, Erin Souder: Adding Abstract Art
Hillary's paintings easily add an updated, fresh pop of color and character to any room, especially serving as a bridge/transition in a Traditional space, as seen in the "Style Spotters" feature from Better Homes and Gardens.

Hillary offers custom, large scale works at very reasonable price points, but what I truly love is that she offers custom sizing and smaller scale paintings, 12"x12" and 6"x6" gallery wrapped canvas {Hillary says that the smaller paintings serve a sort of sample or vision for larger 
commissioned pieces}. 

Image of NEW! "Caught in a Daydream" 12" x 12"
"Caught in a Daydream" by Hillary Butler, 12"x12", $95
I really appreciate the smaller scale paintings. Sometimes homes, due to built-ins or other architectural features can't handle a lot of wall hanging pieces. Or, if you are like me, you maybe have so many paintings and pictures that you just don't know where to use them in more creative ways when you don't have a lot of wall space to play with.
Hillary has a recent blog post and article/interview discussing her tips and advice on how to get started on building and styling an art collection.  I love the idea of incorporating smaller scale, brightly colored abstract works like Hillary's into WALL GALLERY COMPOSITIONS as well as leaning and layering them in BOOKSHELVES and MANTLES. 
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Hillary, you can follow her by visiting her blog here
and by visiting her Online Shops with Big Cartel and Etsy.
**I'd like to thank Hillary for being so gracious about allowing me to share her photographs of her exquisite art, which is so inspirational to me. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Contemporary Art Roundup Volume II {Prints & Giclees}

It's Contemporary Art Appreciation Week!!!
Yesterday I shared my favorite contemporary artists.
Today we are jumping into sources for more reasonably priced Giclees and Prints that you can order according to price point and size requirements.

Let's just get something out of the way here...GICLEE is pronounced "gzhee-klay".
It is a relatively new (late 1980's) term in art because it utilizes new technology. It is basically a high resolution, ink-jet, archival quality, digital print. Giclees capture the exact color, tonalities, shadows and brushstrokes of the original work. They are typically printed on high quality water color paper or canvas. The Giclee process is typically used for fine art reproductions. Personally, I prefer a Giclee print when a piece has a 3-demensional element to it, such as brushstrokes or elevated paint on the canvas. The Giclee Print will capture the shadows and textures as if that paint stroke is actually coming off of the Giclee Canvas, despite being a flat print.
Rest Giclee
Rest Giclee
Giclees and Prints are an affordable way to bring art into your home for the fraction of the price of an original art piece. Some incredibly high quality prints are available through large on-line retailers. 

Based on quality, unique selection and pricing, here are my favorite sources: 


Serena & Lily

West Elm

Ballard Designs

{huge selection of style, type}
Golden Horizon Framed Art

Joss & Main

White Abstract Canvas PrintTeal Enso Canvas Print

Layla Grayce

{quirky, fun and unique boutique prints}


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contemporary Art Round Up Volume 1 {Original Art}

It's Art Appreciation Week at Commona My House!
I'll be sharing my favorite artists, tips and tricks with you each day. 
Contemporary Artwork compliments every setting, whether your decorating style is Traditional, Vintage, Mid-Century, etc.

Today, I thought I'd kick things off by sharing my favorite Contemporary Artists with you.
They sell their pieces independently and their original works are considered affordable investment pieces. However, most of them offer smaller scale originals and/or prints for lesser prices. 
I've been a big fan of these artists for some time now and you'll see that they each have a distinct style and aesthetic. So, check out these amazing WOMEN, that's right, coincidentally, all of the artists on my HOT list are women. 

-Follow them on Instagram (their IG account info is available on their websites, see below)
  because several of them have 'specials' or pop-up shops where they share discounts and/or feature new works.
-Most of these artists will take on commissioned work. If you have a specific color palette in mind, or love one of their originals that has been sold, contact them and discuss pricing and details of a commissioned piece. 
-Consider what an amazing gift an original work would make for a wedding, mother's day, birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.  My Father gave me an original French Oil Painting when I graduated from College. It is a treasure to me and such a lovely, lifetime gift.

Michelle Armas

Image of NEW Laura Canvas Print

Jenny Prinn


Emily Jeffords


Pamela Munger

Original acrylic painting floral flowers orange and yellow art home decor

Christina Baker | Summer Calling

Theresa Murdza

Clare Elsaesser

Undertow . 8 x 10 giclee art print

Join me tomorrow for Contemporary Art Round Up Volume II, where I'll be sharing my favorite sources for mass produced prints, giclee's, etc. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Splurge or Steal {Anchor Pillow + Indoor/Outdoor Anchor Pillow Roundup}

Anchor's Aweigh!

What says Summer more than a good Nautical Motif? 


Caron's Beach House $108


Bed Bath & Beyond $29.99

Here are my favorite INDOOR/OUTDOOR Anchor Pillows to liven up your patio seating this Summer.

It is true in this case that the higher ticket items are a bit more unique. 
Is it worth the expense?


Seabags $130

Coastal Indoor-Outdoor Pillow Collection - Anchors
Garnett Hill Anchor Pillow $78

JC Penney $14.99
Follow my "Prep School" Pinterest Board for more Nautical Design and Decor Ideas!