/Art Interiors

Decorating a Nursery with Groupings of Original Art

I must apologize for not posting this last week as I’d promised. Real life got all kinds of “real” and…well…you know what they say about best laid plans. But it’s Monday morning, the sun is shining, and there is a fresh and happy week ahead of us! What better way to start that week than with some inspiration on how to use original art in your nursery design?

The lovely Patricia from Art Interiors sent me some wonderful inspiration images showcasing pieces from their gallery installed in children’s rooms, and let’s just say I’m in l-o-v-e. I know I might sound like a broken record here, but I really do believe in carving out room in your decorating budget for original art whenever and wherever you can. Original art has the ability to transform a space from pedestrian and boring to personal and dynamic in a way that little else can. Just feast your eyes on these inspiring spaces and you’ll see what I mean!

This first nursery {above} feels quiet, sophisticated and perhaps a little bit quirky; whereas this second children’s room {below} feels bold and fun and unexpected.

This little girl’s room {below} is all kinds of charming, and the solo piece that greets you as you enter suggests she will grow up into a very interesting and sophisticated lady.

I’m totally crazy for the grouping in this sweet baby girl’s nursery {above}. The diversity and juxtaposition of the pieces creates such an interesting sense of story, and the pieces they have collected can easily be built upon and rearranged over time.

Is it just me, or does the art totally make these spaces come alive?

Not only did Patricia send over some inspiration of art groupings that have already been installed in children’s rooms, but she also kindly pulled together three fresh groupings for us – all created with a baby boy’s nursery in mind – to get the creative juices flowing using pieces that are currently available at The Festival of The Smalls.

Grouping Number One {above} is a delightful mix of hip and fresh with a healthy dose of vintage throw-back for good measure. I particularly love the hockey player by Patrick Lajoie {left} and the hipster playing with the viewfinder by Kelly Grace {top right}.

Grouping Number Two is given a more modern edge with the photograph by Emilie Rondeau {left}. My favourite piece in this grouping is the cyclist by Sara Caracristi {bottom left}, but I love the play of colour and texture that keeps the eye moving and engaged amongst all the pieces in this dynamic grouping.

Grouping Number Three {above} is really a marriage of the first two. Anybody remember Marigold? Oh my goodness that takes me back! And the vintage Fisher Price record player {top right by Kelly Grace} was seriously one of my all-time favourite toys when I was a kid! The abstract colour-blocked piece by Richard Herman is fresh and lends a modern edge to the nostalgic vibe of some of the other pieces.

Today’s visual design lesson really builds upon last week’s 3 Tips For Buying Original Art: buy what you love; start small and build over time; and be open to diversity! As you can see from the groupings above, an interesting mix will add energy and intrigue to a space in refreshingly unexpected ways. And remember what we learned from the gents at Madcap Cottage? Gallery groupings are totally where it’s at.

Can’t wait to get working on my groupings for Project Debonaire Young Sir and Project Nursery. Goodness, I have so much to do! But believe you me, the art groupings are already floating around in my head like happy little dreams. Just have to get the spaces ready so I have fresh walls on which to hang the art!

Wishing you a happy Monday, brimming with inspiration and fresh perspective.


By |November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

The Festival of The Smalls at Art Interiors | How to Start Collecting Original Art For Your Home

{“The Battery” by Charlene Serdan}

It should come as no surprise at this point that art is often my starting point for design projects, whether for clients or for my own home. As I’ve said many times, I believe art gives soul to a space and allows you to personalize your home in a very unique and meaningful way. Whether you start with art or finish with it, I believe original work should always be a part of a well designed interior.

{“Arc En Ciel #3″ by Chrstine Breakell-Lee}

I also believe that original art should be accessible to everyone. For many, it is intimidating at first and I get that. Price tags seem high and many galleries seem to look down their noses at you if you don’t understand the “gestalt” of the artists they happen to represent. So…where do you start?


Art should speak to you first and foremost, and that’s always the place to start. It might be something clear – a piece that reminds you of a a place you’ve been or something you’ve experienced – or perhaps it will be something more abstract, eliciting an emotion or a mood. Whatever it is, you are the beholder, so your reaction is all that matters.

{“City Nights 2” by Eleanor Doran}

Once you’ve made the connection and have found an artist, a style, a medium or a subject matter that moves you, start small and work your way into a collection over time. There really is no better way to do that than by collecting smalls, and my favourite Toronto gallery Art Interiors has made an art form out of this approach.

{“Alone Together” by Elizabeth Lennie}

Every year, Art Interiors puts on The Festival of The Smalls where original works of art ranging in price from $55 – $250 are available from a vast array of incredible artists. Owners Lisa and Shira and their amazing team are phenomenal at making art accessible. Rather than feeling judged for what you like or don’t like, they will empower you to find art that connects with you, and they are brilliant at pulling together bespoke and customized groupings. Gallery groupings are one of my favourite ways to create interest and an engaging focal point in a space. In its 20th year, The Festival of The Smalls really is the go-to place to get started!


Once you’ve found an artist or a style that speaks to you, it can be tempting to just keep collecting the same thing so that it all “works together.” Here’s the thing: juxtaposition is one of the energizing gifts that original art can bring to a space, so the only rule to follow is to go with what moves you. Be open to new artists, mediums, subject matter and a variety of scale. As you collect over time there will no doubt be a thread that connects your collection, but it will also tell a story of a home that is curated through the lens of life experience. A space that is curated over time is always a more interesting and unique reflection of its inhabitants.
{“City Girl Ski Lesson” by Sarah Martin}
{“Lemons” by Greg Nordoff}

The Festival of The Smalls is on until December 24th, and in my opinion it is the PERFECT place to do your Christmas shopping. If you’re afraid of purchasing something that doesn’t suit that special someone on your list, why not purchase a gift certificate and make it an experience? Give them an Art Interiors certificate along with an “Art Adventure IOU” to take your loved one with you to visit the delightful team at Art Interiors. The shared experience of finding that special piece together will only enhance the enjoyment of it for years to come.

Later this week I’ll share some charming concepts from the team at Art Interiors on creating customized groupings for an inspired nursery. In the meantime, be sure to check out The Festival of The Smalls online and even better, visit the gallery in person for an abundance of inspiration! My guess is you’ll find yourself struggling to choose between the myriad of pieces that will have you falling in love and feeling alive.

Happy Monday!

By |November 11th, 2013|0 Comments

Getting Sexy + Bold with Black and Gold : How to Infuse Some Glamour Into Your Interior

Confession time. I have found myself increasingly drawn to the bold and sexy palette of black and gold of late, and here’s my theory: Knowing that I am about to have a second boy and will thus be officially outnumbered for the rest of my life, I’ve been craving ways to infuse more femininity into our home. Not the typical pink and frills, though. No, the kind of femininity that is strong and sexy and holds its own when married with masculine details as well. The kind of feminine that makes both men and women feel strong and safe in its context. So, I thought I’d pull together a little inspiration board of a living room concept that has all the elements I’m looking for.

First, the art. Art does so much to set the stage. It is really the soul of the space in so many ways, and I’m in love with these pieces I found at Art Interiors, especially the dramatic flowers on the black canvas by Madeleine Lamont.

{Painting by Madeleine Lamont}
{Painting by Maya Foltyn}
{Painting by Lindsay Chambers}
{Painting by Lindsay Chambers}

There are so many amazing pieces in this inspiration board! Take for instance this stunning Matis armchair from Brabbu.

There are so many details about this piece that have me swooning – the curvaceous lines, the tufted outside back, the Macassar Ebony deck and legs, the dramatic reptile print velvet. To my eye it marries masculinity and femininity in one sexy statement piece. Spectacular!
I’m also completely head-over-heels in love with the organic yet utterly dramatic Sequoia Center Table, also from Brabbu. Like any strong woman, this piece is a force of nature and glamour.

Inspired by the largest and tallest tree in the world, the wood veneer top and brass “bark” are nothing short of drool-worthy.
Next, the Cobblehill Sofa from ABC Home – it is both soft and modern with its clean lines and decadent velvet upholstery and the soft gold offers the perfect feminine contrast to the dramatic black chairs.
Toss on a couple of black Mongolian lamb fur pillows, add a hit of studded leather for good measure and then create a custom cushion with this stunning Kelly Wearstler gold serpent linen from Groundworks to finish the bold and sexy look.
{Mark my words, I will be working this Kelly Wearstler print into my home in the coming days!}
For side tables, I love the bold yet simple Martini Side Table from West Elm…
…offset by the tribal Abaidoo Stool from Pfeiffer Studio.
Throw in a hit of animal magnetism with sexy legs with a pair of Neta Benches from Oly Studio:
Light it up with the organic, edgy and glamorous Linden Chandelier by Charles de Lisle {already on my wish list}…
…and then ground it all with a classic Moroccan Ben Ourain rug
…and I’d say you’ve got yourself a pretty darn sexy, feminine and fabulous space!
What do you think? Are you into the high-contrast and drama of a black and gold palette? What are your favourite ways to infuse femininity into your space without going all pink and frills?
Hope my musings have left you inspired and thinking about what it means to be a strong, sexy and feminine woman. 
By |October 15th, 2013|2 Comments