Thursday, October 8, 2015

Floating Canopy

So, as most of you are aware, I am shamelessly copying, failing miserably at recreating, was inspired by a beautiful bedroom that had what I'm calling, a floating canopy. I'm calling it a floating canopy because the canopy is attached to the ceiling, rather than being a part of a freestanding piece of furniture. In this particular case, the canopy is hanging from the ceiling from hooks and chains, but this varies in some of the pictures I've gathered for inspiration.

I have decided to hang my canopy from chains, just like the inspiration room, but finding suitable curtains has proven problematic. Have no fear, though. I am determined to finish this canopy THIS WEEKEND! So, bring on the inspiration and the perspiration, because we're getting busy. I say we, but clearly I mean I, since I'll be doing this alone! You're with me in spirit though, I know!

Here we go! Enjoy, and see you Tuesday ... with what I hope to be a partial reveal!


Photos via Pinterest, Mark D. Sikes

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cy Twombly

There are few iconic artists. You know, the ones that you see a painting or a photograph and whether you know anything about art or not, you know the name of the artist - or at the very least - have noted their work. Ansel Adams, and his photography of Yosemite National Park, for example; Andy Warhol, another. While you may not know his name, you've certainly see the work of Cy Twombly, too.

Familiar? Surely you've seen these before and wondered, who scribbled all over the paper and framed it? Well - Cy Twombly! Twombly was an incredible artist who dealt in paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculpture - all of which had a very organic sort of flow, and were very abstract. Some of his most beautiful pieces, in my opinion, were his blackboard paintings, a full series of work he completed between the 60's and 70's, which now sell upwards of $6,000,000 for large originals. Twombly used wax crayon on primarily gray backgrounds that were painted to look like aged, cloth eraser swiped blackboards.
This one, "Untitled" dated 1970, sold at a Christie's auction for a whopping $69.6 MILLION! Yes, MILLION! Which is well above the $35 - 55 Million dollar estimate it was given. Where does art like this go?
Well, it becomes part of a private collection, enjoyed by few until it either becomes part of a fund endowment or goes back up for auction to be sold to another very elite owner. But when you have work like Twombly's, what type of decorating might you have around it? Would it need to be as obscure, abstract? Could his paintings work in a room otherwise entirely traditional? Thomas Jayne thought so ...

This home, featured in Architectural Digest, is stunning and filled with wonderful, VERY EXPENSIVE pieces of art, by some of the most noted contemporary artists ever to live. I love this painting here, so much so - that I decided to do a little copycat of it in the new apartment. Here's a little peek:

Still SO much to do in the new place. I'm hoping that I can get an incredible amount of work done on it this long weekend, and get some good pictures to you all by middle of the week next week! Tonight I'm hoping that the chairs I have sell on CL, so I can build (YES BUILD) a new seating option for that space. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Copy Cat Tactics

Do you remember when HGTV had design shows? Like, real design shows? There was a relatively popular show that I remember watching religiously where a high end room was copied, literally copied, on a much smaller budget. Designers were given a room and a picture of a room - and they had to make the space as similar as they possibly could. It was very fun to watch. Most of the time the designer of the high end space, was also the designer of the low end space - so it was interesting to see just how similar the two spaces could be.

Different magazines do a high/low comparison, or at least, they used to. Before the first 160 pages of a 190 page magazine were advertisements for things you and I will never buy.

The Canadian design magazine, Style at Home still does the high low room comparison in their magazine. Again - it's fun to see how so many things can be really be copied on a budget, and after all, no matter how many zeros are in your figure, we almost all are on a budget! So, with that said - I have a room that I've wanted to copy, on a smaller budget, for years. It would have NEVER worked at CDLV, and the first apartment I moved to just wasn't conducive either. But the new place, well, it might be just the ticket for a little copy cat design of my own.
What room do I want to copy? 
I have been in love with this bedroom in Mark's house since I first saw it a few years ago in House Beautiful. The room has changed a lot since his HB cover feature, but this room always stuck with me. That glorious canopy, the sharp black walls, the modern art and layers - it just screamed COPY ME ARTIE, COPY ME! So, I did what all good copy cats do - and I started to look for every possible inch of this room in photos so that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Are you ready? I found a lot! Here they are:

 Absolutely gorgeous, right? Now, here's my difficulties in copying this room:
  • I don't have the same amount of space, likely not even 2/3 of the size of this room
  • I have to use my existing headboard
  • The room has wall-to-wall pile carpeting that I cannot change in favor of the seagrass
  • I can not afford 1/2 of the stuff in these pictures ... let's just be clear!
However, I'm a firm believer that you can do anything you set your mind to - and since I've wanted a black bedroom since I first saw this room ... that I knew I could accomplish!

Just like in Mark's room, I didn't go to the ceiling. Mark's ceiling actually coves, mine does not. But I could create the look visually by opting to put a very inexpensive piece of lattice trim 1' from the actual ceiling line. I think that this helps to visually raise the height of the ceiling and the black has done wonders to visual extend the barriers of those corners!
In addition to his black walls, Mark had black doors in his room, and while I would love to copy this look too, and in fact did in my old apartment, these doors are 1960's metal - everyone gasp, or yawn, because yes - they're boring! They've been beaten up quite a bit over the last 55 years, and painting them back is likely just going to end up accentuating the damage, AND making more work for me, as they'd chip every time I closed the door.
This, unfortunately, is as far as I've gotten, but it's coming together. The canopy is in the process of being made, and the bed is in place. Some touch up paint is needed, but I've jumped this far in, I figure I might as well keep going, right? Wish me luck! 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Modern Art, Traditional Interiors

Ever since I welcomed the beautiful abstract art of my friend Dianne D. Ballard into my home, I've been more and more interested in the affect that modern and abstract art has in traditional interiors. You might remember that my gorgeous pieces once hung over the sofa, flanking a mirror. In the new apartment, I'm not sure if this vignette will resurface or not, BUT, it certainly was gorgeous, and my Dianne D. Ballard art will always have a very special place in my home ... no matter where I make it!

My first place - with my Dianne D. Ballard pieces (SO GORGEOUS!)
So, of course, if you're reading the blog, you know I am thinking about doing a wall of mirrors behind the sofa in the new place. It needs the architectural interest. But, I've also thought of asking Dianne to do another piece of work for me, this time larger! Oh, yeah! Dianne does commissions! Interested? Dianne can be reached at or phone 252-497-6246 to discuss the possibilities for your space.
Dianne has been a faithful reader of my blog for a long time, and I know she'll see this post and say "LET'S DO IT!" So while I figure out the space and the walls and where exactly more of Dianne's beautiful work would hang - we can ooh and ahh over these gorgeous spaces, where traditional interiors meet modern and abstract art! Enjoy!


 All images via pinterest.