Inspired by Art

When it comes to playing games, I am one of those very conceptual clue-givers/clue-drawers. Instead of taking the shortest route to get to the answer (such as using opposites as clues to string together otherwise disparate words to come up with a phrase), I explain the thing from the dawn of time, in the grand context of all the life. I don't operate this way on the guessing end, mind you, but when it comes to doling out clues, I think everyone's blood pressure raises slightly when I'm up. Playing games with me is akin to the skill (and patience) it takes to see those Magic Eye images; you have to cross your eyes ever so slightly and relax your brain, and then...sailboat.

Where am I going with this? I think this same "quirk" (makes it sound cuter) is what draws me to certain art pieces. Sometimes, I like a print or painting because it reminds me explicitly of an experience, trip, verse, etc. But more often than not, I am drawn to the overall feel of it because of a visceral liking. Not for any rhyme or reason that I can figure, but something stirs and I dig it.

I was recently asked to come up with an interior design that was inspired by a piece of art, and one piece in particular piqued my interested over and over again. It certainly wasn't the easiest choice to design around, but the weight, texture, and color of it had me toggling back and forth until I finally surrendered and said, "Let's do this!"

Painting: Invaluable.com // Sconces: Wisteria // Chandelier: Z Gallerie // Pillows: Z Gallerie
End Table: Candelabra // Vase: West Elm // Spray: Z Gallerie // Sofa: Wisteria
Hardwood: Seconds & Surplus // Rug: Rugs USA // Paint: Benjamin Moore (Dune White, Simply White trim)

The key for me was trying to design a space that still feels very accessible, yet embraces the intensity of the painting. I went with a neutral wall and sofa in this living room design to let the accessories compliment the colors and textures of the abstract work, which I chose to leave unframed for a modern focus. I've adored these iron sconces from Wisteria for months, and incorporated the round shape of the sconces, chandelier, and side table balance the squared sofa, pillows, and large canvas. Not to OD on neutrals, I pulled out some of that rich warmth from the painting with statement copper and brass elements (side table and chandelier), which is also complimented by the honey-hued hand scraped hardwoods. Loving how all the unique textures of this room bring visual interest, but don't compete with the lovely centerpiece of the painting that started it all.

What inspires your design ideas? Need some help? Visit www.invaluable.com!


  1. Love the rug! I recently bought a rug from Rugs USA for the Baby room.

    1. They have awesome rugs, and lots of options on sale, too! The price of good, big rugs used to scare me, but seeing the difference they make in a room...can't imagine a design without one. :) So excited about your journey with your little one on the way! Love reading your posts.