8 Ways Vermeer’s Work Can Make Its Mark in Your Home


The Wineglass, Vermeer, 1658-60, in PD-US via Wikimedia Commons

Even with only about three dozen paintings to his name, Johannes Vermeer is considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. (His Girl With a Pearl Earring painting caused a craze on a recent two-year world tour.) Painted with utmost care and the clarity of a photograph, Vermeer’s paintings mostly depict ordinary domestic scenes, often of ephemeral figures in the crisp northern light inside two rooms of his home in Delft, Netherlands.

Although you may think you and the 17th-century Dutch artist are worlds apart, you may be surprised to see how his paintings can shape your home’s interior for the better. From stained glass to Oriental rugs to checkered floors to tile, click HERE if you’re interested in going Dutch.

6 Ways to Introduce Chinese Design Style in the New Year

Chinese New Year_photo by aotaro on Flickr

Photo courtesy of aotaro on Flickr

February 8th is the first day of the Chinese New Year 2016.  Festivities traditionally include the Lantern Festival, symbolizing the forthcoming return of spring. Red is associated with luck in Chinese culture, so red lanterns are the appropriate hue to usher in the Chinese New Year.

Fu_photo by IQRemix on Flickr

Photo courtesy of IQRemix on Flickr

Fu in Chinese means happiness, luck, and prosperity. During the new year celebration, the Chinese character is written on red-colored diamond-shaped paper and often turned upside down, signifying that happiness is forthcoming. Fu is usually posted on front doors, windows or living room walls.

While these are just a couple of ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year, you might want to bring some Chinese design style into your home — not only for luck, but also for its elegance and whimsical charm.

Click HERE to see the six ways to do it:

Interiors Need Energy? Look to Mondrian’s Paintings for Inspiration

Tableau_I,_Piet Mondrian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tableau 1, Piet Mondrian in PD_US via Wikimedia Commons

Even if you don’t know the name Piet Mondrian, you probably know his work. The Dutch painter’s use of black grids filled with primary colors spilled out of the art world and into home decor and fashion — Yves Saint Laurent designed dresses in the 1960s based on Mondrian’s work.

And while Mondrian might seem a bit uptight (he kicked a member out of the De Stijl art movement group for using diagonals), he was a key figure in the development of modernism and the concept of visual abstraction.

If you think along similar lines, his work can uplift your home’s interior in a striking way. Click HERE for the full story on Mondrian-inspired interiors.

Take Cues From Van Gogh’s Art for Bright and Cheery Interiors

Considered one of the most popular artists of all time, Vincent Van Gogh developed his own style characterized by bold, visible brushstrokes, heavily laden with bright paint. Although he sold only one painting in his lifetime, his emotionally charged, expressionistic work played a crucial in role in the development of modern art.

His daring use of color and dreamy interpretation of the world are things that home interiors can benefit from too. So if you’re looking to energize your place, let the famous Dutch painter’s masterpieces guide you. Click HERE for the full story.

Seeking Balance in Scandinavian Design

Lagom is a Swedish term that means perfectly balanced – not too little, not too much.

Much of the success of Scandinavian design, new or old, is owed to its clean lines, simplicity of design and how harmoniously it blends with other periods and styles.

This is in part why the resurgence of mid-century modern style and designs by many of the greats like Hans Wegner, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen have journeyed back into many of our homes.

Looking to channel Scandinavian style? Click HERE for the full story.

What Matisse Can Teach Us About Interior Design

The Painter's Family_sm

Matisse, The Painter’s Family (1911). Photo in PD-US via wikipedia.org

French artist Henri Matisse, known for his revolutionary use of brilliant color and expressive forms, sought to create work that would be “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair,” as he put it.

His fearless use of color, pattern and movement transfer well to the world of interior design — so if you don’t have the millions to drop on an original Matisse masterpiece, consider letting the artist’s work inspire your decor instead. Click HERE to find out how.

Nixing Neutrals to Create a Colorful Craftsman

kitchenFor a couple who decided to name their cocker spaniel Color, a beige and white interior just wasn’t going to cut it. That’s the situation designer Caitlin Murray and film editor Mike Parzynski faced with their historic Craftsman bungalow in Los Angeles.

Murray took charge, introducing colorful accessories against a gray backdrop for the living room, electric blue cabinets for the kitchen and quirky art pieces for the bedroom to amp up the lifelessly neutral home. Click HERE to read the full story…

Chocolate’s Hot!

What’s more cozy than a steaming mug of hot chocolate by the fireplace after a wintery afternoon of ice skating or skiing? Not only after alpine sports, hot chocolate, or any chocolate, for that matter, is welcome by most folks 24/7.

Looking to indulge in some chocolate? Consider adding some chocolate-hued décor instead of hightailing it towards the truffles. Click HERE to learn how to make it work!

Some Old Tricks for a New Atlanta Farmhouse

via Blake Shaw Homes

Builder Blake Shaw and his wife, Catherine, dreamed of someday having an old farmhouse on a small farm or near the mountains. But when they began drawing up plans to renovate their existing home, they found themselves designing their bucolic dream home right in their suburban Atlanta neighborhood.

Shaw created a ‘pretend story’ to help design his new farmhouse to feel as if it was added onto over several generations. Read the full story HERE

Pros Solve a Head-Scratching Layout in Boulder

via bldg.collective

When you can’t find a builder to agree to tackle your renovation, you know you have a difficult one on your hands. That was the case for these homeowners, who wanted to overhaul their 1905 Boulder, Colorado house and its awkward, haphazardly tacked-on second floor.

Because the homeowners wanted to dig out a basement, they needed to find a builder willing to raise the two separate structures to carve out the space below. The overhaul also needed to gain more bedrooms, bathrooms and create a chef’s dream kitchen, but the task had many builders shying away. Click HERE for the full story…