A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Capturing Light: Camellias in the Kitchen

I took a slight detour from my usual furniture postings today. I woke up a little later than usual [due to some late night brainstorming, aka: I can't sleep so I make lists of things I need to get done], and didn't get around to making my morning cup of coffee until well past 9am. As I stood beside the electric tea kettle waiting for it to warm my water to its precisely desired temperature [200F for my french press], I noticed one of the flowers from my camellia cuttings had fallen from its branch.  Looking  like it had artfully and intentionally been placed [though I promise you, it lay their out of its own volition], I decided to snap photos of it and its counterparts who were still managing to keep their composure. The morning light in my kitchen is the stuff dreams are made of.  It's warm, bathing everything in a romantic glow.  It's my favorite time of day to work in the kitchen, though I so rarely do much more than make coffee or tea and pour milk into a bowl of cereal at this time of day [note to self: start cooking pre-10am].  The photos show the sunlight in this little vignette as it goes from all consuming to a more wistful shade. Light creates a feeling of place. It sets a mood unlike anything else. The fallen camellia can attest to this. Happy Friday, by the way! -Jo

Night Photography on the Atlanta Beltline

I've wanted to get better at photography since I got my first DSLR three years ago.  I've told myself I would take classes, practice, and just work on it day by day.  I'm constantly taking photos, but I still don't feel like I've truly made the effort to improve. Having a professional photographer friend really does help, and recently we decided to try our hand at some night photography in my neighborhood.  He showed me the ropes a bit, and we both took some pretty amazing photos while hanging out with our cameras and tripods on the Beltline late one Sunday night.  Here are a few shots we both took from similar angles:

Paris on Ponce


Bridge overlooking Ponce De Leon Avenue


I had to add a few more of my favorites, all of similar parts of the Beltline, just taken from a different perspective.  The light you get in night photography [no flashes here] is unbeatable.  I particularly loved the traveling lights as we watched the cars zipping by on Ponce.  It's so fascinating to see how the light bends, and how the camera is able to capture its movement. I feel like both our perspectives really evoke what it feels like to live in Atlanta.  It really is a beautiful city, especially through the right camera lens.


Seeing Life Through a Vector: Floral Arrangements Become Art


Maybe I'm just being a romantic as of late, but Valentine's Day always reminds me how much I love flowers all year long.  I just like the idea of having something natural and beautiful and impermanent.  This time of year, all my favorite flowers are tough to come by, so I thought I'd play around and create some floral art of my own.

I've had to do some vectorization while doing logo work lately, and I started getting crafty with Adobe Illustrator.  I particularly loved how some of my flower photography turned out.  The colors are unbeatable.  Now that the weather will be warming up [positive thinking everyone!] I plan to start back up with painting again, and creating these has given me a surge of inspiration to pick up the paint brush.  Stay tuned...


One Wall, Four Ways: Deciding on Art Using Photoshop


Yesterday's post highlighted a few pieces of affordable art [everything was under $225] I found this weekend while antiquing.  Today, I thought it would be fun to try out a few of them in a real world [or rather, Photoshopped world] to get a sense for what could work best in a specific space.

The test photo I used was actually one I also took this weekend while surveying the Room & Board floor sample sale.  I fell in love with this space mostly for the mustard and gray color scheme [I almost walked out the door with that wingback!] , but it also had a great sense of balance and texture that worked well.

The original room [pictured above] showcases a standard subway art piece on the fireplace mantle.  I liked the use of black; it grounds that wall and adds a nice, bold graphic element to the room. BUT...I'm a little bit done with the whole Subway Art movement. I'm not saying I'd NEVER use one in a design, but I'm looking for something fresh and different...Here are a few options:

'The Old Man and the Sea..of Blue'

'The Old Man and the Sea..of Blue'

He's the smallest of the art I'm trying out today, and it shows. He may be a little too tall and not enough wide for this space.  BUT I love the teal-ish blue in the painting and how it coordinates with the mustard chair [his sweater vest even has a bit of mustard in it-how perfect!]

'Vintage European Map'

'Vintage European Map'

Since my man seemed a little small, I thought I'd go big and test out this awesome vintage European map.  It's graphic like the Subway Art, and I like the varying colors. But the two things that tell me no for this particular space are: 1. the light yellow in the map just doesn't work with the mustard chair- tragedy! 2. It's just a little too large for the mantle.  I might put this map above the sofa on the left though..

'Magnolia Still Life'

'Magnolia Still Life'

Onto my favorite choice...magnolia! Yes, she may be a bit traditional; still lifes aren't necessarily screaming young and hip, but for me, this just works. The scale of the art is perfect.  Just the right amount of width and height. There's just a hint of mustard in the shading of the magnolia. And because of the perspective, the magnolia is quite large and really draws your eye to the fireplace.  I'm SOLD!

'Subway art + vase'

'Subway art + vase'

Now, let's pretend my favorite painting was out of my price range [but no!], and my sweet old man was sold... I could go with a standard subway art print, and doll it up with a curvy vase like this one.  Knowing me, I'd add at least one or two more things to the mantle to dress it up more, but even something as simple as this really works!

triple-living room-design-gray-mustard-modern.jpg

FINALLY...maybe I'm just in a really good mood and decide to buy TWO pieces of art? Can they work together? But of course! And throw that vase in there, things look better in threes anyway! Granted, I did resize my man a bit to make sense in this vignette, because otherwise the two pieces would be too close in size, which wouldn't look right. Looks like that adds up to SIX ways to style this wall...oh the options!

It's a shame this isn't my living room, and I won't be curling up in that glorious wingback flying through my next teen novel [don't judge!], and I don't have a need for any art above a fireplace [I've actually got a great piece hanging above my fireplace if you check out this gallery], so all of this was just playing a little pretend for an evening.

This really is an incredibly easy and effective way to test out art on your walls, without having to actually buy it [especially if you're investing in something expensive or not returnable!]. All you need is an iPhone [or iPhone clone], measuring tape, and Photoshop [though this can probably be done using something that's free, tell me if you know of any good software/app for that!] and you're on your way to deciding what piece of art will work in your space