It's All in the Layering . . .

Hola . . .

Read Vogue yesterday from cover to cover, while getting completely sucked into Dexter (filmed in Miami - so I was busy checking out the backgrounds).  I was told it was great and had to see for myself.  The Pilot - turned into a marathon . . I believe there are 8 Seasons.  I think I'm in trouble.    My multi tasking (or ADD if you like) shifted into overdrive.  The Vogue blurb about Lulu DK and yesterday's post, sent me in the search of new fabrics, while simultaneously looking at her art and the art of others who work in mixed media collage, which I really love.   The reason I love collage so much is the layering.  Layering is the key to it all if you want your home to feel and look complete, we all know that.  How it's done, takes some practice, a really good eye, and the ability to edit.

I love the use of pattern on pattern, saturated colors and a great mix of old and new.  This layering is what makes any space looked collected and thoughtful, as oppose to lifeless and one-stop-shopped.  You should start with your key pieces and a loved color scheme or vibe.  What do I mean by vibe?  simple -  don't mix in too many styles.  Don't have a full room that screams french country for example next door to a full room of mid century modern.  You can mix the two if you are really good (because there truly are no rules) but it's pretty hard to do.   I have changed a bit over the years on the color cohesiveness thing, yet I still believe the tone and hue should not be to drastically different from room to room, meaning stick with all pastels and don't try to add primary colors to that mix !

As I add accessories, art, lighting, pillows, and window treatments the room comes alive.  It's the jewelry and it completes a room.  Half, if not all, the fun is in the collecting.  Pieces should tell a story.   No offense to Pottery Barn, West Elm, Restoration Hardware and the like, but unless the UPS man that came to your door helped deliver your baby - creating a memory - unique and special these pieces may not be.  Ok that was a bit harsh . . . there are some great finds, I just don't want to see my finds in every friends home I go to.   Try modifying those great finds to call them your own.

Anyway, where was I . .  layering . . . 

Lulu DK has a great graphic range of fabrics as well as whimsical designs as not to take it all too serious, which I love.  In all my surfing around I came across the home of Melissa and Marco Palazzo of  Pal + Smith.  I don't remember the first time I saw this room, but it was pre-pinterest for me, so I think I have it ripped out and in a "inspiration" binder (seeing this now on my lap top so conveniently is the love in my love/hate Internet relationship).

 Looking at it again, I immediate noticed the two sofas covered in one of her strong, eye catching graphics.  It works so well in this space with the white walls and light floors.  Afraid of  such a bold pattern on such large pieces - why?!  Try black & white or grey, down the road if you want to change your color palette, it will still go with anything. 

These two Orange County designers, award winning and oh so chic (you've probably seem their work in Met Home) have this layering thing down - at least in this image - take a look.   Their take on Regency Mod is great and exactly what I mean by "no wall paper is too busy for art," and having the feel of a collected room.

Great color, great use of space, but most of all, appears to tell a story . .  Take a look at the rest of their home to see what I mean by color hue cohesiveness. 

This 50's ranch epitomizes the collected cool I am constantly chasing after.  Fresh and livable.

This layering of accessories, other colors, art and more art brings these rooms to life !  It's not overly coordinated, it looks collected, it looks personal, it's chic and gorgeous . . .

Artwork is not only a necessity in every room design, it's pulls together a look, it adds life and detail to what can be a dull wall.  With paint or paper you still need art !!  Think that busy pattern your designer chose can't hold art, think again.   It can be large, it can be multiple pieces grouped, it can be simple or elaborate.  It must speak to you though.    It's personal.  I tell my clients to find pieces that they love.  Every eye sees art in a different way.  I don't have a problem bringing over what I love, but I do like to send my clients out find what they love.

My taste in art is so varied.  I tend to gravitate towards modern, abstract, mix media.  I love a little whimsy.  I love collage.  When you have time to spend moving through magazines, blobs and random surfing one thing always leads to another.  It can be a huge time suck, but so enlightening.  During my day-o-surfing (and a Season 1 marathon) I came across Beth Hoeckel, artist.  

Her style . . . collage, whimsical, and I kind of love it.  It's the mix that is so great as well as the lightheartedness.  Best part, won't break the art budget.  It's the vision I am attracted to, a skilled Photo Shop pro could probably whip these right out, but she has a great eye for composition and that's what make a great artist (and designer for that matter).  Take a look at my favs.  

Her inexpensive prints can come to you from  Society 6.   I ordered a limited, signed print from her site (here) and jumped on Etsy for an original as well.   I am all about the great, cheap art so long as it's signed so I'd hit the later sites first  . . . 

Inspiration comes from everywhere . . . I have been inspired today in so many directions.  I am wondering if Beth Hoeckel paid homage to or was inspired herself when she created these pieces.

Reminded me of John Baldessari immediately !

Kate Spade knows . . . and adding that grass cloth just makes it that much better !

My point of all this writing about layering, is simply this, it's important . . . layering is the key.

Season 2 is calling . . . along with those 4 new jobs to now start playing with !

Happy Saturday.

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