First, a special announcement!
I’m writing about Monet for a few reasons – the first you know, the second is kind of a secret… This summer we are launching an online summer camp to teach kids all about some master artists, including Monet! It will include daily projects (with videos!) to help kids dive deep into new mediums, art styles, and the lives of great artists of myriad colors, genders, and time periods. Stay tuned for more details!!! Sign up for our newsletter here for early access and a huge discount on this course when it is released! Now onto tips for interior design inspired by Monet:
1 – It’s all about lighting.
Much of Monet’s passion as a painter was driven by a desire to capture light! He would paint the same scene over and over again at different times of day to capture the shadow play and different colors created. Within the walls of your home, you are somewhat limited with regard to natural light. When choosing a place to live, consider how natural light will affect your space! Select fun curtains or shutters (tres French) and outfit the windows accordingly.
You may not be able to control the sun, but a lovely invention called electricity does give you the ability to control light! It is amazing how a simple lamp or light shade can transform any space. An old apartment of mine felt dingy and small. The walls were a funny yellowish color that I thought was terrible, but I couldn’t change it! Eventually I got a floor lamp with a bright, white light. Suddenly, I realized the color wasn’t as bad as it had looked before. With just a lightbulb, I achieved the same effect a can of paint would have had. While lighting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “interior design,” it should be when the phrase is followed by “inspired by Monet.”
2 – Color is not something to be afraid of.
While at the height of his fame, Monet began to suffer from severe cataracts that seriously impeded his ability to see. His vision blurred and certain hues were completely lost to him. During this period, you’ll notice a difference in his color choices and less attention to detail – these works were much larger and abstract. After many long years, he had surgery performed on his eyes and regained some of his sight! It was speculated then and even still that as a result of the surgery, he became able to see ultraviolet light. You read that right. Monet could see a color you and I cannot! As if I needed another reason to ooh and ahh over his work!! Many of the purple colored flowers painted during this period were actually white, but UV rays made them appear ultraviolet to Monet!
My point in sharing all of this is that you shouldn’t be afraid of color, or of using it in new ways. Whether or not you think you have ~the eye~ for color, don’t be scared to make bold choices! Monet was partially blind for a major chunk of his career, and he definitely made color choices that look… odd. But the variety is part of what makes his work so beautiful! That painting wouldn’t be as nearly famous if it were green. Don’t be afraid! And whatever you do, don’t be beige. Take one look at the interior of his home, and you’ll understand – interior design inspired by Monet is not, under any circumstances, beige.
3 – If you don’t love what you have, change it.
The home that Monet bought in his later years called Giverny is famous for its sprawling gardens and Japanese footbridge. The whole property is featured prominently in Monet’s most famous pieces, because yes, those water lilies grew in his own yard. Most varieties of lilies he painted were not native to France, however, and he had them flown in from all over the world to be planted in his garden. There, he tenderly cared for them and catalogued them in paint for the world to admire forevermore. Of course all the this makes Monet’s home one of the top destinations for flower lovers.
This illustrates another thing I love about Monet – he made his life beautiful. He didn’t just stumble upon some random pond and decide to paint it four hundred times. There were certainly other lovely flowers he could’ve painted, but instead, he planted those flowers! He cultivated those trees! He guided plants across trellises with painterly composition in mind. Whether or not you live at Giverny, you can learn from this mindset: take what you have and beautify it. Be proud of what you have, no matter how big or small. Then, emphasize the best parts of your space, and be willing to cultivate your own interior design inspired by Monet.
Here are some pieces that would be perfect if you’re seeking to create your own little Giverny:
Monet inspired interior design
How to recreate Monet’s home
More modern decor inspired by Monet’s work
This post is a part of our In the mood for series where we show you how to recreate interior design styles and fashion inspired by people we admire! Click any of the links below to check out the past posts in this series!