5 reasons mirrors are essential in decor

Get lit! Use mirrors to light up your life

Aside from the practical use of mirrors (checking oneself out), mirrors have another excellent purpose – they bounce light beautifully. You can make even the darkest corners, nooks and crannies more luminous by adding a mirror. You probably don’t have the ability to knock out an exterior wall of your house and add a million windows, but you can put a million mirrors in your house. I absolutely love seeing a wall covered in mirrors – it’s been popular since the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, and I don’t think it will ever go out. Pick matching, simple mirrors for a minimal look that maximizes your space. If you like the more eclectic look, mix and match ornate mirrors.

Open up (your mind and your living room)

I kinda spoiled this tip in the previous section, but one magical thing about mirrors is their ability to make a space feel larger. In an old house I lived in, we had a gigantic mirror at the top of the stairs. It always tricked guests into thinking there was another wing of the house! Mind you, this house was no manor – it was a pretty basic tract home. Simple tricks like adding a big mirror can make you feel like you’ve built that add-on you’ve been dreaming about. This made a big difference in my small office makeover.

Is that a new window?

Up next is a real trick. I feel like a click bait ad saying that. But this one is pretty genius I think! Have you ever seen a mirror with panes on it like a window? I spied this one on Pinterest and I totally thought it was a window. Brainblast – place a big mirror where you want a window! If you can find one that is similar in size and shape to an actual window in your house, place the mirror next to the window. Boom. extra window. I’m a genius. 

Make a mirror the focal point

Mirrors are beautiful on their own. Ones with beautiful frames or funky shapes and detailing truly look like art and should be treated as such!! I am in love with the idea of a mirror as a focal piece, hung on a mantelpiece or in an art niche. I want this mirror from Anthropologie (sorry to be predictable but they are just so good) hung over an end table in my entryway. If you’re needing some styling inspo, check out this picture I found.

Mirrors are simple to update when styles change

Last but not least are my favorite mirror trends. There are a few trends that I keep seeing and truthfully can’t get enough of! One mirror staple over the last few years has been the circle mirror. The shape is simple enough to not be distracting and it gives the eye a break from hard angles. If you’re tired of too many hard angles, check out this scallop mirror from Gustaf Westman that I adore. I even made my own scallop wave pinboard inspired by that mirror and Matilda Goad! Other trends I love are organically shaped mirrors, ornate antiquey ones, and of course, mirrors with color and pattern. The images below are just a few of my favorites for sale right now! 

 

DIY Mirror

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about all you makers. If you prefer a handmade touch to make your decor unlike any others, check out this DIY rattan mirror!

DIY rattan mirror

Kissing clothespin magnet

I did a version of my wedding couple clothespin (originally on Brooklyn Bride) for Chalkboard Mag, but this time I turned into…drumroll please….a magnet. *GASP*. I know, contain yourself. 
Materials: oversize clothespin, acrylic paints, paintbrush, pencil, magnet strip, double sided tape or glue, scissors.
Step 1: Create the outfit outlines of the couple’s clothing with your pencil. (I based her outfit off of Lauren Moffat‘s fall 2012 line)
Step 2: Paint in the outfits with your acrylics.

Step 3: Cut a strip of magnet and use double sided tape or glue to attach it to the clothespin.

Voila! 
I mostly wanted to find a way to find a practical use for this clothespin rather than just have it sitting on my bookshelf so I thought the fridge would be a much better place for it. Plus, you get a little peek into the chalkboard cupboard that I painted in our kitchen. 
As always, photography by Hilda Grahnat 

Miami prints by Jane Merritt

Miami City art prints

Like the other prints in the Lars Print shop, each design can come however you’d like–as a download where you can print it off yourself or as a print in the mail in a variety of sizes or it can come framed and/or matted. Here we put three together and I think they work perfectly together, no? All that Art Deco glory–so good! 

You can find the prints in our Lars Print Shop!

And you can find our art lovers guide to Miami here!

You can see Jane’s work here.

Art prints for every style

From illustrations to photography to quotes, the Lars print shop has wall decor for every style! If you’re looking for some bold pieces to accompany your Miami prints on a gallery wall, you can find plenty of patterns and bright colors in the Lars shop prints! Or, if you’re going for a more subtle, pastel wall, you can browse through some of the illustrations to match the Miami art prints.

We even have a couple of art prints for Coronavirus relief charities. You get beautiful pieces of art AND help out communities during the pandemic. It’s a win-win.

If you love these Miami prints but aren’t sure how to start your gallery wall, we’ve got you covered! Learn how to make a gallery wall here, and let the decorating begin!

Meet Brittany’s new rainbow office

The Before Photos

As you recall, we moved into our new home in September. The house had no floors, bathrooms, showers, etc. There’s a general lack of storage and design features so one by one we’ll be turning each room into a work of art. While I take my time contemplating how I want to design each room along with the custom built features I have in mind, I couldn’t wait to get my office “done” for now and it feels SO good.

Here are the before photos:

Pretty sad, right?!

  1. It starts with a plain white room.
  2. Started adding on the calendars
  3. added in the new Mr. Kate sofa and chair and replaced lighting fixture

rainbow calendar

My new rainbow office

It all started with this rainbow calendar. I bought it ages ago and intended to put it in my office in the old studio. I never got around to designing the space and there it sat in its box. FINALLY, I took it out a few weeks ago and thought it would look perfect along the wall and I was right. It was meant to be.rainbow calendar home office

The requirements

Now, the thing about my office is that it sits right next to the front door so I knew it would act like a reception area–a welcome space to the house, but also welcome to my company. As I’ve mentioned, in November we moved The House That Lars Built into the basement of our house. While it might seem like a downgrade (I’ve seen some of your comments 😉 it’s been the plan for a long time–it just took awhile to get to the point where we could do it because 1) we needed to buy a house and 2) we needed a house that was large enough to do it.books arranged by color

What I envisioned

I’ve loved having an outside office to go to–I get a lot down and I’m able to focus more. However, with COVID and a new baby, we wanted to keep things more insular. My company is an extension of my life, for better or for worse, and having something that I could invest time and money into and show how our projects fit into my lifestyle was something that felt more natural and authentic, rather than something that fit into a blank work space. Plus, putting money into fixing up our studio space turned into something I started to resent as it was something that was getting more love than my actual house. rainbow calendar blue futonblue tufted sofa

The Furniture

My office is also intended to act as a guest room so when DHP reached out with their new Mr. Kate collection I knew just what to do. If you recall, DHP has a lot of great clever futon selections. I say clever, because they’ve nailed the art of conserving space in their furniture. I selected the Mr. Kate teal Stella (it’s more of a beautiful robin’s egg blue!) velvet futon. The side arms pack up snuggly into the bottom of the futon (so snuggly that I had to write in to complain that they didn’t send me the arms! Nope, they were in there the whole time!). And when you extend the back down, the legs for the futon zip out of the back. So clever. It makes it easy to turn it into a bed and then back into the sofa.

I then selected the black and white Mr. Kate Effie accent chair because the room needed something to weigh it down a bit more than all the rainbow colors going on. I love it! The legs are also upholstered, which is a nice feature. The chair is great for both meetings AND nursing, because you bet I’m very much doing both. It comes in a mustard color too, which also would have been super pretty.blue velvet futon sofa

The quirks

While the studio is downstairs my office is on the main floor and we do a lot of shooting on the main floor so the office also serves as a photography space. I keep a lot of our backgrounds in here so we don’t have to lug them up and down the stairs all the time. Some of them are super heavy. It’s north facing so the lighting is super even and great for our videos, which we have been loving. home office renovation

Having a place to work that’s in order has already been so uplifting for my soul. It’s only been a few days so far, but we’ve been spending so much more time in here already because it feels so good! Jasper and I have been reading books on the sofa as well as playing on his own. I’ve been nursing Felix there too. I’ve never had such a functional, yet uplifting room and I’m reveling in it!

Mr. Kate Furniture Collection

Effie black and white upholstered accent chair
Stella Convertible Sofa

Other items in the office:

Ombre Rug, Chandelier, Rainbow calendar, hand desk lamp, purple and white pitcher from Pomelo, cardboard house boxes, 

This post was sponsored by DHP’s Mr. Kate. Thanks to our great partners who allow us to create beautiful content for you! 

If you liked this post you might also like
Mary’s new leather sofa
Designing a soulful kitchen with Eva Jorgensen
#WFH How to Design Your Perfect Home Office

The House That Lars Bought: Garden inspiration and first update!

Home renovation update

Before we jump into gardening inspo, I wanted to start off with a little house renovation update. There was one wall in the basement that was…how do we say…naked when we closed. It looked like this.

Every contractor who saw it said that they had never seen anything like it. Frankly, it made me a little nervous hearing things like that.

Earthquake proof and everything proof foundation walls

TURNS OUT! The people who built it got in touch with me on Instagram and have provided a lot of insight. It’s so thrilling. They said that it’s called pollysteel–steel framing with styrofoam. It’s earthquake proof, termite proof, fire proof, and provides better insulation. VERY cool, right? I’m hoping to learn more about the house from them. They’ve already shared a few really touching stories.

I had some drywall experts come on over and they finished it up beautifully.

Ta dah!

Up, that’s the only update. Kind of boring, but I’m all about the baby steps right now.

Landscaping

Ok, now to garden inspiration…The landscaping is mostly super boring town right now. Only lawn but some beautiful sycamore trees. Sycamores remind me of my grandparents home in Los Angeles so I do feel like it’s coming full circle and I’m super stoked about them.

We’ll probably do some different entrance path at some point, again, low on the priority list.

Side yard

And here’s the side yard.

And the other side yard. It’s very slopey so I’ll need your input on what to do here to make it more interesting and garden-y.

Here’s a better view of the side yard . Just grass. And I know a lot of people LOVE grass squares, but honestly, they give me a major case of the snoozies. It’s kind of a swear word to me when someone says “oh, and there’s a big open lawn, you’ll love it”. The amount of flowers you could plant! (dear pun intended).

And how weird is this. Two times I’ve come to the house and the same deer has been in this exact spot munching away. I missed a couple of opportunities on Instastories for this pun and I can’t ruin it again so…it was a major case of deer-ja vu. Hardy har har.

Please diagnosis this tree

Bonus points to whoever can tell me what’s wrong with the side tree. Also, I think I have tryphobia because this picture gives me the chills up and down my spine.

The backyard

The back of the house is long and narrow. There’s a deck coming out from the kitchen with some fir trees. I believe, but need to verify the boundary lines. I was told it’s that telephone post to the right of the shed, which is not ours. I think there’s room to be creative here, but we’ll have to figure out what that is.

Ok, that’s what we have to work with. Now what do we do? This is the fun part…the dreaming! Every phase needs a dream because you need to feel excited about something, right?!

Side yard inspo

Here’s what I’m thinking: put that side green grass square to work by making a more formal symmetrical path with a beautiful gravel and hedges and flowers. These inspiration photos are to illustrate the idea of the paths and types of hedges.

You following?

A place for walking and exploring, beautiful flowers, foot paths, a place to sit and relax. A spot for manicured topiaries contrasted with more wild shrubs.

Front yard

I haven’t flushed out the front yard yet, but I know there’s one thing on the agenda and that’s hydrangeas. There’s ONE type of hyrdangea that grows here in Utah. All the others don’t survive the desert heat. My sister has a neighbor where they are thriving. See?

They only come in that one color and I don’t know the name yet, but they’re so lush. And this house is north facing, as it ours, so I’m feeling like it would be a good plan for the front of the house.

As for the backyard, I don’t have any idea yet…but I’m open to suggestions. Side yard too.

In the mean time, in my mind I’m sitting in the south of France in my side yard and I’m feeling PRETTY good.

Favorite gardeners to follow on Instagram

If you’re needing a big dose of garden inspiration, I ADORE following Danish garden expert, Claus Dalby on Instagram. He’s SO informative and his grounds are out.of.this.world. He gives constant live tours (“livesending” he calls it and he begins every video with “hallo hallo”. I live for it.) We might need to bring a little (a lot!) of Denmark into this project. It’s only right 😉

Also, Monty Don has gotten me through COVID so do yourselves a favor and go watch all of his documentaries ASAP.

Would love your input, especially about sloping side yard and back yard!

Inspiration photos found here, here, here, here, here, here

Lars Shop Highlight: Floral Art Prints

Last month we did a post about spring cleaning and switching out your art prints, and I shared some art from the Lars print shop. This May, though, I’m focusing on flowers (even more than I do year round! Ha!) so I wanted to show you my curated collection of floral art prints.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, subdued artwork or a playful print there’s something that’s sure to catch your attention in the floral art print shop!

Playful

These prints are charming for children (or children-at-heart)! Ayang Cempaka’s whimsical fairytale-themed prints are colorful and fun, and they are lovely reminders of some favorite stories. Thumbelina’s meadow scene is particularly fitting for Spring, don’t you think?

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

Normandie Luscher’s prints are also inspired by favorite stories. If you’re a reader, these prints are a great way to decorate your space with reminders of your favorite books. You’ll be transported to lovely Avonlea when you look up at Anne’s Way of Delight!

An art print of girls inside and outside a brick building covered with vines and surrounded by trees and flowers. Next to the print are wooden toys shaped like trees and a rainbow. A print of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables walking through a corridor of blossoms against a pink background with real blossoms in front.

Another floral art print that celebrates Spring and promotes literacy is Josefina Schargorodsky’s Reading In the Woods illustration. This artwork would be perfect for a kid’s room or next to the bookshelf.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Painterly

Decorating with a painterly floral art print is a way to introduce some serenity and style into your space. Helen Dealtry’s Secret Garden print feels like a mysterious portal into another, greener world–just like in the book!

A print of flowers in a green secret garden tunnel hangs on the wall in front of a plant and some craft supplies

Lynne Millar’s paintings are not to be missed! The way she treats shadow and light is dramatic in the same way that a really well-planned garden can be, so you can bring the outdoors in with her prints. Check out this interview of Lynne here!

In interior shot of a pink couch with cushions, a table with a plant, a modern lamp, and artwork on the walls. One of the works is Lynne Millar's Rose painting.

Julie Marabelle of Famille Summerbelle makes glorious paper cut art by painting on paper and then cutting intricate floral designs into them. We have several of her works in our floral art print shop and they would look so lovely in any space!

Field of Colored Flowers Papercut By Julie Marabelle is framed and perched on top of a stack of books next to a yellow bed and a blue and white striped wallpapered wall.

A framed paper-cut floral print on a spruce-themed wallpapered wall by a yellow bed and a blue lamp

These dainty prints by Monica Dorazewski and Yas Imamura will bring whimsy into your home. They would be perfect in a space that needs a breath of light, fresh air, and feminine energy.

Seven Flowers Print by Yas Imamura

Adriana Picker also makes gorgeous, bright, botanical prints. Find her dahlia print here, her tulip print here, her cosmos print here, and her rose print (not pictured) here. You can also read this interview from Adriana Picker and find out more about the artist.

Three pink floral art prints on a white mantle next to a potted plant and a green candlestick

Graphic

Would you describe your style as bold and bright? Some of these more graphic floral art prints might just be calling your name.

Lisa Congdon’s style would look great in a super modern space–I love the idea of kids coming into a living room or kitchen to do homework with “Openness is Essential to Creativity” hanging on the wall next to them. How inspiring, right? Danielle Kroll’s Clementine print would also be so cute in a kitchen.

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and books Clementine Print by Danielle Kroll

For floral art prints in bold colors with less geometric designs, I think that Alli Stocco’s Flamenco Flamingos are a great fit. I also love the Mae West quote written on the print: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Such great words to live by!

Rosie Harbottle’s Iris Apfel print brings bright, bold energy into a space. When I see this print I feel inspired to be daring like Iris, and I think all of us could use some of that oomph in our lives.

Flamenco Flamingos by Alli StoccoIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of flowers, check out this roundup of floral interior decor–it would all look great with a print from our shop.

What do you look for when choosing art for your home? I would love to see how you decorate with floral art prints, so tag us with #LarsAtHome to share!

In the Mood For: Wes Anderson Inspired Design

Design tips from Wes Anderson’s films

I’ve decided to break down some major visual themes in Wes Anderson’s films because, well, they’re fun to notice, and they showcase how design choices can heighten an emotion or thought. Whether or not you vibe with Wes’ style, our tips below taken from his work apply to any sort of style you want to master. 

Right off the bat, Anderson introduces viewers to some new microcosm of a world. His films take place on very carefully designed sets with symmetry, prescribed color themes, costumes like you’d see in a play, and font collections for everything from the film’s title to words on a bus ad in the background (Futura and Archer are some of his favorite fonts that are easy to access). 

Choose a color pallete but don’t be afraid to deviate

This is a great method to mirror in your own home! Choose a color pallete and composition early (Wes likes Art Nouveau hues and right angles) but be willing to make rare deviations. This will help you emphasize important details, like a piece of decor you want to make stand out. 

how to decorate like wes anderson

Looks inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel

Use objects that symbolize something meaningful

Another stylistic tool employed in his films is called material synecdoche (yes I looked this up and still had to use spell check). This fancy term just means that Anderson uses a material object to stand as a symbol of something important. In Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy’s binoculars symbolize, well, Suzy, as well as her curiosity, her longing for something outside of her world, and her tendency for spying…

Looks inspired by Moonrise Kingdom
how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch Moonrise Kingdom

Some friends of mine use this idea in their life and have a few objects that represent significant moments or ideas. For these friends, it’s all centered on the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It’s all about adventure, positivity, and how being different is brave. Choose an object or material that you feel drawn to that represents a theme in your life (like my friends’ book) and figure out how to incorporate it into your style! 

Whether it is polka dots or acorns, poppies or binoculars, choose something that feels like you and treat it like your design calling card. Sprinkle it into your home and your wardrobe, et voila! You have a trademark ~look.~

Looks inspired by The Darjeeling Limited

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Darjeeling Limited

Add handmade touches

One detail that we at Lars particularly love is the prevalence of handmade items in Wes Anderson movies! Most of the sets are handmade. (Aisle of Dogs is a crazy masterpiece) and the clothing is all designed and sewn for the characters like a costume in a play would be. 

Handwritten notes are everywhere in his films, even graffitied in the margins of textbooks in Rushmore. This kind of attention to detail helps him achieve this classically curated look, and a similar attention to detail in your life will create your own uniquely curated look.

Looks inspired by Rushmore

Click here to watch Rushmore

Don’t lose your own personal twist

Part of why we love Wes Anderson is of course, because of the people in his films. Yes, they’re funny, yes they’re well dressed, yes they’re witty. But what I like most is that the main characters are creative

In Rushmore, the main character Max is an aspiring playwright. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Margot wins a national writing grant in the ninth grade! Fantastic Mrs. Fox is a fabulous painter, and is shown in a number of scenes working on a really complicated landscape. 

Looks inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums

how to decorate like wes anderson

Click here to watch The Royal Tenenbaums

As a creative person, Wes puts these snippets of himself into these films and therein, I tend to find someone a bit like me. 

Wes Anderson Inspired Home Decor

Kid’s bedroom decor

 

Prints and Books

 

Kid’s classic toys

how to decorate like wes anderson

 

Wes Anderson Inspired Fashion

Women’s

 

Men’s

 

Kid’s

 

This post is part of our “In the Mood For” series, where we highlight the taste of famous people and characters we love. Click these links to be inspired by kindred spirits like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, or to learn how to re-create the iconic styles of real life heroes Iris Apfel or Alexander Girard

Photo sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

Modernized Day of the Dead Ofrenda

1

Day of the Dead OfrendaHave you ever heard of Day of the Dead Ofrendas? If you’ve seen the movie Coco, you probably get the gist. Ofrenda means ‘offering’ in Spanish and is a display set up to remember and honor your ancestors. The ofrenda consists of several components including photos of past loved ones, candles, fruits and sweets, flowers, papel picado, and more. It serves as a chance to welcome those ancestors who have passed back into your home and heart. Not to mention it creates the most beautiful display overflowing with flowers and foliage! We’re creating a modern-day take on the Ofrenda with foraged greenery, one that you can easily recreate and keep up all month long! This is my ideal kind of holiday decor, not to mention the sentimentality of it is so special!

Day of the Dead OfrendaRecently, Paul and I completed our 23andMe DNA tests, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and we are now anxiously awaiting our reports. With the Halloween season upon us, what better way to celebrate and learn more about my family history than with my very own ofrenda! This display is the perfect way to decorate for the season, but also a wonderful chance to learn more about yourself and your heritage. Win win!

See how easy the 23andMe service process is, discover more about your ancestry and get inspired to create your own Ofrenda

Lars Approved Brand Alert: Marimekko

Many of us are sprucing up our homes and planning to decorate for spring. Our Marimekko roundup highlights many home decor items that are perfect for new additions and finishing touches. You may even consider replacing some items like the old dish towels and oven mitts hanging sadly in the kitchen!

Marimekko for Your Kitchen and Dining

While we’re on the topic of oven mitts, choose from this oven mitt or this pot holder for pops of bright flowers in the kitchen. Or maybe you need a new set of dishtowels. The deep magenta and orange hues add a pleasant statement anywhere they hang.

Switch your current placemats to these bold prints. Add these plates or these and some glass tumblers or mugs to complete the table setting. The magic of Marimekko design is that there is no wrong combination of prints and colors! You can mix and match any design and surprise yourself in seeing that they somehow complement each other.

If you’re heading out for a picnic or plan to throw a party at home, make a theme out of Marimekko and use these paper napkins (1, 2, 3) as the source of your inspiration.

 

For Your Bedroom

Simple additions like wallpaper and new bedding create an entirely new atmosphere to a room. And we love a great accent wall! Use this striped wallpaper or floral mural to create a vibrant mood. Moreover, add these striped sheets on this comforter set and you will have encapsulated our Marimekko spirit.

 

Marimekko for the Minimalists

For those not so inclined to bold colors, Marimekko also offers neutral pieces that add the perfect amounts of pattern. There are cream colored hand towels or a chestnut colored polka dotted one, a beige polka dotted bath towel, an off-white and beige throw, a black and white floral bed sheet set, and these subtle pink vases (1, 2). Patterns and textures provide subtle accents in neutral pieces.

 

For the Everyday

Maybe you can’t make such dramatic changes at the moment. There are still ways to make big impacts with small changes. Switch up your bath towels for some red florals or red and pink stripes. You’ll feel like you rolled into Candyland! Or you can add these fun slippers to your everyday loungewear and carry a colorful tote bag on your weekly trips to the market. Switch up your makeup bag or create a smaller one for everyday use. Although we may have less reasons to go out these days, when the occasion arises, carry a chic clutch instead of a big purse.

Marimekko Dresses and Fashion

Embrace your inner Marimekko spirit and create your very own wonderland of vibrant colors and prints.

Marimekko Fabrics

One of my favorite parts of this bold Finnish brand is they also sell fabrics! This way you can give your home decor a fresh DIY makeover in full Marimekko style.

We’re moving!

We’re Moving Studios!

In our house looking we intentionally looked at houses where we could potentially put Lars in the basement. It’s very common here in Utah to have a basement and to put renters in the basement. A majority of our neighborhood does that. In fact, our previous apartment was one such arrangement. So when our dream house showed the potential to be for sale (it wasn’t for sale when I knocked on the door!), the large basement was definitely a plus. With three floors at about 1500 square feet each-ish, it would have been WAY too large for just the three almost four of us.

Here’s how the basement was when we first looked at it and basically still is now:

And yes, doors still haven’t gone up! You probably can’t tell with all the blockades, but there is about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, one larger work room and a storage room along with two bathrooms. One bathroom, in fact, that gave us a sewage flood when we first moved in. How welcoming. I’d share a pic but I don’t want to make you barf. We finally got new walls done there (they had to take them out because the poop hit all the walls) and now we’re working on the flooring.

Pros and Cons to working from home

Of course there are pros and cons to having your work place in your house, but overall, I am STOKED! Especially since I’ll be with a newborn soon and wouldn’t be able to get to the studio much. Our current studio, we were all commuting from the same city to about 20 minutes away, which is fine, but it didn’t make any sense.

Plus, this blog is such a part of my personal life and it was oftentimes SO tricky to work between the two. Sometimes we’d need to shoot at my house and sometimes here at the studio. Being in the same spot will alleviate so much confusion.

Another plus is that all my materials are here at the studio and so I was finding that I wasn’t making anything in my spare time because it was so much planning and execution to bring what I needed home. I’m so stoked to have it all in one place.

I’ve worked from home in the past but that’s when I didn’t really have a designated space for it so it was ALWAYS a mess. Now, the mess will hopefully be contained!

Flooring for our basement

Speaking of flooring, I’ve looked into all types of flooring options for basement apartments that are prone to flooding. We know the sewage flood we had was not the only flood this house has had–we’re hoping it’s the last though. With that in mind, we are wanting a flooring that is waterproof and/or easy to maintain in case of water damage.

We looked at LVP, waterproof tiles, painting concrete, and epoxy. I had looked into epoxy when we first moved in because my friend, Eva, has it on her concrete floors and it’s amazing (you can see it here). It came out this wonderfully shiny texture that I LOVE! But her guy quoted me a crazy high price and I was determined to find something else. THEN, I got a hold of another guy who was MUCH less expensive. He comes on Saturday so I can’t comment on his services yet. We’ll see.

What color should we paint our floor? 

That leaves the question…what COLOR do we do for the epoxy?! And that’s the beauty of it. You can pretty much customize your epoxy to ANY color you’d like. Most epoxy installers do garage floors and that typically means any variation of grey, but I shared a couple of images with him and he said he could do it. I asked him about MINT/SAGE:

And about a blush pink:

So…what would YOU do???

Green OR Pink?

You’ll have to wait and see what we chose!

Investing into a rental

As for the rest of the basement studio, the idea of it being in my permanent house is SUCH a relief and bonus for many reasons. One, I’m realizing that I have a REALLY hard time with permanence. For example, I had a hard time investing time and money in both studios I’ve rented. I know that your environment plays a crucial role in the overall vibe and well-being, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get behind fixing our current one. We painted a couple of rooms white because we needed them for shooting and changed out some lighting fixtures, but besides that, not much.

SO, I’m excited to DIG in and get the vibe for our studio that it finally deserves! And I’m wanting to go CRAZY on it. LOTS of color and experimenting. I’m talking color on floors and maybe carpeting up the staircase. Maybe something fun with walls and definitely furniture!

Inspiration for the new studio

You can see the inspiration for the new studio up in the first two photos, but I’ll expound here.

I LOVE this restaurant in Moscow by Studio Shoo. I think it’s an incredible blend of playful, patterns, vintage, and color. Check out more of the restaurant here. It’s so good! Love the green drinking fountain. Could you imagine?!

2LG Studio in London is another major inspiration source. They have SO MUCH FUN with their interiors. I love the way they use pattern and color together while adding unexpected details here and there.

This one, below, is a study in careful placement of color for big impact. That staircase is just paint! It’s the studio of @ZilverblauW in The Netherlands. You should check out her account. It’s so good!

And lastly, this one. I found it here, but don’t know who the designer is. Anyone know? Such a great palette and play on shapes and color.

With these inspiration images in mind, here’s what I have in mind:

  • COLOR everywhere in unexpected places
  • Clever use of paint to create frames and shapes
  • Mix of vintage and new
  • Functional but also aesthetically pleasing
  • A place to shoot and video easily
  • An inspirational place to work

Some places will have to be WAY more functional, like the stock room and storage room, but that means we can really play wit the playful rooms.

Anywhoo, I and we are SO excited about the move. The lame thing is that it’s RIGHT in the middle of our busiest time of the year so we’re going a bit nuts. That sounds par for course this year, no? Wish us luck!

And let me know what flooring you’d choose. Would love to hear why!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

She Shed Craft Retreat
One Room Challenge at our old studio
One Room Challenge at Mary’s house

In the Mood For: Alma Thomas

Who Was Alma Thomas?

Alma Thomas didn’t start out as a full-time painter. First, she was a schoolteacher in Washington D.C., where her career spanned 38 years. After her retirement, she began to paint seriously, quickly establishing herself as a member of the Washington Color Field School. This art movement, taking place in the 1950s-1970s, was often compared to the abstract expressionist movement.

Image source here

The Washington Color Field School was marked by monochromatic strokes, colorful stripes, and broad washes of color on canvas. Other unconventional methods artists used at this time included “soak staining,” a technique where the painter would pour thinned-out paint onto canvas and let it sit without using any brushstrokes.

Alma Thomas considered retirement after her years of teaching, mostly due to arthritis. However, when Howard University offered to produce an exhibition of her work, she decided to produce something unlike her previous paintings. She was inspired by the light coming through her window and filtering through the flowers in her yard. If that’s not poetic, I don’t know what is.

Alma Thomas reached acclaim in her 80s with her Earth paintings, characterized by concentric circles painted in bright watercolor strokes. The beautiful colors bursting from a white background produced a dreamy, mosaic-like effect.

Image source here.

Home Decor Inspired by Alma Thomas

Alma employed abstract, geometric shapes in her work, and one of her favorite shapes were circles. And circles are very on-trend right now! You’ll also notice the use of colorful stripes, color-blocked polygons, and gem-like shapes that will add personality to any space. Though Alma Thomas’ color palette leaned towards bright hues, her work isn’t just for children’s spaces. Don’t be afraid to use pops of color (or colors!) to make any room more inviting.

In fact, the Obama family even had one of Alma Thomas’ paintings hanging in the white house during their time there (you can see it here)! I love the cobalt blue painting they chose below. You don’t have to choose decor or art filled with the full rainbow, sometimes one bold shade is the perfect way to anchor the room’s feel and color scheme.

 

Besides bold color, do not forget to consider shape when designing your space. Both the negative space between furniture, and the shape of the pieces themselves. They are nuanced, but round edges versus square ones can be the difference between a country chic couch and a mid-century modern. Train your eye to pay attention to the details. Pair a boxy couch with a round coffee table. An oval mirror above a squared off console. Or for a look with an even bigger Alma-Stamp-of-approval, look for statement pieces with more organic edges.

Fashion Inspired by Alma Thomas

Alma’s love of bold shapes and color didn’t end with her art, she wore them wherever she went! Every artist in our Great Artists! kid’s course comes with paper dolls, and Alma’s outfits are some of the most fun to mix and match.

Neutrals are all the rage right now. However, color is making a much-needed comeback to lift us out of the gloom of 2020! The great thing about Alma Thomas inspired style is that you can still wear your beloved neutrals while taking advantage of the beautiful colors Alma was inspired by. If you’re scared of color, start with accent pieces, like hair clips or masks (who would have thought masks would become an accessory?!)

 

Image source here.

Learn About More Great Artists!

Alma Thomas is a part of our Great Artists! Course, which we are offering now for just $99. It’s a six-week long course, but once you purchase it, it’s yours forever (a big plus for those of us who recently became homeschoolers overnight!) Now is the perfect time to introduce your children to some wonderful artists whose work still influences the world around us today.

And for artists inspiration more on your level, check out our posts about home decor inspired by Monet and Frida Kahlo, who are part of our kid’s course as well!

 

 

This post is a part of our In the mood for series. In this series 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!

Anne of Green GablesEmma WoodhouseIris ApfelWes Andersonthe Royal FamilyLittle WomenMonet, Frida Kahlo, and Alexander Girard

Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

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Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

Have you heard the importance of having a tribe? I’m talking about a close group of friends who support, inspire, and uplift you. It’s a thing and it’s a darn good one. I’m lucky enough to have a great tribe of girlfriends who I’ve known for years, all of whom are super duper creative. My dear friend Sarah Jane, is one such genius! She is an amazing illustrator and her book that she’s been dreaming about for years comes out today! Lola Dutch is a magical tale of a girl who dreams big. It’s written and illustrated by Sarah Jane and her husband, Kenneth. This is such a gem among children’s storybooks and it’s already getting a ton of attention.

Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

There are quite a few beautifully illustrated chandeliers throughout the book, so we decided to create a Lola Dutch inspired Mobile! Wooden beads and bright pom poms make up this whimsical mobile. It would look adorable in a children’s room, in a craft corner, or any place that could use a fanciful touch. This mobile only takes a few hours to create, making it a perfect weekday project! We were inspired by the stunning work of Galbie Studio. Check out her Etsy shop to purchase one of her lovely creations!