Thursday, October 3

Fall Decorating thoughts on creating eye-catching vignettes using art, antiques & accessories

vinˈyet:  a brief evocative description, account, or episode,
and leaving you wanting more...
art compliments Uncommon Goods
The Sweet Spot in design 
is creating pretty vignettes,
and these stylized corners in a home are like the art of design.  They are where we work our magic -- fireplace mantels are a great place to create pretty eye-catching vignettes. Let me show you how I incorporated a pair of framed art pieces onto a fireplace mantel vignette. 
One of the most rewarding parts of interior design can be the last few stages of a project when during the installation the accessories come out and we create gorgeous, cozy corners in the home, the vignettes.  No matter how painstaking the beginning stages of design, they are key because they lay the foundation, but it does not truly come together visually until the last few steps -- this is the sweet spot in design, and when the artistic creativity comes to play.

Another reason I like to emphasize creating warm vignettes is that often times as a NYC interior designer we don't get expansive spaces to work with, but instead, sometimes we are called to transform small areas or rooms.  Sometimes it is custom designing new window treatments, bringing in new paint and fabric patterns and colors, and pieces of furniture that can "wear many hats" to accommodate the changing needs of urban living. 

This particular living room...
I designed chunky lined curtains in a canary yellow fabric from Cowtan & Tout with a finishing French trim from Houles which adds the necessary dressing to the room. Because the room is void of much natural light, we brought in a cornucopia of colors and textures and vivid colors in elegant, classic patterns to highlight the room's architecture and "good bones" The colors are pink/green/yellow and touches of cream and black.  Fabrics fromBrunschwig & fil, Clarence House, Cowtan & Tout and Travers.  An aubusson rug, a vintage coffee table, antique ginger jar lamps, and sconces from Circa lighting.

French pleated curtains on a Houles brass rod 
add classic finishing touches to the space
   My living room serves many purposes--family space to study and relax, yet it needs to "dress up" and entertain guests often.  This particular living room has high ceilings and in an upper east side pre-war apartment.  There is a gorgeous old-fashioned fireplace in the center of the room, which anchors the space and provides a perfect place to showcase art and accessories.  I added a rich emerald green color to the walls to define the space in a bold manner, a pretty shaped black painted mirror over the fireplace from TreillageTo the mantel I brought a pair of antique bronze greyhound statues, a tall pair of recently painted iron glossy antique iron urns (which we potted with orange/yellow mums), a McCoy pottery vase with orchids and stacked on design books, very pretty crystal statues, and all flanked by these gorgeous, creative paper works by Denise Fiedler.  When I came upon the art of Denise Fiedler, I knew her collections would work well in my eclectic interiors. 
Right:  Hydrangea; Left: Eames
Order these fabulous pieces from the 
Uncommon gallery 
I was over the moon when I received this pair of paper art collages, each framed and ready to hang. Created in San Francisco by interior designer Denise Fiedler who carves shapely silhouettes cut from literature found in vintage books and newspapers then arranges the cutouts into pastiches in various forms. These gorgeous collages take on the identity of iconic images-- including furniture, animals, architecture and objects.

I found them online at Uncommon Goods website where there are plenty of interesting and unusual design finds, from furniture to art.  I love it that they came framed and were reasonably priced to boot. I knew these would add character to my fireplace mantel.  
How lovely does this pair look framed in modern black wooden frames?  Both modern and contemporary at once the frames work well in many different applications.

both depicting two items I love (Eames chair and hydrangeas) and designed in a creative manner of cutting up vintage news clippings

How to put together interesting vignettes
To help create interesting vignettes in a home, I utilize collections of accessories, tabletop items, art and interesting finds in various sizes, shapes and colors.  The stylist in me relishes these moments, and I tap into the days when I was in design school at Parsons and moonlighting as a window designer.  Each month we would hoist a wide array of accessories, antiques and props up Madison Avenue to 65th Street and adorn the elaborate windows and floor displays at the former Dooney & Bourke flagship store.  My partner and I would tap into our contacts and beg, borrow & (well, maybe not steal) amazing stuff to put together these creative windows to showcase the beautiful hand bags.  In order to make eye-catching, interesting vignettes in a home there is a certain amount of drama that needs to come into play, while adding a variety of shapes and sizes of stacking and placing items, symmetry, and, of course, adding something unexpected as a conversational piece. 
Happy Nesting!
 XO Tamara