Mar. 9, 2015

So many people I know are afraid to buy art. They can choose a sofa (I mean, you HAVE to sit somewhere right?), but are afraid to pick art. Art is such a personal thing, there is no such thing as ‘bad’ art in my opinion. If you like it, it’s good! The end. In fact, when I’m designing a space sometimes I like to start with the art and design the room around it.

I recently discovered, an online auction marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales. There are so many amazing treasures on here from auction houses across the globe – I could spend countless hours on this site. Invaluable recently asked me to pick a painting I loved and create a room that incorporated the piece as a major focal point.

I ended up falling in love with a painting of bush medicine leaves by Gloria Petyarre, an aboriginal artist from Australia.

Invaluable_GLORIA PETYARRE_Australian Art_Bush Medicine Leaves_Aboriginal_

Bush Medicine Leaves by Gloria Petyarre on

I love the blue color and swirling leaf shaped brush strokes. It’s vibrant, and yet soothing at the same time. This artwork is really versatile and could work in a variety of rooms. I chose to design an office because I love the idea of walking into my workspace and immediately seeing this piece behind my desk. It’s like an instant dose of creativity!

Here is what I came up with:

Invaluable_GLORIA PETYARRE_Australian Art_Bush Medicine Leaves_Aboriginal_Office Design_Room Design_chicdumonde_chic du monde

Now, let me break down my design process for you.

Color: When working with colorful artwork it’s important to incorporate colors from the piece in other areas of the room. It’s not about being matchy-matchy, you don’t have to use the exact same color, but similar tones. This particular piece of art has tones of blue, grey, white and cream.

The Desk: I chose a large trestle style desk that I could place in front of the artwork. The art is big, so you need a big desk. You could even use a dining room table (as long as it’s rectangular). The gold bamboo style legs are feminine and modern – while the glass top keeps the look light.

The Rug: I selected a washed out bluish-gray rug that complements, but doesn’t compete with the blue in the painting. The traditional pattern helps to marry the eclectic mix of furniture I’ve selected for the room.

The Chairs: I selected a bright peacock blue velvet chair in a Gustavian style and gorgeously sculptural mid-century inspired chair by Jonathan Adler. So while I’m mixing completely different styles of furniture, I’m keeping to our color scheme which unifies the entire look.

The Lamp: I wanted to add another light-hued sculptural element to balance the Jonathan Adler chair, so I chose this gourd shaped lamp in cream and gold.

The Accessories: This is where you can play around a bit. I chose a mix of items like a shagreen tray, gold peacock letter opener, and added a pop of color with some bright flowers. You could even add more colorful accessories to this desk and it would work, just as long as you mix textures and materials so it doesn’t look like a set. I love mixing vintage items with my desk accessories to create a uniquely personal look.

That’s it. Now go out and get some art! xx

The Art by Gloria Peytarre on
1/ Jonathan Adler Maxime Dining Chair
2/ Restoration Hardware Mariposa Rug in Blue
3/ Aerin Cream Shagreen Desk Tray
4/ Mr. Brown Delphi Chair in Blue
5/ E.F. Chapman Fang Gourd Lamp /
6/ Libby Glass Bubble Vase (add your own flowers…)
7/ Jonathan Adler Brass Peacock Letter Opener
8/ Scalamandre Maison Baldwin Gold Trestle Bases with Glass Top

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