Browsing Category: Design 101

It’s an Art World

Hi there!

Lately I’ve found myself more and more interested in art.  It’s probably the natural progression of decorating my home, since now that it’s filled (to the brim!) with furniture I’m able to put stuff up on the walls.  But man, oh man, I don’t know shit about buying art.  It’s so intimidating.  And it’s an expensive classroom, if you know what I mean.  Sometimes I’ll see notices about what’s sold at Christie’s… an edition print selling for millions?  Like, what the what?!  How can that even make sense if it’s not the original?!?  And then, there are those pieces that are like 1 color and they’re worth 100k.  Are we looking at the same thing?!  Alls I can say, is that art is a crazy world, but I kinda want in… just a a lot!!

Obviously, what we all want are ORIGINAL works of art.  These are one-of-a-kind pieces made with the artist’s hand.  Since there are only 1 of these in the world, they are more expensive.  (Pamela Bell’s home below)

But that doesn’t mean that art made through a printing method is to be discarded… at least that’s what I used to think!  Recently, I was at a flea market and saw a lithograph done by Picasso.  (That one piece inspired this post!)  It wasn’t cheap.  It wasn’t expensive.  I really loved the colors and the feeling of it, but I hesitated… was it worth the price?  Obviously it was worth something, but I just really knew nothing about what the heck a lithograph was.  Enter some HOMEWORK!!  Now, I’m kicking myself for not buying the darn thing and I’ll share with you why… and some other stuff I just learned about printed art.

What’s a Serigraph?  This is a term I see quite a bit on art listings.  It’s when an artist uses a screen printing method to make prints.  They run a squeegee over a fine mesh (which could be made of a number of materials) and with a stencil (or 100), they imprint one color at a time of an image. It’s also called silkscreen.  Each one is done by hand, but obviously the actual image is the same.  Though slight variations will occur because of the process, there is more than one out in the world.  However, they ARE worth something (sometimes A LOT) since super famous artists have enjoyed making serigraphs and they often mark the number of prints and sign the piece too.

A lithograph is made using a printing method, with a type of plate (usually stone) and ink.  Newspapers are still made this way!  Isn’t that crazy?  (It’s called off-set lithography)  Of course, with art, the materials are higher end, so the result is much nicer, but it’s still pretty interesting to note.  A lithograph was a way to bring the cost of art down and for commercial use in the 19th century.  And many famous artists became taken with the process… why not get their art out into the world?  Here’s a cool video showing how modern lithographs are made – it’s pretty interesting.  I especially like seeing the guy put this huge stone into the printing press.  Lol!  Even though these are made using a template, they are still each made one at a time, have variations and are worth some bucks.  A Picasso lithograph?  Yes, please.  I’ll take a Calder one too.

Have you heard of a Mezzotint?  It’s made in a very similar fashion as a lithograph, but the plate is made with thousands of tiny dots that give the print depth and tonality.  Because of the use of these tiny indentations, it’s good to know, that you can only get about 100-200 good prints out the process.  Usually there is also a “sepia looking tint” which makes it look antique (and cool).

An etching involves making a metal “picture” with wax and acid.  Once the “picture” is etched into the metal, it can make hundreds of prints with ink!  Engraving, also involves making a photo on a plate (a number of different hard materials) and then using that plate to print art.  Some dude named Rembrandt made this one below….

It’s kinda crazy right?!

I was thinking that these printed methods were similar to art you would find on Minted.  But those are printed on a specialty printer, NOT done by hand the way these are.  Now, I can’t tell you how much any of these are actually worth, but I can tell you that I will have my eyes peeled for the next fabulous lithograph I see!!

The more you know, right?!  Of course, you might need more information – Check these out too,  Easy to understand, and MOMA Videos!

Designer Secret – Hiding Flaws with Paint!

Color is a powerful decorating tool.  The colors you choose and where you use them can have such a dramatic effect on a room.   Like duh, right?!  I know, so obvious Jessica, but hear me out!!  Beyond having the power to elicit emotions,  using color can highlight things you love, AND it can even disguise thing you don’t.  You can help imperfections fade into the background!  It’s a teensy little trick that designers use all the time.

Now, when you scroll through a magazine you will start to see the thought process behind some color decisions.  This will be a new trick that you can use in your own home!  Which is totally what I’m going to do in my master bathroom refresh!!  Okay, let me show you and then we can convo at the end!

Let’s say, that you’ve got a door in a weird spot?  Consider this…

By painting the walls, trim, door all the same color the door completely fades into the background.  Like magic…

Let’s say, that you’ve got an oddly shaped room.  Yup, color can help you there too!

And that trick works for rooms with low ceilings, too!  When there are no “lines” differentiating the walls and ceiling it all becomes one mass of color!  Your eye doesn’t focus on sloping walls or where the ceiling is – the room appears larger!

Don’t see what I’m talking about?  Check out his room above.  Those ceilings a llloooowww, but it still looks open because they have kept most of the room the same color!  Imagine the same room with the moulding or beams painted out.  Yikes!!

Here’s a peek at the reverse… The higher the color contrast, the more the feature is highlighted.  Um, yes I see you high ceiling and gorgeous windows!

This hallway’s all like, Look at all my pretty details!

Whereas this one is saying, Feel my grandeur!  For such a long hallway, it doesn’t feel long or restrictive, and damn, that floor!

I’m totally not saying that one is better than the other. At. All.  These are just ideas to plant in that pretty little head of yours.

Now there is one bit of trickery that we haven’t gotten into, and it’s the 3/4 painted wall, bringing the ceiling color down onto the walls.  This most certainly gives the impression of a higher ceiling and visual interest for just the cost of paint.  It also hides imperfections where the ceiling and wall meet – if you have wonky seams this trick is for you!!

In my master bath I have tile that I don’t love and a door that stands out a bit more than I’d like.  I can totally paint the whole room the same color as the tile (door too) to make those imperfections not so noticeable.  My hope is to trick the eye into seeing beautiful new mirrors, an updated vanity and lighting, vs the yuck stuff!

A plan is forming… I’m getting excited!

White doors, Blue Paneled Door, Grey Loft, Attic Loft, Teal Bedroom, Beamed Living Room, Grey Ceiling, Grey Hallway, White hallway, Bedroom, Double Blue Room, Black Header Bathroom

Trellis, Lattice and Arbors; Structures Plants Can Grow On

You know when you have an idea in your mind that you’re totally going to do, but you don’t know how or where or ANY OF THE DETAILS?  Alls I know is that I want some structure built for the purpose of some plant to shower me with flowers on the daily.  Picture me in a Bollywood movie.

The seed has been planted.  Bad pun intended.

Wondering what I’m actually talking about?

Well, this here below is a trellis… Trellises are often filled with lattice.  Trellis is the structure, usually wall-like not enclosed, and lattice is the wood grid stuff you can buy at Lowes to pretty it up.


An arbor (or arbour) is a structure that creates a shaded walkway or sitting area with crossbeams.  It is sometimes attached to a house or other structure, but the key is that it’s not completely enclosed, like with a roof, which is perfectly suited for lots of green goodness to grow all over it.


Both images above – Garden Club

Here are a bunch of inspiration photos for what’s swirling around in my head…  Maybe you can test yourself on your garden structure knowledge?

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Dark Blue

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Parthenocissus Quinquefolia Vines

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Natural Arbor


Good Life

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Apartment Therapy

And this last one… it’s a teepee y’all.  Duh.  It’s it all kinds of magical?  I think it’s where unicorns sleep.

Do you have any big plans for your garden?  I have all kinds of ideas… in my head, I’m just like, more green, More Green, MORE GREEN!  Now I need to get focused because I have maybe a month or two to get it done this year.  I don’t want my new leafy babies to freeze in the California winter.

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Wicker? Rattan? It’s all Reed to me!

We’ve all seen wicker furniture, right?

And I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the woven stuff.

91c74d3388ea7018116fb64f97536bd3But just two weekends ago, I rolled on over to the Pierce College Flea Market and found the cutest little wicker chair.  For 15 dollars, y’all!! And besides the fact that I have 99 projects, I can’t help myself to one more like this!  My dear, where shall we put you?!?!


And it was funny as I was trying to tell my GF what I bought because I said, “You know wicker, or rattan or woven something or other!”  My brain just got all twisted up about the stuff.  So I kinda figured that maybe that may have happened to you too!

Wicker is like the mother category – it’s a piece, usually furniture or baskets,  woven from branches, roots, stalks, and now, plastics made to look like the plant stuff.  Pretty wide spread category, huh?!


(Wanna check out this nursery?  Here and SO fabulous!)

Anyway, so wicker has been around forever.  Seriously.  Since pharaoh times.

Here are some quick examples of different kinds of wicker; Reed, Bamboo, Rattan…

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Rattan refers to a special category of palms that have thin stems.  The plant looks more like a vine than like an actual tree and it’s not hollow, like bamboo.  Is any of this important?  Probably not, but it’s cool to be smart.

Rattans are used to make furniture and that furniture is called wicker.  Phew!

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So, what’s chair caning?  Well, that’s the physical skill of applying cane material to the backs or seats of chairs.  Confused yet?


Well, whatever it’s called I love the casual nature of wicker… and the limitless possibilities!  The texture it adds is pretty hard to beat.

Now I’m interested in a few wicker repair tips.  Got any?  One of  these days I’ll be fixing up my latest chair obsession find!!

Happy Creating!!  Jessica

Milo Baughman, Check!

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve moved up in my design journey.

In the process of collecting and decorating, I’ve been able to hit milestones, if you will. Milestones like, acquiring my first authentic piece of art, purchasing a true antique, devising and executing a full kitchen/bath remodel… and now I am thrilled to say that I can add a new notch in my belt!  I have purchased my first piece of furniture history!!

I am the proud owner of two gorgeous Milo Baughman barstools!!

Do you remember my barstool musings?  You can revisit here.  But after hours of searching and visualizing, I just couldn’t make a decision.  It’s like I knew that something great was on the horizon and I just had to be patient.

Behold the loveliness.

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These babies weigh a ton!!  But they are so shiny and pretty.  Ahh, I’m in love.

Well, I’m in love with everything except the upholstery.  One stool has been badly bleached by the sun.  Does anyone have any tips for fixing sun damaged fabric?  I’ve got a few ideas, but some help would be much appreciated!!

And for those of you who are like, “Ok, I’ve heard of Milo Baughman, but what’s the hype,” let’s us dish about this iconic American designer.

Inducted into the Furniture Hall of Fame, Baughman is most credited for offering modern pieces at affordable price points.  He was a master of using glass, chrome, burled wood, and lacquer – usually combining the mediums.  His design philosophy was that furniture should enhance the atmosphere of the space and improve the quality of life.


You’ve probably seen his pieces and just not known it… Any strike an “oh yeah”?!


Cube Chair


Cantilevered Sofa – This is from the 70’s!  Can you believe it?!

This Chaise is so damn sexy.



Ellipse Chair – Pretty epic

And for fun, here are some of interiors with his iconic pieces


Cheryl Burke Interior Design

amazing-and-fascinating-dining-space-idea-with-edgy-glass-table-and-chairs-under-gorgeous-artsy-chandelier milo-baughman-recliner


eclectic-living-roomDying to know the paint color of this fabulous room??  Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor.

Obvs these are just a few examples, but it should give you an inkling of the genius involved.  Now you will spot imitations all over the place, and if you’re lucky, like I was, you will be able to take home a beauty of your own.

So what do you think?  Are you a fan?

Happy Creating!!  Ciao-sies, Jessica