Monday, January 12, 2015

Using Art to Make a House a Home

Imagine you've just bought a new house. Maybe it's your dream home. You've spent every penny you have to ensure it is in the most desirable neighborhood and has the number of bedrooms you need. The realtor hands you the keys and you walk an empty room.

How do you turn your blank canvas into a masterpiece? What can give it instant style and character? What makes a house a home? ART!
Vintage art can give a new-build home a sense of character, or create a sense of being collected over time in a room that's just been recently put together.
But what to do if you're too busy working to pay the mortgage to hang out at auctions or scour flea markets? The answer is The online auction site has thousands of paintings and you can browse by category. For this room, I thought it would be fun to use a combination of some beautiful old portraits and a landscape. These are the three that I chose for our design.

The top image is called Farmhouse with Hay Bales. I like the colors in it and the antique gilt and gesso frame. The portrait of the girl is an oil on canvas--the pink in her bow makes it feel fresh. And the portrait of the man in colonial dress is the largest of the three paintings with an understated frame.

And here is how the room would look with the art on the walls. The landscape painting is hung over the fireplace with the portraits on each of the adjoining walls. To make the room not feel too fussy, I brought in furnishings with more of a mid-century modern vibe.
The color and texture of the sofa are meant to evoke the green coat in the man's portrait. The pink John Robshaw pillows reference the girl's pink bow. The beni ourain rug brings the neutrals of the French farmhouse into the room. And the brass legs of the chair, tables, and lamp coordinate with the frames and add a little sparkle.
Check out Polyvore for the list of sources used in the room. 


  1. I love dark dramatic old paintings to switch things up in a more modern room!

  2. Lovely to think of a blank room like a canvas for art.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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