Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

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Just in time for the holidays…

The word is out. Top designers are all saying that seasonal décor this year is not just about tree trimming and table top. It’s all about the walls.

Patti Hinners, designer of Austin’s finest homes, says,

“It may have started as a trend, but now my clients are pulling out art from holiday storage year after year – same as they would the garlands and wreathes and their other little treasures.”

Seriously – Picture this: It’s late Saturday afternoon and it’s cold outside – too cold to go out. You’re lounging in your comfiest chaise in front of a roaring fire with a yummy cashmere throw and an even yummier mug of mulled wine. Perhaps you’re still wearing your pajamas. You’ve forgotten the book on your lap because you’re transfixed by a fresh fir tree sparkling with tiny white lights. But how does last summer’s sunflower or beach print fit in? Indeed, it’s jarring. The tableau is simply not complete without seasonal art.

Gallery Direct makes it possible for you to decorate in style this winter with festive imagery from your favorite artists – Sia – Paul – Saris – Abbott – Gjevukaj – Graham – plus our colorful photography.  From trees to stars to lights to nature’s curiosities, and even a sweet little deer, this imagery is available on numerous media to select from, including traditional framed paper for a classic touch, light weight canvas that’s easy-to-hang, sophisticated aluminum or acrylic for a modern spin and unique birchwood for a rustic feel. Plus all the red you need to turn your space into a warm and cozy holiday home.

Hinners advises canvas precisely because it’s lightweight, durable, and easy to hang and move around.

“It’s perfect for seasonal décor for all those reasons, but it also has the feel of an original, especially framed canvas.” 

As this year’s designers will tell you and savvy home makers get it: It’s not just about the tree or the table this year, it’s about the holistic experience. And there’s no better way to create that than to surround yourself with cheery wall décor!

And don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet You may recall my October 2012 blog when I bragged about my front parlor with its Aalto furnishings and pièce de résistance, “the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on,” right?! http://blog.gallerydirect.com/2012/10/14/hello-cool-design-meet-hot-art-3/ Well, pride cometh before … Read More

You may recall my October 2012 blog when I bragged about my front parlor with its Aalto furnishings and pièce de résistance, “the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on,” right?! http://blog.gallerydirect.com/2012/10/14/hello-cool-design-meet-hot-art-3/ Well, pride cometh before a fall. Indeed it does. In mid-June, my 18-year old son Henry received a useful birthday present from his grandparents, a fully loaded tool box, which is exactly what he asked for. I arrived home one evening to see all the bells and whistles pulled out and placed lovingly before it. I took little note – it was a bunch of tools for god’s sake! – and went on my merry way. No one was home which meant Chardonnay and HBO. I was awakened abruptly around 1 a.m. when my peeps returned and chaos ensued. Did I mention we have a one-year-old puppy? Mabel is a very busy little lab. And she appears to like Gorilla Glue, which is marketed as 100% waterproof, “bonds wood, stone, metal, fiberglass and more.” Apparently, it bonded to Mabel’s insides; emergency vet care removed a baseball-sized glob from her stomach the next day. (Don't worry – she's fine and needless to say has since spent weeks at obedience school!) Clearly it bonded to the Odegard rug – right smack in the middle. No amount of cleaning – amateur or professional – would rid us of that residue. We debated what to do – this was our prized possession you know! Do we send it to Odegard and have it cut down? Do we trust someone locally? We could certainly use runners – I had my eye on a round rug for that space anyway! Well, practicality won out and we ultimately succumbed to purchasing a Saarinen dining table we’ve been watching for some time. And guess what a Saarinen dining table features – a pedestal base of course! So the RED furniture is out – Annie is already thanking me as you might imagine – and I’m now perusing Gallery Direct for new art to go with our new non-RED look. Meanwhile, I’ve temporarily replaced Benjamin Arnot’s Speed of Light I with his The Challenger – You recognize Yule Brenner don’t you?! Even though he’s Chinese RED, a color I’m obviously attracted to, I think he looks great in there. And if you haven’t paid attention to Benjamin Arnot’s work, you should. It’s fabulous. I’m also eyeing works from Takhiro Kimura, a Japanese artist featured on our new fine art site –  www.49editions.com – just launched last week.  Check out President, T2 and World, all of which highlight RED as a primary color. I can’t help it?! I think I’m going with T2 for a clean look – or I could go with Blue’s – love that Goon Squad look – and lo and behold – it’s not RED! What do you think about President facing the commode in our Powder Bath – or is that weird? Help me decide!

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics … Read More

[gallery columns="5" orderby="title"] Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics of course. And the lamps?  Both from one of our partners – HomeGoods. (If you didn’t already know, HomeGoods has a fabulous lighting selection.) Notice I’ve moved Pug across from my desk – see him towering over the white Barcelona chairs? Awesome! I've got another new piece – Adagio II by Sia Aria, which is nicely offset by its monochromatic surroundings. And check out my “Grunge Girl” from the Condé Nast Collection – so compelling – and available to the trade starting January 2013! Well, apparently my new digs have inspired those around me to spruce up their own. In fact, our CEO Joseph Garcia (who already has an amazing office) and I are somehow determined to outdo each other (albeit in a friendly fashion). But first – some context: With more than 30 years in the consumer business, Joe has identified the following buying patterns:
  • Competitive
  • Aspirational
  • Humanistic
  • Spontaneous
  • Methodical
Indeed our marketing analysis supports these consumer trends. Further, our own buying patterns are reflected in our offices. I’ve already shown you mine. Now contrast it with Joe’s: The furnishings are almost exclusively Four Hands Home – another one of our partners – and right down the street. Very masculine, don’t you think?! I love the lamps (one from HomeGoods naturally) and the over-sized brown lacquer tray from Jonathan Adler, both of which I selected! And how about that helmet from Indy 500? Sweet! Now take a look at Joe’s art. We recently launched an internal competition – a group of us competing on who can create the best collection. Joe is working on “Cool Art for Cool Guys” and clearly has a head start in his office. Lake City I by Roman Solar is spot-on as wall art. Another great mural directly across – Tatara's Negroni – is a street scene that works well with the windows cut out of it.  The Palm piece on acrylic is by Sony Warsono from Getty Images. It reminds me of South Beach at night – one of Joe's favorite haunts! Following the theme are Brett Pfister's framed Drifting on Water's Wings and the two Formula 1 images on aluminum– very cool, very masculine, and very Joe – do you think he might win the contest?! With a wardrobe that is almost exclusively Zegna – combined with Ferragamo and Gucci shoes (not to mention what he drives and where he lives), Joe is pure competitive. I – on the other hand – am aspirational. (I love my Trina and Tory but wouldn’t know where to begin buying what Joe has. And then couldn’t bring myself to do it!) So how does an aspirational compete with a competitive? That’s just it, we don’t. So, in concession – not defeat, I’m waving the white flag (which matches my office BTW)!    

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. … Read More

[gallery columns="4" orderby="title"] Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. Now it’s a little more sophisticated. I have a small collection of religious iconic art – the stuff you see in Santa Fe or at Tesoros here in Austin. In particular, I love retablos and crèches. I also love plates and serving utensils - and yes, Christmas ornaments. More on that another day… Today, I'm thinking about clocks.
I guess I started collecting clocks about 4 years ago when we bought this Modern Cuckoo, designed by Ingolf Haas and available at dwr.com. Only about 150 clock makers in the world make remarkable time pieces such as this (which is certified as an authentic Black Forest Clock). Namely, it must be purely mechanical (no batteries or electric cords), and entirely produced (even all interior parts) in the Black Forest, a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany.
This next clock I found a few months ago at one of my favorite boutiques in Austin - PerriBerri - which is mostly a purveyor of gorgeous women's clothing (great brands such as red haute) and jewelry (designer chan luu is my favorite). QLOCKTWO, by Biegert & Funk, has received numerous design awards (reddot, iF, and interior innovation) and is manufactured in southern Germany, in a former jewellery factory in a town famous for its gold and silver jewellery.
Almost as soon as I found QLOCKTWO, we received the latest Design Within Reach catalog, and low and behold was another clock of my dreams - the George Nelson 1948 Ball Clock, conveniently reduced 15% as part of the semiannual sale! George Nelson often collaborated with other designers, and in the case of the Ball Clock, was at a dinner party with Isamu Noguchi, Irving Harper and Bucky Fuller. As the story goes, they were all sketching and "had a little bit too much to drink." In the morning, they saw a drawing of the Ball Clock on a roll of drafting paper and none of them truly knew who designed it! One of our artists - T. Graham - surely understands my obsession with clocks. Graham's work consists of an array of modern works of art, architectural abstracts and night time city views. A Measure in Thought I has a Synthetist aesthetic that reminds me a bit of Edvard Munch. If you didn't know T. Graham already, take a look at http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/t-graham. You'll like him even better when you see the picture of him holding his sweet baby!
My kids seem surprised with this steady influx of clocks - why I don't know - as clocks epitomize the cool design objects that they know I love. (And they actually despise the cuckoo clock -- or at least  how noisy it is), so I'm sure they'll be dismayed with my next clock purchase. I don't know what that will be yet, but I do know that it will occur!
 

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art!

Tweet So you know I work for a cool art company in Austin TX – Right? One of the many perks is that I get to select the furnishings and decor for my office. We just did a major expansion … Read More

So you know I work for a cool art company in Austin TX – Right? One of the many perks is that I get to select the furnishings and decor for my office. We just did a major expansion and remodel, for which we ordered lots of new furniture (from Amanda Saylor – furnitureforbusiness.com – awesome designer and stellar company BTW) – so I already have a functional and attractive desk, credenza, and locker! It’s Miro by Watson Desking. I consider it Danish modern – which I don't always love – but works perfectly as minimalist office furniture. The task chair – Hon Nucleusis – is sooo comfy, and the leather guest chairs – Cyclus by Harter – are soft as butter (although someone has already gotten blue pen on one – Grrr!). I’ve also found a complementary console – BDI’s Cascadia – in white – from collectichome.com. And you know what? My work environment makes me happy – day after day. Incredible work environments are critical to employee satisfaction – which in turn promotes brand satisfaction. See my March 2012 blog on how Satisfied Employees Become Your Brand Champions. (http://bit.ly/Q6iblT). Brad Wells, Principal of Furniture for Business gets it. He told me that when you spend upwards of 8 to 12 hours a day in an office, you want it to be inspiring. "We help the customer create a culture that fosters growth, creativity and morale and even helps a company be more profitable when the employees love their workspace. It’s about attracting and retaining top talent in Austin!" Our CEO – Joe Garcia – totally gets it and is all about creating such an environment for his people. Recently, he took several of us over to the offices of All Web Leads, another cool Austin company. Designed by Gensler, they were amazing. My favorite part? Their kitchen featured two fully stocked beverage fridges! I love my office, but guess what I love the most? The art of course! What do you think of the little pug? Is he not so cute you could die!!! We're all fighting over him; perhaps we'll do some reprints! And I'm not done yet. I want to create a fabulous, feminine, lively space. I'm looking at Darvin Jones’ Love is Longing For I (bitly.com/RvxBNk). Is it not sweet, kitschy and joyful? Plus it makes me think of Bambi who I've always adored! And what about Grid Strategy I (bit.ly/TTVQDp) by Christine Wilkinson. I love the iridescence, which reminds me of my favorite OPI polish – Tutti Frutti! In fact, I'm going to rename it Tutti Frutti! I’m parked in a fabulous spot – with a wall of windows that provides northern exposure. Naturally I’m facing the door so I can greet my cheerful Customer Experience team – some of whom you might have already met – Amy, Sarah, Kim, Jen, Johana, Brooke, Rylee – It’s our mission to make our customers happy, and these wonderful young people know how to shine! Shine On Peeps!  

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Okay, so my 20-year old daughter Annie thinks this room is “oh-so-70s” and can’t be bothered with it… I say it isn’t so – In fact, there’s nothing 70s about it! I call it the “Parlor” and have filled it … Read More

[gallery columns="2"] Okay, so my 20-year old daughter Annie thinks this room is “oh-so-70s” and can’t be bothered with it… I say it isn’t so – In fact, there's nothing 70s about it! I call it the “Parlor” and have filled it with great finds that my husband Clay and I have collected over the years. Clay tested the Modernica sofa (in front of a TV of course) – at the Nickelodeon store on Michigan Avenue – and had to have it. I wasn’t crazy about it but went along and have since improved it with two perfect pillows from Double D Ranch – Yoakum TX. By the way – it’s great for sitting but horrid for reclining – Forget about taking a nap there. (Happily, I still like the Chinese red after all these years!). I got the Alvar Aalto webbed chair from my dad – actually traded an amazing Bruno Mathsson (vintage original I inherited from my mother), but the webbing in the Mathsson had given way after 20 years of abuse from me, my three siblings, and countless pets, so who knows who got the better deal? The second Aalto chair (upholstered in Donghia) is unarguably the most comfortable chair in the house – I routinely lounge there (with a glass of Chardonnay naturally), read on my I-Pad and watch the neighborhood like Mrs. Kravitz. The Pièce de résistance – besides the art of course – is the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on. Did you know that Odegard is the exclusive rug source for the J. Paul Getty museum in LA? (Yep – read it in a magazine!) And after 10 years, it is still my prized possession! Full Disclosure – My poor sister spilled red wine on it when it was quite new. I was not very nice about it but we’re still the best of friends. The cabinet is a 100% Christopher Deam original that we bought it in the late 90s. I’m not sure if CD is still designing/manufacturing furniture but he did do the interior for the new Airstream. Note – If my heirs ever need a windfall, they can sell this beauty on Antique Road Show one day! The lamp is – you guessed it – Target – and my favorite in the house (including the Noguchi that my housekeeper seems bent on destroying!). Okay – time to share details about the art. The black and white photograph is from PoP Gallery in Santa Fe. It’s Thomas Barbey’s Tourist Trap, a rendering of actual negatives spliced together (vs. photo-shopped) – another treasure I was able to talk Clay into! And the abstract – Speed of Light I from Benjamin Arnot – has an asymmetrical and amorphous feel that delights me. I actually bought it from gallerydirect.com long before I started working here! Benjamin’s recent work includes paintings in which he presents familiar objects in both conflict and harmony, which invite us to “explore our odd and constant obsession of iconography and precious objects,” (Benjamin’s words and my sentiments exactly!)    

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet I’m not a designer but I love great design, and the art I see around our offices — on our walls – in our front gallery – our presentations and videos – on the scanner – coming off the … Read More

I'm not a designer but I love great design, and the art I see around our offices -- on our walls - in our front gallery - our presentations and videos - on the scanner - coming off the printers - and being framed -- inspires me every day. It makes me think of all the rooms I want to create. Here's one I've done in my own home since I joined in May. I'm now the proud owner of two Judy Paul prints - Get Out I and Get Out II - which I had printed in custom sizes (1 horizontal and 1 vertical) to fit my space. Notice the great pairing with my new tangerine Jonathan Adler x-Benches and the 15-year old Jean-Michel Frank-inspired chocolate mohair couch. The vintage bird pillows from dwellstudio.com were not pricey and came with inserts. The room was dark and blah before - Tell me you love it now! And oh-by-the-way, Artemide's spectacular Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp is going on sale at dwr.com this week - that will brighten things up even more!!!