Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Admiring the view

Foyer vignette by Perch Interior Design

Growing up in a classically traditional Southern home (decorated by my very talented Mother), I was surrounded by landscapes: some dark and moody, almost all oil paintings. Back then (when I was a super-cool pre-teen, listening to Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" and thinking that all color schemes should be based around a totally '90s pastel floral palette), I thought that they were so drab and boring. "Why even have a painting like that?", I would think.

Entryway staircase in Veranda showhouse by Tim Clarke

Ahh, but isn't that the way of things? You are young and have it all figured out and, then, you get older and you realize you didn't (and still don't) know anything at all! Ha!

My opinion of landscape paintings, for certain, has come full circle. Now, because of their moodiness and depth, they are something I crave for my own home.

Living room by Barry Dixon

This room is so great. I love how he grounds the neutral upholstery, neutral rug, and neutral (and totally fabulous) curtained bookshelves with dark accents on the furniture, on lamps, and accessories. A beautiful balancing act! (Oh, yeah, and doesn't that landscape instantly add class to the whole room, giving it this sort of sophisticated sense of significance?)

Foyer by Yvonne O'Brien

Here, Miss O'Brien breaks from tradition, using a plein air style landscape with a parsons-style console, kuba cloth pillows, and weathered old trunks, all of which makes for an engaging yet clean presentation.

Grand stairwell by Joe Minton

It seems like many designers prefer a neutral backdrop for the artwork they choose, but, here, Minton lives into the grandeur of the ornate woodwork and architecture of this house choosing, instead, a warm damask wallpaper for the space.

Living room by Patrik Lonn

I love the scale of the painting in this room by Patrik Lonn. The whole space has a geometric characteristic to it, I think, due to the clean lines of all the pieces: the painting and the coffee table, angular sofa and stools. It has a modern look to it, but not at the expense of softness and comfort.

Dining room by Phoebe Howard

The inimitable Miss Howard seems to be a fan of landscapes, using them in most of her projects in incarnations both large and small. (Love the combined drama and warmth of this room!)

Living room by Paolo Moschino

I love this space, mainly that facing wall. There is symmetry (for instance, on and above the mantel), but then there are also some individual groupings, like the pair of landscapes and lamps on the marble-top console table. So classic.

Dining area by Country Living editor Randy Florke

Here, again, I am loving the scale. The painting runs almost the length of the table itself, and Florke makes sure not to block the view, using a diminutive (yet quite sparkly) chandelier. (And what an apropos choice for a cozy country house: pairing the painting with gingham and amber-toned dinnerware!)

Dining room by Mary McDonald

And here, last, but certainly not least, is a gracious and elegant dining room by the fabulously fun Miss McDonald. (I mean, have you seen her on "Million Dollar Decorators"? What a hoot!) I love the luxe, aubergine-hued chocolate velvet (or, perhaps, mohair) on the dining chairs, those taupe/gold silk curtains, and glimmering silver accents, all punctuated with the cloudy, moody, and totally entrancing landscape.

What type artwork do you all prefer? Do you think these traditional pieces could work in your own home?

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!

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