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Posts from ‘Design Philosophy’


Too often I go into clients homes and they are ready to add artwork to their homes and but they are too intimidated by the process and end up buying poor quality, match-y pieces that look dated and have no personality.  Art doesn’t have to be expensive to work.   Here in Orlando we are fortunate to be home to many talented artists and a variety of galleries and art shows.  But art doesn’t have to be original or expensive to have beauty and meaning.

Tips for Creating your Art Collection:

1.    Don’t hang it too high.  Art should be hung at approximately eye height.  Too many times it is hung too high and is awkward to look at.  If it is over a piece of furniture hang it closer to the furniture than you originally thought, so it connects with the piece.  If it is over a sofa, then hang it closer to the back but not so close that you head will bump into it.

2.    Hang groups in odd numbers, threes or fives work well.  Our eyes are drawn to the odd number groupings and find them pleasing.

3.    Don’t feel like the pieces all have to be the “same” in your grouping.  They can be three totally different, but yet complimentary pieces or two of the three can be a pair.

4.    Find art in unexpected places.  Check out old books and pull out some pages to frame.  If you matt it, it becomes a larger, more important piece and you can often find multiple prints to create a series from one book.  Not bad for a garage sale find!

5.    Don’t be afraid to mix different frames and types of artwork together.  I usually try and match the frame and mat to the artwork I am framing and not to the room.  It can elevate your artwork to a more interesting piece and creates a collective look over time.

Frames and mats were selected to work with each piece of art not necessarily each other but they look great together.  And they are two different mediums too, photography and abstract acrylic art.

6.    If you are framing a series of pieces then this is the time to use matching frames to create a more unified look and to have a bigger impact.

These black and white photos look great even though they are different sized prints framed in matching frames.

7.    Consider giclee prints.  These are made from artists original pieces of artwork and are usually made in a limited quantity at a fraction of the price of the original artwork.  Love to have the original, but this is the next best thing.

This giclee print rocks with it’s snappy red frame!

8.    Pick what you love!  Too often we are intimidated by art and therefore pick what is safe.  You don’t have to spend a lot but don’t pick it just because it is cheap and is the right color!  Pick it because it speaks to you.  I have several pieces that I bought at IKEA.  I had them professionally framed and no one would know how cheap they were to start with.

Check out this IKEA print – looks like it is an original!

9.    Don’t be afraid to make your own artwork.  Even if you just take some simple canvases and paint them all the same color and hang them in a grid.  If you want some direction, there are plenty of quality art classes at local venues.  Both the Crealde School of Art and the Maitland Art center offer a variety of classes at reasonable rates.

Original mixed-media art piece.

10.      Hang artwork that fits the space.  You can use groupings for a large wall, if you don’t have a big piece.  Too many times I see a small piece hung in a too big space.  Move it to a smaller area and leave the big space empty until you find something that fits.

11.    Artwork doesn’t have to be hung.  I often prop smaller framed pieces on a bookcase, even in front of the books.  It helps to create the landscape of the bookcase and breaks up what could become a mass of just books.

12.     Find an emerging artist or talented friend that will have pieces that are affordable.  You can go to sites like  or  to find very affordable, original pieces that you can have framed locally.  Check out the downtown Orlando farmer’s market for some very affordable options.

So embrace your artistic side.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match and have some fun with art.  And be sure to call me if you need some help getting started.


Bringing joy into your home can be quick and inexpensive.  With a little design therapy we can bring a little freshness and life into our homes.  Even here in sunny Orlando we need a pick-me up as winter drags on.  Here are some ideas that are easy to incorporate and help you to feel that extra special connection when you come home.

1. Orchids – these can be very inexpensive at your local Home Depot or grocery store and add a wonderful, elegant element to your home.  With proper care, they can last for months.

2. White candles – You can use all different types of candle holders but if you keep the candles all one color it is unifying and updating too.  IKEA has some great no-drip, long white tapers at of course at an affordable price.

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Design is more than just making a place look better.  It is often a gateway to feeling better about yourself and your life.  Some of my favorite jobs have been assisting a client through a life-changing experience.  Often divorce is the impetus.  Think about it, if you have been in a bad relationship for years, and changing your environment can give you a whole new outlook on life.  My clients speak of reclaiming their home and having the freedom to create a personal retreat, a nest that is theirs alone.

 Jonathan Adler Room
This room by Jonathan Adler just makes me smile.  I can just imagine sitting here in the evening, unwinding with a glass of wine by the fire.

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