My sister and I visited the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta last year, and it was incredible. Starting as a graffiti artist in the early 1980s, Basquiat parlayed his letters and symbols into art that blends language and image. The childlike simplicity of the images blended with the lyrical elements is interesting and somewhat haunting, given that his work is largely comprised of a social commentary, attacks on power structures, and suggestive dichotomies, such as wealth vs. poverty and integration vs. segregation. One of my favorites, which I have in my living room, is one of his earliest works Cadillac Moon, 1981. I love how spare and linear it is. To me it feels like he’s bringing the outside in[to the world of fine art] with his unfinished lines, quirky symbols and primitive language. He is undoubtedly interesting, whether it’s your taste in art or not. The exhibit of his work felt like a fascinating peek into the short life of a revolutionary artist. To me it is abstract genius – de Kooning meets street graffiti or something. It realky stuck with me and is definitely worth seeing if you get the opportunity.
Side note – Um, fun fact – did you know he dated Madonna ?? Yep, in like 1983 or something, just before her career took off. Bizarre 🤔
Throw pillows can instantly make even the most blah piece of furniture or room look stylish, fun, and more alive. I put them anywhere I can. I love mixing colors, textures, solids, and patterns. I’m admittedly more of a plain Jane so I tend to gravitate toward pillows that aren’t super bright or busy, even though I love them. I’m working on it though! I’m constantly rearranging my pillows, from the sofas, chairs, the bench, and anywhere else I can get away with it. It’s pretty much a constant rotation depending on my mood, and it’s one of my favorite things to do when I’m bored. So gather all your pillows in a pile and play around with different mixes and options. Have a super fugly pillow? Get a plain cover in a good neutral color and mix it in with some more detailed ones. Simple solids tend to ground and offset the chaos of differing patterns and textures, which instantly makes the room look a little calmer, in my opinion.
Side note – for cute pillows on the affordable side try the Nate Berkus line at Target. Lots of fun patterns and textures in neutral and natural palettes. Home Goods also has rows and rows of every variety and color. If you are feeling wild and want to splurge, try Furbish Studio or Biscuit Home. They are basically throw pillow heaven.
I tend to be non-committal (hence my fear of color), so over the years I noticed I’ve accumulated a lot of plain white things. I love white. Absolutely love, don’t get me wrong. But after moving into a house with white walls that I’m too lazy and overwhelmed to even think about painting a different color, it dawned on me that there is such a thing as too much white. Not to mention, going all white is complicated. It requires the right shades and mixing of textures, and a lot of other things I clearly missed the mark on once I pooled my furniture and accessories together in my new place. It looked like I went mental and spray painted every surface and item I own flat white. It did not look calm and airy or modern, it looked unfinished, sterile and dingy. I was in desperate need of contrast. I impulsively decided to paint my coffee table, a pair of nesting tables, and two lamps black. I’m actually pleased with the results. Too much of anything is never a good thing right? Well I can think of a few things, but still….The table lamp you see comes from Pottery Barn. The TV remote holder on the coffee table is from Target. The small white and grey vase is World Market. The standing lamp and coffee table were great finds in Roundtop, TX. And the large serving bowl is Juliska Berry & Thread.
So I’m a book lover – big, small, new, and old. I have amassed many over the years, and never plan on stopping. They make me happy, display my interests, and there are so many ways to incorporate them into home design. Not to mention, decorating with books is a super budget friendly way to amp up your decor. Most people probably think in order to be eye catching they must abide by certain rules such as size and color similarity. I disagree. I think they are eye catching no matter what. I do love visual symmetry, but there’s something charming about the imperfect look of all sizes and colors. As you’ll come to find out, I’m sort of afraid of color, so my books serve as that “pop of color” people talk about. I love the way book covers look, and sometimes I take off the paper cover to see if it looks even cooler uncovered. Whichever floats my boat more. From living room shelves, coffee tables, fireplaces, side tables, to brightening up your kitchen, books are the best way to add a personal and stylish touch to any room.
Side note – books can be expensive, I know. That’s why I heavily rely on hand me downs, book gifting, and Half Price Books. Half Price Books is the best unkept secret in the world. If you’ve never been, GO. Like, yesterday. I think I could spend 147 hours there just perusing. I swear I’d work there for free just to hang out if they’d let me.