Art as inspiration

Posted on Tue, 22 Jan 2008 by KiM

The other day we received an email from Aja with a request:

I’m about to start redesigning my tiny apartment (I should say designing it for the first time) and I’m going to be using a commissioned painting from a friend as the basis for the entire redesign. Kim, I was inspired by your fireplace post the other day and all the amazing paintings featured over the mantles, and I was wondering if you guys could do a post featuring rooms designed around artwork as the central theme! The only direction I’ve really given my artist friend (who’s amazing – she’s fresh out of art school and doesn’t have a website I can link you to yet but she will one day and it will be fabulous!) is that she should have fun with the painting, and the surreal, braindrain style that’s all hers – and maybe indulge my love of orange.

This proved to be a bit of a tough request, having not seen Aja’s painting (it’s still in the works). I found some photos with art that had orange in it and included some with other colours as well (since the selection was minimal). Hope this helps you Aja, and please send us a photo of your painting when it’s completed!

Selldorf Architects Décormag
Image Interiors Kelly Wearstler
e-Architekt Bo Bedre
Alison Spear Betty Wasserman
Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz Met Home
Elle Decor Homes & Gardens
Caldwell-Beebe Image Interiors
White Webb Domino

Pia Jane says:

beauuuutiful selection kim, my fave is the alison spear one. oh i love a splash of orange in a home! i have no doubt aja will find some great inspiration in this post.

Editor says:

It’s amazing how even the simplest of paintings can make the boldest statement in the context of a room. I love the bold colors! My favortite is the Met Home.

Peggy says:

Oh great post! Aja, congratulations on having an artist friend! And it’s absolutely the right way to go – designing a room around art. How fun for your friend too, to have the freedom to create. Sometimes when I get a commission, I get too many instructions.

I love these pics and now want to redo my place! My favs are e-Architeckt and the Alison Spear. Aja, please post your apartment when the painting is complete!

They all hit the mark with me. I large piece of artwork is my favourite thing in a room.

jo-anne in vancouver says:

Fascinating post! It’s really interesting to look at the various pictures and spot which colours were used to unify the art with the room.

bookshop says:


I’ve been staring at this post all day at work (which has been crazy, so this has been even better) and I can’t even say how much I love this! thank you! I think my favorite might be the Alison Spear or the Domino. But I love the Elle Decor and those pillows, and the Betty Wasserman. Oh, okay, really, I love all these. Thank you so much, Kim! You are awesome.

I’ll definitely take pictures of my apartment after the redesign. you guys rock. thank you again!

kim. says:

You’re welcome Aja! Glad you liked the photos, and hope it helps. (And you better send us photos when you’ve redecorated!!!)


oooh yes. Love your choices, kim.

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