Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to update your home with color and inexpensive art

I recently sourced orange, gold and vivid blue-green accessories for a client who wanted to update her old tan sofa and brighten their open plan great room.  I knew after the transformation that I needed to do some updating in my own space.

When I designed our new-build house back in ’08, neutrals were still on trend and we also didn’t know how long we would be in the house before wanting or needing to sell – so my mantra words for the house were “neutral, elegant, comfortable.”

Having always been a lover of the colour grey, I’m happy that my use of it in all our flooring is on trend now – but the more recent surgence of getting away from “boring beige” and really pouring on the colour translated into me already needing to update our space in other regards.

So – what to do to add some spice? Our chocolate brown sofa is just over a year old and it was expensive, so replacing it was not an option. And, not only did I want to add some colour, especially to our family room -- I wanted ‘something unexpected’ in the space.

I recalled an Andy Warhol poster my husband purchased at the Vancouver Art Gallery well over 10 years ago (his Marilyn Monroe, pop art style), which had been just sitting in storage since then ... Considering the overall elegant and classy feel of our space, I felt this would be at least somewhat unexpected.

We trimmed off the border and had just the Warhol image dry-mounted (this will take out any ‘dimples’ in poster or print art and make it sturdier), and then ordered a custom double mat to use as the frame for the image (I’m not a fan of metal frames, and didn’t think wood would look right). 

I chose a yellow-orange for the inside mat (speaking to, but not exactly like either the yellow or orange in the image), and a blue-green for the main mat -- again, not exactly like any of the blues or blue-green in the image, but complementing it well nonetheless.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out and can’t imagine another type of frame – in the affordable range – that would look as good!

I had found various fabrics earlier and along the way, and made new toss cushion covers that – while they’re not the exact colours found in the Warhol image (not the exact blue-green or exact yellow) – they work with the image and help to brighten the whole vignette up.

Here's a closer look at the cushions I made:

- I had bought the yellow-green fabric first with the olive-gold beaded tassles, and then it took weeks before I found other fabrics I thought would work

- The blue-green with the yellow-gold 'overlay shmoosh design' speaks directly to the yellow-green cushion

- The goldy-khaki polka-dot fabric is exactly the same colour as the beaded tassles on the yellow-green
cushion, with the gold shimmer of it also speaking to the blue-green cushion ... plus this darker pillow provides a 'bridge' between the brightly coloured cushions and the darkness of the chocolate sofa.

Here is a BEFORE picture of our family room:

Don’t you agree that a pop of inexpensive art (no pun intended) and colourful throw cushions adds some new life and wow to the space?!!  What I love most about it is I implemented it all to coincide with the arrival of Spring – on a sunny day, it seriously now feels like Spring in my living room!

And both the art and fabric for the cushions were affordable enough that I could (and probably will) revert to the ‘before’ look (or maybe another new look ...) when winter returns.

Decor accessories are like jewellery for your home – you don’t always wear the same necklace with your favourite outfit, right?

It’s not just ok to change the look in your home from season to season with decor accessories, it’s recommended.  It keeps boredom from settling in (you know, the kind where you feel “that’s it – we have to completely re-do this room!”), and keeps your look fresh and updated, even if your furniture is older.

Now that vivid colour is here to stay (for a few years anyway ...), I encourage you to think about how you can update your space, on a budget that works for you. I hope you have as much fun as I did!

It's Your Space, Your Place, Your Life -- if you want a great-looking space that's right for you and embibes the feel you'll love living in, contact Liz to help make it happen!

Andy Warhol
Liz Roberts


  1. I drop a leave a response each time I appreciate a article on
    a site or I have something to contribute to the conversation.
    It's caused by the passion displayed in the post I browsed. And on this post "How to update your home with color and inexpensive art". I was excited enough to drop a commenta response ;-) I do have a couple of questions for you if it's okay.
    Could it be just me or does it look like some of these remarks
    appear like coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting
    at additional online social sites, I'd like to follow you. Could you list all of your community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Feel free to surf to my web blog website
    My web site :: know more

  2. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular
    post! It's the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

    Here is my web-site ... more information