Crazy for Sea fans

It seems that every coastal inspired room I love has framed sea fans.  Recently, however,  I saw some sea fan giclees (which are art prints on canvas) at Home Goods and I am not sure that this is a good sign for the trend or if the Home Goods buyers just hit a home run.  Usually if it is at Home Goods, it is everywhere, which means it could nearing the end of its run.  Lets hope that is not the case for sea fans since I love them and hope to use them in some upcoming spaces.  Two of my favorite friends, who happen to have exquisite taste, have sea fans adorning their walls.  Ivy and Jill's favorite sea fan "artist" is Karen Robertson (whose shell pictures appear in an earlier post) and her collection of sea fans is really appealing.

Here are Robertson's sea fans in a 
Mabley and Handler
 Interior Design Hampton House showcase

Karen Robertson arrangement with turtle shell and lime green sea fan.

Robertson's fans come in a variety of cool colors.
Natural Sea Fan by Karen Robertson

Karen Robertson

I really like her shell art, it reminds me of a greco-roman mosaic:

Here is Robertson's display at the Gift Show:

If you like her work, here is the website:  http://karenrobertson.com/.  I have also posted a few framed sea fans and coral prints by Mirror Image at Pinterest.

I am also a big fan of sea life accessories:

Snapped this picture outside a closed shop in Sarasota -- huge shells in glass jars.


I try and avoid the obvious fakes like the shell above
I like this unique barnacle vase by Tozai Home

Nothing beats real shells

This is a pretty good fake from zgallerie.com
Check out this sea urchin vase, very attractive

Karen Robertson also has turtle shells (and you see these sprinkled in a lot of designers' rooms) I am not as fond of these as I am of shells, although I love "tortoise shell" accents

Turtle shells are on the wall on the left and right of the window

Karen Robertson tortoise shell inspired accessories


Dining Room Part Deux

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am helping my friends redo their dining room and they want something pretty, current and  a little trendy.  They have classic pieces in their laid back navy and white beach themed  living room, but want their dining room to be a tad more formal.  They want the space to be current, but the question is how trendy do you get if you don't redecorate that often.   While I love trendy stuff, I say keep it to the chachkies, fabric and lighting fixtures...Furniture (or at least the table) should be timeless: classic and simple.

Since they are doing their dining room over from soup to nuts, here are some of the things they need to make decisions about:

(1) a dining room table and chairs; (2) storage (bar, buffet/server, china cabinet); (3) Wall/ceiling treatments (paint, wallpaper, wainscoting and moldings); (4) rug/floor;
(5) window treatments; (6) lighting (chandelier/sconces)  and 
(7) artwork  (although not necessarily in that order). 
Dining Room Table 

  The  dining room table is the anchor of your room and ties all the pieces together.  I advised my friend to choose a  table made from high quality hardwood and to consider an antique table if she is going to go more traditional. Antique tables  are often made better than new tables and cost less.

chippendale table

Refractory Table

Perfect parsons table for chinoiserie chairs

double pedestal

I love the intimacy of round tables, but you can't really get bigger than 60" (or no one can reach the salt and pepper) and rectangular tables are just more practical, especially for my friends who have a rectangular dining room and a big family.


Dining room chairs are another important element that help define your space.  Although a table and chairs often come together in a set, but it is nice to mix it up and  choose different chairs to make the space your own.  I happen to love a fabulous upholstered chair -- of course not all chairs are created equal, we need to find chairs that are plenty comfortable in addition to being good-looking or no one is going to want to stay at the table.   I also love chinoiserie chippendale chairs.  Since we are going for a rectangular table, we might  consider making the hosts' chairs somewhat different.   
Shield back chairs

Chippendale chair --  love the nailheads for an updated look

Tufted chair, lovely

This would look great with that refractory
This chinoiserie chair in white with the parsons table
Love these chinoiserie chairs

Love this upholostered chair

You just know these scream 1stdibs

Great chair love the simple lines of the legs.

What do you think? Upholstered or Chippendale chairs?


Real Art for Everyone

Everyone should own "real" art that moves them -- an original piece of art that speaks to who you are and makes you happy when you look at it.  Art does not need to match your decor exactly and the best art compliments your space; it stays with you for life and is like a treasured friend.

Growing up, our house was filled with original art work -- with work by my painter mother and her artist friends.  To get the work she loved, my mother would trade her paintings or when she had the cash, she would buy art (she still does) like others buy shoes and bags. None of the work matched her decor or even each other, she collected each piece for its unique beauty and the sheer joy it gave her.

You don't have to be filthy rich to own original art (or good reproductions) by American painters.  In fact, many pieces can be acquired for unbelievably low prices directly from the artist.   And while you can buy from artists online through their websites (usually notoriously out-dated if they have them) there is nothing like seeing the brush strokes and color of a painting in person.  Today, the absolute best place to buy original art work is at "street" art shows or "art festivals."  The artists who show on the "street" sell to galleries and some even have their own small galleries; but the prices at the art shows just can't be beat.  Lots of cities and resort towns have art shows, just check the local papers or an artist trade magazine called "Sunshine Artist" http://www.sunshineartist.com/shows/.

This weekend my mom and I dropped in on the show in downtown Sarasota, Florida.  There were so many talented artists that I had to share some of the best with you.

This was the find of the show: artist Eugene J. Quinn knocked our socks off with his beautiful loose painterly style and his amazing color.  Both my mother and I purchased his work. www.eugenejquinn.com; email: info@eugenejquinn.com

These photos do not do Eugene J. Quinn's work justice

Eugene J. Quinn

Lovely little gem by Eugene J. Quinn must be seen in person to fully appreciate; 6x15

Very cool work from Gene Rizzo, a retired architect www.generizzo.com; rizzoart@tampabay.rr.com

Reproduction of waterolors by Gene Rizzo

My mother purchased this painting by artist Martin Figlinski entitled "Panama Beach" -- they named it together before he ran her credit card.  That is part of the fun of buying at street art fairs, you meet the artist and have a long conversation and before you know it, you are giving his painting a title and whipping out your credit card...www.figlinski.com.

Martin Figlinski www.figlinski.com 8x10

I loved this painting, but my walls are filled with art -- and while I stand by the position that art doesn't need to matchy-match your decor,  I try and make it so that one painting does not overwhelm the others -- this piece needs a room of its own!  The colors of Dovile Saldaitis' paintings are just phenomenal.  Dovile2004@yahoo.com

We were running to the car and I snapped this picture quickly but failed to get the artist's name. My apologies to the very talented artist!!

David C. Armstrong -- great painter.  I loved this nude.  www.davidcarmstrong.ca

Loved this artist as well, and I believe she might actually be the mother of Dovile Saldaitis (above). See artist Rasa Saldaitis' beautiful work at her website www.saldaitisart.com.  

Rasa Saldaitis again, www.saldaitisart.com. Wow -- this is just one dose of happy on canvas.

Acrylic painter Richard Johnson www.richardajohnsonart.com.  I am really into birds these days -- especially herons and cranes.

Again, large canvas by Richard Johnson

My mother's talented friend, Mary Erickson.  I purchased two heron prints from her, and these pictures don't do her work justice.  www.maryericksonart.com

Mary Erickson

8x10 painting by Mary Erickson

Linda Ann Hughes -- reasonably priced very good portrait artist.  www.LindaAnnHughes.com; email linda@LindaAnnHughes.com

Linda Hughes did pet portraits as well! So sweet!  She works from your photo or will do a photo shoot.

Jimmy Ellis www.JimmyEllisArt.com.
I bought this print for my two boys who share a room -- we all love Boston Terriers. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.