Artwork interior design lighting Window Treatments

Five Luxe Living Room Tips

When it comes to designing your living space, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make it appear like you spent a lot of money. Here are some shortcuts to creating a luxurious living room without breaking the bank.

Layered lighting

Lighting up a space the right way is important and a topic that I have written about before. Having a variety of light sources adds depth to a room. Utilize a combination of ambient, accent and task lighting that can be adjusted based on the time of day or mood of the occupant.  Dimmer switches allow for complete control of lighting levels.

Bernhardt luxury living room

Beautiful Textiles

Toss some pillows in an opulent velvet or an exotic print onto the sofa for a luxurious update. Custom pillows can be found in designer fabrics on Etsy and many other online sources. Reusing old pillow forms saves money too.

Eastern Accents

Drapery to the floor

Curtains that do not go to the floor look skimpy. Hang rods as close to the ceiling as possible so that windows appear tall. Choose a fabric that blends with the wall color and doesn’t create contrast if you are concerned about overwhelming the space.

Large Art Pieces

Oversized art makes a daring focal point in a space. Large artwork somehow just looks so much more expensive than smaller pieces. Keep the colors and patterns of the piece subtle so that it seamlessly blends with the rest of your decor.

Renwil Artwork


Improve a rooms interior architecture with applied wall and crown moldings. While adding a visual presence, upscale moldings, make a home feel substantial and well built.

Daniel Island Interior Design
J. Rhodes Interior Design

Mr. H says: The living room is where we come to slow down the world for just a second-Enjoy!

Artwork design history

Tromp L’oeil Illusions

The ability to trompe-l’œil or “deceive the eye” was a highly prized artistic skill of ancient Greek and Roman painters.  The ability to fool one with a painted illusion is a practice that continues in today’s modern interiors.  Whether to expand the visual size of a room, add decorative elements, or introduce a bit of whimsy, decorative painters and designers collaborate to create fantastic tricks.

The Ducal Palace in Mantua c. 1470 by artist Andrea Mantegna


Fashion designer Martin Margiela added faux architectural details in his hotel room design

La Maison Champs Elysees by Martin Margiela
La Maison Champs Elysees

Expansive light and space is created in a powder room with a trompe l’oeil garden

Andy Eccleshall-The Mural Works trompe l'oeil door way
Andy Eccleshall-The Mural Works trompe l’oeil door way

A bedroom shrouded in luxurious drapery

Artist Mariani Affreschi trompe l'oeil bed curtains
Artist Mariani Affreschi trompe l’oeil bed curtains

Trompe L’oeil can be trans formative as evidenced by artist Janie Atkinson’s garage doors.


Janie Atkinson

Tromple l’oeil allows for a touch of whimsy: look closely in the Paris Musee de la Chasse for the painted mouse lurking about.

Carol Gillott

This restaurant floor was turned into a coral reef complete with the illusion of water and sea life.

Trompe loeil ocean floor
Epoxy 3D Flooring

Faux marbre, faux boise….

Artist Caroline Woods faux marble column
Artist Caroline Woods faux marble column

Artist Jill Biskin faux marble wainscot
Artist Jill Biskin faux marble wainscot

Artist Arthur Morehead faux boise wood panel
Artist Arthur Morehead faux boise wood panel

Fauxto Finish faux boise garage doors
Fauxto Finish faux boise garage doors

Dogs are a favorite subject for trompe l’oeil artists

Artist Lara Meissirel

Artist Janet Fadler Davie
Artist Janet Fadler Davie

Mr. H says: Through a painting we can see the whole world-Enjoy!

Artwork charleston

40 years of Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA

The Spoleto Festival USA opens its 40th season today, and the schedule of events promises to be a celebration of the spirit of Charleston, South Carolina.  This year’s itinerary includes Spoleto’s first production of the opera “Porgy and Bess“.  Created by George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwinwhich in 1934, is set in Charleston.  A number of performances also pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the shootings at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.

Porgy and Bess costumes

The Spoleto Festival USA was conceived by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who sought to establish a counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi (The Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy.  Championed by then Mayor Joe Riley, the Spoleto Festival USA held its inaugural year in 1977.

Spoleto Poster 1977 Christan Thee

Each year a celebration poster is created by a living artist.  This years poster, by Jonathan Green, Harvest Gathering is a vibrant image celebrating Gullah culture.
2016 Spoleto Festival poster Jonathan Green

Check out all the past poster images from the last 40 years at the Spoleto Festival website

1985 Spoleto poster Jasper Johns

While former mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. is not presiding over this years opening events, his Spoleto dedicated legacy to the festival for the last four decades will be celebrated at the 40th Season Celebration Concert.  The concert will be held in the newly renovated Gaillard Center and will be conducted by former Festival Music Director Steven Sloane, with Riley narrating.

Gillard Performance Center

Mr. H says: Life is festival only to the wise-Enjoy!

Artwork travel

Santa Fe Artisans

As home to one of the world’s major art centers, Santa Fe’s visual arts community features a diverse array of artistic mediums and styles.

Manitou Galleries spotlights contemporary representational paintings, sculpture, and glass.

Manitou Galleries

Since the 1970’s, the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery has been promoting fiber and textile artists from around the world.

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Rubber hand bag

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Felted scarves

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Hand made paper jewelry

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Woven and embellished scarf

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Metal wind sculptures grace the yard at Mark White Fine Art

Mark White Fine Art Santa Fe

Ceramic couple on Canyon Road

Canyon Road Santa Fe

Whimsical folk art farmers orginate from a long tradition of Native American hand crafts

Folk art Santa Fe

Greeters outside the Dancing Ladies De Santa Fe clothing store

Dancing Ladies De Santa Fe Clothing Store

Mr. H says: Art is for washing the dust of daily life off our souls-Enjoy!

Artwork furniture

Fall 2014 High Point Furniture Market Redux

One last post on all the fabulous finds at this years International Home Furnishings Market in High Point.

Natural hickory branches are crafted into an impressive floor lamp at Deanna Wish Designs

Wish Designs Tree Lamp

A dog portrait looms out over the showroom

Brown dog portrait

Hand painted fused glass and stainless steel form this graceful Global Views Peacock table

Global Views Peacock Table

 Jaunty Rugs featured a modern wool and viscose collection

Jaunty Rugs

Glass fish float in a sea of bubbles at Lite Source

Lite Source Seabright Chandelier

Long know for its exquisite hand painted cabinetry, Habersham created this wine room vignette at this Fall’s show.

Habersham wine cabinet

Swaim’s new cracked glass top cocktail table

Swaim cocktail table

Global Views whimsical “Golden Conga Line” metal sculpture.

Global Views Dog conga line

Mr. H says: Make a home for yourself inside your head instead of in a place-Enjoy!

Artwork decorating

The art of hanging art

Hang art at eye level has been my mantra for years when it comes to displaying pictures and paintings.  But what is eye level?  In galleries and museums most art is hung at 57″ on center-that is the center of the painting is hung at that height regardless of its size.

Photo by Houzz

When hanging a pair of works, one above the other, treat them as one.  Find the center point between them and use the same 57 inch rule.

Photo by Houzz

Uttermost Tree Panels

Other installation tips include separating side by side pieces with two to three inches of space between them.

When hanging multiple pieces, think off the grid with an asymmetrical arrangement.

Photo by Studio Marcelo Brito 

Relate art to furniture size keeping to the general principle of the art being about 75% of the width of the furniture piece.

Photo by Maurizio Pellizzoni Ltd

In living areas, art should be hung a little lower since the viewer is usually seated.  Ensure placing artwork at the right height by hanging it one hand width above the sofa.

Photo by Brookfield Residential Colorado 

Mr. H says: The principle of art is to pause, not bypass-Enjoy!

architecture Artwork decorating travel

Danes Deliver Details

Architectural design details abound on the streets of CopenhagenCopenhagen design

Copenhagen City Museum

It was impossible to appreciate all the embellishment that adorned so many buildings

Copenhagen architecture

The Elephant Gates at the Carlsberg brewery

The Elephant Gate Carlsberg Brewery

The interiors were quite beautiful as well

Kobenhavns Bymuseet

Copenhagen Central Station

We had to remind ourselves to keep looking up!

Even the Royal Copenhagen flag-ship store had us looking skyward

Royal Copenhagen

The sidewalks had their own form of ornamentation.

Sidewalk decor

Mr. H says: The details not only add to the pleasant quality of a  design; it reinforces it-Enjoy!