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Get Your Game On

Posted on January 17th, 2015 under Collectibles, Memorabilia, Room Planning, Small Space Design, Sport Design, Sports, Styling, Superbowl


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Your team may not be in the Superbowl this year ~ my beloved Saints are out, so my glittery pom poms are retired for the season; we’ll win it next year ~ and if you’re like me, the thrill of the game wanes considerably.

Once the cheerleading is silenced, I normally wouldn’t plan on arranging my day around the game, or throwing a big Superbowl party, but what motivates me this year are the two brothers going head to head for the big win. The truth; I really want to sit back and watch the reaction of their proud parents; you know they’ll be panning back & forth watching their game face.

So to pay homage to sports, I thought I would write about game day every day in the home, and let others talk about table decorations and salty snacks.  There is a plethora of paraphernalia that comes along with cohabitating with the avid sports enthusiast. The sports arena is broad; it goes way beyond football, baseball, basketball, etc. You have your car enthusiasts, boaters, hunters, bikers, skiers, fishermen and so much more.  And with it comes stuff…and a lot of it!

It’s not easy putting on a game face when unending collections of gear and memorabilia are piled in corners taking up valuable real estate and scattered about collecting dust. The last thing you want is your beautifully decorated home fatigued with unwanted paraphernalia. Yes we could relegate it to the dark basement, but then that would harbor resentment, and it’s really unfair. Every item has a special memory behind it and putting those treasures on display is a wonderful way to relive the memories. For the sports enthusiast; their collection is their precious art.

There is a way to compromise, but you will have to agree on what’s most important, how much to display, where to display and what to display it in. Keep in mind that you can always rotate collections too.  So let’s put on our game face and tackle this problem.  It will be a win-win for everyone.

First, I must start by saying I was hard pressed to find pleasing rooms designed for sports fans.  Most were dark and dingy spaces, and quite sad and unattractive. A fan cave can and should be appealing. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of cheering going on here, so this space should be cheerful. This is a strongly lived in space occupied for hours on end. You should design this room with the same vigor as you would any other room in your home; just a little tougher to handle the rigors of the testosterone fueled gatherings and ultra comfortable for hours of spectating. Think sophisticated bachelor pad intermingled with sporting treasures. And don’t exclude the ladies, we too enjoy sports!

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Before you start going all man power on those walls with your beefy power drills and hammers, stop and take inventory. Breathe. Organize all of your possessions; group like items and sizes and figure out what needs protecting. Decide what will be framed and hung, mounted in scrapbooks, encased in displays, collected in vessels and shelved, etc.  There are so many shapes & sizes involved, so it’s of paramount importance to plan out your space and play with options of displaying your collections.

Plan your location. Will your collections be intermingled with everyday décor?  Dedicated to an office, gym or a long hallway?  Or perhaps you’re lucky enough to have an entire space dedicated to recreation.

1d905c28eee6b7685339175301f3c68bThe living quarters of the display will dictate the decorum of the arrangement.  For instance, an upgrade in matting and framing for a collection of tickets will emerge more refined, allowing it to infuse seamlessly with the homes design.  Simply mounting a bunch of tickets under glass is not as polished and is perfect for a more relaxed space. You’ll want to choose framing that is complementary and consistent with the style of the space.

One very important tip to keep in mind; if you plan on displaying your autographed collections they should be kept out of direct sunlight. Hang your pictures, jerseys, etc., on walls or place your autographed collections on shelves that are not directly in the line of fire of the sun or they will fade. Also, do not store autographed items in hot attics or near vents. Keep autographed collectibles in a cool, dry place.

Another concern when storing autographs, are paper and its acids, the oils in your hands, and moisture. Most modern paper contains acids that react with other paper and other materials. In addition, the oils in your hands can leave permanent finger prints. Use only acid-free materials; place your items where they can be seen but not touched by hands and protected from moisture. To do this, use either an “acid-free” scrapbook or photo album or document protector album. Autographs will remain crisp and undamaged for your lifetime if stored in this manner. Also, photograph all of your valuables and keep them safely filed with your insurance company and at home.

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Invest in individual glass or Lucite display boxes and cases. The glass keeps things protected, upright and on display in a perfect way. Balls won’t roll off the shelves and those autographs won’t wear away.

Depending on your space and the size of your collection, you may want to consider forms of shelving or built-ins. When it comes to displaying everything, it’s all about styling here. Don’t just pack everything on the shelves like a stock room.  Curate your items in a way that tells a story. Display them thoughtfully and creatively.  Use interesting vessels like old trophy urns and cloches to collect and display smaller collections. Use statues as bookends. Group collections together; it brings them into focus and gives them grandeur. The results are quite powerful.

Creative collections

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Hanging your collections takes planning.  First, lay everything out on a large surface, starting with the largest pieces and build from there.  Arrange and rearrange until it comes together. I would recommend making a template for each item and taping it in place on the wall. It aids in positioning and setting the measurement of hardware much more precise. Be sure to have the correct hanging hardware, especially for the heavier pieces. If there are too many pieces, think about rotating your display from time to time like a museum does.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.  A large collection of team jerseys, towels or sportswear can be made into blanket. A collection of baseball bats can be customized into a table base. There are coffee tables that are built with a display space under a glass top that can be used to show off smaller items.

And for the leftovers that didn’t make it to the wall of fame, try creative storage options like vintage sport lockers or tailored bins housed on decorative shelving.  When clutter and disarray is taken out of the picture, you can focus on the winners.

Remember, there is no “I” in team.  With compromise and teamwork there are no losers! It’s a Win-Win for all!

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Wow, after all of this sports talk, I’m craving a sporty design project!  This design genre could certainly use cheering up!  Call me!  Happy Game Day!


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It’s True…Art Does NOT have to match the couch

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 under Art, Art Design



Inspiration comes from many mediums. For me, this week’s inspiration came from this post I did on Facebook.

735074_10152434432390137_1338663815_n (1)Amazingly, this simple quote “Art does not have to match the couch” went on a viral voyage that enormously jolted my stats; oh the joy of reaching so many people is like an intoxicating elixir.  So to pay homage to what obviously hit home for many, I thought it only appropriate to keep this conversation going…

“Yes – Finally someone said it!  Be Different…your house does not have to look like a cookie cutter version of a Villa in Tuscany, i.e., clearance shelves from Home Goods. Buy unique art from local artists or make your own!”

“I personally prefer dogs playing pool…that matches the dog hair on the couch, but not the couch or any couch for that matter.”

“I was once asked to do a painting that would match someone’s couch.”

“Best comment on appreciation of art I’ve seen in quite a while!”

“ I’ve had to make clients aware of this too many times. You purchase artwork because it speaks to you.”


It is so true; Art does not have to match the couch

Art it’s multi-lingual, interpreted in infinite ways, knows no boundaries, its spectrum endless, and its effects powerful. It comes in all forms — painting, sculpture, objects, furniture — it breathes life, adds depth, and has a very powerful point of view.

The definition of art is individual.  Its beauty is found in the eye of the beholder.  Art can be shocking. Art can be graceful. Art can be thought provoking. Art can be controversial. Art can be a collection of objects. Art can introduce a bold pop of offbeat color into a decor. Art can be the thread that ties a room together. But please, don’t buy decorative pillows to match each hue in a painting. Let your artwork speak, allow it to have a point of view; it’s much more compelling and attractive.

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Many times a beloved painting will be the source of inspiration for the design of a room.  The style and era of the artwork may dictate the style and personality of the collector’s décor.  A room may remain very minimal so the art is profound and takes its place as the sole focal point of the space.  Or perhaps a room is very loud with an abundance of color and pattern; this is a place where a quiet work of art is much more effective. Balance is vital. Where there is chaos, you lose focus; your eye should have a gentle place to fall.

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In a home where light and windows are not abundant, artwork depicting natural elements becomes the gateway to the outdoor world. Photographs of scenic views, colorful paintings of flora & fauna, or a soothing painting of an oceanic view, breathes fresh air into a less than luminous space.

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Art doesn’t necessarily have to hang on a wall. A hand-painted or intricately detailed piece of furniture may take center stage. A powerful collection of paperweights or vintage lighters beautifully displayed is also a form of artistic expression. Sculpture and textiles are also a commanding way to convey life into a room.

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Coffee table books are all the rage in the creation of vignettes. But perhaps those books are getting bored sitting around in piles?  Why not bring those gorgeous pages to life? Extract your favorite pages and frame them. I did this for a client. I happened upon an antique book of beautifully illustrated shells and pulled out 20 pages to create a gallery on a very large, focal wall. We selected gold gilded frames and mounted each photo under linen matting; the result was stunning.

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The quickest way to elevate an inexpensive piece of art is quality matting and framing.  There are so many options and creative ways to frame artwork so don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, think about lighting. This is the perfect way to make the piece look important and it also brings out the brilliance of the artwork.

When you’re hanging individual pieces of art, be sure not to hang them too high. A good rule of thumb is to hang the center of the picture at eye level; approximately 58″-60″ above the floor.  When it comes to arranging groups and collections, planning is paramount. Create paper templates; arrange and rearrange until you are completely satisfied with your schematic.

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Collecting “True” Art is essential for so many reasons. It supports a community of incredibly talented people, and it

gives your space authenticity and credibility.

Eradicate the mindset that “real” art is out of the realm of affordability. There are so many artists just starting out and selling their masterpieces for a bargain. And there are venues to support up-and-coming artists.  Every city or town has art fairs throughout the year, and there are estate sales and auctions; these are great places to start building your collection.

Every home deserves to live vibrantly. The life of a home is conveyed through its contents, surroundings and the memories built within its walls. Art gives a home soul. A Home Without Art is a Home With No Soul.

 

Take the Art away — Now, how does that feel?

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