A Home For A True Art Connoisseur

This post is written especially for my x-boyfriend, Mr. E, who has a very impressive art collection. (Still after so many years he is one of my best friends and also a close family friend). He taught me almost everything I know about art and the meaning of it.

Whether it is your “style” or not, look closely around this amazing home. It is hard to see what is wall art and what is architectural details! Look again at the doorway leading to the “yellow” dining room. (I thought it was a painting at first). Also observe the green wall/fireplace mantel in the second image. A beautiful and very well curated art collection in a home embracing each and every piece!

(The photo art of the man studying a painting should really be hanging in my home. Perhaps I can create a similar piece by photographing a family member in an art gallery I love and blow up the image myself!).

Hugs to you all. And hello to so many new readers! It is a true honor to share my inspirations with you.

Inspiration and image credit: Desire To Inspire.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques |


Swedish Antiques Splendor

Busy, busy over here. Sorry for the lack of blog visits this week. I have some serious blog catching up to do.

My lovely, local blog sis, Marianne, recently gave me an article from Architectural Digest. As some of you know, I had fun for a couple of years importing high-quality Swedish antiques to the US. I stopped when the economy tanked and then started my blog instead.

But I have not ruled out doing it again. I love Swedish antiques. I grew up with them and they never get boring to me.

Swedes like to keep things simple, soothing and “quiet” and that is why so many of the old Swedish pieces still work centuries later. Swedish antiques are beautiful on their own but, because of the simple lines and neutral color palette, they can easily be mixed with other styles & eras. There are very few antique “styles” you can say that about.

The article Marianne gave me was about Jill Dienst moving her antiques gallery (Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter) from Sag Harbor to Manhattan. I have mentioned Ms. Dienst on my blog before but the Manhattan store is all news to me.

When I saw the pictures of her new store, I almost started to hyperventilate. Man oh Man. Swedish antiques are, in my opinion, out of this world gorgeous. And see how lovely they blend with Danish mid-century furniture. I am so visiting this gallery on my planned spring trip to NY.

Jill’s good friend Martha Stewart (via Kevin Sharkey) showed some pictures of the store opening on her blog.

Martha will have to fight me for this column cabinet. (In the old days, secret liquor was often stored in them!).

I also want a silver vessel to store my store business cards in…

Speaking of store. A big thank you to two dear blog friends for their unexpected shout-outs for my store. What a treat! And this coming from you — two ladies with tremendous style and taste! It means a lot.

Thank you Laura (Laura Casey Interiors)!

Thank you Teresa (Splendid Sass)!

I follow both blogs loyally. You should too.

Happy rest of the week, friends.

Images: No. 1, 6-9 via Martha Stewart/Kevin Sharkey, no. 2-5 via AD.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Thank you!,The Best of Sweden | Tags: , , ,


Great Print + A Fun Hang-Out

When I saw this print in the latest issue of Living Etc., I smiled with my whole body. I have not bought in to that whole graphic print trend with witty quotes and statements but if I am going to buy just one — it will be this one, by Anthony Burill. (Anthony Burrill’s persuasive, up-beat illustration and design has been commissioned by cultural, social and commercial clients around the world from New York, to London to Tokyo). A little bit of fun and a little bit of color.

And this is where I have been hanging out for the last few days — in beautiful Vancouver, BC Canada. For any of you visting us/Seattle — here is another destination for you to consider. It is only 2.5 hours away from Seattle and packed with culture, a good social scene and terrific shopping. Along with Stockholm (well, of course!) it always ends up on the list of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

Pan Pacific Hotel down town is where we have been hanging out. Hubby made sure we had a water  and mountain view.

One of the best gifts any mother can get, is a getaway with no cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring to 200 activities and picking up “stuff” after a small army of people and animals. Another reason to smile from ear to ear!

Warm hugs to you all.

(I will check in with all of my blog friends as soon as I have caught up).

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques |


Silhouettes Are Stronger Than Ever

Happy new week everyone & Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to my US friends. The trend with silhouettes displayed as wall art seem to be stronger than ever. And it is far more than the classic black on white color schemes. Silhouettes today come in all different colors and are often mixed with pieces from different eras together with DIY paper cut outs.

The wonderful Canadian born artist Carter Kustera gets a lot of recognition for his more modern and colorful silhouettes. (His art titles are always so witty). Pricey perhaps but oh so lovely.The term “silhouette” originated in the 18th century and is applied to portraits or other pictorial representations cut from thin black cards. You can see the outline and a featureless interior.

Image via Peggy McClard Antiques.

In America, silhouettes were highly popular from about 1790 to 1840. The invention of the camera signaled the end of the silhouette as a widespread form of portraiture. But the popularity of the silhouette portrait is being reborn in a new generation of people who appreciate the silhouette as a nostalgic way of capturing a significant occasion. I am one of them!

When I put up a piece of lovely retro Hick’s (Hexagon) wallpaper in my foyer, I quickly decided to extend some of that wall paper to the other side of our stair case and use it as backing for the hand cut silhouettes of my three children. If we ever move I will carry both the artwork itself and some of that lovely wall paper with me!

Before I let you go today, I would like to aknowledge these lovely blog friends. Last week they all individually awarded me with the “Stylish Blog Award”. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You are all very talented and I love following your blogs. (They are all on my blog roll). I hope you don’t mind if I refer to my earlier posts about myself. (Here and here).

Dear Designer’s Blog

Live Love Small

Live Like You


Love to you all!

Images: No.1 via Say Yes to Hoboken, No. 2-4 via Apartment Therapy , No. 5 via Apartment Therapy

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Thank you! |


Creating My Own Art

I have said it many times before — I can not draw to save my life. But once in a while I get courageous with a canvas and some paint and create my own personal art work. And so far I have even ended up liking them. I think I am fairly good at compositions and colors — but abstract is the only way I can go. (One day I might be brave enough to show you a couple of my own pieces).

My husband and I will continue to invest in art we truly enjoy. But right now (or until the wallet is a tad fatter!) I have that urge again to trot down to the local art store, equip myself with some art supplies and get started on my own, humble creations. Here are some beautiful art pieces which inspire me to come up with my own interpretations.

First up is a display of the most wonderful modern velvet fabrics in stunning frames. A terrific idea! And art in itself. But I am more interested in creating something similar & original from scratch — and with a paint  brush.

My eyes were drawn to this image many times while reading this article. How I would love to create something large in color!

Let me say that I feel no shame, whatsoever, in hanging one of my own very personal artworks next to a museum piece. Art can never be about money. You must love what you put up on your walls. Then the price tag is no longer important. I have nothing on my walls that I do not absolutely adore. (High-end, low-end, famous, totally unknown, old, new. I mix it all).

I have had this image in my style files for a long time (don’t even remember the source, sorry). But I love the deep burgundy colors in this stunning abstract painting. How lovely against all white.

This image I picked from the creative & generous Mr. Will over at Bright Bazaar. I remember telling him that I wanted to make something similar myself, on paper. I love this piece! I have a crazy obsession with round shapes. I am apparently not a square girl!

This painting with something sentimental, in an almost whispering color — all on white —  also gets my creative juices flowing. What a quiet statement piece.

The beautiful b/w artwork by Alexander Calder gets me longing for, saving up for, and also wanting to create something similar myself.

Almost like a piece of art is this fabulous chair that I found over at my lovely blog friend Sharalee’s blog. How gorgeous this chair is with two different kinds of upholstery!

And finally, a different kind of artistic gene. My good friend, Piper, who’s blog friendship I have so enjoyed for quite a while, had a major launch this week. This talented girl quit her day job (yes!) and went for her dream – – to open a creative on-line shop. I am so proud of her determination, creativity and her entrepreneurial skills. I will support any good, individual shop before I even look at large chains. And this shop has my 110% support.

One Sydney Road is the name of her shop.

And look what I just bought! A retro looking squirrel pillow. Just because my husband always is referring to our 3 kids as “squirrels”!

I hope some of you are walking away from this post at least a little bit inspired. Don’t be afraid to create your own art & don’t be afraid to fulfill your own dreams, just like Piper.

Images: No 1 via Jude Allman, no. 2 + 3 scanned from Veranda, no. 4 scanned from Elle Decor, no. 5 (unknown, sorry), no. 6 via Bright Bazaar, no. 7 via Marcus Design, no. 8 via Veranda, no. 9 via A Life More Fabulous, no. 10 + 11 via One Sydney Road

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques |

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