I'm always drawn to the unexpected element in design; a bold accessory in an otherwise neutral space, a fussy light fixture amidst modern furnishings, tattered among pristine. My eye seeks out the one thing that seemingly does not belong. Such is my latest infatuation with artwork in the kitchen. I'm not talking about poster prints or photography, but rather the nubby textures of painted canvas sans glass hanging in a space more akin to spills and splashes than gallery displays.
Perhaps it's because it begs tension between functional and pretty. I think we often categorize rooms in our own well lived homes - not the highly styled homes of magazines - where certain things are off limits. It's true: artwork that might be damaged in a room used for cooking does seem a bit reckless. But a canvassed painting hung above a work counter, sink or cook top always feels deliciously daring and rebellious as well. Maybe I'm really drawn to the bold personalities that feel confident enough in their skills to know a beloved piece of art will survive any potential kitchen blunder. I don't know that I'm that brave.
Maybe it's not confidence after all. It might just be the idea that nothing is truly so precious that it should not be enjoyed anywhere that I'm truly in love with.
Artwork also infuses personality into a kitchen that no fixture, hardware, paint color or appliance really can. It can elevate a rental with builder grade hardware and make it a little more special just as much as it can balance a showier kitchen and make it seem well... lived in.
While perusing flea markets and shops, I'm always stopped in my tracks, struggling with making a purchase on a small piece of art I love because I fear I'll have nowhere to hang it. I like the idea of opening up to a new room in which to showcase some of my beloved finds, outside of rules and convention. I may not have a list of formal resolutions fleshed out for the coming year, but perhaps its time to follow my heart a bit and color...or rather, paint outside the lines when it comes to my decorating strategy around Holtwood House.
1. Vogue Living Australia [May 2013] featuring home of Wendy Paterson [spotted on English Muse]
2. Livingetc [March 2012] featuring the Parisian kitchen and home of designer Josephine Gintzburger [spotted on DesiretoInspire]
3. Lauren Liess perfectly designed and styled her own kitchen
4. House Beautiful featuring the home of David Kleinberg, photographed by Christopher Baker
5. Little Green Notebook featuring Callie's home tour
6. House Beautiful featuring design by Chris Barrett, photo by Victoria Pearson