Artist/Designer Spotlight: Lindsay Cowles

This month’s spotlight is on contemporary artist and decorative arts designer, Lindsay Cowles. Her work is so creative and unique, an artist who can seamlessly merge from canvas to textile without skipping a beat is pure talent. Her style is so fresh and brings major wow factor to anything it touches, even the walls! And that takes me to my obsession, her wallcovering designs. Utter perfection! I’ll let her work do the talking…

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AW: Tell us a bit about your background

LC: From my first memories, I have always loved art. I took art classes all throughout my childhood, but stepped away from creating art for about 10 years when I went to college and then to New York. I was in the fashion industry in NYC and worked in sales for Alberta Ferretti. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I got back into painting. From that point, I haven’t stopped! And I knew right from the beginning that I wanted to bring my art full circle and create wallpapers and fabrics to dress the home.

When I moved back to Richmond that I really focused on growing my company. I was able to focus 100% of my time on painting, product development and marketing.

My business is constantly growing and evolving. My next venture is rugs. Expect to see them in the next few months!

AW: What kind of creative process, routines or rituals do you have?

LC: Go go go! That’s my routine in a nutshell.

AW: What is integral to the work of an artist?

LC: To be in the right head space to create. Each part of what I do requires a different creative process— from painting; to building and editing patterns; to planning and developing colors; to figuring out which applications and scale would work best. I have to block out time for each of these creative processes and have to be in the right mindset to tackle each of them.

AW: Tips or advice you would give to someone trying to pursue a career in art and design?

LC: Never stop experimenting. It’s important to continue learning and pushing the limits on your creative process.

AW: Do you ever experience creative blocks? How do you overcome them?

LC: Yes! Everyone in art and design must have creative blocks! I find that sometimes its through these blocks that you push yourself past your comfort zone and learn something new. And sometimes, I creative blocks require a full break. A chance to reflect. I do my best reflecting outside— either riding my bike, going for a walk, or just playing with my dogs and family outside. Travel always helps too. Seeing new places and having new experiences always helps.

AW: Who are a few artists/designers you admire and why?

LC: Gerhard Richter. His use of color, layering and depth is so inspirational. Motherwell for his shapes, proportions and use of black and white.

AW: What are your everyday essentials?

LC: In the studio— empty glass jars for mixing paint. When in the office, my cutting board, electric stapler and printer get a serious workout.

AW: A typical day in your life includes…?

LC: I am typically an early riser. I work out of my house, so I usually go to the kitchen, get my cup of coffee and head to the office pretty early. It’s a really tough commute 😉 Then my son and husband get up around 7, so I stop and take a break with them and have breakfast. Once my son is off to school, I find that mornings are a great time to catch up on things. I usually like to head to the studio and get in a few hours of painting while I am fresh, then back to the office to work on sample requests, order processing, design work, etc. The end of the day is family time. We all have dinner together and then relax for a bit before heading to bed.

AW: When do you feel most inspired?

LC: When I come up with something new that I love or help someone create something custom that they love! Or when I see how a designer has used my wallpapers, fabrics or art in a unique and different way. I love to see how creative people are with design. Sky is the limit!!

AW: Your latest obsession?

LC: Small paintings framed with a big mat board and frame. I always love juxtaposition.

AW: What do you do when you are outside of your studio?

LC: I chill with my son, husband and two frenchies. My son is 14 months old, so my time off is really all about him. He is growing and changing so much each day, it really is so much fun to watch!

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Wonderful Wallpaper

 

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Perfect Pillows

 

Follow Lindsay’s Instagram feed to stay visually inspired and up to date on her latest designs and installs… I dare you to not heart every image!

 

xoA

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Labor Day your way!

Labor Day, Summer’s last celebration. What are your weekend plans? If you have yet to make plans but desperate for ideas, I’ve got your back. For my last minute, fly by the seat of your pants readers, enjoy my Top 3 Labor Day weekend ideas.

Away:

With less than 2 weeks away, last minute travels rates could put a damper on the destination of your choice, so think outside of the box and stick close to home. Experience the joy of a road trip getaway without venturing too far – visit a nearby city to get your fix of the hustle and bustle, embrace the staycation trend and act like a tourist, visit popular hangouts and indulge in the local fare. One of my staycation musts, “The Jewel of the Desert”, better known as Arizona Biltmore. 8 swimming pools, fine food and drink, live music, activities for the kids and some drool-worthy decor – sounds like a backlist staycation to me! Designer side note: The incredible, world renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was the mastermind behind this popular structure. [Read More

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Host:

Prefer to gather and be merry? Call up some of your favorites and create the perfect potluck soiree in your own home. Let everyone pick a dish and choose a cocktail, get together and make some memories in the kitchen. Get your fun on with some backyard games – corn hole is always a winner with kids and adults alike. Throw a few festive floats in the pool, open the umbrellas and create your own resort.

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Need some menu inspo? Delish has some mouth watering ideas! [Read More

Stay:

Need a break from it all? There is nothing wrong with celebrating on the low down. Stay home with the family, don’t change out of your loungewear, read, order-in, rent a movie, catch a tan, and just be still. There is no rule book for celebrating Labor Day weekend, do it your way!

xoA

Sourcing For Perfection

When it comes time for product sourcing for design projects, there are many hours spent scouring through catalogs, showrooms and websites to find that one perfect piece. Over the years, I have accumulated quite a few favorites in the sourcing department, and one of my absolute favorite manufacturers is Alfonso Marina. Their furniture goes from elegant to eclectic without skipping a beat and I just love the timeless beauty of their furniture. There is almost always a spot in someone’s home for a piece of Alfonso Marina!

Swooning over these new armchairs – the perfect accent chair for a conversation nook.

This glorious armoire will bring so much ethnicity to any space it occupies!

This handsome desk doesn’t demand much space, but it certainly grabs your attention! (Tip: For a unique take on a desk chair… an upholstered dining chair fits the bill.)

I have nothing but heart eyes for that console table! (Tip: Make a statement with oversized accessories on a featured surface)

 

Visit Alfonso Marina and tell me what piece you fell in love with!

xoA

The Wachs Mix: School Rules

Last week we were celebrating back to school with some inspiration for your darling’s bedroom makeover. This week, let’s make sure they are prepared – backpack, supplies and essentials, have you been shopping yet? The inevitable back to school shop can be a daunting task, dashing from one store to the next crossing off your Mommy-do list, but it can also be a fun time. With all the exciting kiddy trends out there, it’s hard not to get a little giddy when scouting out school supplies! Here are a few of my favs – save room for a treat or two just for you!

Glam day planner and a must have Kate Spade tackle box for the learning lady. Light fixture for a locker? Sold! Sweet backpacks, dry highlighters (need these for my own desk!),  super drinking vessel and totally trendy backpack for your little hero. A family calendar!! Delicious erasers for her pencil case and a magical water bottle to go. You can’t go wrong with Herschel and a dapper pencil case for the growing man. Desk clock to keep track of those study hours! And, last but not least, fuel for Mom and Dad and a super stylish touch screen smart watch to keep you in check.

Now, let’s go school supply shopping!

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1. Rose Gold Leather Planner by Kikki.K / 2. Kate Spade Stationary Tackle Box from Macy’s / 3. Locker Light from Target / 4. Backpack by Vera Bradley / 5. Eco Dry Highlighters by Stubby Pencil Studio / 6. Captain America Water Bottle from Target / 7. Star Wars Backpack by Loungefly on Amazon / 8. Family Calendar from Nordstrom / 9. Food Erasers from Paperchase / 10. Camelbak Unicorn Water Bottle from Target / 11. Backpack by Herschel Supply Co / 12. Gentlemen’s Hardware Pencil Case from Nordstrom / 13. Desk Clock by Kikki.K / 14. Starbucks Card / 15. Fossil Touchscreen Smart Watch from Macy’s

Do you have any favorite items on your shopping list this year? What are you kids loving? Please add it to my list! 🙂

xoA

Back to School: Redesigning Kids Rooms

It’s almost that time of year again – back to school! Another year down, another grade higher and another year older, where is the time going? Growing up naturally includes growing out, of clothes and shoes and their bedroom decor. Lets not forget our littles (and grown up) loves’ personal nests – where they sleep, play, work and host, it’s a space they get to be proud of and love being in. Who’s up for putting their personal project on the back burner and sprucing up your babe’s boudoir? Here are some tips and a little bit of inspo to get you on your way…

 

Room For More

Play dates and sleep overs are top priority in the life of a kid, so why not incorporate entertaining into your plans. Maximize all the space to make way for an extra bed, a play table or even a sofa!

HGTV / Photographer: Suzanna Scott Photography / Designers: Heather Brock and Jennifer Wundrow

Architectural Digest / Photographer: Thomas Loof / Designer: Miles Redd

 

Work, and then play

As they get older, the homework book gets thicker and the days get longer. Create a functional space they will be motivated in and inspired by.

Domino / Photographer: UNGANO + AGRIODIMAS / Designer: Lauren Wills

Domino / Photographer: Brittany Ambridge / Designer: Sally King Benedict

 

Storage, storage, storage!

When their beloved belongings look like nothing more than clutter, it’s time to get creative with your choice of storage.

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House & Garden UK

 

Art of Choice

Why not make this project extra special and ask for some guidance from your client – what artwork would they choose?

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Architectural Digest / Photographer: Scott Frances / Designer: Michael S Smith

 

Let Them Grow

This time of year will come and go, and come and go, but it doesn’t require a makeover every year. When you are ready to get your hands dirty with this labor of love, think of a space that allows them to grow. Classic colors or gorgeous fabrics that will stay current, swap out the bunk beds for a “big kid” bed – think guest room down the road (ok, maybe not that far down the road!) or add a sitting area for some alone time.

House & Garden UK / Designer: Katharine Pooley

 

Elle Decor / Designer: Megan Winters

 

Are you planning on making some decor changes before the school year commences? Please do share your ideas and inspirations!

 

xoA

Artist/Designer Spotlight: William McLure

This month’s spotlight goes to the ever so talented personality, William McLure. He is checking all inspiring boxes when it comes to an Artist and Designer – rich, natural and authentic are 3 words that come to mind when admiring his portfolio. He is a true Southern design gem and I am sure you are going to love our little Q&A with William.

AW: What kind of creative process, routines or rituals do you have?



WM: Well, first off I typically prefer to paint in the early morning hours or late at night. I typically get interrupted less during these hours and once the creative process is interrupted it can be hard to jump back into your creative cycle. I’m always listening to music or podcasts while I paint. I find that it keeps my mind from wandering and helps keep me focused, in some weird way, lol.



AW: What is integral to the work of an artist?


WM: For me I think it would have to be your space. I found very early on that this work requires large spaces to spread everything out and allow for drying time for the artwork. You also need a lot of natural light. My loft is perfect for this because two sides of the loft are nothing but floor-to-ceiling windows.

AW: Tips or advice you would give to someone trying to pursue a career in art and design?

WM: 
This is actually a great question. For me, I believe these two skill sets are talent-based. So, if you don’t have some sort of knack for it I don’t think it can be successfully cultivated through the educational process.
For me, one of them most important assets was being able to work for and with people that are talented. This experience taught me so much more than an education ever could. Also, never be afraid to take a risk. Sometimes it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done. I’m living proof of that, lol!



AW: Do you ever experience creative blocks? How do you overcome them?


Most definitely! Recently I have had my best friend, my dog Baylor, pass away after 15-1/2 years, so, I really didn’t work or touch any painting for about four weeks. It was extremely hard for me, but eventually I started exploring social media again, looking at design books, and reading articles that were design based. Integrating myself back into my work through these avenues, was a great way to overcome my emotional block and to re-cultivate my creativity and get my mind back into the game.




AW: Who are a few artists/designers you admire and why?


WM: Mark Sikes is pretty amazing! He has the whole lifestyle concept down pat!
I think as far as the artist go I would have to go with Catherine and Jones. She’s based in Birmingham and has a clean, honest and timelessness quality to her work. Her composition and colors are on-point. I’ve actually spoken to her about commissioning a piece of hers for myself.


AW: What are your everyday essentials?

WM: 
I would have to say a long sleeve blue button down, some torn blue jeans, a great pair of sunglasses and some well-made loafers.




AW: A typical day in your life includes…?

WM: My morning drive to Starbucks and trying to get all my errands run before lunch. Then home to work on commissions… and at night time you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar I’m in the bathtub with Netflix.

AW: When do you feel most inspired?


WM: Usually it’s at night. I tend to be a little ADHD and there are less distractions at night, so I can really get in the creative flow and not be interrupted.

AW: Your latest obsession?

WM: My latest obsession….. I think it would have to be this 9-foot long by 6-foot tall, 17th century tapestry that I had framed to go over my bed.
I had been eyeballing it for about a year at the frame shop where I have some items framed. So, one day when I was there getting something framed I just happened to ask him what the story was behind it and why it was still there. He said that a doctor had brought it in to have it restored and framed, but had never come back to claim it and pay for it. I asked if it could be for sale and he said yes…… at that moment I instantly turned on the charm! He said all I had to do was pay the doctor’s bill and I could purchase it!
Needless to say, I pulled my debit card out instantly! And “that’s all she wrote,” and it became mine.


AW: What do you do when you are outside of your studio?


WM: Well, I enjoy running so that releases a lot of stress it helps me level out. I have a pretty close- knit group of friends, so we are usually at one of our houses doing a dinner party and cocktails.

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Are you in love yet? I’d love to hear what you think about my Q&A will William!

xo A

Happy 4th to you!

This week is a time for friends and family, freedom and gratefulness, and a time to embrace everything red, white and blue! From cookouts, cocktails, sun soaking and gathering on hillsides for fireworks, I am wishing you all a fun, safe and special weekend.

In the meantime, I am going to take a moment to celebrate our patriotic color palette! This bold trio stands out in the classiest of ways in decor – I’m not talking streamers here, think fun tablescapes, handsome living rooms and stately art. I have compiled a few of my starry-eyed favorites…

 

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Hester & Cook

This table has me wishing I received an invite! I adore the crab and lobster placemats from Hester & Cook – paper placemats! Convenient and classy for your backyard soiree.

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Jennifer Robin Interiors

Leaning against a neutral background, these red and blue wingback chairs pop like WOW!

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Pottery Barn

Our flag has the freedom to look good anywhere! 🙂

outdoor seating wachs mix

1. Round Turkish Beach Towel by Turkish T / 2. Jute Floor Cushion by CB2 / 3. Geometric Throw from Joss & Main / 4. Indoor/Outdoor Pillow by Fresh American / 5. Indoor/Outdoor Pouf by Fresh American

This month’s Wachs Mix is all about cool comfort, whether you’re throwing down a blanket at the park or pulling up a pouf in the garden, ditch the chairs and get comfy!

The July newsletter was filled with some fabulous entertaining tips, a refreshing cocktail recipe, the place to vacay and more. And, of course, a bonus Wachs Mix! If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, join in on the fun and be ready August!

xo A

The Wachs Mix: Just for Dad

Father’s Day is almost here and it’s time to shower our Dads with love and gratitude… and a gift or two! If you are still scratching your head and empty handed, that’s totally normal, I think we can all agree that shopping for our beloved boys is a tough one! So, I have curated another Wachs Mix for all of you default gift card givers. Let’s surprise him with a gift to remember!

 

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  1. Who needs a recliner when this handsome seat exists? Chair & Ottoman by McGuire Furniture
  2. Dad will love setting the table with these Laguiole mixed bone steak knives!
  3. No man likes a warm beer! Yeti’s Colster is sure to keep his brew cold.
  4. Let Dad join the “it” crowd club and subscribe him to Bespoke Post! Fancy grooming kit, a Humidor filled with cigars and a set of trendy ties. He’ll be the coolest Dad on the block!
  5. If he’s a watch guy, this is the case for him. Matches Fashion has some dapper gift choices!
  6. Gone are the days of clunky wallets stuffed in back pockets, thin and sleek is the new thing! I love this leather card case from Jack Mason.

 

Get shopping! And a Happy Father’s Day to our guys!

xo A

Artist/Designer Spotlight: Zoe Pawlak

Welcome to Wachs This Ways’ new feature, Artist/Designer Spotlight. There are so many wonderful and talented humans out there and I believe they need a shout out, so I’m here to do just that.

After some serious creative soul surfing on the web recently I discovered Canadian artist, Zoe Pawlak. Her contemporary artwork is so refreshing and moody – in all of the right ways. She makes contemporary take on such a diversity – figurative, floral and landscapes – each with its own flair of personality. From canvas to floor, I love it all! Yup, you heard me correctly, floor – her rug collection is a show stopper!

Top of my list, if I must choose one, Rising

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I couldn’t stand to not share both of these beauties! Oh! The floors I can envision them on.

Over Oceans Collection-Coastal Shift

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Red Dust Collection-Shift

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If you’re still stuck on the commitment process when it comes to purchasing art, head back to my Designers Tips post ‘Andrea’s Tricks to Selecting Art‘.

xoA

Designer Tips: Mixing Metals

Can metals really be mixed? Yes. I don’t know where to start! Well, you came to the right place!

Mixing does not mean competing –

Your first step should be deciding which metal you would like to be the most dominant in your space. Once you have established your fancy foundation you can start playing with the accents. Your eyes need something to rest on – an even amount of mix can be overwhelming.

House Beautiful / Designer: Matthew Quinn

 

Blend Warm and Cool Tones –

The warm metals, like gold or brass, are perfectly balanced when mixed with a cooler metal, like silver or chrome. Consider a gold light fixture above an island in a kitchen with brushed nickel hardware.

Laura U Interior Design

Texture is Key –

Using varying shades of the same metal is technically considered mixing, but do consider texture (and shape). Contrasting textures and lines can be the deciding factor when it comes to making it or breaking it when mixing your metals.

Kelly Wearstler / The Avalon Hotel

xo A

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