Design Inspiration with Marie Flanigan

As a designer, I am always on the look out for my next source of inspiration and it can come from so many different places as well as in many different forms – a printed fabric on a blouse in a store front window, brushstroke colors on a piece of art, texture on a piece of pottery found at an estate sale, or simply through the work of others. Much of my inspiration comes while admiring the work of some of my most admired designers and artists, we all have our own unique style when it comes to designing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be influenced by the creative works of others.

Today I’d like to spend a moment appreciating one of my sources of inspiration – Marie Flanigan. She is an extremely talented designer, I see her work as natural elegance and always so full of light.

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(All images courtesy of Marie Flanigan Interiors)

Upon “entering” any one of these rooms, you can’t deny the serene and calming vibe bouncing back at you. Neutral tones set off by flashes of gold, natural textures, tailored lines, all come together to create “refined elegance and innovative simplicity.”

An Andrea curation, with a little Marie flare, to get your juices flowing this fine Friday morning! Enjoy and remember, inspiration is around every corner!

 

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 1. Ikat Throw Pillow by Lillian August / 2. Brass Geometric Lamp by Currey & Co.  / 3. Espresso Velvet Sofa by Lillian August / 4. Orb Sculpture by Lillian August / 5. Free Form Platters by John Richard / 6. Geometric Print Throw Pillow from One Kings Lane / 7. Decorative Succulents by John Richard / 8. Exposed Wood Accent Chair by Hickory White / 9. Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree from Houzz / 10. Petrified Wood Side Table by Aire Furniture / 11. Driftwood Mirror from One Kings Lane
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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

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

Entertain: Be the best hostess

It’s almost Easter, and another lovely opportunity to host a few of your most special guests. Playing hostess is such a treat for me, though it can bring on some minor anxieties – What will the menu be? What time? What drinks? What to wear…seriously, am I asking myself this question? Ultimately, I know when it comes down to the end of the evening there is going to be a delightful buzz in my home with full bellies, refilled drinks and laughing guests. I know when the sink is full of dishes, my heart is going to be full of joy, because… playing hostess is such a treat for me!

Drinks, dinner and decor… here’s what I’m loving…

First things first, quench the taste buds with a delicious cocktail. My suggestion is the popular and well-loved cocktail from Mexico, The Paloma. A refreshing alternative to the margarita.

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Reef Highball Glass – Crate&Barrel / S/4 Cocktail Napkins – One Kings Lane

 

The Eats? I love Jenni Kayne’s guide…

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Kiss Dinner Napkins – Kelly Wearstler / Granada Agate Serving Board & Acropolis Platter – Z Gallerie

 

The tablescape? Say no more, Filigree Suppers by Elise Metzger & Brita Olsen have taken the cake with their decor! Oh. My. Goodness.

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Filigree Suppers / Photographer – Carolina Mariana Rodriguez

Are you planning on hosting? Have you planned your menu? What’s on your bar cart? And what are you going to wear!? From one hostess to another, do tell!

xo A

Andrea’s Highlights: Meeting Joyce

Last week I attended the bi-annual Desert Design Days in Scottsdale. This wonderful event is hosted by some of the greatest design trade showrooms in the area, it’s pretty much an out of this world field day for designers. I was so excited to don my sundress (because, it’s always sunny in Arizona!) and join in on this fun day. I socialized, soaked up all the latest trends and gained as much inspo as my head could handle, and major highlight of the day… I was so lucky to meet Joyce Romanoff of Maya Romanoff – only one of the best wall covering manufacturers around! She is such a fabulous and inspiring lady. It was such a treat learning about their handmade wall coverings and amazing journey.

Oh, and let me not forget, I won a pillow from their new collection! (*insert fist pump!)

Andrea Wachs and Joyce Romanoff

Designer Tips: 6 Ways to Style a Cocktail Table

Just like a room needs a focal point, every living room needs a cocktail table, and that table is quite literally the center of attention in any living room. Your cocktail table could even be considered the focal point if you so desire, but before we take that leap, we need to consider the attention our table needs before declaring that it deserves the spotlight.

I have compiled a list to get you on the right foot to begin this afternoon project, well, depending on how motivated you are perhaps it won’t be an entire afternoon. Do keep in mind though, no matter how ready you are to start gathering your belongings to toss on your table, this project does require some patience and serious finesse.

Now, let’s get back to that list.

1. Dimension. Just because you have a flat surface does not mean you need to keep it that way. When all items are at the same eye level, your carefully chosen pieces will get lost. So, think high and low.

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House Beautiful

2. Decorate in Three’s. You have probably heard this one before? Odd always evens out. Divide your table into three separate spaces, as a center piece or in a row, and work from there. It really helps knowing where to start!

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House Beautiful

3. Use a Tray. A tray can act as an anchor, or foundation, for your items. You can get away with using smaller items when they have something to sit in, as opposed to appearing lost amongst larger pieces. Using a tray can also add a little more functionality as it is easy to remove when your table is needed for game night!

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MILIEU – Design Patti Woods / Architects Jeremy Corkern & Paul Bates / Photography Peter Vitale

4. Add some Life. You can never go wrong with adding greenery to any space in your home and the cocktail table is certainly one of those spaces. A tall orchid is a great way to go if you prefer something a little more long lasting, otherwise, a short vase with fresh cut flowers is always a winner. (*whisper: faux plants work too)

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MILIEU – Design SaraStoryDesign / Photography Marco Ricca

5. Personality. Add an object or two of your favorite possessions and give reason to talk more about your new focal point. A decorative book picked up during your favorite vacation, memorable curios or that scented candle you love so much.

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Kelly Wearstler

6. Keep it Natural. The perfect way to add a rustic touch to your living room is by adding natural elements – a woven basket, wooden bowls, or even go as far as to add an antler.

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Alfonso Marina

xo A

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2017 Trends: Color

“Keeping up with the Joneses.” Who are they, and why is it that we must keep up with them? There are a few different explanations about the Joneses, one being a well to do family from an old comic strip with neighbors who simply couldn’t keep up with their fabulous lives, and the other being a very wealthy New York family in the 1800’s who loved building immaculate villas.

Let’s bring it back to the present tense, particularly as I write this post – is anyone keeping up with Benjamin Moore? Strange question, right? I have my reason. Every year we, especially us designers, get all excited about the Pantone Color of the Year. What will it be this year, and where can I use it in my next design? This is year, is was Greenery, and what a fresh and juicy color it is. But during all the excitement of Pantone’s decision and grand announcement, we can forget that there are other Colors of the Year being picked and shared. For instance, Sherwin Williams introduced Poised Taupe SW 6039 as their shade (Earthy never looked so good!), while Farrow & Ball had four key colors for the year. Ok, ok… back to Benjamin! I am swooning in all shades of love for this color, Shadow 2117-30. Wow wow and wow! Creative Director, Ellen O’Neill describes it so beautifully;

“It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.”

I can see this moody color setting the tone in so many different spaces, from a quiet powder bathroom to a grand master bedroom. I am halfway out the door to pick up some samples, so let me leave you with these inspiring images. Also, how gracious of Benjamin to share a palette of complimenting colors to go hand in hand with the drama of Shadow.

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House Beautiful

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Benjamin Moore

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Benjamin Moore

 

Three of my favorites from the color palette…

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xo A

 

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