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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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

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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How to: Mix Old & New

I don’t know about you, but I am a firm believer in bringing personality into your home. Walking yourself into your living room does not count as “adding personality.” No, I’m talking about a piece of furniture, an artifact or a piece of art – something that has a story and only you can tell it. Antiques and special collections passed from generation to generation top the list of items that tell a story and add personality. But how do you use that piece in your home – where do you put it if you have created a beautiful modern space or a rustic aesthetic? Here is your answer:

You use it by using it! Put that piece you love so dear in that beautiful modern space or rustic aesthetic. Yes, it will make a statement, but when mixing old with new that is the exact idea you are creating. It doesn’t necessarily need to become the focal point, but believe me, it has its place in that room.

Let me say one thing, mixing old and new does not necessarily mean it has to be an antique or generational sentiment… it can be an old piece you discovered at a local estate sale or on a trek to Timbuktu (what?!).

Some of my favorite ways to incorporate the old with the new and add personality to your home:

– An ethnic sculpture brings a lot of masculinity to this sweet space, and the bold piece of art creates the perfect bridge between the two.

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Alfonso Marina

– A beautiful 19th-century elm-wood altar table. What a gorgeous addition to an entry way.

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Luxe Magazine / Interior Designer: Andrea Goldman Design / Photographer: Michael Robinson 

– A unique, carved bench creates the perfect anchor in this large, airy bedroom designed by the talented Mary Flanigan.

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Mary Flanigan Interiors

I would love to see how you have incorporated old with new in your home, antique or recently discovered, please share! If you haven’t quite yet found that piece of old, 1st Dibs is a great place to start, or continue your search. Some of my latest loves…

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  1. Carved Wood David Bust / 2. Pair of Blue and White Chinese Jardinieres / 3. Pair of French Giltwood Chairs / 4. Antique Marble Table / 5. Carved Bone Calligraphy Brushes on Stands

xoA

Designer Tips: Add Texture to your Space

Happy Tuesday to all! I love Tuesdays, the second day of the week and the chance to set your week off on the right foot… just incase Monday wasn’t so fantastic!

I also love Tuesdays because I get to share some Designer Tips with you! Today’s tips are all about texture. What is a space without some texture? For me, texture is an opportunity to add warmth to a room and a chance to add more. More is more!

If you are a reader of the newsletter or have recently signed up, you will know all about my 5 tried and true ways to add texture to your home and feel the need to (x) out of this post… please don’t, I have something for you too! Today, I am adding 3 more tips to that list because there truly are so many ways to add a little “oomph” with texture. And for those of you who haven’t signed up – 8 ways is better than 3! 🙂

Lighting: In addition to the general lighting add mood lighting. Add a small lamp or two to bring in a different shade of light and cozy up the space. Let’s call this layered lighting.

Andrea Wachs Interior Design / Formations Lighting

Formations USA / Interior Design: Amy Morris

2. Wall decor: Whether you hang one piece of art, or 5, you are adding dimension with contrasting colors from the art and a contrast of materials with a frame.

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Interior Design: John De Bastiani

 

3. Textiles: This can be a bold, or subtle print fabric as window treatments, or a woven throw to add an extra layer to a sofa or chair.

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Luxe Magazine / Interior Design: Brant McFarlain, R Brant Design / Photography: Nick Johnson

 

Refresh Your Kitchen

The Kitchen: It’s a place we spend so much of our time standing in, cooking in, entertaining in, and sometimes just quietly drinking a glass of wine in (alone). If you’re anything like me you need a little change here and there, whether it be moving a table or adding an accessory, a little something to update the everyday scene. A refresh. Let me be clear here – a REFRESH, not  renovate! This post does not require knocking down any walls.

Here are a few small ideas that may help you feel like a brand new you in a brand new kitchen.

A fresh coat of paint – For some, this may be considered a renovation, but it really is worth the day (or two) sacrifice. It is truly one of the most noticeable ways to freshen up a space. The bold, yet subtle, choice of a new ceiling color is always an interesting.

Andrea Wachs Interior Design, Benjamin Moore Kitchen Paint

Benjamin Moore / Cabinets: Grasshopper AF-415 / Ceiling: Iced Green 673

Change out cabinetry hardware – This requires one trip to the hardware store and depending on your decisiveness, 15 mins – 1hr choosing the new look. I suggest some research before you dash out the door – consider your overall design, color scheme and don’t forget to take into account those already drilled holes! And, one last thing… keep in mind that the choices are endless! Love these selections from House Beautiful

Andrea Wachs Interior Design, House Beautiful HardwareHouse Beautiful

Plants – There is nothing like a living plant to freshen up a space. Yes, I said living. Raise your hand if green thumb is not in your vocabulary. Well, here’s your solution raised hands – succulents. They are low maintenance and come in so many different shapes and sizes – whether it be placed in a pot or terrarium, it will suit any place it occupies.

Better Homes & Garden

xo A

 

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The Wachs Mix: Greenery Edition

THE WACHS MIX: GREENERY EDITION

This month I gathered a handful of items that have me feeling green with envy for the fact that they are not in my shopping cart already.

Malachite obelisks and a gem encrusted bauble box. Fabric adorned by ferns, sophisticated table lighting and contemporary wall art. Woo your dinner guests with grand crystal goblets! That marbled malachite ring, though! A Moroccan magic carpet, juicy bouquet of succulents, and My Oh My! that Mid-Century Modern accent chair.

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1. Faux Malachite Obelisks by Tony Duquette at 1st Dibs / 2. Aquamarine & Black Kyanite Bauble Box by Kelly Wearstler / 3. Foliage Wallpaper by Hermes / 4. Small Table Lamp by Circa Lighting / 5. Abstract Mid Century Modern Painting by Lee Stanton at Dering Hall / 6. Crystal Rummer by Hermes / 7. Gold Stone Ring by Chloe at Net-A-Porter / 8. All-Over Dye, Hand Knotted Rug by Solo Rugs / 9. Artificial Succulent Arrangement by Jenny Silks / 10. Mid Century Modern Upholstered Chair by Bourgeois Boheme at Dering Hall

xo A

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