Friday, September 11, 2015

Art Collecting- How to find what type of art speaks to you

I just got back from an incredible trip to Italy and Germany with my family.  One of my sons is an avid art lover, like me, and we were on the hunt to purchase some affordable original art from local artists while we were there.  We trolled the street artists in Rome, and Florence -- and at first, we were unable to find any art 'that spoke to us'.  I've taught my son, that when collecting art, always go with something that really inspires you and creates an emotional connection. Whether it's joy, a connection to the colors, evoking a memory or a feeling within, find a piece of art that 'speaks directly to you'. Finally towards the end of our trip, we found an artist in Venice and another in Berlin, that we both loved and we purchased a couple of pieces that are now being framed.  I'll share them with you when I get them back from the framer at the end of September.

If you follow me on instagram (@pricestyleanddesign), you know I'm a sucker for finding 'art in everything', from artful door knobs in Italy to the graffitti in gorgeous colors on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. I love studying art and incorporating art into my daily life and into the lives of my clients.

One of the things that I've been really impressed with is how Serena & Lily developed their concept of curating original art online and making it readily accessible to the masses -- while each month showcasing new pieces and new artists.  I actually look forward to the debut of the new collection at the beginning of each month.  I've developed an art crush on a few artists, that I now follow on instagram, and have been able to collect a few affordable pieces every few months.


A great way to determine what genre of art speaks to you, is to scroll through the art at Serena & Lily or Etsy, Minted or even West Elm and then create a pinterest board of your favorites.  If you do this for a few months, you'll get a sense of what colors you are consistently drawn to, as well as what genre (abstract, figurative, impressionistic, photographic, etc).  Then, focus on finding art that you can afford, and start collecting!

Here are a few paintings that I find inspiring.......

Colorful abstract art is usually what I'm drawn to .....  The bold use of color, (especially pink) makes me joyful when I look at this painting.

Artist:  Linda Gritta

Similar colors appear in this piece, and though not inherently abstract, the painting reads as abstract impressionism to me.  It's so cheerful isn't it?

Artist:  Isabel Vexin

Coastlines are always intriguing to me, because it reminds me of my youth, growing up in Hawaii. This piece has such depth and I love the use of orange and red that draws your eye deeper and deeper into the painting.

Artist:  Tom Yacoe

Subtle color and an abstract nude -- I love the artist's use of small brush strokes to define the body and face.
Artist:  Jeremy Thornton

This painting reminds me of having coffee with good friends....the colors are fluid and I love the asymmetry of the piece, where the artist chose to place the table off center, and balance the painting with a simple gray background on the left side. 

Artist:  Rob Delamater

One final note....Italy and Germany were wonderful travel destinations......the Vatican, the Colisseum, the Uffizi, the Accadamia, the Duomo, Art4Berlin,  the Pergamon Museum........

Art is what defines and tells the story of history....a visual diary from our predecessors.  

I hope that this has inspired you to add some art into your life!!

Contact me if you would like art consulting assistance at
It would make my day!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Stylish Idea - Add a beautiful rug to your bathroom

Rugs are an easy way to add an artful element to your bathroom.  Whether it's for color, adding drama or enhancing a beautiful floor, I love how a small rug can transform a space.

Recently, I added a small runner to our master bath -- it was an affordable find on Ebay (about $100). Our bathroom is white with carrera marble countertops, white hex tile and mahogany wood and I wanted to add a little color to the room.  Our master bedroom is gray with chartreuse accents, so I chose a similar color rug to unify the two spaces.

Here it is:

While browsing 'rugs in bathrooms' on Pinterest, I admired these for the way they added some stylish drama....

If you do decide to add a rug to your bathroom, I highly recommend using a rug pad to ensure that you don't slip!  I'm using the eco-solid non-slip rug pad from  I like it because it's super thin, and naturally mold and mildew resistant -- perfect for a bathroom!

Have I got you thinking about adding a rug to your bathroom? Here are a few sources for stylish 
rugs ....

VIBRANT RUGS from One Kings Lane-  this is an excellent resource for both low and high priced rugs that are antique, vintage and new!

1 // 2 // 3
(Ummm.....can you tell I love color?)

TRADITIONAL WITH A TWIST from Lulu and Georgia- this site has some higher price points but offers a very unique selection of traditional, transitional and modern rugs along with a well curated collection of furniture and accessories.
1 // 2 // 3
(my favorite is #2!)

DISTRESSED from West Elm- if you want a vintage looking rug without the high price tag, these printed rugs are a great value. 

1 //  2 // 3
(If you scroll back to the top photo of my bathroom -- the rug beyond in my bedroom is a dhurrie from this site!)

What's your take on rugs in a bathroom?  Email me your thoughts at or comment below! :)


P.S.  Many many thanks to for providing me with the rug pad!  I love it and would not promote a product that I didn't really truly believe in!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Residential Staging: Make your home shine with these 6 tips!

Have you ever wondered what residential staging can do for a room?

I thought I'd share a couple of before and afters of a recent residential staging project and let you know my tricks of the trade.

These are before pictures of a home office.  Located right off the entry, it's one of the first rooms one would see after entering the front door.

Tip #1:  Remove all personal photos.
Tip #2:  Remove all unnecessary items (in this case, the treadmill, and the dated looking desk and chairs)
Tip #3: Create a furniture and flow plan for the space.  I often think of the best possible use of the space and then design a plan around that.  In this case, I saw the room as a wonderful home office opportunity, providing a place to have client meetings, or for family to relax as another sitting area.

Here it is after:

Tip #4:  Add color with art and accessories.  Bright colorful items look great in photography and can help a potential home buyer 'remember' the space.  NOTE:  Most people look at homes online FIRST -- so make sure your photos look bright and cheerful!
While I would have loved to have painted the walls in this room and added window treatments, it was outside of the current homeowners' budget.

But, the colors in the art, pillows and tablescape provide enough pop for this room.

The living room is at the front of the home, and here it is before:

Tip #5:  Use similar colors in staging each room to create a visual flow.

Here's the living room after:

In this case, I went with yellow as the visual theme to coordinate the rooms.

Tip #6:  Less is more.  Don't overfill the space, or over decorate bookshelves, niches, walls and tables.  Keep it simple and artful.

Are you selling your home?  I do phone, facetime and skype consultations!  Email me at for more information!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

3 Simple and Easy Style Ideas for your home

Styling your home can be simple and affordable with a few fresh additions.  When I'm staging a home for resale, I'm always creating little vignettes or artful displays to catch someone's eye when they are looking at a home to purchase.

Here are a 3 tips:

1. Flowers:  Fresh flowers always liven up a space. While I'm not a huge fan of big 'faux plants', sometimes a little faux flower here and there can be pretty too.

I'm loving the simplicity and texture of these faux Indian Paintbrush flowers available at West Elm. They make an elegant statement.  For a long lasting (and live) flower- try an orchid..  Trader Joe's always has orchids for the BEST prices!  They last for weeks and they look so lovely!

2.  Towels:

Yes, towels.  When was the last time you bought new towels?  For many of us, buying new towels is not on the top of our 'to-do' list.  But pretty, fresh, uniquely designed towels can make your bathroom shine! Target has a great selection here.

3. A rug in your entry!

Whether you have an expansive entry or a small vestibule, I always love to see an entry rug that has a little pizzazz that makes a statement as to who you are and what exemplifies your style aesthetic as you welcome people into your home. For more awesome rug ideas, click here.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Design Inspiration: 5 Unique Ways to add ART into your home

I'm always on the hunt for something unusual and artful to either add to a design that I'm working on for a client, or for my own home as well. 

If you follow me on instagram (@pricestyleanddesign), then you know that I am an ART LOVER -- but art doesn't necessarily have to be in a traditional form (like a sculpture or painting) -- you can add art to your home in the form of decorative accessories too!

 Here are a 5 unique ways to add ART into your home:

1. Pillows
Pillows are the easiest way to add some punch to your decor! This long lumbar pillow would look so cute on a full or queen size bed with a white bedspread as a neutral backdrop.  It's so cheery and I love the subtle herringbone pattern in the fabric.  It's from one of my favorite places to shop:  Furbish Studio

2.  Artful Accessories

Add a little art to your desk in the form of a stylish artistic notebook by Brit Bass Turner.  I love using a notebook to keep my 'lists' of 'things to do' all in one spot!

3. Unique Lighting

This lamp just makes me smile!  Hand painted and what a jewel!  Instead of a canvas, this 'painting' is a unique and usable art form!  While not inexpensive, it's a creative way to add original art into your space!  Find it here.

4. Baskets  Baskets are sculptural and useful.  Add a plant, roll up bath towels, stack magazines or books, or use a basket to drop your shoes in after you walk in the front door. There are so many uses for this art form!  This basket is from Nordstrom and it's on sale!

5. Painted Furniture and Pretty Fabric

Painted furniture or fabric as art.....
A little splash of color in the form of furniture or upholstery is a masterful way to incorporate some artistic zest into your design plan. These mint colored items are from Target!  I recently specified the above bedside table and chairs in a design for a girl's room for one of my clients:

I hope this has inspired you to bring some joyful and unusual artistic elements into your home!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Before & After - Outdoor Entertaining Area

Happy mid-summer friends!  It's flying by, isn't it?

One of my favorite things to do is entertain in my back yard when the weather allows.  We have large Nana Wall System doors that open out from our great room to our back patio, allowing us to use our back yard as an extension of our home during the summer.  

(Click here to read more about my outdoor seating area)

But to the right and back of the house, we have this dilapidated area.  I neglected to take a true 'before' picture before we started demo, but suffice to say, it had a tile countertop (the same tile that we used in our pool surround) that was breaking and crumbling.  We had an outdoor refrigerator that I had high hopes would have served as a place to house drinks for the kids when they were growing up, but instead it never really worked properly and we ended up just shutting off the power.  We had stainless steel cabinet doors (removed in photo below), where we kept sports equipment -- but ultimately the dark and damp cabinets just attracted black widow spiders!  Our Weber barbecue was parked to the right of the cabinet (removed in photo).

Lucky for me, my brother is a contractor (located in Hawaii) , and he came and lived with us for 3 weeks, helped me come up with an affordable design and a way to use the outdoor space more efficiently.  Then he built it for me! 

We ultimately decided that the area needed to have some shelter, and we designed a simple roof that matched the style that we already had on the house.  I didn't want to make a huge investment in an outdoor barbecue area with a stone countertop and built-ins, and I didn't want to buy a new barbecue, so we came up a with a clean and industrial look using a stainless steel countertop.  (Here's a pic of my brother building the new roof).

And here it is 'after'!

We created a plywood template for the countertop and a had a local metal shop fabricate it.  I wanted it to be 'bar-height' so I sourced restaurant bar legs on the internet and we bolted them into the concrete as the counter base.  Ultimately the goal was to have a usable space, and not have any cabinet areas where those pesky black widow spiders could live!

An inexpensive faucet and sink from Home Depot was added so we now have a place to rinse barbecue tools and wash our hands.  (That's a little air plant next to the faucet -- it makes me smile!)

As you know, I'm a huge consignment shopper and I found these little bronze buddha heads recently at a local shop, and had to have them.  Along with these funky demilune bowls....

When guests come, I simply throw some leafy cuttings from my garden in them for decoration.

The stainless steel stools are from Target (super affordable!) and provide a seating area for our guests to chat with the chef (aka me or my husband) while we are barbecuing.

And now the back yard area is complete!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to decorate your first apartment on a budget- 4 tips

Decorating an apartment on a budget is on my mind right now, because my oldest son recently graduated college.....and will soon be moving out on his own.

So, how does one go from furnishing something that looks like this..... something that looks like this?  All on a budget?

(photo property of Price Style and Design)

The best way to curate a stylish and affordable living space is to create a mix of low and medium priced interior items. And by 'low and medium', I don't mean 'ugly or cheap'.  There are so many beautiful and stylish options available.

 Here are my tips on how to furnish and style an apartment while on a budget.

apartment living

Seriously, thrift shops have an awesome selection of super affordable glassware, pots, pans, cutlery, you name it.  I recently purchased an awesome set of champagne flutes for 50 cents each from my local Salvation Army!


While I wouldn't purchase a bed or a sofa (unless you had it professionally cleaned) on this site, Craigslist is a great resource for purchasing affordable casegoods for your apartment.  With a little paint, a change of hardware, or even plain old refinishing....a used piece of furniture can look new and unique!  (For DIY inspiration, check out Sarah M. Dorsey Designs -- her DIY and furniture refurbishing ideas area AMAZING!)

shop smart

Great deals are to be had at places like Target, Ikea, Urban Outfitters, West Elm and Minted.  I suggest creating a color plan and then shopping online first to get a feel for what it is you like -- create a mood board on Polyvore to see if what you like actually looks good together.

Amazing treasures can be found at consignment stores and flea the thrill of the hunt is always fun!  Start a collection of brass elephants, look for vintage mirrors, curate art that speaks to you and shop for interesting shaped vases or trays.

BTW, if you are in the Bay Area, the BEST consignment store EVER is Leftovers in San Francisco!

Creating a home takes time -- so don't rush it!  And enjoy living on your own!