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Roy G. Biv

Hillary's living room in her old apartment

Hillary's living room in her old apartment

Way back when (four years ago) Hillary organized her bookshelves by color, and I thought it was a game changer.  Having a full bookcase is attractive, but color coordinating takes it to the next level.  

Finding Carter: Season 1, Episode 3 - Home office of a narcissistic writer.  

Finding Carter: Season 1, Episode 3 - Home office of a narcissistic writer.  

Digging a little deeper lead me to the article, Arranging Your Books By Color is Not a Moral Failure.  It seems like fancy book-readers were making the author feel a little defensive, but I like a lot of her points.

First of all, it looks good and there is no denying it (looks matter, nerds).  "Not every green-covered or yellow-colored book is the same hue, it had a more subtle effect than I expected...Guests did double takes and smiled when they saw my bookshelves. I did too."

"Those who are opposed to color-organizing bookshelves argue that it’s impractical"  True, but, "using color as an organizing principle actually lends it a random, serendipitous quality that has much in common with the disheveled bookshelf beloved of old-school academics too busy reading books to organize them."

"For another, let’s dispel the notion that everyone with a book collection needs a rigorous system to locate any given book at any given time in order to pull it from their shelf and pounce upon an important fact, passage, quote, or other tidbit that for some reason could not be Googled. Owning physical books was once an imperative for those who wanted knowledge and information at their fingertips, but the reflex to acquire, preserve and catalog books is mostly grounded in a dated reality."   ZING!

"The bookshelf itself has always been a trophy case of sorts. The display of one’s literary conquests is a deliberate exercise in broadcasting who we are."  So let's not pretend that we don't want it to look good. 

Art on Easels

In the season 1 finale of Elementary a new set is introduced: Elegant London Art Restorer Flat.

Elementary: Season 1, Episode 24

Elementary: Season 1, Episode 24

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Although the easel is functional (and there are many more in other areas of the apartment), it doubles as decorative.  

I have long desired an H frame easel for none practical purposes.  It is an elegant way to display art when you run out of walls.   

prefer the H frame easel over the tripod style.  The H frame has a more intricate design, and can allows the painting to stand upright. A tripod easel tilts the painting back more drastically.  

FYI: To pull this off, the art needs to be BIG and fabulous.  

Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT.  Built  1949

Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT.  Built  1949

The easel concept reminds me a lot of when I visited Philip Johnson's Glass House.  The home is ultra minimal, with no walls dividing the rooms.  To delineate the living room from the bedroom, a Poussin painting was place on a steel stand.  Yes, he had a multi-million dollar room divider.  

eirikjohnson_poussin.jpg

New and Normal

I was watching The New Normal (super spotty TV show) and in one scene there were two things that peaked my interested:

What a manly headboard, without it being over the top medieval.  Most headboards often strike me as feminine or minimalist, so this one was a nice change.   

What a manly headboard, without it being over the top medieval.  Most headboards often strike me as feminine or minimalist, so this one was a nice change.   

One day I would like to have a painting and spot light it, but a lot of "one days" have to happen first.    One day I will own a painting that is large enough and I am proud enough of it to spot light it.  One day I will own my own home where I can mess with is structurally.  One day I will think hiring an electrician to wire a spot light for me is necessary   

One day I would like to have a painting and spot light it, but a lot of "one days" have to happen first.  

One day I will own a painting that is large enough and I am proud enough of it to spot light it.  One day I will own my own home where I can mess with is structurally.  One day I will think hiring an electrician to wire a spot light for me is necessary   

Picture Framing: The Secret of the Custom Mat

When I graduated college, I swore to myself that I would never hang something unframed on my walls again (the exception is inside closets).  Luckily, my larger pieces of art came with frames, but the rest fell into two categories—small with interesting edges and everything else.  

For small pieces on parchment or watercolor paper, I love a double glass frame.  You get to enjoy every bit of it, and it makes it look rare and valuable. 

I got this in Jaipur, Indian.  The sales guy spun me a tale about how it's on some sort of historic paper.  Unlikely.

I got this in Jaipur, Indian.  The sales guy spun me a tale about how it's on some sort of historic paper.  Unlikely.

This was my Aunt Shirley's.  I hang it behind my toilet so  guys have to stare at it when they pee.

This was my Aunt Shirley's.  I hang it behind my toilet so  guys have to stare at it when they pee.

For everything else, I am all about a custom mat.  Here’s my rational.  Standard size frames are pricy enough already, and spending an extra hundred bucks on a custom frame seems like money miss spent. 

Find a standard frame that fits your art, with at least 2 inches of space between the edge of the art area (not the edge of the paper or poster) and the frame.  I would normally try to give about 4 inches of space around the art, but every piece is different

Purchase a custom cut mat, in a color which complements the art and the frame.  A colored mat is your chance to set your art apart. 

I buy my mats from The Frame Destination because they seem to have a good variety of colors and the best prices, but there are many other sources on line.  You could go into a store and have them measure and cut you a mat, but I’m not sure how competitive the prices are. 

I bought this print in Paris years go.  The black frame is very standard, but I added a thick black mat to emphasizes the border.  I like this picture because it gives me a chance to show off my fake electrical outlet pictures.

I bought this print in Paris years go.  The black frame is very standard, but I added a thick black mat to emphasizes the border.

I like this picture because it gives me a chance to show off my fake electrical outlet pictures.

I stuck this print I found in Israel in a frame from
IKEA.  I chose a tangerine colored wide
mat so that the print would appear grander.  Size matters.

I stuck this print I found in Israel in a frame from IKEA.  I chose a tangerine colored wide mat so that the print would appear grander.  Size matters.

The cheapest large frames seem to be from IKEA, which makes custom mats even more helpful because IKEA frames are all wonky metric sizes. 

Happy Framing! 

Office Supplies are my friends

I have been itching to hang some art with binder clips because I really like the look so of it, but it wouldn’t fit in my apartment at all.  Luckily, I volunteered to help my friends hang an oversized poser and I think I’m going to see if I can work it into the plan.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Meanwhile, I seem to see the concept popping up everywhere. 

Here
it is in Peter Parker’s bedroom set in the new The Adventures of Spiderman

Here it is in Peter Parker’s bedroom set in the new The Adventures of Spiderman

And the concept pops up on design blogs all the time.  This is a very traditional implementation of the idea:

But these spice it up a little bit by clipping the art on a clothes line: