Art and home decor

Endless versions of beautiful designs and trends provide plenty of guides and ideas of how to make your home beautiful. Long before glamour magazines and designer sites were available, interior trends existed. Queens and Kings, Emperor and Empresses, Czarinas and Czars- all wanted to have the most impressive palaces and often followed the trend that was set in another kingdom. Perhaps, the most famous example that was followed by many others was The Versailles of Lois XIV. At that time, French were influenced by Italian renaissance art. The Versailles was initially built as a hunting lodge in 1624 by Lois XIII, and later was inherited by his son, Lois XIV (King Sun) who extended it into Chateau Versailles in 1665. It was build during several decades, step-by-step more buildings were added over the years (initiated by an architect Louis le Vau, park and landscape by André le Nôtre, and interior by Charles le Brun). The Versailles hosted more than 10000 people, accommodating not only the royal family, but also the departments, court and countless servants (completed in 1715). Lois XV added opera house to The Versailles in 1770. During rule of Lois XVI, French revolution forced the King out of The Versailles and since 1837 it became a Museum of History of France, containing more than 60,000 art pieces.

Stylistically, the exterior of The Versailles was influenced by Italian art, but later performed in French classic style. The interior represents more of Baroque that later will transform into Rococo (more on The Versailles: http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art/versailles-palace.htm).

While traveling helps to see more and re-set the life, local museums also offer unexpected beauty and cultural treasure that people often forget about. Here is the image from Worcester (MA) art museum that has a stunning permanent exposition and offers cultural festivals and other events.  Visiting museums and palaces offers a great example of sophisticated taste and unprecedented level of art in everyday life. It also helps to acquire ideas and taste for living beautifully.

Decorating your home should be easy. Because this is the place you live, love and spend time to be with yourself, family and friends.  The place reflects your personality and calms you down. Just find your personality and reflect it… a slightly philosophical approach. When you do that, now comes the budget. What to do yourself, for what to hire professionals? So one has to deal with both, conceptual and practical sides for home renovation.

In this article, I would like to focus on principles that help to make home the place I want to see without touching up remodeling the space or creating new kitchen (lets leave it to professionals in that field). With little time and minimal funds, what can be done? This works for dorm rooms, small apartments and bigger spaces. These are very general principles.

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The first principle is to have easy-to clean surfaces and as much open space as possible for fresh and breezy atmosphere (less is more). This helps to keep your house clean most of the times with minimal efforts. Lets set the equilibrium: number of items in= number of items out. We often do not notice, how fast the things are accumulated.

The second principle is to combine furniture and artwork pieces that you like. Having a set for living room might look very pretty in the catalog, but ask a question, will it be you? I have pictured here Romero Britto- inspired card artwork from my friend (artist and scientist Natalia Naumova) and pillows handmade by my grandma, my 7-year-old daughter drawing, prints from some little store and figurines from the places or people I liked ( pictured below is statue of Nana from artist Niki de Saint Phalle that as given to by my friend when I was living Hannover, a city in Germany where I spent more than 4 years). If you have too many, change “the exposition” once in a while and do not overcrowd the space. We need to be careful not to pretend to be Lois XIV and avoid the temptation to fit plenty of golden colors and velvet chairs (even so trendy now) into tiny studio. I did not say one cannot- just urged to be careful. Think of space, cleaning, proportions and the quality of “golden” item.

 

The third principle is to think about colors and texture. It is nice to mix unusual items (modern sofa and your grandma`s armchair), but try to keep colors simple and avoid the combination of complicated prints.

The forth principle is to serve table beautifully for every meal you have. Even 10 minutes for morning coffee is possible to spend on a balcony or a backyard with a beautiful cup and fresh fruit. This makes everyday of your life more beautiful and joyful.

The fifth principle is to remember that plants are great for your home. Green plants and freshly cut flowers. Artificial plants, on the other hand, do not bring same atmosphere, so I would avoid them altogether, no matter how well they are made.

Finally, if you need to change the atmosphere in your house with minimal efforts and costs, change curtains, throw pillows, and add a side/coffee table or a basket. This will always do the trick. Wish you a breezy, warm and healthy atmosphere at your beautiful home!

P.S. Please, let me know how this works for your home or if you have any question.

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