Hey guys, Crystina here! Today I want to chat with you about art and artists worth investing in!            

When it comes to designing the interior of your home, one of the first and probably most important things that comes to mind for me is the art you choose. It’s such a personal and intimate thing - to choose pieces that draw you in, bring a sense of nostalgia into your home, or that simply make you feel good when you walk by it. One piece of artwork can bring the entire design of a room together. While websites like Minted and Etsy are great for quick and inexpensive prints, they typically don’t have the quality of an original piece of work, and they don’t usually support the artist directly. As an artist myself, any chance I have to support a working artist and receive a truly handcrafted, original, quality piece of art is an opportunity I am more than happy to take. It’s so important to keep the maker’s movement movin’, because you simply can’t replace something that is made by someone’s own two hands - their hearts and souls are poured into those pieces and it really creates a more meaningful artistic experience for your home.


When choosing artwork I always encourage people to invest in original pieces that will have longevity and gain value over time. Think of buying art as more than just something hanging on your wall, but also as an investment - something that you can pass down in your family that will garner more than just visual interest over decades. In fact, art is one of the few things that is considered a “smart” investment - and knowing which artists to invest will help you choose “smart” art. A few of my current favorite artists that have gained national attention are painter Brynn Casey of Roswell, Georgia, wood craftswoman Aleksandra Zee of Oakland, California and painter Teil Duncan Henley of Charleston, South Carolina. I was first drawn to these particular artists through my favorite place to discover art - Instagram. But once I learned more about them and the traction they were building across the country I decided to learn a little more.


Being from the coast of New England myself and growing up on the ocean I was particularly intrigued by Brynn Casey’s up close ocean oil paintings because of the way they so beautifully captured a place so important to me. Her brush strokes truly encapsulate the movement of the ocean in a way I’ve never seen an artist paint it before. She’s able to capture light and texture through the use of value and color in such a subtle way. I could envision two of these side by side above a bed for a calming and peaceful atmosphere that truly transports you to the sea side, as if you’re looking out over the ocean from your own bedroom. Not to mention, her prices for an original commission or already available painting are extremely affordable, ranging from $100-$1,000. She’s even garnered attention from Anthropologie, collaborating on a collection with them - which means this artist is only going up in the art world. I’m already scheming up ways to make room for one of these gorgeous pieces in my own home! For more of Brynn’s work, visit her website: .


The next artist whose work I am completely obsessing over, is Aleksandra Zee. Aside from the fact that her perfectly curated Instagram account, @aleksandrazee, makes me want to immediately move to the desert and start living in a California dream, she is one incredible woodworker, and a female one at that - not something you hear of a lady artist doing very often, and I’m so glad she is. Her work evokes the colors and atmosphere of the desert life. She states on her website, “The colors and textiles of the desert truly inspire my soul. I find myself gravitating to natural color hues and designs that I have brought back with me,” (Aleksandra Zee, 2017). I can’t help but be completely mesmerized by the natural grains and stains of the woods she works with and the patterns she creates. Also at an affordable price range for hand crafted work, large scale work, her beautiful wood mosaic wall hangings range anywhere from $400 - $3,000. See more of her work at, you won’t regret it.

Aleksandra Zee, 6 x 3 Rectangle, wood wall hanging, 2017. (        )

Teil Duncan, “Turquiose Hut,”  36” x 48” original acrylic painting on birch wood panel. (

Teil Duncan, “Turquiose Hut,”  36” x 48” original acrylic painting on birch wood panel. (

Finally, an artist who I greatly admire for her grit and passion to make it in the fine art world without being represented by a gallery and who has more than succeeded in doing so - Teil Duncan. Her oil paintings are iconic at this point, and her style of painting with bold, vibrant colors in deep layers, scraped away on canvas to reveal even more depth underneath unearths a whole new level of visual composition. Her subjects and landscapes, while fairly simple, are given a fresh, new perspective with her style of oil painting. Known originally for her bright and summery beaches, she has since broadened her subject matter to include figurative nudes, portraits, animals and most recently still life’s and non objective subject matter. She states on her website, “Inspired by light, movement, surprising color combinations, social interaction, and patterns, I try to collaborate these elements and form abstracted, pixilated compositions,” (Teil Duncan, 2017). She’s collaborated with well known retailers such as One King’s Lane and Crate & Barrel, and has been featured in major magazines such as Vogue, Coastal Living, Southern Living, In Style and Art Mag…just to name drop a few. While at a slightly steeper price point, ranging from $1,000-$5,000  she sells out pretty quickly and in my opinion, you should nab one while you still can! Can’t afford an original? She also releases prints from time to time - which also sell like hot cakes, but art still just as beautiful.  Check more of her out at

At Lisa Gilmore Design, we believe in supporting independent artists and really try to incorporate their works into our designs as much as possible. Here are a few projects where we had the pleasure of doing just that!

I hope this post has inspired you to find artists that you connect with, art that moves your soul is truly an irreplaceable feeling! 





Earlier in the year, we wrapped up this boutique hotel on Clearwater Beach. This project is a special one, as I have always hoped to be able to cross a hotel project off of my interior design bucket list, so with lots of excitement, I am eager to reveal the before and after of this lovely property! 

Hotel Cabana Clearwater Beach, formally known as North Sunrise Motel, really undertook some major facelifts to get to where she is today. This 1950's gem was really in need of some streamlining and polishing. Quite a bit of elbow grease went into this beauty. 

When we were called on the scene the property was adorned with trinkets, overgrown landscaping, dated color palettes and and less than inspiring rooms. 

The new owners wanted to create a casual coastal laid back vibe, without being overly coastal and keeping it modern and up to date with clean lines and simplicity. 

So we got to work, planning out the schematics and getting our design juices flowing! 

The existing conditions of the property... 

The existing conditions of the property... 

Our inspiration hand rendering of how we invisioned the property to transform...


The updated facade of the property...


The interiors of the spaces were teeny tiny. We had to work a lot with every square inch we could find to maximize the space as much as possible. Because this 1950's gem had some limitations we had to compromise in some areas like you do with many renovations, but overall we achieved the goal the new owners hoped for. 

Here are some images of the existing interiors when we were called onto the project:

We updated the spaces with new flooring, tile and gave the kitchenettes a facelift. The furniture was a bit more minimal and streamlined. We kept the color palette pretty neutral and airy with pops of color and vintage photography. 


Here are a few images of the exterior before:

With the exterior we simplified the property, took out a lot of overgrown landscaping, changed the color palette to white, pale aqua and pink and added some eye catching outdoor furniture in different areas. Creating a relaxing environment with a little pizzaz. 


All-in-all, we are pretty excited about how this transformation turned out and hope you agree! We hope that you find all of our hard work paid off and you enjoy a lovely stay at Hotel Cabana Clearwater Beach!

DESIGN PROJECT:: For the Love of The Green Egg (BEFORE & AFTER PICS!)

Alright guys. So apparently this whole Big Green Egg is a big deal. Like, a real big deal. So big of a deal, that we designed a new outdoor living space... around the Big Green Egg. It really made for a fun project. The homeowners have a beautiful home that they built roughly seven years ago, they entertain a lot and wanted to maximize that space and really update it, and really the husbands only priority was to fit in the egg. 

So we got to work. 

We collaborated with Olde World Cabinetry on this project, using the best finishes available for this outdoor space. 

Here are a few images of the space before, so you can see what we were working with.

We all got to work, reconfiguring the cabinetry, designing a beautiful custom hood, picking finishes and furniture. 

We thought it would be best to tile the back wall of the outdoor kitchen in a beautiful glass tile, from counter to ceiling. It really brought such a grand feeling to the space. Plus it sparkled when the light hit it. 

lisagilmoredesign_outdoorkitchen 1

I mentioned the glass backsplash tile has a certain sparkle to it, right? Yeah. It does. It's pretty. We love it. 


... and this chandelier. It's so simple, yet so stunning. 


Some other elements include a sweet little daybed by the outdoor fireplace and other little nooks that include a fire pit. We had a lot of fun mixing and matching some lovely fabrics to add some interest to the space. 


This project turned out to be a really lovely space, monochromatic, classic and very functional. We just know that they will enjoy it for many years to come! 

So does this project have you reconfiguring your Big Green Egg in your head?! From our understanding it's a pretty important element for the outdoor chef!

DESIGN PROJECT:: PART II :: A Punch of Color to the Face (but, in a good way, we promise...)

Last week, we shared Part I of this property with you. If you missed it, don't fret, you can see it right here.   

As promised, here is the second half. The family room and kitchen nook areas are much lighter and airier than the more "formal" areas of the house. 

We incorporated and super cozy velvety sectional sofa (I see your eye rolls, YES, this fabric IS super kid friendly and durable.) A few custom built ins and window seats provide ample storage for books and kids toys. Their son has actually dubbed this as his "car garage" for his toys, go on kid, load it up! Floating floor poufs combined with all the seating, make for many great seating options throughout the room.

lisagilmoredesign_family room 3


Moving over to the kitchen nook, we had a lot of fun there. This needed to be a practical space for everyday eating, homework and daily life. We had our carpenter build a custom "L" shaped built in, complete with hidden storage in a pull out drawer. That's right, no more piles of shoes at the back door! *Can we get a high five?!* 


We really enjoyed framing all this really fantastic art created by their son, it really took the whimsy of the space to the next level, top it off with a glam chandelier and you've got a pretty fun space for kids and adults. 

Also, I must say, their 4 year old son was over the moon with happiness to see his art on the walls. He was full of so many stories to tell me about each piece. I definitely encourage you to showcase your children's works if possible, it's so good for their little souls and pride! 


We really adored working with this family on their home. We hope to continue to be in their lives for many years to come! Hopefully you enjoyed this residential property as much as we did designing it. Take a peek below at some of the before images of the space via the real estate listing. 

Could you see yourself living in this super chic but family friendly space?!