ARTISTIC LIVING

DESIGN INSPIRATION:: BOSTON

EXPLORING BOSTON'S ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN HISTORY

View of Beacon Hill from Boston's Public Garden, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

View of Beacon Hill from Boston's Public Garden, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

As a born and raised New Englander, there are few cities that make my little design heart flutter quite like Boston. It’s a city full of architectural and design inspiration, with a new period of history coming alive at every turn of a corner. From cobble street and brick covered, colonial Faneuil Hall, to the Italianate and Gothic Revival churches and public buildings in the heart of downtown, and the art deco skyscrapers of the financial district - Boston really knows how to make my creative juices get excited. I recently went back to explore for the weekend and gathered some photographs of my favorite corners of this magical city.

Art Deco inspired building in Boston's Financial District, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography). 

Art Deco inspired building in Boston's Financial District, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography). 

Interior marble archways, chandeliers and John Singer Sargent murals of the Boston Public Library. LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Interior marble archways, chandeliers and John Singer Sargent murals of the Boston Public Library. LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

The Boston Public Library is one of my favorite hidden gems of downtown Boston. From the outside it looks very stately and grand already, but when you walk inside you feel like you’re stepping into a palace - in fact it was called the "Palace of the People" when it was first designed in the late 1800's. Designed with inspiration from Paris’s Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève , it’s interior is covered in decadent marble, ornately carved archways, and murals by famous painter John Singer Sargent.

Interior grand foyer marble staircase and archway of the Boston Public Library. LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Interior grand foyer marble staircase and archway of the Boston Public Library. LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

I could live in here if you let me!!! I could see using inspiration from this for a grand foyer or entrance way to a home with some of these elements. Upon further exploration, the library opens up to a large Romanesque courtyard right in the middle of the building, complete with classical music playing live from students of Berklee (College of Music).

Interior Renaissance inspired courtyard of the Boston Public Library, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Interior Renaissance inspired courtyard of the Boston Public Library, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Perhaps my all time favorite piece of design inspiration in all of Boston though is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate and Museum. Tucked away in the Fenway-Kenmore district of Boston, this Venetian Palazzo style palace houses one of the world’s largest collections of artwork and furniture from all periods of history. Isabella was a huge patron of the arts, leaving her entire estate to the city of Boston for public enjoyment - with one exception; absolutely nothing can be moved from where she left it.

Isabella Stewart Gardner interior Venetian inspired arboretum and courtyard, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Isabella Stewart Gardner interior Venetian inspired arboretum and courtyard, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Every single inch of this estate is covered in a piece of art, and each room pays homage to specific period in art history. The most amazing part to me? The arboretum centered inside the estate, changed seasonally with specific plants and flora to match. Her estate inspires me to be more playful with ornate and decorative items  - it’s exciting to see the little details in every little piece of furniture, ceiling tiles, lighting fixtures, rugs, and even wall coverings made of hand woven silk. This was a woman who was not afraid to be bold!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate interior tile detail, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate interior tile detail, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate gilded ceiling tile detail, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Estate gilded ceiling tile detail, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

While Boston is filled with incredible design inspiration spots, these are just a couple of my very favorites - I hope you found a little something to inspire you, or perhaps help you to find your own design inspiration on your next traveling adventure!

Boston's Italian North End district, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Boston's Italian North End district, LGD Team (Crystina Castiglione Photography).

Until next time!

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ART CHAT:: SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT ARTISTS

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.

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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.

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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: www.brynncasey.com .

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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 www.aleksandrazee.com, you won’t regret it.

Aleksandra Zee, 6 x 3 Rectangle, wood wall hanging, 2017. (http://www.aleksandrazee.com/store/        )

Teil Duncan, “Turquiose Hut,”  36” x 48” original acrylic painting on birch wood panel. ( https://www.teilduncan.com/collections/beaches/products/copy-of-south-beach-sorbet-36x48 )

Teil Duncan, “Turquiose Hut,”  36” x 48” original acrylic painting on birch wood panel. (https://www.teilduncan.com/collections/beaches/products/copy-of-south-beach-sorbet-36x48)

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 www.teilduncan.com.

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! 

 

xo,

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LIVING COLORFULLY

There is just something about a colorful environment that makes my heart so happy. Combine that with pattern and other fun elements and I am one happy designer!  

Sometimes I let my imagination run wild and just create spaces to feed my design cravings.  

 

A colorfully chic entryway  

I personally love the idea vibe of this space. Black and white stripes, paired with leopard print and floral, pops of bold color, including the ceiling. Regal furniture pieces mixed with more modern elements make this room exciting and not too traditional or too modern.  

So what do you think? Would you ever dare to live this colorfully? Share your thoughts! 

ART AS HOME DECOR

When the idea of incorporating art into home decor comes up, the concept can be daunting. Most people may think of art as a Warhol in the living room or a Pollock hanging above a mantel. In other words, not an achievable goal for everyone.

But art is so much more than the classics, the greats and the completely unaffordable.

It can be a statement headboard that adds an unexpected flare to a bedroom…

Photo Credit:  Stylish Eve

Photo Credit: Stylish Eve

Photo Credit:  Decorative Bedroom

Photo Credit: Decorative Bedroom

A functional piece like a set of shelves or a sink designed to be the focus point of a room…

Photo Credit:  Apartment Therapy

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo Credit:  Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

A 3D element that adds texture to a wall…

Photo Credit:  The Nectar Collective
Photo Credit:  Pop Sugar

Photo Credit: Pop Sugar

Or a strategically placed wallpaper or mural that takes up the entire wall completely changing the room it’s in.

Photo Credit:  Design You Trust

Photo Credit: Design You Trust

Photo Credit:  Marvipol Atelier

Photo Credit: Marvipol Atelier

It can be a sketch, a photograph or watercolor that complements the hues of the decor…

Photo Credit:  Sarah Sarna

Photo Credit: Sarah Sarna

Photo Credit:  Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Or a gallery of photos and posters that give guests tons to look at when visiting.

Photo Credit:  Hub Pages

Photo Credit: Hub Pages

Photo Credit:  Homedit

Photo Credit: Homedit

It can be so many things and even the ones you never thought because…

Photo Credit:  Etsy

Photo Credit: Etsy