Note: This post has been revised slightly to include new photos!
Inspirational art prospects for decorating our guest bedroom
For a while now, I've been ambivalent about a style for our downstairs guest bedroom.
The room is small, cozy and cool and I want it to feel inviting, quiet, and natural. Part of me wants to glamorise the room, but another part of me wants to keep it easy and approachable. After all, this is the room where we keep our cookbooks and my piles of decorating magazines. It's where we sleep in the summer (it's a shaded room with great breezes) and where I lay on the bed to read and nap. It's where I go to feel sheltered and safe, so I want it to feel au natural.
So far, I've chosen a wall colour, Farrow & Ball's Skylight, which is a soft blue-grey. Bedding will be white and soft taupe and all the trim (bookcase, mirror, window coverings) will be white (likely cotton or linen for the window).
But beyond that, I'm stuck for ideas that will produce a coherent look!
So I decided to look to art for inspiration. One of my favorite art sites is art.com. I know it's gauche to some to buy mass-market art, but I love perusing their site for photography, vintage maps, and such. I own lots of original art (including a painting I paid close to $2000 for ten years ago, and don't even like now!) and have bought lots of original photography over the years, not all of it cheap. I frequently make finds on Etsy too. But I have no problem framing a $2 postcard or buying a mass-market poster if I like the image. Hey, I would love a Picasso, but my tastes change so often that inexpensive, more disposable art works for me.
So I prowled art.com and found some inspirational images:
Nautical: I know this is horribly cliche, but with the blue walls and white trim, maybe a few vintage maps or sepia sailing photos wouldn't hurt:
And who's would know this wasn't painted by me (don't tell)? I could just sign my name in the corner.
Photography: I love old-world, historical photos and anything black & white. I could frame any number of photos I've taken over the years. Or I could buy a photo poster by one of my favorite photographers, like Henri Cartier-Bresson (I attended a wonderful exhibition of his work in Paris in 1994, ten years before his death):
I also have a fondness for New York in black and white and love these two shots:
I also have a penchant for architectural elements and historical-looking drawings, like these (below), which could easily have come straight from the Paris flea market. In fact, they look better than most of the stuff I saw there:
Pretty and colourful: I also like this whimsical little piece, with a vintage quality. Wouldn't it be pretty in a child's room?:
I still haven't decided what to use in the room but know now that it will likely have an old-fashioned quality to it. It's just a look I love.