Tag Archive - modern

Insect Art: Hubert Duprat

While researching information for a completely different blog post subject, I discovered the French artist, Hubert Duprat.  I was immediately mesmerized.  One of my internal goals is to teach myself more about art.  Real art.  To know about artists today and what they are creating.  Before the end of 2013, I would love to own a present day piece of art.  Something I can pass down.  Something I love.  It doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to be special and have a soul.  I’ll know it when I see it.

Nevertheless, I saw this collection of Duprat’s entitled “Caddis”, and I was fascinated.  Caddisfly larvae live in streams and other fresh water sources, housing themselves in tubes they have created from items in their natural environment.  Using sand, pieces of shell, etc., the caddisfly, a close relative of the butterfly, uses silk to connect and upholster their protective tubes.   A naturalist at heart, Mr. Duprat experimented with the larvae, placing them in a home aqaurium with pieces of gold, gold rods, semi-precious, and precious stones.  They immediately went to work, creating this:

Hubert Duprat "Caddis"

Hubert Duprat “Caddis”

Isn’s this incredibly beautiful?  Quite the collaboration between man and insect, yes?





Duprat describes himself in the following video as an “architect” laying the plans and watching them take shape.  In another article I read, he talked of puncturing the tubes at times, and placing new stones like opal, coral, diamonds, and rubies in the aquarium, so the larvae would “repair” the tube, and thus create something with more varied material.  He discusses the “Caddis” collection starting at 2:32. (although I enjoyed hearing about all of his work)

See the caddisfly larvae up close and personal “bejewelling” his home in the following video.  (My kids found this so interesting.)

I guess even insects like a little bedazzling, eh?

What do you think about Mr. Duprat’s concept?  Is it art created by an artist?  Or simply nature interrupted?

Wouldn’t these photos make a unique framed set on a wall?

Images courtesy of Jean-Luc Fournier

Written by Grace

Denim: America’s Fabric

There is something decidedly American about denim, and I do love the homey feel it brings to a room.  So much is right about it – it’s comfortable, it’s casual, it goes with everything, it gets softer with use, it’s easy to clean, it can withstand nearly anything…the list could go on.  But somehow, in the 80’s and 90’s, denim on upholstery meant overstuffed, saggy, generic blah.



I think everyone I knew had one.  But there’s hope for denim!  Done right, it can look classy, and dare I say, chic?

Don’t believe me?

cottage living

cottage living

source unknown

source unknown

meg braff via house beautiful

meg braff via house beautiful

house and home

house and home

source unknown

source unknown

restoration hardware

restoration hardware

house beautiful

house beautiful

source unknown

source unknown

southern living

southern living

real simple

real simple

So you want a denim sofa but don’t want it to look drab?  Here’s the scoop:

1.  Go as dark as possible.  A deep indigo or navy will read much more updated than the cornflower blue acid-washed hues.

2.  Add some detail – nailhead trim, tufts, lacquered white legs or frame.  A little oomph will go a long way!

3.  Stick to mostly straight lines.  Too much curviness will look “basement couch” fast.

But Grace, what if I own the denim sofa you are talking about?  In fact, I am staring at it right now.  

Spice it up!  Add some bright modern-looking pillows or a trendy pattern.  Take the cushions to an upholsterer and add a contrasting welt to the edges.  Or maybe do this?

What are your thoughts on denim upholstery?  I’d love to hear your comments!

P.S.  Thank you so much to everyone for participating in the survey I posted last week.  It has been so helpful in planning for the future, and I feel so lucky to have such diverse, knowledgeable, engaged readers!  I am so grateful!

Written by Grace

Pent Living Room: Modern Color, Modern Comfort

So happy to see everyone’s comments and emails yesterday on the Pent Dining Room.  If I haven’t responded to you yet about specific colors or fabrics, give me 24 hours, and I will get all of the information to you!

Today we are taking a look at the Pent Living Room transformation, and it is a big one!  This room originally was “The Land of the Misfit Furniture”.  The couch was broken, the chairs had been very loved on by pets, and nothing really went together.  Have you ever had a room in your home waiting to be loved on?  I know I have one  or two right now!

Aesthetics was pretty much the name of the game again here.  The wall color did not change, and though the Pents would like to change out the carpet eventually, they wanted to wait on that.  A major problem with this room was its low, dark feeling.  It is a step-down which I really like, since it gives a sense of coziness, but it felt closed in, even with the windows.  Quickly, I realized a big part of the problem was more beige molding.  Everywhere.  I knew the room would brighten dramatically with some bright white molding.

The fireplace is going to get some sort of makeover, but in the end, we tabled that project for now.  The fan was something the clients really wanted to see changed.

This bookshelf is a bit traditional for their taste, but I knew we could update it with some paint, wallpaper on the backs of the shelves, and hardware.

Ah, meet Marge.  (Something so funny and rather adorable about this couple is they name their furniture.)  Marge belonged to the wife’s grandmother – the wife wanted to keep it, the husband loathed it.  I had faith we could turn it into something awesome.

These lamps were a garage or an estate sale find, and they are humongous and awesome.  A little lacquer, and I knew they could be special!

We needed all new upholstered furniture, and the Pents like to entertain, so I knew ample seating was important.  Then of course, there was that little factor of marrying Domino and P.Diddy.

With all that in mind, I created this design board.

Of course, like every design board, we mulled over the ideas, and tweaked details.  We ended up going more bold, and I have to say, I think the Pents did an amazing job of compromising, and being brave with color and pattern; therefore, they have a pretty spectacular result.

The big reveal!

The incredible chesterfield sofa was a Scout Design Studio find (if you are in the DFW area, you should go visit this incredible store open Monday though Saturday 10-5!  Hint:  this is where our Gypsy Soul finds are!), and we recovered it in this gorgeous peacock blue Sunbrella velvet.  This fabric is cozy, rich in color, and virtually indestructible, so of course it was perfectly suited to a family with a baby and pets.  The chrome nailheads are the ideal finishing touch.  A major wow factor in the room, it is truly an amazing specimen.

The plinth-base loveseat was recovered with a charcoal grey and white Greek Key pattern found at Childress Fabrics in Dallas.  How amazing is that yellow silk pillow?  Would you believe that was what the husband wanted?!  He is high style, I tell ya!  The yellow silk was found at J&D Interior Fabrics – if you are in the DFW area, you should stop by, and ask for Patty.  She is amazing and can help you with all of your fabric needs.

You can see a little of the fan we chose in the picture below.  It is sleek and modern, and I love it!  Best of all, it is a lot of bang for your buck.  I even ordered one in white for my home – it is so hard to find a good fan!  Fan found here.

I love the little corner in the back left of the room.  The wife envisioned it as her little reading nook and enjoyed choosing the fabric for her little chair.  Isn’t their baby adorable?  Mirrored table is from Home Goods.  Driftwood lamp seen here.


Didn’t the built-in turn out great?  It’s amazing what paint and wallpaper can do!

The chrome tub chairs are a Gypsy Soul find, and we recovered them in this beautifully aged camel leather.   Love the fiddle leaf figs in each corner of the room, too!

My favorite part of the room, however, is this beautiful painting by my good friend and Gypsy Soul comrade, Kristen Dowd.  If you are interested in her custom artwork, you may contact her here.  Her work is stunning!

Old Marge didn’t turn out so bad either.  I. love. lacquer.  Something we discovered about Marge previously unknown is her old stereo parts work!  A fun realization!

Shiny garden stools from West Elm.

Lacquer went a long way with these lamps, too!  We have replaced the shades since these pictures were taken, but the glossy white takes these eclectic lamps to a whole new level.  Chrome and brass console from Gypsy Soul Interiors.


Here’s what the Pents had to say about their new rooms:

Previously our living/dining rooms felt hodge podge, unstyled, and the pets had taken over my furniture! The rooms were nice but not working well as we often enjoy entertaining and relaxing as a family. Now, we enjoy every inch of our living spaces, because they’re not only well styled but super functional without sacrificing either mate’s style. P. Diddy would be proud. Thank you, Grace!

It is such a good feeling for me to think of my clients enjoying their homes.  Using them, living in them, and loving them.  Growing their families in them.  Thank you so much to the Pents for the opportunity to be a part of that!

**Special thanks to Kat Phillips, of TheGrayAttic.com, for the lovely images in this story.**

Pent Dining Room: Three For Dinner (and two dogs…and a cat)

I love this family.

The husband and I went to rival high schools, the wife and I went to college together, and they have one of the most beautiful baby boys I have ever seen.  Seriously!

The Pent’s home is old and lovely, and the dining room especially has lots of natural light.  Because the previous owner put it through a bit of a lackluster reno, the home needed some pizzazz.  Our first challenge was marrying the styles of the couple and combining both of their visions, plus keeping in mind there is a baby in the house and two large dogs.  Oh, and a cat, you can’t forget the cat!

Besides the pretty sunshine coming through the windows, this room houses the husband’s (a talented pianist) gorgeous glossy white baby grand piano.  Here are some before pictures – the dining room is the first room you see to the right when you walk in the front door.

Looking in from the Living Room.

Pretty fireplace.

At the back of the room, there is a bit of space for a small lounging area which I think is really cozy to have in a living room.

So as you can see, with the pretty floors, natural light, fireplace, and incredible piano, all this room needed was to be revamped into something both owners would love.  When I sat down with them, it was pretty clear there was a bit of a style difference.  Asking about the husband’s style, I was told,

“Think P.Diddy.”

Still makes me laugh.  Definitely a first.  The wife loves the Domino look, and is more of an eclectic vibe.  Overall, they are both fairly modern and very fun to work with.  The plan was for all of the furniture to leave the room except the buffet and the settee (which was to be revamped after some unfortunate incidents with the cat), and the curtains are also new and pretty, so they were going to stay.  Since I was having a bit of a hard time figuring out what dining chair would work for them, their design board had a few chair options.     

Our first matter of business was wall color.  We finally arrived at a deliciously rich gray – it is a Valspar color, and I cannot think of the name of it.  If you really love it, leave a note for me in the comments section, and I will find it for you.  A major component of brightening this room was painting the trim a bright white to match the piano.  It was painted beige before, which lended a drab feel to the room.  The ceiling was painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Collingwood”.

After a few pow-wows with my clients, this is what we created.  Take a look.

The dining table is the “Emmerson Table” from West Elm, and I love it.  The wood is reclaimed, and I think it is the perfect modern farmhouse table.  It is a truly beautiful piece.  Look at that thick wood top!  The chairs are from Z-Gallerie, and they are now discontinued; however, for those of you that like to know, they are called the “Concerto Dining Chair”.  Pretty perfect with the piano, right?  The white leather will be easy to wipe clean, and the polished nickel nailheads add some sparkle.

The little settee at the back of the room was recovered in a plum Sunbrella velvet, and is now cozy and comfy.  Wood and chrome side tables (aren’t those sleek?!) are from West Elm, the ikat pillows are from Etsy, and the center lumbar pillow was custom and designed by yours truly.  White gourd lamps from H-to-the-Goods.

Love the mid century art piece featured above the sofa!  It’s a Gypsy Soul find!

I am crazy for this rug!  It is vintage, in perfect condition, super soft, and the colors are so vibrant!  It really ties the room together.

The fireplace received a fresh coat of trim paint, and we replaced the art that was there with the agave art from the kitchen.  Don’t the colors look beautiful together?

You know I love x-benches, and this vintage Milo Baughman pair was recovered in an ikat fabric (Robert Allen “Khanjali Peacock”), where they now flank the fireplace.

The buffet got some new jewelry in the form of brass ring pulls, and we added some pretty sparkly items to the top.

Although our original plan was to replace the lighting fixtures as they felt too “contractor”, we ended up painting them this amazing green, and they. look. awesome.  I have a new appreciation for them, and they add some serious punch to the room.

You will laugh when you find out what color they are – about as far from P.Diddy as you can get!  We painted them with Rustoleum’s John Deere Green!  But hey, the look terrific, and that’s what matters.

Looking at these pictures makes me happy all over again.  Doesn’t this room look incredible?  Modern, comfortable, artistic, and definitely has the wow factor.

Come back tomorrow for the Pent’s Living Room reveal!

**Heartfelt thanks to Kat Phillips, of TheGrayAttic.com, for the beautiful photography in this post.**

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