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The Lichtenstein Look

Finally! It seems there’s a home design trend that matches my unwanted yet rapidly growing Fisher Price menagerie (note to Kartell: please make stylish baby toys. Hurry). Collectors and art enthusiasts have long appreciated the pop paintings of heavyweight Roy Lichtenstein, but now it seems that Lichtenstein’s style is increasingly interpreted through textiles, patterns and paint. Yep. Primary colors are back in funky fresh force, along with a cartoonish panoply of stripes, ben-day dots and blocky solids.

roy lichtenstein

Lichtenstein himself did a series of interiors in his trademark style, hinting at the shape of things to come. Funny that he even anticipated the avalanche of Warhol’s Mao paintings that covered the walls of bazillions of featured homes this past year.

roy lichtenstein

This room styled by Jeffrey Miller owes more than a wink and a nod to the piece above. But you don’t have to be so literal to reference the look.

christopher coleman

Of course, having a polka dotted ceiling like this room designed by Christopher Coleman helps.

tobias rehberger

And a glut of seizure inducing stripes can’t hurt, right? Cafeteria designed by Tobias Rehberger.

india mahdavi

Obviously, what you really need is a giant stylized glamazon in the manner of Lichtenstein’s famously blond heroines.

india mahdavi

The top half of this India Mahdavi designed restaurant is no less comic book chic.

max azria home

Not to worry — you don’t have to have a towering Barbie in your house (but what girl doesn’t secretly want one?). Playful elements scattered here and there create major impact, as in this room in fashion designer Max Azria’s home.

missoni home

Just try and stop me from swathing my next couch in these Lichtenstein inspired Missoni prints.

missoni shower

And I wouldn’t be mad if my next house had a Missoni colorblock shower in it, either.

If you’re feeling a bit overstimulated by all this crazy bizness, consider limiting the look to a simple painting by the man himself.

lichtenstein hostel

No, not like this hostel, which feels more tragic than comic. Although, note how easy it would be to paint a simple, similar mural in chic black and white…

roy lichtenstein

I was thinking more like this room designed by Vicente Wolf, where traditional furnishings are seriously lightened up by the addition of one of Lichtenstein’s mod paintings.

roy lichtenstein

The flowers are killing me, but you get the idea.

roy lichtenstein

Personally, I like the pop look best when it’s paired with contrasting elements. The Calder mobile in similar style and colors competes with the painting in Patsy Tarr‘s home.

jeffrey miller

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with going full frontal on a small space, like this quirky vignette styled by Jeffrey Miller.

roy lichtenstein

And what better than a Lichtenstein bust to make a popping fresh statement. Yet another idea for the reinvention of Beethoven?

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Erin’s Madeover(ish) Dining Room

I can’t believe that two months have passed since I enlisted theĀ  help of you savvy readers in rearranging my dining room… It seems like I should have completed a lot more projects than just redoing one measly room, but my days are usually filled with picking up toys, cleaning rice cereal out of Ike’s ears, and changing some increasingly odd diapers. (In case you should ever come to my house for dinner, rest assured that last thing never takes place in the dining room.) At any rate, it’s done(ish). I say “ish” because you know me… nothing is ever really done. In other words, this place will probably look totally different next month. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and check out its previous iterations:

Super old:

dining room

Kinda old:

dining room

And right now — today — this is what I’ve got going on:

erin williamson dining room

I took the suggestion a lot of you bandied about and bought some Ikea Aina curtains for my puny window. See? I listen(ish). HB hung them high and wide, and voila! Bigger window. The sexy 70s lucite chandelier came from Ebay.

erin williamson

I tried to reuse most of my old goodies, like this Curtis Jere(ish) brass tree, but the table and chairs had to take a hike. The old Danish table went to our office, and the Burke chairs went to Karly’s dining room. Because, sharing means caring, right?

erin williamson dining room

Our new (to us) 90″ long reclaimed wood and stainless steel dining table came from craigslist, and the sellers even delivered it for no additional charge. Super score! The Marcel Breuer(ish) chairs came with Karly’s glass table and I wasn’t totally sure about them at first, but for $150, I’ve decided they’re awesome. And comfy.

erin williamson dining room

The brass sconces came from Ebay. I almost photoshopped out the fugly cords, but I decided to keep it real, yo. Ok, and I’m lazy. And busy. And I’d also like to know what to do about them. I think I should nail them to the wall and paint them black. Thoughts?

erin williamson dining room

I already had the Karly Springer(ish) console table, but I added a few nick knacks, trying to keep the neutral vibe going. The Head came from Room Service, the mask and bronze hand were both made by art school buddies, and the faux bois tray is vintage. The cord is pissing me off.

erin williamson dining room

Here’s a view of the left side of the dining room/entry way. I didn’t want the dining room pieces to compete with the ceiling, so I kept everything on the down low. Except for Doris.

doris

Doris is my new David Hockney(ish) million color screenprint that I picked up for $4.99 while thrifting with the ladies. She’s 100% hand pulled awesomeness.

erin williamson dining room

Yet another view of the right side of the room… I may have gotten a bit carried away with the photos, but at least you can see that the vintage Drexel benches reverted to their original linen upholstery.

erin williamson beethoven

Beethoven is holding down the back corner. My friend Peter did the naughty etching above his head. It’s a special surprise that you can only see up close and personal… real personal.

That’s it for my home tour! Hope you dudes aren’t disappointed that there aren’t any trees growing out of the floor or poltergeists in the corners. I’ll get to work on that, pronto.

Ish.

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Bust Out the Jamz

Well, Karly just screwed me over by writing the best post of the year, and now I have to follow THIS. I hate you, Karly. I mean — I love you. No, I really do hate you. Are you people out there as inspired as I am to redo your entire house now? As soon as I can figure out what coordinates with the oh so trendy Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo (primary colors will come back in style someday, right???), Ima gonna get bizzy. Until then, here’s some more heady ideas for sculptures you can stuff into the lonely corners of your home.

gold michael jackson bust

Guardian UK

So, is it too early to capitalize on the death of the biggest star in the world? Nah. This is America! Actually, MJ’s gold painted plaster bust was slated to sell in the April auction of his possessions, but since the auction was canceled, it’s ostensibly still floating around the ether somewhere. Estimate? $100-$150. I have a feeling the price may have gone up since then.

lick and lather

Jane Antoni’s Lick and Lather (1993) comprises two self portrait busts, one of chocolate and one of soap. Let’s hope she didn’t lick the soap, although lathering oneself with chocolate sounds not half bad.

chocolate head

Speaking of deliciousness, this chocolate head by Paul Wayne Gregory would last about 2.2 seconds at my house before someone determined whether the inside holds a sugary Cadbury cream filling. I secretly hope there’s a buttery yellow yolk in there somewhere.

delft bust of lenin

In the grand tradition of busts of great heads of state like Lincoln and Napoleon, we have a deftly decorated Delft Lenin. So nice to see his softer side, but I’d love to see him pitted against this guy:

wax obama

Wax Obama looks like he’s getting ready to take a bite out of Communism. Seriously, I like our prez, but did they have to make him look like a jaundiced beaver?

lego bust

Lego man is ready to sacrifice himself for your good time. Just don’t bring him to my house, because Momma don’t allow toys with tiny pieces destined to collect dust underneath the couch. At least, that’s my stance for today. Ask me how it’s going in year when baby Ike throws a tantrum in the middle of the store because he just wants some damn legos.

julian hoeber

When superbloggers Molly and Raina come to visit in a few days, we’re going skeet shooting Texas style. After seeing these amazing self portraits by Julian Hoeber, I think I have a new project idea.

julian hoeber

Ok, I have 3 days to cast a bronze sculpture of myself. I can make it, right?

beethoven

And let’s not forget about my buddy Beethoven. His ubiquity offers many chances for modification… I love the little dude painted black in my dining room, but now I’m coveting Karly’s new wave rainbow treatment. Also, I think I need something bigger, so if you guys see something worthy out there, send old Erin a heads up, will ya?

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10 Random and Totally Subjective Truths I Hold About Art and Design

The fabulous Sherri over at The Claw tagged me for a little show and tell game of truth or… truth. Phew! I really don’t do dares. Anyhoo, I decided to make it design related, since you don’t really want to know all about the first time I kissed a boy, about the time that I wrecked the family van before I even had a license, or about how I was a super nerd in high school, down to my rabid fascination with the Academic Decathlon and other such socially alienating activities. Boooooring! So here goes nothing…

#1. Money is Wasted On the Rich

silver cross gold pram

So, I’m having a baby, and one of the biggest initial expenses is a stupid stroller. It’s like buying a mini car for your precious. Now, I caved and bought a totally pedestrian Maclaren, but what I should have gotten is this 24 carat gold plated pram by Silver Cross for a mere $12,000. Of course, for that price I would expect a full sized car, but hey — it does have a sound system and satin interior. As an added bonus, it looks like a very stylish coffin, which is exactly what you’d like to imagine your baby in, right?

#2. Maurizio Cattelan is vying with Damien Hirst for the Overstuffed Award

venice museum

I’m not sure why, but I have seen Cattelan’s taxidermied, suspended horses in person at multiple galleries and museums. Maybe a giant, hanging horse is just really hard to forget? I don’t know, but this headless version seen in Venice’s newly opened Punta della Dogana Museum has been haunting my dreams.

#3. Flowers Are Gross

if the lampshade fits

I know this will be a controversial statement, but I think flowers are best left outdoors. I stole this case-in-point image from La Lampshade, because Raina has a knack for eviscerating cluelessly tacky rooms. That hideous purple floral arrangement in the wrong color, shape and scale, for this room is just icing on the already ugly cake.

#4. Plants Are Not Gross

nate berkus

Plants are like the groovier, less fussy sister to the flower. They still bring some green, recycle carbon dioxide, and fill space — just like flowers. However, they do it architecturally instead of decoratively. I’m waiting for someone to call me out on this, but it’s my truth — so take that.

#5. Gold and Chrome Go Together Like Rama Lama Lama Ka Dinga Da Dinga Dong

nate berkus

nate berkus

These images are double dipped from the same Nate Berkus designed abode as above (in case you couldn’t tell), and I would be totally comfortable scooping all of the furniture out, and inserting it into my own home. I love gold, and I love chrome. Never shall I be forced to choose between the two. Amen. Oh, and btw, if you live near Austin, those Pace chairs are available on Craigslist right here. That brings me to my next truth…

#6. Vintage Rules

craigslist

I would estimate that 90% of my furnishings are recycled via Craigslist, thrift stores, Ebay, or some other outlet for used stuff. Who has the money to buy quality new furniture in this economy? Plus I just like a lot of the older designs mo’ better. I am currently eying this brass clad footlocker trunk on Craigslist for $28. Wouldn’t it make the most stylin’ toy chest, ever? But if you call up the seller and tell him that it bears more than a passing resemblance to a Sarreid piece, I will hunt you down and cut you.

#7. Cheap and Cool Lampshades Are as Rare as Three Legged Unicorns

gambrel

This is a nice room (except for the puny flowers) from Steven Gambrel, but there’s nothing particularly standout about it. The couch, rug, other furnishings could have come from West Elm, or maybe even Target. So why is it crazy damn hard to buy a lampshade like that for a reasonable price at a big box store? You would think drum shades were all spun from Rapunzel’s hair due to their cost and rarity. Ikea, where are you when I need you?

#8. Art Makes a Room

art

And if you’re really rich, art makes your room into a museum. While us mere mortals are left to shop at Etsy and local art sales for our masterpieces, the elite collect Franz Kline paintings and Giacometti sculptures. But it’s a good thing homeboy has money enough to buy the big names, because the rest of this 8,000 sq ft space is blah x snooze.

#9. Design Often Requires Stupid Compromises

yatzer

Sigh. Living with another person means you already have one too many cooks spoiling the brew. For example, I told Hunny Bunny that we should totally gild all of our ceilings in brass tile like this Istanbul home. Can you believe that he said NO? He did point out that our 1980s faux wood ceiling fans would look a bit out of place next to the golden goodness of that tile, but I truly felt that was but a minor hurdle to be crossed in the vague future of “someday.”

#10. Beethoven Is the New Black

beethovens

Good pal that she is, Karly sent me this link because I bought a Beethoven bust at the Salvation Army and have been painting and repainting him ever since. First he was lame-o white, then I painted him turquoise (which was very cool, but too much for his setting), then he morphed into a bacterial blight of blue and white blotchiness before finally settling into a glossy black. I love my handsome black Beethoven, but in the right space he would also kick ass in sparkly gold, or work some magic in rainbow paint drips. He’s just so versatile!

Well kids, that’s it for all about me day. If you’d like to get lazer tagged to play this game, leave me a comment and I’ll update the post. Holla!

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