Wall art can put the finishing touches on your home's decor. It's also a great way to capture memories of your life which for me, includes remembering which each piece of art was purchased. When my children were young, we always went on camping trips and brought home one special piece of art from each trip.
After spending a few hours at Western Avenue Studios this week and seeing lots of new wall art, it made me start looking at my own walls and the wall art we've collected over the years. It's like going back in time to when the children were young, when we used to go camping in Maine or California, and the countries we've visited in Europe and Asia – you get to return for just a few minutes and the wonderful memories.
Wall Art Can Tell Your Life's Story
As I started thinking about where and when our wall art collection started, I know that my husband and I bought our first piece together in Woodstock, NY. We lived there for a year and one weekend we walked across the street to a local art show and felt proud of our first purchase together, a bicycle talking to a unicycle. We moved to Berkeley, CA about 6 months later and didn't collect much wall art as we were busy saving for our wedding and first home.
With fond memories I recall having to borrow wall art and assorted knick knacks when it came time to sell our California home, as all our money went into buying the house, building a deck and landscaping. When we finally sold the house, we knew the one piece of wall art we wanted by Uzilevsky (on the wall), and found this original print in Sausalito, CA.
Moving back to Connecticut to start our family near relatives, the next few years are a blur. Our house was a Cape Cod replica of one in Williamsburg, VA and the previous owners had decorated with period wall paper so we didn't need to do a lot of decorating. Parents know how hectic those early days can be so my husband put up Marimekko wallpaper and I made matching curtains, blue for Jason's bedroom and green for Ryan's room. Today I'm happy that I framed one of Jason's first (and only) pieces of artwork and sad that I didn't do the same with Ryan's artwork.
Frame at least one piece of wall art by each of your children!
Collecting Wall Art While Living Overseas
You're seeing hints of the Orient because we lived in Tokyo for 3 years and traveled throughout Asia. What's so nice now is seeing how easily we've been able to mix and match our Japanese collectibles with American crafts. Here is a typical Japanese fishing village much as Fukushima would have looked like before the tsunami, and right next to it our metal doggy key holders, found at one of our favorite gift stores in Portsmouth, NH … Worldly Goods.
More mixing and matching – a set of Japanese nested boxes alongside a pair of glass birds from Sweden, as many of our au pairs came from Scandinavia.
Our living room contains many different memories from around the world. Shown here are my Australian teddy bears, brought home from my first business trip down under. The striped zebras are from the California foothills on our way home from Lake Tahoe and there's a dual memory here, of visiting my grandparents in South Africa between college graduation and my first job.
Wow, it's fun seeing how much mix and match we've done, and it certainly proves that you can pick very different pieces of artwork and weave them together comfortably. Below is a shoji screen bought at a flea market in Harajuku, Tokyo. Below the screen are matching pieces of wall art from England. The artist drew Asian like characters on paper, then slit and wove it together.
In our condo by the sea, we worked with several artists to create unique pieces to fit the space. Our stained glass window was created by Amalia Flaischer, owner of Sand and Water in Nashua, NH.
… and like the stained glass window, the piece of art below was made to fit that space over the fireplace and blend the rich blue colors of the sea, with the sand color of the walls.