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Creating a Focal Point: Using Art Prints in Home Decor

worhol living room

If you love art history, art prints or just enjoy spending time in art museums, you likely have a favorite artist or painting that inspires you. Be creative when decorating your home by using this passion for art as a theme for room décor. Don’t worry about breaking the bank to get a famous painter represented in your home, simply follow these ideas:

Create a Focal Point

If your piece of art is large, put it on display as the focal point of the room and decorate around it. Your favorite piece of art can be an original of a yet-to-be discovered artist to keep costs low. If it is a piece from Monet, you may want to opt for large art prints and splurge on an ornate frame. The focal point of the room doesn’t have to be a painting. You can find art on scarves or blankets that you can hung up as artwork as well.

Feeling creative? Paint your own replica of a masterpiece. Some famous painters’ work can be fun to mimic, such as Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue. If creating art isn’t what you had in mind, don’t worry; it is easy to find art prints and art-inspired objects.

picasso interior AB1-5139-01-20-1Mondrian Shelves

Art-Inspired Objects

Look around at stores and online, and you will find many items featuring famous artwork. Lampshades, curtains, towels, placemats, coasters, and pillows are all popular items decorated with famous art motifs.

Go Big with Art Prints

If you have the space and want to make a powerful statement about your favorite piece, consider reserving an entire wall to showcase your favorite artist. Buy a postcard of your favorite art and make many copies – enough to “wallpaper” your wall with the print. Another idea is to commission a local artist to paint a mural on the wall using your favorite painting style or movement.

birds on wall paintingwall printwarhol inspired interior

Color Palette

After you have found your focal point and art-inspired objects to place in the room, keep the rest of the décor simple. Doing so will draw attention to the art prints and allow it to be the centerpiece regardless of its location or size. Pull colors from the piece of art to decorate the rest of the room. If the artwork contains many bright colors, choose only one to paint the walls or pick a lighter shade of the color to avoid overpowering the artwork. Save the stronger colors in the art for accent colors in the room.

IMG_3595 IMG_3572-FRONT   SK1 Winter storm squareIMG_6788

Pillow Inspiration From Other Cultures

World home decor

Cultures from all over the world use pillows for decorating and comfort. Some cultures, like the Japanese, prefer to use pillows as seating, while other cultures, like Moroccans, spend weeks weaving decorative pillows and blankets for their homes. Below, we analyze some interesting trends in other countries for your pillow inspiration.

Japan. Dakimakura is a word that comes from the words daki and makura, which mean “to hug or cling” and “pillow,” respectively. Essentially, this translates to hug pillow. These traditional items are very similar to body pillows in the United States. Over time the word began to evolve, slowly becoming to mean “love pillow,” something people held when they were lonely or their spouses were away for the night. Today, this word has merged in Japanese popular culture, and the dakimakura’s popularity has exploded. The meaning is a tad different now as characters from Japanese popular culture have their faces printed on the top.

imagesCool-floor-cushions-help-usher-in-a-casual-atmosphere The zabuton is another important Japanese tradition, where squat but sturdy square pillows are used for sitting instead of chairs. They gained immense popularity during the Kamakura Era of Japan – between 1185 – 1333 AD. The zabuton is occasionally paired with a wooden zaisu, or wooden support. This backing prevents the pillow from sliding around. It is important that the zaisu and zabuton match in both color and style.

Indonesia. A guling is a cylindrical pillow borne out of Indonesian culture. It is considered standard fare before going to sleep and is a very round body pillow. Incorrectly (or perhaps mischievously) translated to “Dutch wife” in English, it is also sometimes used for decoration or to hold a person’s place on a bench.

Philippines. From these tropical islands comes another body pillow called the abrazador, which translates to “embrace.” Not used for decoration, these decorative pieces were made by family members when a child left the house.

Morocco. In Morocco, wedding preparations takes weeks. The guests are invited into a drifting passage that opens into a courtyard, then into the dormiria, where the reception takes place. The family spends weeks painting furniture, sometimes homemade, weaving rugs, and making pillows as décor for the dormiria. In the past, it was considered tacky to not create the pillows and rugs by hand.

modern-interior-design-moroccan-style-6 moroccan-decor-ideas-home-decorations-interior-design-1

China. Many people in China and throughout Asia believed that soft pillows robbed the body of energy while you slept, so they perfected the creation of hard pillows. These were made of stone, wood, and at one point, ceramic. These pillows were engraved, painted, and filled with stories of their families’ past.

Ancient-Chinese-Pillows-Wooden-Pillow Ancient-Chinese-Pillows-Porcelain-Pillow

Yes, You Can Use Outdoor Pillows Inside Your Home!

Have you ever purchased a new throw pillow for your living room, only to spill a glass of soda or wine on it a week later? Here’s a solution! Outdoor pillow fabric is made from a cotton polyester blend that is both stain and sun resistant. Some styles even come in luxurious silks and wools. Not only will it last a lot longer if you are raising young kids, but now you can get that puppy you always wanted.

There’s nothing more annoying than damaging a brand new pillow, except perhaps watching your older pillows’ vibrancy fade away from sunlight exposure. Outdoor pillows fade more slowly (some don’t at all!), and it will protect the integrity of your décor when a couch or chair is opened against large, south-facing windows.

Outdoor pillows inside home Decorating With Outdoor Fabric

The protective polyester comes in a great number of styles, colors, and various textures. In fact, it is easier to find well-decorated, textured fabric with outdoor-woven covers. Comfortable lawn chair cushions make great body-sized floor pillows in the TV den or basement or perhaps just a comfortable place to relax with a book.

If you are unable to match your indoors with the outside, consider bringing the outside in! Bamboo ceiling slats or tiles look smashing paired with wicker furniture and a bold color. If you are one of those people with a spring and summer furniture set, you can seasonally decorate by swapping out the bases and keeping the cushions to match the ceiling and walls.

Fish pillow IMG_0368

Make Your Own!

As it turns out, making outdoor pillows is pretty easy. You can find the weather-resistant inserts you need for the cushion for as cheap as $10. Next, purchase a waterproof fabric. You will have a variety of options and outdoor canvas comes in several styles and is easily purchased online.

If canvas sounds too rough, you can also use outdoor tablecloth. There are other fabric options which work just as well, but they are a tad more expensive. You can use solution-dyed acrylic, or 100% spun poly fabric. Solid dyed acrylic averages $30 /yard, while stripes and woven are between $40-50 /yard. Spun polyester is much cheaper, ranging between $10-20 /yard. The big drawback to spun poly is it will fade in sunlight.

You can read through the process step-by-step here. The project guide recommends also using a shower curtain liner to prevent mold growth in the insert. Besides that, all you need a sewing machine!

Outdoor Pillows Insideblue sunbrella

Your Pillow Education: Different Sorts of Throw Pillows

While the phrase “throw pillow” might make you think of the typical square pillow, the truth is that your choices are much more varied! Learn more about the different kinds of throw pillows that you can use to accent any room.

Size and Style

Throw pillows can range from just a few inches or several feet wide in size. Sizes can also be mixed and matched for different pieces of furniture or floor space.

Tuscany Linen Wedgewood Blue Bolster

Bolster pillows, unlike the traditional rectangular or box pillow, are cylindrical in shape and are sturdier as well – an excellent option for leaning or propping up the head or legs.

bolster pillow
Edges and Flanges for Pillows

There are a number of different shapes that the edges of a pillow can take. For instance, the most basic type of pillow that you will see is the rectangular knife edge pillow. This type of pillow consists very simply of two square or rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together around the edges, creating a seam.

There are more decorative styles of pillows, however, such as the flange pillow, which has a band of flat fabric around its edges. These are enormously versatile and customizable, as the flange can be a different pattern than the rest of the pillow – though it doesn’t have to be. A welted or corded pillow has a cord rather than a flange around the seam, which can also be comprised of the same fabric as the pillow, or a different fabric which coordinates.

Finally, the box pillow has raised, flat sides. This type of pillow is typical of the couch or seat cushion. The sides of the box can match or contrast the top and bottom of the pillow. Any pillow can come with tassels and other fun decorations, so don’t be afraid to look at several different styles and shapes.

 

Box Edge Royal Suede Wine

Box Edge Royal Suede Pillow

Box Edge Rectangular Suede Pillows

Box Edge Royal Suede Rectangular Pillow

Box Edge Stripes Pillow

Box Edge Stripes Pillow

Types of Stuffing

There are just a couple of types of pillow stuffing, namely down and synthetic options. Down requires the owner to fluff the pillow regularly, which is why many pillows are made of a down/feather or down/synthetic blend to hold their shapes more readily. Synthetic fillings have actually improved enormously over the past couple of decades, which means they can be as comfortable as down, and are a great option for pillows that will see a lot of wear. For example, polyester Fiberfil is hypoallergenic, a great option for those who want the feel of down but suffer from allergic reactions.

Texture and Color

Colors and textures are the most obvious aspects of any pillow, so choose throws that you like the look and feel of. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild, either – like with this Snow Leopard Faux Fur Throw Pillow from Pillow Décor, which mixes a fun pat tern with a luxurious texture.

Variegated Faux Fur Pillow

Soft and cosy Variegated Faux Fur Pillow

Mongolian Sheepskin Gray Pillow

Mongolian Sheepskin Gray Pillow

Snow Leopard Faux Fur

Snow Leopard Faux Fur Throw Pillow

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