By Katherine Fleischman
As the year comes to a close and the holidays are upon us, what better than to give your home a makeover and feel like you are ALWAYS visiting a luxury destination? We have all been forced to live and work in the same space and home prices continue skyrocketing, we need to be smart about how we use our finances and our collective work/live spaces post-pandemic.
The below is a global guide, with pieces from all over the world, that help you take a spacious home and turn it into an efficient and comforting oasis. Whether you hang pieces of art to make it look like a “home gallery”, or have kids running around making a mess, these picks help you stay organized, while keeping the house looking gorgeous at the same time.
How did I get such shiny floors? Only a robot can make them sparkle, without the hassle of mopping or dusting. The Narwal vacuum left the home gallery with flawless floors. The Narwal Freo includes smart mapping, made to clean a dusty room. The app even lets you know how long the process will take. So, I didn’t even have to worry about getting the place clean before or after an event.
THE HOME ART GALLERY
Romeo Michelotto’s paintings from Roka Gallery in Padova are playful and whimsical, a throwback to when he was a kid in Padova, and they fully represent his personality. Constantly changing his materials, Romeo’s works are large and perfect for expansive wall space. His pieces are constantly trying to tickle the interest and curiosity of the onlooker. Whether it’s a basketball court symbol or a cross, you can easily spot the ‘map’ of his Padovan roots in many of his works, a constant reminder that there is no place like home.
Julie Loeckx art is another strong option, where you see colors jumping out at you, outlined by black lines that beg the question, do you paint within the lines or outside of them? Many of her subjects are powerful women from around the world, representing different shades. The Belgian artist’s paintings represent a kaleidoscopic universe brimming with zest for life and optimism, with a common thread of diversity. Her endless experiment of colors and lines converge to create a face, which makes her portraits eye-catching and whimsical. Much of her inspiration comes from bright patterns on textile or jewelry, another symbol of the global woman.
A fun artist that plays with both shapes and colors is Alon Baker, whose images come to life off the walls. You may call it ‘structuralism’, but I like to call it the intersections of shapes, forms and colors to create a ‘magic eye,’ picturesque method of dressing up the walls to make the living room pop. Located in the Jewish ghetto of Venice, you can find his quaint studio filled with splashes of bright hues. Baker’s inventive multidimensional cubes are perched on oblique surfaces with contrasting colors and a three-dimensional look. His artwork represents the idea of time and a change of perspective, where relationships are everything, many of which take place in the home.
Rodrigo Mendez art is ideal to fill expansive wall space as he creates large format oil paintings. Looking at the rise of technology through the lens of the human eye, his work aims to be a bridge between academic tradition and digital contemporaneity. He creates traditional easel oil painting on canvas with a twist. The piece featured in the home art gallery walls is called “Blush,” a “pixelated” painting of the nose and mouth of a woman. The piece is almost an abstract painting when close up, but the farther you get, the more it becomes a figurative piece, as the squares blend into a full image. Defragmenting the color stains into reticular chromatic units, he creates a figure that looks like a digital image on a computer screen, where looking at the traditional canvas is an experience closer to that of looking at an electronic device.
Kojac Abstract Art really opened up the wall space with a burst of light energy. Côte d’Azure represents a region known for golden beaches and mesmerizing blue coastlines. With the strokes, one can feel the movement of wind and water. The gold will bring back the feeling of traveling to your favorite beach with the warmth and sun, while the contrasting blue is a reminder of the fresh and relaxing water. Insomnia was created in the darkness at 4am, which you can see from the tone of the painting. With an additional lighter blue layer of paint, retouches were enhanced using a pallet knife, blending them into the background. The composition of the color strokes grabs the attention, while the darker blueish background brings it out further.
Cynthia Verri Art is a citizen of the world, between Pescara, Puglia and Portugal, but I found her in Padova. Pieces like this one that pop with color and have detailed embellishments in the dress, which make the creation a conversation starter. This piece called “Akemi” or “luminous beauty” in Japanese is just that- and you can see the detail of craftsmanship in the fabric of the figure’s dress.
Alessio-B is a local Padovan art that takes his inspiration from the graffitied walls of the city, to the framed pieces in the home. Many of his works are inspirational children with global messages of hope, love and peace.
And for a more personal touch…
Positive Prints is a poster allowing you to input the date you and your partner met, populating the alignment of the stars on that day. You can even customize the message and add your location for complete accuracy.
If you are tired of seeing the same design on your walls, you can switch it up with interchangeable wall art by Switch-Art. Now you can have the frame and a removable face to change your artwork as often as you feel inspired – hassle free.
For efficient furniture pieces, Umbra is a Canadian line of original products that are modern and affordable for every room.
Pairing the organic-shaped pebble mirror with the hip Belwood bar cart creates a sleek and modern look that makes the entrance corner of the room attractive to greet guests. The mirror even reflected on some of the gorgeous art on the walls. Perfect for serving wine in a cinch, you can use it to create your own at-home bar setup and the rubber-rimmed wheels make it easy to move around.
The Belwood coffee table is front and center in one of the living rooms, perfect for pairing with a book or accessory. Its two tiers allow you to store plants, decor, remotes and more, but I used it to hold some antique Moroccan-inspired, gold mirrors.
Both decorative and versatile, Umbra’s Bellwood freestand shelf can be used in different rooms to showcase decor and store your items. Whether you need it for holding books or baby’s toys, the wood accents and integrated handles make it easily portable. It even comes with a furniture safety strap that can be screwed into the wall so little ones don’t push it over.
The all-purpose storage stool is amazing for hiding stray items or even using it as a bench to sit on as I did here. The sleek take on the typical ottoman has a geometric shape and its lid functions as both a tabletop or a seat, with integrated handles making it easy to move around the house.
The Lazzoni Fibonacci table is made completely of dark glass to help the space look bigger with a mirrored look. The eye-catching statement table is a piece of art in itself, with sleek lines. It is also super simple to move around, with hidden wheeled legs, allowing you to relocate it easily while keeping it stylish. Lazzoni offers European-quality items with affordable prices, without compromising design as one of the top 10 furniture brands in NYC for designer coffee tables.
DUX just expanded their furniture line and the Superspider Chair was an excellent choice for a large living room. It’s like sitting in a large UGG boot, cozy for the cold winter, but also classy and spacious at the same time. The gray perfectly matches the home’s color scheme, but the Superspider Lounge Chair is available in multiple colors and various fabrics, leather or sheepskin – perfect for the cooler seasons, whether relaxing or watching movies. The Superspider won an award for superior design at the furniture fair in Cologne.
In order to keep two large living rooms clean and tidy, Restylit’s library was essential, containing cubbies to hold different items like baby blankets, magazines, and decorate with fun accessories and coffee table books, even art and global items gathered from every stop around the world as a travel writer. Restylit is much more than a simple e-commerce platform. They are an interior design brand and offer free design advice while online shopping, with a helpful team always active via whatsapp, ready to give you free style and technical tips. I also got the two brown matching chairs from there. Instagram @restylit_com / Pinterest restylit.com / Facebook Page restylit.com
For the library, Ubarre by Equipt was the perfect item because it is a female-founded patented design that is used as a home decor piece, but doubles as a workout piece– it is secretly a workout weight!
Sarah Larsen’s Alcohol Ink on Paper is the ideal item to add some zest to your home library. The 9 x 12” framed work, “Abundance,” is a colorful abstract work of art and adds spice to your space. Sarah Larsen is known for her large scale alcohol inks on canvas. Another cue to global inspiration, she infuses memories of an extraordinary childhood in the wilds of Africa, experiences of diverse cultures during travels, and farming life in regional Queensland. The landscape, and our relationship to it, analogically, and spiritually form the basis of her work to explore the painting’s surface, unearthing the mystery beneath.
The Crown in Vogue is a gorgeous coffee table book that is sure to be a conversation starter. Each royal wedding and birth is celebrated around the world; and everyone remembers where they were when they heard Princess Diana died. The death of Queen Elizabeth II stopped the world in its tracks and we now await the crowning of King Charles and Prince Harry’s memoir. The Crown in Vogue, by photographic historian Robin Muir and royal historian Josephine Ross, chronicles the Royal Family in British Vogue over the past 100 years.
Another amazing find to decorate your library or coffee table that speaks to the incredible women in cinema is Hollywood: Her Story, An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies. The winner of many awards for design and a beautiful book.
..and for the table and furniture accessories, the B. Smith with Style Store tablecloth dresses up any table in your home and pairs perfectly with colorful and playful artwork. The company’s inspiring design fuses popular aesthetics from across the globe. B. was the first and remains the only African-American woman with a namesake home décor line sold at major retailers.
Kristin Cavallari’s lifestyle brand, Uncommon James Cotton Tufted Throw with tassels is the perfect “Sunday reading with a candle burning” blanket. It is a nice accent to any chair or couch and the ideal gift to snuggle in. If you want to add a statement piece of your living room, their pillows work perfectly. Featuring a rich burnt orange color and pleated details, this accent pillow will be what everyone talks about after leaving your home.
For some more Moroccan vibes, Little Moroccan Things pillow is ideal for a large sofa or a medium to large chair. With a rustic texture, it mixes with other textures and colors, like silk, linen, and velvet. It’s also perfect for outdoor seating as cactus silk is durable and will age beautifully with sun exposure. Female artisans in Morocco hand weave the traditional cactus silk pillows with natural dyes – also known as Sabra silk pillows – from the cactus plant grown in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Sunday Citizen’s Braided Pom Pom Throw is another fantastic option to inject some Moroccan vibes into your living room, with a breathable snug fabric braided for texture and finished with fuzzy pom poms. It’s perfect for cold temperatures and oversized so you never get cold feet.
The Herringbone Wool Throw by Ocoza is also warm, durable, and lightweight, made of lambswool, long staple Turkish cotton, and Viscose, and is Oeko-Tex® Standard 100-Certified. Ocoza focuses on near-shoring to help reduce its carbon footprint and uses recyclable packaging, keeping the cost of the blankets low. The cotton used in Ocoza products is sourced from local producers in the Aegean region of Turkey.
But if you are really cold? The Hug Sleep is an actual sleep pod-based on the science of deep touch pressure therapy, for a gentle, calming pressure around the entire body— providing comfort and inducing relaxation to simulate the feeling of being hugged.
So who says you need to take a fancy vacation this holiday season? With this guide, you are sure to find your personalized luxury destination within your own four walls, filled with family, friends, holiday vibes, and all around cheer.
Photos Courtesy of Katherine Fleischman.