In praise of: Large artwork … repeating geometric shapes … and Tom Tru

Tom Tru dandelion printNivico sound sphere speakersToday, a beautiful image, to make a few points about decorating:

  1. Find yourself some large pieces of artwork. I see way too many interiors with dinky works of art. You need to “mix it up”. You need some big pieces. Too much little itty bitty = clutter. Of course, you can “mass” your small pieces to create the effect of one large piece. But nothing beats something large. KAPOW!
  2. Repeat your shapes. Big round dandelion repeats orb-shaped Nelson light. This kind of repetition is soothing to the eye, subconsciously. On the other hand, be careful about mixing geometric shapes. An orb light near an orb-shaped work of art works. Turn that Nelson light into an ovoid and it would be Disconcerting.
  3. Tom Tru rocks. That’s a Robert Bushong print — on canvas, framed in aluminum — created for Tom Tru, of Lambertville, NJ. For sale from ebay seller moderndecodence, (link now expired) along with the orb-shaped Nivico sound sphere speakers. A very big round <3

Tom Tru logo
Update: ‘Twas beautiful — sold for $157.

  1. tailfin says:

    I am totally a fan of big pieces of art. My belief is that it is better to have a painting that is too large for a small wall than have a large wall with several dinky pieces of art. My father is an abstract painter, and I grew up in a house with loads of wall art (not his, though – he thought it was “arrogant” to show off his own work in his house, so we had fabulous pieces by other artists).

    Now in my home, I have quite a few of his wonderful paintings, some of which date back to the 1950s & 1960s, along with other pieces I’ve collected over the years.

    Also, art doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out the local art scene in your city. Find an artist you like & follow his/her career over time.

    Frame cards, magazine ads, fabric pieces, light-weight objects with fun shapes or colors, etc. In the right setting, almost anything can be displayed as art – again a lesson I learned from my parents.

    The one exception to the above mantra is that good art is NEVER likely to be found at a traditional furniture store.

  2. Elaine says:

    I love big pieces of art. Guess what, I have four framed Charley Harper full size posters in my living room. They look wonderful!

  3. RetroSandie says:

    I agree! I have a large abstract painting I got at a Salvation Army over my sofa,and I love it! I have gotten lots of compliments on it. I have several other larger pieces (a large one over my bed) plus two large, beautiful vintage shadow boxes. All of these items I got at Salvation Armies or second hand places. I’ve found some interesting art items to go with the paintings, too. Even in my teensy apartment, they look spectacular!!! 🙂

  4. Windylou says:

    I have an enormous Matador piece hanging in my living room and an oversized floral print in my bedroom.

    Agreed – most of my art is either found at thrift shops or I make it myself. In my bedroom I have framed a set of 11 Mark Ryden postcards – they are oversized and have a beautifully scalloped edge, so I just added the same shade of scrapbooking cardstock as a mat and put them in matching frames.

  5. Marty says:

    Growing up, my mother had an approx. 48″ x 48″ abstract painting that was hung up different places in the house (sometimes with a different end pointing “up”), When I moved into a 1959 house, I immediately asked for it and hung it up over the fireplace.

    (Found the artist’s name on the back–a Chilean artist who attended Pratt Institute during the late 50s).

    1. pam kueber says:

      haha, yes, that’s a particular benefit of abstracts: you can hang them all different directions! I’d love to see a pic sometime, Marty, if you want to Contact me through the Contact box…

  6. Yasmine says:

    I have 7 large Shag serigraphs in my living room and stairway (which also has a large metal mid-century abstract wall hanging). I have chartreuse painted walls, so these are very striking with that background. When I was growing up my parents never had photos on shelves or walls, but rather in photo albums, so I have kept up this and walls are just for unique art.

  7. Jordanna says:

    Not very Mid-C at all, but distinctly vintage, my grandmother had a BIG framed print of Jenny Lind, the famous soprano and “Ugly Duckling.” Since my grandmother listened to more Patsy Cline than opera, this is a mysterious thing, but it’s a really pretty and LARGE portrait, and it always had a place of honour in her apartment and it’s over my mother’s fireplace today.

    In my mom’s house, it’s actually a giant James Audabon of a macaw that I associate most with “large-scale art” because she had that huge honking parrot my whole childhood, whereas she only inherited Jenny Lind much later when my grandmother passed on.

    1. tailfin says:

      LOL, Jordanna, I think EVERYONE’s grandmother had that same Jenny Lind print in their living room! I know both of my grandmothers did! I don’t know what happened to the prints after they both passed on, but I get a chuckle whenever I run across one of those prints in an antique mall or thrift store.

      1. Jordanna says:

        LOL! So precious. I know they’re not Midcentury Modern at all and really not in the style of bright, poppy modern abstracts, but they do seem like that sort of traditional, slightly kitschy Modest style. My grandmother’s apartment was small and modest and then BANG huge (it was quite big, seriously, I’ve seen other prints but none that size) gold-framed portrait of an opera singer. I found it vaguely adorable.

        I am thinking of buying one.

  8. Ima Pam says:

    Big bold art…repeating shapes…a timely post, as I’m learning this! Just picked up an interesting large Hal Bienenfeld framed op art mirror. Anyone know more about this artist?

  9. Michael says:

    We’ve been searching for some overscale abstracts since we bought our house almost two years ago. We have yet to find the winning combination of size, colour plalette and price. There’s one I’m watching on eBay right now that might work for beside the fireplace. We’ll see…

  10. Annie B. says:

    If I had my druthers, I would love a Mark Rothko print over my sofa or credenza.

    One especially nice thing about large absract art is that you can venture into realm of DIY. Pick the colors you love and just do it.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Another tip to make your own: Buy a not-so-fab huge print in a nice frame… and then paint your own… or, do a big collage 😉

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