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ORC: Week 3 The Art that Inspired

Here we are on week 3 of Better Homes and Gardens' One Room Challenge and I am excited to share with you the artworks that inspired this master bedroom remodel!

I've always been a bit of an art history buff, loving modern art and any art that depicts women in some shape or form. This past month I enrolled in a certification program from the Museum of Modern Art, to specialize in Modern Art and Ideas, with the intention of broadening the way I see and think about modern art and also to be able to offer art consulting to my clients as well as other interior designers.

Art Inspired Master Bedroom

The Girl with the Pearl Earring by dutch masters artist Johannes Vermeer, is one of my all time favorite works. Perhaps you saw the movie staring Scarlett Johansson or have seen a painting similar with a cat in place of the girl. But to me, there has always been something about this girl that resonated with me. The painting, done in 1665 is an oil on canvas work that depicts a young woman showcasing a rather large pearl earring. The pearl motif would be seen many times in Vermeer paintings throughout this period.

While many of Vemeer's paintings focus on the subject performing some type of task, this mysterious, unidentified girl is shown just in a moment, turning somewhat to the viewer. With her mouth slightly perched open, it looks as though she is about to say something. Many girls may have sat for Vermeer but this painting is not meant to portray a certain person. Often compared to the Mona Lisa, The Girl with the Pearl Earring is not a portrait but a tronie, or a character or type of person.

While the subject matter of this work is always enchanting, its Vermeer's use of light in the painting that is mesmerizing. He uses light to create form rather than lines. Intimate and moody with an ominous dark background, the girl wears a blue and gold turban. The painting is one of Vemeer's most iconic pieces and it is this moody and dramatic feel that sets the stage for my master bedroom remodel.


Another print that I have been eyeing for some time is Juniper Print's Zipper. Illustrating the O'Toole Medical Building in New York City, this building's design was influenced by, Frank Lloyd Wright, and designed by one of his students, Albert C. Ledner. A modernist design in the West Village, this medical building was opened in 1964, in the heyday of mid century modern.

Most of my design work centers around my love for mid century modern and modernist pieces in general. I have a love for this nostalgic time and use it to highlight a more contemporary design that meshes well in today's home.

Art Inspired Master

With a hint of gold, just as that seen in the Girl with the Pearl Earring's turban, dusted throughout the room and perhaps even some hints of blue, darkness will be balanced with pops of color. Always inspired by Mid Mod design, but even more so encouraged by the clean lines of the O'Toole building, with its stark contrast of black voids and white planes, the master will still pay homage to such modernities (Is that a world? It's a word now!) while glancing back at classic artwork.

That's a wrap for week 3! Be sure to check out other ORC blog posts. Be sure to follow me on instagram to see some behind the scenes at @ashleyberdandesign and feel free to drop a comment below. I always love some feedback!

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