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How to Buy Art with 20×200 and West Elm

August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am , by

20x200 for West Elm

There’s nothing that completes a room quite like a fabulous print to hang (what’s more depressing than bare walls?). The art world can be daunting, though, so I’ve become a fast fan of 20×200, an online art store started by Jen Bekman, a New York City gallery owner. She’s on a mission to get everyone finding and talking about art that they love—even those who think their walls are limited to finger-paint masterpieces and dorm-décor leftovers.

20×200 connects vibrant artists with potential art lovers right in their inbox, and then sells the prints at a super affordable price. Every print is a limited edition, often starting with 200 pieces sold for $20 each (get it?).

“I really love the idea of people finishing the picture of their home with art by an artist that they’re going to read about and follow,” she says. “I want people to talk about their art collections in the same way they talk about the books they’re reading or what shoes or gadget they’re going to buy.”

Today, 20×200 launches a cool collaboration with West Elm—a collection of colorful, modern prints from a variety of artists.

“West Elm has the trifecta of simple, chic, and affordable solutions,” says Jen. “And like 20×200, they have a genuine enthusiasm for presenting indie stuff that’s fresh and new.”

Nervous about incorporating art in your home? Jen shared her sage advice on why you shouldn’t be.

Collecting art and using it in your home IS for you.
“Traditionally, art is seen as something that’s only for the elite, and that’s very frustrating. I opened my gallery as an accessible and friendly place that was still serious about art, and 20×200 grew out of that. Our tag line is ‘live with art, it’s good for you,’ and I really mean it. I feel like my life is better because I have art on my walls. I love surrounding myself with things I that I like aesthetically, and it’s really gratifying to support an artist by buying their work.”

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Your Home in Honeysuckle: Pantone’s 2011 Color of the Year

March 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm , by

Pantone's Spring 2011 Color Forecast

Now that March has begun (can you feel yourself thawing?), we’re officially getting excited for all things spring – budding blooms, swinging sundresses, and, perhaps best of all,  fresh punches of color in our living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. What shade is on our radar this spring? Honeysuckle – a warm, playful pink that Pantone, the keeper of all things color, chose as the 2011 Color of the Year. The spring color forecast was laid out by committee last year (that’s right – they get together just to choose the colors that we’ll covet!), and we’re already seeing honeysuckle appear in some of our favorite spring decor choices.

This pretty pattern is sure to get you in the spirit for spring, with pops of honeysuckle among fresh green details. Bed Bath & Beyond

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Spring Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

April 2, 2010 at 9:43 am , by

After initiating a half-hearted attempt to clean my entire apartment at 6p.m. on Sunday night, I decided that there must be an easier way to tackle spring cleaning. This list should help make your clutter a little less daunting than mine.

  • Do buy some fabric or plastic storage bins. Having a place to put things really helps to keep everything organized.
  • Do throw out junk mail ASAD (as soon as delivered). Stopping the junk build-up before it becomes a pile is always a good preventative measure.
  • Do invest in a shredder. Shredding is a lot less painful than tearing up a pile of mail into itty-bitty pieces by hand.
  • Do donate clothes you haven’t worn in over a year to charity. If you didn’t remember to wear it last year, you’re probably not going to miss it.
  • Don’t wait until spring to start cleaning next year! It’s a lot easier to get motivated if you just have to complete small tasks in a short period of time instead of a day- (or night-) long cleaning spree.

Do you have any spring cleaning tips?


Your Go-To Home Decor Inspiration List

October 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm , by

courtney-smYour little guest bathroom (in need of a major makeover) looms beyond a slightly ajar door, begging you to face its bare and boring walls. You want to spruce it up, but you don’t know where to start. Should you give the walls a quick coat of paint, put up some trendy wall decals, or just a hang a few new pictures? The project suddenly becomes too overwhelming for a Saturday, and you find yourself turning to something like laundry—I mean an episode of The Real Housewives of Somewhere.

Too often we become frustrated with trying to improve a space in our homes (I’m not talking major renovation here people, just a bit of deserved attention) and we decide to abandon the task altogether. There is no plan, no inspiration, and you end up with something like nice new towels in a color that you will inevitably hate next month.

When I find myself in these predicaments, I turn to some of my favorite home blogs and sites for help. I spend some time with these friends, take some notes, and before I know it, I have tons of fresh new ideas! The list is short and sweet, because inspiration overload can also lead to excessive and unproductive viewing of The Real Housewives of Somewhere. Next time you find yourself in a state of home decoration confusion, (or on the couch for 3-plus hours) refer to this list for an instant shot of inspiration.

Casasugar.com This blog is always full of unique and fresh home decor ideas—a good mix of fabulous design and cheap decorating options.

Apartmenttherapy.com Great inspiration for small spaces!

Allthebestblog.com Got a design question? Glasgow-based editor Ronda Carmen hosts helpful Q and A’s with designers and trendsetters that are sure to help you find an answer.

Remodelista.com Don’t miss Steal This Look, and 10 Easy Pieces under “Inspiration.” These sections are sure to get your creative juices flowing!

Onekingslane.com/ladies Check out this new site for some amazing deals on home products we all love. There’s nothing like a great sale to get a makeover moving—am I right? This site hosts private sales for members daily, and becoming a member is painless. So we have an exclusive deal for you: Click on the link above, and receive $10 instantly when you join, just for Ladies’ Lounge readers! The offer expires October 31st, so get on it, and get shopping.

Etsy.com This site has more than 100,000 vendors who offer unique vintage and handmade finds, home decor included of course. If you’re looking for that perfect conversation piece that no one else has, chances are you will find it here.

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Inspiration is Still Free

October 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm , by

bkstore3

Sometimes when strolling out and about in fabulous New York City I pass a beautiful home store and think, Why even bother going in, those lovely things are probably waaaay too fancy for me. My mind instantly flashes back to the scene in “Pretty Woman” where the saleswomen shun poor scantily clad Julia Roberts for even attempting to peruse their fine merchandise. I cautiously glance at the beautiful window displays as I pass by, as if some expensive item might jump into my hand if I don’t move quickly. A&G Merch2I don’t give it much thought after that, and continue on toward more familiar territory. Well, guess what I did last weekend? I shrugged off my inhibitions and went into an adorable design store, A&G Merch, in Brooklyn—and you know what, it was a fantastic experience. Okay, so there were a few things out of my price range, but what I found most enjoyable were all of the creative displays! My mind couldn’t help but think about how I could incorporate some of their funky design ideas into my own apartment and the inspiration was undeniable. I started to wonder about other shops that I had walked by in the past and what muse-like displays I had unknowingly deprived myself of.

Inspiration is free, and perhaps more important than ever during these trying economic times. Window shopping is great fun when you walk away with a brain full of new ideas. Okay, friends, your assignment is simple—the next time you pass a store that strikes your fancy, even if you think it might be too fancy for your wallet, go in! You never know what you might find. Oh, and a nice shade of lipstick can definitely help… See Erica’s entry on red lips!


Ladies We Love: Melissa Michaels

September 23, 2009 at 10:14 am , by

Melissa Michaels“Refining your home for authentic living” is the tag line of Melissa Michaels’ interior decorating and lifestyle blog, The Inspired Room. Her home decor ideas are fabulous, but she writes about more than just paint and fabric. Her readers love the way she combines tips and techniques with ways to become inspired by your surroundings, which she says can encourage you to live your most authentic life. Sounds good to us!

What makes me a lady: I ventured out of my comfort zone and started The Inspired Room two years ago, and I found I was stronger and more confident than I ever thought I could be! Each time I try something new, I grow in confidence and find I enjoy the challenge.

Favorite guilty pleasure: I would say chocolate but I seem to have no guilt about indulging in it, so I think I need to find a new, more guilty pleasure.

Three things on my life list: Starting my own interior decorating business, which I finally did at age 40! I really want to learn to embroider. I also want to start an interior decorating outreach program for low income women. Everyone deserves to have a home they love and are proud of.

If I could have a superpower, it would be:
I’d be just like I Dream of Jeannie and be able to blink my eyes and appear somewhere else.

Ladies I admire: I admire any lady who is willing to accomplish great things in her world while keeping her family a priority.

Do you know a woman who deserves some of the spotlight? Tell us about her! E-mail us at ladieslounge@lhj.com and she could be featured in a future post.

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