Category: Art

Afternoon, friends!  We’ve been busy around here.  Etch has been dabbling in a bit of Event Design over the last few months.  Considering one of the core principles of our design business is being a hands-on collaborative creative studio, we love the opportunity to provide thoughtful aesthetics and styling for events.  It’s a fulfilling medium for us, and I couldn’t wait to share a few pictures from a recent High Tea we designed for a client in Northern Virginia.

 

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Event design is much like transforming the spacial experiences in resident and commercial locations, but its development is for a temporary experience, customizing the way people relate to a space for a one-time or short-term event.

 

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The flow of the pathways around the tables, the scale and proportion of the flower arrangements and pennants, and catering the impact of the chosen decor and styling with the location and function of the attractions are just a few of the considerations that can turn a mediocre party into an amazing event.

 

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This High Tea boasted a beautifully styled Sweet Bar, featuring cupcakes from Cupcake Heaven in Haymarket, Virginia, Macarons, and personalized tea-themed sugar cookies.  We created custom banners, tea labels, favor tags, and cupcake liners with Green Cherry Factory, and I did the hand-lettering work myself.  With my background in Fine Art, Etch always looks for any opportunity to provide custom, one-of-a-kind artistic creations, and it’s those special little touches that fuel our passion for this stuff!

 

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We layered colors, patterns, and textures much like we do in our Interior Design work, and had an absolute blast incorporating all the vintage inspired pretty details!

 

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We enjoyed designing and styling this event for the lovely bride-to-be, and had a fabulous time collaborating with her mother and sister to create an event that reflected the bride’s classic and refined style.  If you have any projects, art openings, auctions, or corporate functions you think would be a perfect fit for Etch, definitely give us a call, we’d love to help you create an unforgettable special event!

 
Enjoy your weekend!
 
Kate

 

Considering I’m a painter, I don’t think it’s possible to exhaust the topic of the multifaceted neutral color gray. I use gray in the studio when I want the structure of a pattern I’m recreating on a surface to be defined, while the rest of the piece has an otherwise aggressive color palette. It is often my go-to when I want to acknowledge the physical direction of the process or of a specific mark-making experience. I also use it when I’m craving a comical yet quasi-serious line. It’s my workhorse tone. It’s almost unassuming, but very direct. Depending on whether I’m working on a generally pink painting (most of the time!) or a painting that I’m pretending is not about pink, like blue maybe (kidding… or am I?), I love mixing that perfectly intellectual yet subtle gray tone to sharpen my mark-making without taking away from the power of other visual elements.

 

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Secure the Ground. Oil on Linen, 36 in. by 36 in. 2011

 

In terms of interior wall finishes, gray pairs well with fully embraced femininity, supporting delicate and soft ideas, but it can also contribute successfully to a sharper, more direct arena. It is also the perfect backdrop for that eclectic mix of the two. Whether a green accent chair or a collection of antique lavender pottery pieces, the subtle nuance that a field of gray provides in a room can perfect a spatial experience.

 

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Brooke Shields’ Home as seen in Architectural Digest

 

The key to the successful use of a fully dimensional gray is in the undertones. Although I rely on my color theory knowledge when pairing tones, a lot of my choices are driven by instinct, so I always test the color in the space, taking note of the various lighting changes. If you stick a yellow couch in a room with a blue-undertone gray, it just might end up feeling like the purple or baby blue room you never really wanted. So if you’re selecting colors on your own, make sure you buy a test pot to sample the color in your space, it will save you lots of money in the long run!

 

Before I’m off for the weekend, I wanted to share these Benjamin Moore Grays that Kari and I consider tried and true.

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Have a great one, friends.

Kate

Before I head off for the weekend, let’s have a little conversation about art. As a visual artist, art typically comes first in my home design priorities; my husband and I started collecting art long before we purchased our first sofa. I imagine it’s the same for any profession, a chef would most likely prioritize his stove or cooking utensils and a computer engineer probably would have the best office and technology display. So when our most recent client mentioned new art pieces as a large part of the project’s scope, I was thrilled for the opportunity. In this particular project, only several spaces are getting a finish, furniture and art refresh, so we’re limited by the constraints of the existing architecture and adjacent out-of-scope areas. Our process essentially is going to be a hybrid of art coming first and second. The budget is also quite modest, so thinking creatively and looking past conventional solutions is keeping us on our toes.

 

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Art choices are very personal and ultimately I imagine it boils down to individual taste and ideals as to how and if artwork is addressed in a space. However too often, art is the last consideration. Perhaps the focus is more on the functional purchases, or the idea of art for art’s sake is intimidating, or people may simply see art as such a big commitment. Yet, when art is not given the proper consideration in a design process, the end of a project usually results in a lot of generic wall decor getting placed in the gaping spaces that are begging for something dynamic. Unfortunately, it’s a missed opportunity that happens much too often.

 

Kari and I don’t consider art a decorative afterthought, chosen only for its genre or how it coordinates with the furniture or wall color. We are so excited when an art object inspires a design, or when the artwork gets installed and completes or develops the spatial experience in a new way. But most importantly, we thrive on the exchange with other creatives, and love being able to support artists and the local arts community with our work.

 

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The topic of art in interior design and the influence and interconnectedness of the two is something we’ll be talking about a lot around here. Not only is it something we feel passionate about, but it’s also a topic that doesn’t get enough discussion in the design process.

 

So, let’s hear it, how does art work into your life? Are you a longtime collector, or are you considering dipping your toes into the art market?

 

Kate

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