In thinking about my design for the window, there was always the delicate balance between reality and theatre. While I did aim to create a space—and a story—for a "real" woman living in New York…  


I also wanted to do something bold enough to stop traffic—literally. This was, after all, 60th and Lexington in Manhattan! But to do that, choosing a statement piece of art would be absolutely critical. Now that the window's done, you can see that from the street looking in, your eyes are drawn immediately to the art, then up and out to the rest of the room.      


While the search for artwork began back in November, it didn't end until just a few weeks ago during the framing event we did with Larson-Juhl in Atlanta. Here I am with Jaithan and our good friend Steve McKenzie, president and CEO of the company.


While most of you probably know Larson-Juhl for their quality frames, there's another part of the company called Artaissance, a great online source for affordable art. Every piece is printed-to-order, so whatever space you're working with, it's almost fully customizable. Now I'm the first to admit that art can be such a personal experience, but what I like about Artaissance is that it provides a venue for those artists that want their art more accessible. Take, for example, Tasmanian artist Campbell Laird.   


Searching the database at Artaissance, both Jaithan and I were immediately drawn to this pigment ink print, titled Cirsk #1. Like most of Laird's work, it explores relationships between line, shape and color. But of all of his images, I loved this one for its bold color and geometry. It was modern to the core and exactly what a wall with traditional moldings would need to bring the room to life! 


Paired with the Hinson splatter wallpaper in tonal blues, the Laird image popped immediately. Now to frame it, I worked closely with the experts at Larson-Juhl, including Steve himself! He's the one who taught me years ago as an editor at House Beautiful about the power of layering moldings to achieve depth. Choosing a frame for art can be intimidating, I know, but that's where you get to have fun! The mixing, matching, adding and subtracting until you come up with something that sings! Here I chose a combination of three elements: an outer white frame to bring in the wallpaper, a brown one in the same wood finish as our required piece from Bloomingdale's, and a gold fillet to bring in the brass antiques. Finally, I chose to separate the frame from the image itself by several inches of white space, just to give the eye some rest between the wallpaper and the art. Immediately, production began for a piece printed and framed just for my window!    


In its original form, I imagine the Laird piece to be inked on paper, so to give the print a more authentic, handmade look, i had the edges deckled (or feathered), then floated the work for added depth. 

Step 8 - 'float' the artwork

Here's Laurie, one of the many talented framers with Larson-Juhl, securing the image to the frame.

Step 10 - measuring-centering the art in the float frame

And here it is all finished, just before it was overnighted to New York…

Finished Piece 3

and to its new digs on Lexington Avenue! I especially love the squares of the art with the squares of the rug from Bloomingdale's. It feels bold, outspoken and full of joy, just like the woman who lives here! 


A huge thank you to Steve, Lynn, Arlynn, Meg and all the talented folks at Larson-Juhl and Artaissance for partnering with us in our window for ELLE DECOR. Alright now, everyone…enough of the back story for now…go on and vote for us here, then text 1 to 89800!