Two art-centric home office ideas

I work outside my home, as does my husband, so there's no reason to use any of  the limited space we have for a home office. I've always loved the idea of decorating one, though. I've had two home office "designs" in my head for years, both of which revolve around art. (Of course they do.)

Home office design #1: Hogarth's Industry and Idleness

William Hogarth was an 18th Century artist and social critic known for his moral commentary and satire. Industry and Idleness is a set of 12 engravings telling the stories of two young men who start off as apprentices in the same shop. Over the course of the panels, the industrious young man marries the boss's daughter, becomes a magistrate and ultimately Lord Mayor of London. The lazy young man digs into every possible bad deed (Theft! Gambling! Prostitution! You name it!) and is eventually sent to the gallows to pay for his crimes. It is a super heavy handed, black-and-white view of morality--one I don't subscribe to, certainly. But I thoroughly enjoy Hogarth's use of details to tell the stories; there are so many "Easter eggs" to discover as you examine the panels. I love the idea of framing the complete set in 2x6 or 3x4 grid in an office, as a sort of tongue-in-cheek reminder to keep hustling.

I'd frame prints of the series and display them prominently and traditionally as such:

Home office design #2: Gallery of portraits

I know they're not for everyone, but I adore quirky portraits, and I have long fantasized about doing a gallery wall full of them in a home office. I'd refer to them as my "co-workers" and then chuckle at myself, as there wouldn't actually be anyone else around to laugh.

For this design, I'd hang them in a looser, more eclectic gallery wall, like these:

Design-wise the two ideas feel very different. But I like art and interior design that doesn't take itself too seriously, and I think both of these would fit nicely with my sense of humor.

Collectors, what fantasy rooms have you designed around art?

Matchmaking: Art for Lauren Liess

One of my favorite interior designers is fellow Virginian Lauren Liess. I don't have the self restraint to actually adopt Lauren's design style to my own home, but she makes it to my favorite list, not only because her designs are gorgeous, but because she's so open about her thought process during the design process. I've learned so much from her blog and her excellent book Habitat: A Field Guide to Decorating. 

For the unfamiliar, here these photos from Lauren's portfolio give you a sense of her decorating style and her use of art, particularly:

As you can see, Lauren usually sticks to a tight, neutral palette of browns and off-whites, with hits of black, greens and blues. She does a lot of gallery walls of pieces that tie closely together, but also uses plenty of larger scale pieces as well (under-represented in my mini gallery here). She uses a lot of botanicals, vintage art, and black-and-white or sepia art and photography. She keeps the framing and matting pretty simple too. I think, in that bedroom image above especially, the consistent matting makers a huge difference in tying together a variety of frames.

If you want to emulate Lauren's style art-wise, here are some options that I think would fit in nicely:

1. Valerie Lueth Young Pines [$175]     2. Lucy Augé Mellow Buttercups [$81]
3. Vintage portrait by Raffaele Frigerio [$395]    4. Valerie Lueth & Paul Roden Daisy Bouquet [$150] 

5. Michael Crouser Ryder Mounting Up [starting at $1000]     6. Vintage painting by Frank Colson  [$225]
7. Eric Rhein 6 Hummingbirds [price on request]     8. Bryan Nash Gill Wasp Wood [$1350]

If you like Lauren's style, make sure you catch the pilot of her show Best House on the Block on HGTV.

Collectors, are you into this aesthetic? Can you recommend other artists or vintage art sources that would work well with this decor style? What other designers / tastemakers would you like to see in a post like this?

Matchmaking: Art for Sheila Bridges

Sheila Bridges is an interior designer in NYC who does high end, classic style with a serious twist. Her designs have a lot of traditional elements like gorgeous molding, antique furniture, and pleated drapery--but in vibrant colors, with surprising fabrics (like her own Harlem Toile design), and featuring gutsy art choices. 

For those that don't know her, here are a few shots from Sheila's portfolio to give you a sense of her style, and her use of art:

As you can see, there's a lot of variety among Sheila's art choices, but if you flip through her portfolio, you'll see that she embraces African American portraits and themes, and other ethnic art as well. Many of her choices seem to have a subtle wittiness to them (also visible in some of her wallpaper/fabric designs, like Van Doe and Zwarte Piet). 

I thought it would be fun to pick out pieces that I think would appeal to Sheila and others who love her design work. If you want to emulate Sheila's style art-wise, here are some options that I think would fit in nicely:

1. Deborah Segun Untitled [€350]     2. Imar Hutchins Toussaint [$400]
3. Suhas Bhujbal A Ride [$4,500]    4. Solomon Adufah Warrior II print [starting at $105] 

5. Vintage Moroccan painting [sold as a pair for $1000]     6. Gary Simmons Boom print  [$148]
7. Ellen Priest Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for a Song #6 [£4,100]

If you like Sheila's designs, you should follow her on Instagram: @harlemtoilegirl. Her feed is one of my favorites.

Collectors, are you into this aesthetic? Can you recommend other artists or vintage art sources that would work well with this decor style? What other designers / tastemakers would you like to see in a post like this?