October 20, 2010

Green Living: J’aimerais un morceau vert de Paris!

Posted in art, decorating style, Green Interior Design, Houston Intertior Design Blog, Luxury for the home, Uncategorized at 8:15 am by luxuryforthehome

By:  Lauren Ballas – LEED AP

J’adore Paris!  I have been inspired by the city of love as it’s the hot spot for these vertical gardens.  They add artistic detail and eco-friendly intentions to any bland wall in a city.  The art form can make cities healthy, enjoyable and greener places!!!  I will be traveling to Paris, France the week before Christmas this year and can’t wait to keep my eye out for the vertical beauties!

The Musee de Quai Branly in Paris, France...Vertical Garden

On a smaller scale, with living wall art and sculptures you can enjoy the same effect in your own home.  It doubles as an air purifier and artwork!  My travels have inspired me to find different works of “living art” to go with your homes style!

Living Wall Art

Nature through and through!

The attention to detail in this piece is so enticing!  The color is subtle and the texture sooo rich.  Hang in the most popular room of the house so everyone can enjoy!

Living Wall Art

The Forest Floor!

The layers of plants are fun, flirty and fantastic in this living wall art!  It can give your home the forest floor effect and add natural color and depth to any kitchen or bathroom wall.

Vertical Moss Sculpture

Mimicking Nature with Sophistication!

I have been living in Sweden and visit the forest quite often.  I go specifically for the fresh air and scenery!  This sculpture has all the elements of a Swedish forest combined.  The forests are something out of a fairytale and so is this piece.

Just one of Sweden's forests!

Yes that’s me…The LEEDing Lady! I am living my own fairytale and enjoying all nature has to offer.

Concrete Moss Bust

When in Rome…

This living sculpture reminds me of my travel to Rome, Italy!  If you love traveling as much as I do, this piece would the perfect “green” addition to your home.


October 7, 2010


Posted in art, houston interior design at 11:31 pm by luxuryforthehome

by Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

YEAH – It’s Fall Festival Season in Texas.  I know a bit silly, but I love them.  Where but Texas can you go to the “Home of the Thump” or say “oompha” in so many cities.  For those that love and call Houston home, this is a great weekend.

Last week, we celebrated Oktoberfest with our friends and family – but this weekend hold some goodies for me.  The first is The Houston Original Greek Festival.  I remember going to this festival as a young’n, and throughly enjoyed the experience.


Houston interior design, festivals

Youth dancers at The Original Greek Festival


The second and maybe one of my most favorite festivals is the Bayou City Arts Festival. Now I have to say, I remember when it was the Montrose Arts Festival, so it definitely has grown up since that time.  But I enjoy the walk and the views and the crafts for the kids.  So which ever you choose, both are very family friendly – so enjoy.


Houston Interior Design, Bayou City Arts Festival

Outdoor Art at Bayou City Arts Festival - I soooooo want this!


Enjoy your weekend and we will see you on Monday.

July 14, 2010

Arts Houston 2010 – A Luxurious Virtual Art Tour

Posted in art, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer at 11:15 am by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

If you follow my blog frequently, you know how much I love art, from classics to contemporary – I love looking and admiring art.  This past Saturday I had the chance to attend the Arts Houston 2010 event.  I have to say, I didn’t make it to nearly the number of galleries that I wanted to.  But here are some of the highlights from a few galleries I did make it to.  Enjoy the view!

Pauline Ziegen, "rain" Laura Rathe Fine Art. Rep - Kathy Dimmit.

Mary McCleary. "Trotline". Moody Gallery. Collage on paper.

A classic, James McNeil Whistler. "Rotherhithe" Parkerson Gallery. Rep. John Parkerson

Rusty Scruby. "New Car" photographic reconstruction. McMurtrey Gallery.

Karen Hollingsworth. "Drifting In A Dream". Dean Day Gallery

If you are looking for a guide to Houston’s art and galleries; or are looking to enhance your home with original art, we would love to be assistance.

Luxury For The Home believes that true luxury is not about ostentation or expense.  It is about simplicity. Sanctuary. Comfort.  It’s the beauty that happens when everything, including you, has its own ideal space.

Are you ready to bring luxury into your home?  For more ideas sign up for our newsletter, or to schedule a consultation, please call me at 281-701-2461.

May 4, 2010

The Luxury of Time Off

Posted in art, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, tile patterns, Uncategorized at 6:55 am by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

Well only rarely do I get time off from work and from being a Mom.  But that happened last week, thanks in part to my mother :), as my husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Puerto Vallarta.  I think the PV may be my most favorite city I have visited in Mexico.  There is a slightly European feel to the city, walking is easy, everyone is fairly friendly.  During our visit, I had two revelations.

The first is that Puerto Vallarta is a city of textures and patterns, from the sidewalks to the river and everything in between.  The second revelation is that if you want to experience every sales technique in 3 days, PV is your city.  That’s not a knock at the town.  The people of PV work very hard, they know that their economy is supported heavily by tourism.  It just struck me how technically skilled they are at the art of sales.

But the textures of the city are really what would occupy my walks.  Take a look at these pictures.

The raining white flowers at Cafe Des Artiste. What a better way to celebrate your anniversary than to have a lovely meal outdoors while white flowers fall from the sky?

I loved the combination of green and yellow. The colors are bright and abstract all at the same time.

A view of balconies off the River Cuale. The patterning to the open tile walls changed every unit or two, creating a patchwork quilt effect. Quite the contrast to the "Cookie Cutter" approach of building.

While enjoying an ice cream cone along the Malecon, I marveled at the vibrancy created when the surf splashed along the stones.

The tile floor from the lobby of the hotel. PV stone work includes a variety of ways to incorporate pebbles (a local resource) into their floors. This pattern is probably the most popular pattern in PV.

Palm Tree bark. I kept trying to sketch the texture and variations that exist in a single truck of a Palm Tree.

Another photo from the restaurant. I loved the dappled leaves of this tree. It made for a gorgeous canopy these images and from the sketches of the city's ironwork.

January 20, 2010

The Luxury of Urban Living

Posted in art, clean design, collections, Design inspiration, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury interior design, Uncategorized tagged at 4:00 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

Well, if you follow me on facebook (Luxury For The Home) or twitter (@luxuryforthehom), you may know that we are getting ready for the ASID Showrise Project at The Commerce Towers in downtown Houston.  The event benefits the Houston Downtown Alliance and ASID.  This will be our first showcase project and we are very excited.

Based upon our designs for our unit, our space titled, “Modern Sophisticate”.  The unit is a two-bedroom loft with a very urban view.  We are designing the entry/stair/landing and the Kitchen/Breakfast areas.  When we first saw the unit, what struck me the most is the very URBAN view.  But after many trips to New York, where the view is not always the best outside apartments, I felt inspired to create a stunning view inside for this urban home.

I could see a very successful businessman calling this place home.  Which meant that we need very tailored lines, a welcoming space for those pre-evening festivities and the Saturday night poker games.  With that in mind, I’d like to highlight our partners for the unit who have graciously allowed us to use their products as part of the Showrise.

The first partner I want to highlight is Laura Rathe Fine Art on Colquitt (713-527-7700).  I can not say enough positive things about Laura, Kathy & Carol – they are friendly, gracious and very knowledgeable about their art.  If you have never been here and love contemporary art, you owe it to yourself!

That being said, I also wanted to share with you the beautiful art and artists we’ve selected.  Pictures never do the pieces justice, so plan on coming to the show February 13-14th & February 20-21st to see it in person.


Christopher Martin - Dreamscape (96" x 48") Acrylic on Acrylic. Available from Laura Rathe Fine Art


Meredith Pardue - Pods VI , Available through Laura Rathe Fine Art


Ray Phillips Face 37

Ray Phillips, Face 37 43" x 50". Available through Laura Rathe Fine Art.


Katherine Houston

Katherine Houston, Chaos, 40" x 60", Acrylic on Acrylic. Available through Laura Rathe Fine Art.


Marissa Starr

Marissa Starr, Water Wing Teal Red, Mixed Media. Available through Laura Rathe Fine Art.

Luxury For The Home believes that true luxury is not about ostentation or expense.  It is about simplicity. Sanctuary. Comfort.  It’s the beauty that happens when everything, including you, has its own ideal space.

Are you ready to bring luxury into your home?  For more ideas sign up for our newsletter, or to schedule a consultation, please call 281-701-2461.

November 2, 2009

The Luxury of Composition: How to Hang Your Art – Part 1

Posted in Architecture, art, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, How To Hang Art, Luxury for the home, Uncategorized at 3:07 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler
We are well on our art journey, this week we are going to be talking about how to hang your art in a series of articles. 
But first, let’s answer one of life’s more popular design questions -“I’ve always heard that your should hang art at eye-level.  My spouse and I argue about what that means.” Answer: Eye level is loosely defined at 66″ off the floor. Generally, the center of your art or composition of art should be around 66″ off the floor.  But this is a rule that is to be followed in a specific instances.  If you and your spouse argue about is eye-level at 60″ or at 70″, my suggestion would be to split the difference and hang your art at 65″ – a compromise. 
Whew, ok now with that out-of-the-way, let’s talk about instances that the “eye-level” rule of thumb may not work for you.  The first technique of hanging art is by grouping or composition.  This means you have several (two or more) pieces of art that relate to each other.  By hanging in a grouping, you are going to hang the pieces with consistent spacing between the pieces.  This can be as small as 1″, but as great as 4″.  The overall purpose of this technique is to create a larger read on the display of the art.  The grouping does tend to be geometric in shape, generally in squares, rectangles, rows, columns, circles, but as you will see, it can be a bit abstract as well.
Botanical Art

Example 1 - Hanging Art as a Grouping. http://www.designholeonline.com by Interior Designer Jennifer Mitchell

 The first example shows the grid shape to the art display, even with the sprinkling of the candle sconces, the grouping is very uniform but interesting.  Botanicals, Architecture, and Audubon prints make great subject matter for this large of a display.  As a side note, notice that all the fabrics lack a pattern that would compete with the pattern created by the artwork.

Example 2 - Grouping

Example 2 - Grouping - non structured from http://www.designholeonline.com by Interior Designer Jennifer Mitchell

 I really liked this photo for an example of how to treat multiple sizes of art and still hang the art as a grouping.  This was very skillfully done and I feel sure that it took a fair amount of time to achieve the look.  If you find yourself with inconsistent sized artwork and want to hang the art as a group, I would either grab some brown kraft paper, or a handful of paper bags.  For each piece of art, cut a piece of paper the same size and shape. Label the paper for the piece of art that it represents, and tape the paper cutouts with blue painters tape on the wall.  This technique does take time, but allows you to individually move the pieces around until you have created a pleasing composition.  Before you pull the pieces of the wall, either take a picture, or lightly mark your walls with a pencil so that you can recreate what you mocked up.

Example 2 - Grouping

Example 3, Grouping Art, by designer Jeff Woosley, as appeared on Southern Accents website.

 This example from www.southernaccents.com, shows the vertical columns of art hung very tightly together.  Although the picture doesn’t show above the mirror, I’d guess there is something there, whether art or a decorative accessory.  With the artwork extending past the mirror, there would need to be a piece to balance the composition.

Example 3 - Grouping

Example 4 Grouping, by Shannon Bowers, Veranda.com

 This grouping of rosette tiles shows how you can group art around architectural details of your home.  The positioning of the tiles, help to accent the stair case, as well as create a secondary grouping with the furniture.  When you are also grouping your art to a piece of furniture, you are going to do raise the art composition up from the furniture, by at least 6″ as shown above, or have the piece sitting on the furniture as seen below.

Example 4 - Greystone Show House

Examples 5-7 Groupings, by Interior Designer Windsor Smith, Veranda.com

 I fell in love with this photo because there are so many examples of grouping shown at once.  The first is the mirror with the furniture.  This could be done with a painting, as well as a mirror.  The second is the gold framed artwork to the right of the mirror and the third is in the reflection of the mirror, where we see two frames position tightly together.  The repetition in this room adds strength to the overall composition, helping everything work seamlessly.

Next Topic: Hanging Art as a Statement

October 15, 2009

The Luxury of The Right Frame

Posted in art, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Intertior Design Blog tagged at 9:00 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

 Ok, great, you’ve selected your art and can’t wait to get it home.  Quite frequently, your art will come without a frame, leaving you another world of options on how to frame it.

 Let’s first start with the style of your piece and the style of your home.  If you have a contemporary home and a contemporary piece of art, using a simple streamlined frame or back liner makes perfect sense! But let’s say your home is traditional, but the art is decidedly not.

 Don’t fret, you actually have a world of choices.  If you have a gallery wrap piece, you could choose to have no frame.  Or you could choose a transitional frame, that is a frame whose styling is traditional, but it is subtle and refined. 

 The frame serves as the “marrying” piece between your interior and your art.  Be sure to test the frame against the piece. There are undertones to even wood frames that can accent and highlight the art. I would also bring a large sample of your wall color.  (Most of the major paint suppliers can send you a color sample to take with you.)

The next piece frequently skipped is the additional elements to framing, such as mats and fillets.  Each component of a frame builds and supports the art.  Often times, a piece of art with a single component looks wonderful, but with multiple framing components it looks exquisite. While you could change the frame on your art frequently, most people do not.  Don’t let the investment of quality framing scare you.  If the framing adds to the beauty of the art and you as a result enjoy it for 10, 20 or more years, then your investment per year is minimal.

I like for the color for the matte and fillet to highlight the art.  The color doesn’t necessary have to be stark contrast to enhance the art, often the subtle off-whites can help to light up a piece. I usually start with a color that is an accent in the piece.  Place the mat along side the art and step back.  Sometimes we scrutinize items at nose distance, when that will not be how we enjoy the piece.  So, step back three to four feet to observe the composition of the piece.  Another trick I do is to squint until everything is a haze.  Often times, if the color is wrong, you won’t get the “ahhh” feeling and know to move on.

The last key to framing is the artistic, design component.  The playing with combinations of art, matte color, frame type, color and size is fun – but don’t overwhelm yourself.  It is possible to overthink this decision.  Start with three choices, settle on one that you “lean to”, still unsure, then pull two more options.  Review your choices, often your first decision will be the best.

Want to play with the effects of framing and mattes can have?  I actually love the tool on Art.com, which allows you to play with so many of the elements.  I would remind you that this tool is great for you to understand the effect; but color renditions vary monitor to monitor.

Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is very contemporary or modern.  The ivory frame pulls the foreground of the painting out, creating lightness in the view.
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is still contemporary/modern, but it becomes moody with the grey green matte, notice how the clouds feel stormy?
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
This frame lends itself a bit more transitional, but it also shifts focus on the art to the lower left quadrant of the painting.  To me it has an interesting effect of grounding the piece, while lifting the clouds.
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)

The last frame option creates a more definite bordering of the painting.  The dark brown finish, almost seems to muddy the painting, pulling out all the shadows.

Which one do you like?

October 12, 2009

Art: The Luxury of Personal Expression

Posted in art, Building Your Base, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Uncategorized tagged at 8:44 am by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler
I consider the selection of art to be one of the most personal decisions my clients can make.  Unless my clients are comfortable with making the decisions on which art to invest in, the decision of art can also be one of the most daunting.  But does it really need to be?  I do not believe that it has to be, but you do need to answer a few questions before you meet with a gallery, artist or art representative. There are so many ways you can choose to focus your art collection. 
What style of art are you most drawn to?

In the Park by Pamela Preciado. 9" x 1" Oil on Canvas.  Offered on www.discoveredartist.com

In the Park by Pamela Preciado. 9" x 12" Oil on Canvas. Offered on http://www.discoveredartist.com

  • Traditional
  • Modernist
  • Contemporary
  • Eclectic
What movement are you most drawn to?
  • Flemish
  • Renaissance
  • Impressionist
  • Cubist
  • Abstract
What art medium are you drawn to? 
  • Oil
  • Acrylic
  • Watercolor
  • Metal
  • Multi-medium
  • Stone
  • Bronze
What subject matter are you drawn to?
  • The list here is too long to even begin, but as you may have guessed, if you have an interest in it, there probably is a few artists that produce art in that subject matter.
  • Want to know what I’m drawn to? I love ink, charcoal, oils and bronzes.  Subjects? I love architectural/structural drawings, I love theme and variations, I love art that focuses on the deconstruction and reconstruction, I have a special place for spanish art and I love the quality of light of Flemish.  I love art that I understand the background of the piece, such as the art created as a conversation between Matisse and Picasso.  I do love Picasso, nor could I forget Gaudi.  Sorry spent a summer in Spain and it really influenced my tastes.

    Sagrada Statue by Alan Berkson.  12" x 18" Digital Print on Baryta Coated Paper, offered on www.discoveredartist.com

    Sagrada Statue by Alan Berkson. 12" x 18" Digital Print on Baryta Coated Paper, offered on http://www.discoveredartist.com

Once you’ve made those decisions to focus your interest your designer or dealer can show you a world of choices.  Your relationship with your designer/dealer is a crucial one.  While your artwork can be completed and installed in a matter of months, don’t be afraid to make it a journey.
So where do you go from here?
  1. Start attending art gallery shows in your city, use online resources for directories, Art Dealers Association of America (http://www.artdealers.org/members.location.html), many art galleries and artists have websites, allowing you more closely follow your favorites. One website I have become familiar with is www.discoveredartists.com. I love how simple their navigation is.  As I have mentioned here, you can search by style, subject or medium with so many options, it is mind numbing. Check out their blog http://discoveredartists.wordpress.com/ – they are great at highlighting their artists and the stories behind the art.
  2. Know that there are also art offered at different levels, accommodating almost any budget.  Originals represent the highest quality and are the most likely to improve in value.  Giclees offer more affordability than originals.  They are generally produced in a limited quantity and are typically printed on canvas.  Even within this level of art you will find giclees that have additional touches personally added by the artist, to ones just signed and numbered by the artist, to some with no alterations.  These may also be offered in a variety of sizes, again allowing your more flexibility.
  3. Which ever way you decided to go –  invest in art that speaks to you and represents the best you can afford.

February 27, 2009

The 5 Top Things I Can Do to Improve My House

Posted in art, blinds, clean design, collections, drapery, drapes, light bulbs, mirrors, organization, Painting your Home, Window Coverings at 2:58 pm by luxuryforthehome

Well, this one is easy for me. Mostly because we do this type of work day to day, we know what impact these five things can have on your home. Today, we will keep it to simple, easy things you can do. We will deal with the bigger items on another day.

1. Paint.
Ok, now I have to ask – How long have you been in your home and when was the last time it was painted? More than 3-5 years ago? Well, that’s too long. I have an active family – two little boys, a messy dog, two cats and then there is my husband and I. My boys are the ones that will go out in the yard, with the dog – find the only mud puddle in the back of the yard – jump, stomp and then come into the house to tell me about it…bringing the dog and mud with them. Since we have moved into our home, we have almost painted every room. The main areas which we painted first, only 2-3 years ago already need a new coat. The fact is that paint is the foundation of the your home, so you need to maintain it. That means walls, trim and CEILINGS! Most people paint their homes the basic ceiling white. Oh my, there are so many whites out there. Benjamin Moore Paints (http://www.benjaminmoore.com/) has an entire section devoted to them. Two of my favorites are Lemon Chiffon (OC-109) and Spanish White (OC-35). While they won’t work with every wall color, it is amazing the effect that they have.

2. Window Coverings.
There are so many ways to dress your windows, the combinations can be mind boggling. Simply put – there is an inside mount treatment. This tends to be a shutter, wood blind, woven wood or soft shade product. They all have thier purpose with decoration. The choice will center on your style; traditional, transistional or contemporary, and your privacy needs. They all have thier place. Then there is the outside mount treatment. Ok, if you have painted, but not done your curtains or drapes… guess what is next? Really, this is the difference between living in an apartment and living in a home. Look at these before and after pictures.

3. Change every, single light bulb in your house.

Especially if they are more than six months old. We all probably by our light bulbs (technically lamps) the same way – How long are they going to last and by how efficient they are. While there have been some tremendouse improvements in lighting efficiency, you will still experience dimming. Most bulbs dim over time, and at different rates; causing the overall light brightness to go down. Can’t do every bulb in the house at once? Then go room by room.
4. Change the View.

Most of us hang pictures and then feel committed to the placment of the art or mirror. There is no reason that we can’t switch out like sized arts and mirror to give the room a fresh take.

5. Clean the clutter.

When we do consultations with our clients, I am amazed how often I hear. “Well, I really don’t like that piece, but….” So here is some freedom. If you don’t like it – don’t keep it. Or if you simply must keep it, put it away. We give importance to the accessories in our homes by giving it precious space. Keeping items out that you don’t like, is like filling you home with people you can’t stand. Why waste the space?

Another common occurance is collections. Many people feel compelled to display their collections, both personal and inherited. Put some organization to the collection and edit. Show only the most fabulous pieces, or the ones that mean the most to you. Try not to show everypiece, it is confusing to the eye and doesn’t give the viewer something to focus on. This is a great example from Traditional Home Magazine.