Tag Archives: art


Back in art history class, one of the styles of art that intrigued me most was the Vanitas.

Wow, and yes, I am finally doing a blog post. Ok, so back to it…

Vanitas is a category of symbolic works of art that originated with the still-life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries in the Netherlands. It’s distinction is that it dealt with the brevity of life and paintings including symbols of life and death.

Adriaen_van_Utrecht-_Vanitas_-_Still_Life_with_Bouquet_and_SkullNot that I have a fascination with death, but I do like taxidermy, bones & skeletons, and bizarre found elements. So James Jake and I decided to create a Vanitas style real life-still life for my sideboard. After all, Damien Hirst made skulls cool (and expensive!)Hirst skullImage

The toy gun I found buried in my yard here in Dayton. I wonder about the little kid that played with it. The skull from a walk in the woods while looking for my lost cat. (never found him)  Behind the skull is actually a pig tooth- we lived in England for a couple of years in a barn conversion and I found that buried in the yard as well. It sounds like I like to dig in the dirt… gardening, people! The bird’s nests were all found on the ground. And the old silver platter was a flea market find.

I can try to edit all day long and be one of those minimalist people, but I keep going back to what I love- “more is more” and collections are good. Especially those collections that mean something. Do you have any odd collections?

Controversial Art

“Now this looks like a job for me so everybody just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy,
‘Cause it feels so empty without me”

You hear artists like their work to create emotion, cause the end user to think, and so on. It sure seems true with artists such as Eminem, Damien Hurst, and even Picasso. Let it be know that I do not think of myself as an artist. However, I did intend our DPVA Show House Girl’s Bedroom to tell a story and to entice the viewer to think.

ThisAli Frazieris the source of the controversy.

Yes, I put it in a girl’s room. Well heck, Ali’s own daughter is a successful boxer. But that’s not why we put it there. We wanted the room to tell a story of a strong, independent girl.Daisies and boxers

Who still had a very feminine side. There are those of us who exist, you know.

The opposite side of the room featured a beautiful, yet non traditional floral print. And we had soft pink accents throughout.

Floral printShow Houses are supposed to let designers push the limits of their own creativity.

Still, we heard plenty of opinions. Some downright rude.

And then there were those few who got it. Immediately smiled upon entering the room, because this photograph was about the first thing you saw. They got the small touches- the Katherine Hepburn book discretely placed on the coffee table, the worn ballet pointe shoes hanging on the closet door. And I whole heartedly thank you for letting us know- your emails and texts meant so much to me and Sarah. Concept statement

So, I’m sorry if you were one of the ones who “didn’t get it”; wondered why our girl’s room wasn’t pink; was shocked by the “violent and sexist” photograph.

Or maybe I’m not.

Because you know what? This was my favorite thing in the space.

Some Of My Favorite Artists

Happy Monday everyone! I thought I might send you off on a good start to your week with a peek at some fantastic art.


This, my loves, is the work of Dolan Geiman. Dolan is a mixed media artist who draws inspiration from nature and americana. He reuses found materials in many of his pieces. I love following along on his Instagram to see what he is currently working on.  If you are lucky to hit any of the artisan fairs he attends, you can shop in person. Dolan also does commission work for both residential and commercial clients.Great_Plains_Collection_White_Stag_No

His “taxidermy” is awesome!  And before I even knew about Dolan, I had discovered a favorite place in Chicago, Rockit Bar & Grill, completely digging on the interior as well as the burgers. Well, lo and behold the artist was, guess who?

Next on my list of inspiring artists is Jenny Andrews Anderson. I tend to be attracted to art that exudes the personality of the artist and I get that with Jenny. Just check out her blogJAA-High-Plains-DrifterThe. most. lovely. abstracts. JAA-Jelly-Fish copy

And her jellyfish series is genius. For those of you who think anyone can paint an abstract- try it. I’ll just say its a gift. Jenny also does commissions; make sure you stop by her Tumblr and take a look at this one she did for Tommy Hilfiger in NY.

Along the lines of artists with personalities that scream through their work is Ashley Longshore, a pop artist based in New Orleans. Following Ashley is not for the faint of heart- she puts it all out there, profanity and all. But ohhhh, what a joy.Bottle-Fed-ALOn my wish list is to commission her to do a portrait of me.


She does a wonderfully fun series of Audrey Hepburn paintings. Audrey with random things about her- like maybe a giant goldfish swimming about, or a snow globe coming out of her head. Seriously, check her out.

Lastly I’d like to share the work of Harding Meyer with you.  Brazilian born, but now living in Germany, this artist is known for large scale portraits with a watery quality about them.Harding-Meyer

The eyes; oh how the eyes draw you in. harding-meyer-ohne-titel-(18-2013)

If you scroll back through his Tumblr you’ll get to see video of him painting. There is some time lapse there also; it is so intriguing to see his technique.

The world of art is amazing, isn’t it? I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to some of the coolest art I’ve seen out there. I intend to follow up with a post on some local Dayton artists I love (support your local artisans!) Feel free to share some talent here in the comments with me- I’d love to discover the artists you admire.

High Point Wrap Up

Wow, where does the time go? We’ve been so busy here at Vintage Scout, that it’s been almost a month already since we attended the High Point Furniture Market. Sarah and I came back inspired by all the wonderful new things we saw. Let me share a little of it with you.Bowl

Brass is back whether you want to believe it or not. I love it! It’s not the tacky brass you’re remembering from cheap hardware and light fixtures. Lee_Dining_Chair

The details on this Lee dining chair are fabulous.Lee-Stools

And these fur & lucite stools? GAH!!!!!!Loop-Stools

More stool cuteness.Mitchell-Black

I fell in love with Mitchell Black and their modern way of displaying art. Stanley

Stanley’s new collection inspired by midcentury modern is fantastic! You’ll see brass again here in the desk base.Vanguard-Stool

It was our first time visiting the Vanguard showroom and we were not disappointed.Wearstler-Vis-Comf

If you follow along on Instagram you saw we met Kelly Wearstler. She was at market promoting her new line of lighting and it is amazing! It will be available next summer, and yes, you see brass again.

There was so much more! I always feel like attending market is so important as a designer. It keeps our interiors fresh and evolving. It is motivating and inspiring. It is so important to know what resources are available as each client’s style and taste is different. If you’d like to update your space with the newest and coolest, give us a call- we’d love in inject your home with some of what we saw and experienced.

The Detroit Institute of Arts

Three Fridays ago I took the day off, took too long to pack as usual, and hit I-75 North. Yes, you read that correctly- north. Seems like most road trips of mine involve 75 southbound, but for some reason, two girlfriends of mine talked me into something different. Over Facebook and a couple glasses of wine, three high school friends decided to road trip to Detroit, Michigan to see Cher in concert. We had the whole weekend and luckily my friends are adventurous like me, so that’s how I ended up at The Detroit Institute of Arts.

Did you know this Detroit museum has one of the top six collections in the country? I didn’t, but think about all the old automotive money in that town and it starts to make sense. It was a truly diverse collection of just about everything from old masters to contemporary. I was really impressed.

I highly recommend a trip to this world class treasure in of all places Detroit, before it might be too late. Have you heard the rumors this collection or at least part of it may be auctioned off to save the city from bankruptcy? I’m not even going to get on my soap box here, but if Detroit is a dying city, you might as well stick a fork in it if they lose their museum. It would be such a shame to have these incredible works more than likely go to private collectors where they would never be seen by the public again. I hope they find a way to avoid selling these pieces.

And in case you were wondering, Cher was great in concert. Her opening act was Pat Benetar- bonus! Both ladies sounded great and put on awesome shows. Cheers to my fun girlfriends and to our next out-of-the-ordinary weekend!

Let’s Talk Turkey

If I mention Turkey art, is this what pops into your mind?

Well, think again. There is some fine art out there featuring what we normally think of as our Thanksgiving meal.Monet’s beautiful work, The Turkeys, Chateau Rottembourg, Montgeron

Wenzal’s Portrait of a Turkey. A very handsome gentleman, wouldn’t you say?

Audubon is a classic when it comes to artwork featuring wild birds. Or perhaps something a little out of the ordinary. Etsy is a favorite source of mine for art. This illustration is by The North Country Girl

Would you hang turkey art in your home?

I wish you all a wonderful family filled Thanksgiving

Think Pink

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since High Point market and I haven’t even filled you in on what I took away as incoming trends. The consensus among designers was that it was a really good market. I think the reason is that there was color, color, and more color! After several seasons of “gray being the new black”, I know I for one, am excited to see some bright yet approachable colors in the next few seasons. The color that really stood out for me in all elements was PINK.

Pillows, walls, rugs, lighting, accessories, artwork and more!

So what are your thoughts on pink? Would you go for a pink wall covering in a room other than a girls’ room? I think pink can be very sophisticated and flattering when the right tone is used and in the right context. If you think you want to go pink, give me a call. I’d love to find the right place for it in your home.

Traditional Kettering Home

I hope you have seen the special publication of Romantic Home Magazine called Bedrooms and Baths that features a bathroom renovation by Vintage Scout Interiors. We were so fortunate to work with that homeowner on most of the rest of her home as well.

Today we thought we’d share the living/dining space with you.

The client had wonderful things to work with. We worked with the existing draperies, but lightened up the living space with a warm gray color. The only new furniture we had to purchase was a linen sofa and leather ottoman.

The large open living space with high ceilings proved to be a challenge when arranging furniture. We created two separate seating areas.The client already had the beautiful rosewood dining set. We freshened it with new cushions and added a modern crystal table lamp to complement the amazing Waterford chandy.

Stay tuned for more from this beautiful home including a white kitchen to-die-for! For more information on Vintage Scout and our services email us at info@vintagescout.com

A Pallet, One Glove, & Our Vision

Debbie’s take – It all started with a wall that was begging for just a little bit more.  And a landscape delivery.  The boys were going to haul the pallet away, but master photographer, Tricia had a different plan; a vision to take it far beyond its utilitarian means and turn it into a work of ART!

Tricia’s take – Little did ROCKSTAR designer, Debbie Basnett realize that my vision would require her to discover and rely on her inner handyman?  Let there be no denying that there were moments of doubt when her talents couldn’t bail her out of her own panic once the drill bit was stuck in the pallet wood.

Debbie’s take – I WAS NOT GIVING UP…Tricia called her OWN handyman, and I resorted to GOOGLING “how to change a RYOBI drill bit”…neither helped, so last resort, 911 call to my own MacGyver hubby.  I have absolutely no idea what he said, but the only thing I heard was “WEAR THE GLOVE”…OMG, IT WORKED!!!

 Our Dream – BUCKLE UP, Pinterest…there’s NO stopping us now!

St. Lucia’s Day

Happy St. Lucia’s Day everyone!

You all know Dana and I are proud Scandinavian Americans and in honor of our heritage, we thought we’d share the the history behind the celebration with you.

St. Lucy or Lucia is the patron saint of the blind. The story goes that her dying mother was healed and Lucy was so thankful that she devoted her life to helping the poor and was martyred during the Christian persecution.There’s also no insignificance that the name Lucia means light- winter nights are long in Sweden. The holiday is celebrated on December 13th and tradition has it that the eldest daughter in the family would don a crown of candles and a white gown and bring coffee and buns to her parents in bed.

Being the oldest child, I always had delusional dreams of being the St. Lucia in my family. However, of all the Swedish things I was exposed to, a traditional St. Lucia celebration was never one of them. So I guess I shall be left with my fantasy and instead appease myself and you all with some inspirational images of what I like to call “Scandi Chic”. Good lead in, huh?

Pinned Image

I love this reindeer by artist Lisa Congdon. I found it on etsy here.

Taxidermy and a chandelier- what’s not to love? Source: 1kindesign.com via Debbie on Pinterest

Does it get any more Scandinavian than Ikea and Marimekko?

Enjoy your St. Lucia day! If you need help creating your own Scandinavian chic interiors, contact us at Vintage Scout Interiors info@vintagescout.com

It’s Just Paint

“It’s just paint.” Yep, if you’re a client of mine, you’ve heard me say that before. Well I just saw a project by Nicole Cohen of the Sketch42 Blog that drives this phrase home. I’ve got to share it with you.

She painted those Keith Haring-esque walls herself.In her blog about the project, she mentions her back up plan was to paint the walls black if the design went awry. She created this space for a bachelor client and all I can say is WOW! I love the West Elm chandelier she placed over the classic tulip table. I absolutely can’t wait to see the rest of the living room when she finishes that.

In the words of Goose “Gutsiest move I ever saw.” After all… it’s just paint.

If you feel like getting creative but need the nudge or the advice on pulling it all together, drop us a line or give a call; we’d love to work with you.

Let’s Go On An Art Hop, Shall We?

I am super excited; I got a painting for my birthday that I had seen a month or so ago and couldn’t stop thinking about. Most of the others who were with me when we first saw the painting thought the work was a bit “dark”. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A young local artist by the name of Ben Norton created something very intriguing to me. It wasn’t unreasonably priced (one of the benis of scouting out new local artists), so when the fam asked me what I might like for my birthday, I just threw it out there. Fast forward to today, and I am taking my baby to the framers!
Blog world, this is Brigette. Brigette, these are my friends.
This led me to consider a designer’s take on art. I have many clients who ask me to select art for them. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. Art to me is personal and I feel a tremendous pressure to find something they’ll love. It’s almost like a test: how well do you know your client. With that said, here are some Vintage Scout thoughts on selecting art for your home.


Collect art that speaks to you. It can commemorate a special trip or event. It can remind you of someone or trigger a fond memory. You can even select art that evokes a mood that you want to create in a space.

Art doesn’t have to be expensive, but buy the best you can afford. You don’t have to rich to collect art. Case in point: Herb & Dorothy Vogel. He was a mailman and she was a librarian. They collected all different kinds of contemporary art and eventually amassed one of the world’s most prized collections.

Local artists are a great source for reasonably priced art. The art community here in Dayton sponsors a “First Friday” every month where galleries stay open late and create a fun social atmosphere. It was at one of these events I found my treasure. If you don’t live close to events like these, many independent artists sell their work on Etsy. I can spend hours browsing that site for art.

Art doesn’t have to be art in the traditional sense. Vintage maps, signs, and posters can be great focal points. I have a vintage German anatomy chart hanging in my living room. Most common comment: “That’s cool.” Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to mix mediums and styles of art.
Old School Map available for sale at Vintage Scout Interiors.

Framing is important when it comes to art. Sometimes the right frame is no frame; but when it’s not, once again remember the rule, “buy the best you can afford”. Archival framing from a shop that knows what they’re doing is important. Selecting the right frame and mat is tough. Do you match the art or the room? Neutral mats tend to work best in most spaces and complement the art without overpowering it. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, so don’t walk into the framing shop claiming, “But Debbie said…” And what can I say about frame selection? I have been known to spend lots of time making sure I have the perfect frame. (my friends at Centerville Framing can attest to this.) This is definitely an area that your designer can help you with, because you have already done the important work yourself- choosing the art. Now that you’ve gotten to this point, it’s time to hang your art. What? Another decision? Hanging your art improperly can negate all the work you’ve done if it goes awry. Sorry to tell you there is no magic formula for how high to hang a piece. Also make sure to consider the association with other things hanging in the room. It’s OK to admit you’ve made a mistake and move your painting. It’s just a nail hole; that’s why they make spackle and you have leftover paint. Still scared to commit? Lucky for people like you, sometimes leaning and layering pieces is just the right answer, especially on a mantle or above a sideboard; but don’t be afraid of just leaning a piece on the floor. Mirrors are great incorporated into groupings like this. Just make sure whatever you lean is secure. Finally, when in doubt, hire a professional. Remember when I confessed selecting art for clients is not my favorite thing to do? Well, there’s a disclaimer to that. I love shopping along with my clients for art. It’s the perfect combination- I can advise them on the design elements of how the piece will work in their home and they can select what they love. I can handle the framing and hanging of the piece. That kind of team work turns out an amazing room.

Now, armed with the knowledge of the Scouts- go, foray into the world of art shopping. Good luck and most importantly, have fun. Report back to us and let us know what you find. Have you ever hung anything really out of the ordinary? Intriguing minds want to know…