Interior design is defined by the details. Sure, the sofa, paint color and lighting are all very important aspects of a room, but what about the features that bring character and personality to a space? These details are often overlooked as an afterthought, particularly art. Like a statement necklace is the finishing touch to your outfit, artwork is to your lonely walls. In my 4 part series, “The Importance of Art in Interior Design,” I will speak the praise of how important it is to own real art in your home, and how we can all support small art businesses. I will talk all things art and home with a fiber artist who built her business organically on instagram, a contemporary, thought provoking painter, a photographer who got attention from Barilla Pasta via social media, and a start up paint-by-numbers company putting a modern flair on DIY art.

Art has always been a huge part of my life. My mother was an amateur artist herself and supported me in letting creativity drive my life. After years of art lessons and one great high school art teacher, I found that interior design was the niche in the art world that I would have a life-long love affair with. I’ve become a bit of an art history buff as I’ve gotten older, visiting art museums in every place that I travel to and frequenting art shows like the Frieze Art Festival. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet been in the budget to buy a 100 million dollar Andy Warhol, so I just brushed it off as I’d never own authentic art and be doomed to hang number 98,873 of 1,000,000 abstract canvas from Home Goods. But, authentic and affordable art is out there, we just need to learn where to find it! 

Enter Lauren Williams. Like us fellow home art seekers, Lauren wanted an alternative to the standard canvas art, when she made her first fiber art tapestry for her own home. Always having an interest in art and design, Lauren was an event production designer, designing red carpet events and green rooms. After meeting her husband, they decided to leave LA for Dallas to open a yoga and spin studio and rented various homes for the first few years they resided in Texas. “One specific rental home had a dining room with a wall that was begging for a large piece of art,” Lauren states. “Unfortunately my budget for art and my taste for art did not align, so I took it upon myself to create something for the space. This is where the world of creating and selling artwork began for me.”

Little did she know she was onto something big! After posting her first piece on Instagram and saying it was “by an up-and-coming artist,” Lauren’s inbox was filled with people inquiring about this hot new artist. Once, they found out she was the artist, she started taking friend and family requests and before she knew it, people from all over were commissioning art from her. Lauren Williams Art was born! 

As an online interior designer, I am no stranger to what it means to build a business on social media. It’s a lot of hard work! On top of producing her art, she has to manage her instagram, build and retain a following and maintain a “brand”. But, Lauren doesn’t let that overwhelm her. “I love the opportunity social media has provided me to work from home, support my family, do direct sales with art buyers on my own terms and grow a community of artists, art lovers, interior designers, and design lovers who are able to give me immediate feedback on my artwork,” Lauren gushed. Through social media Lauren has been able to explain her inspiration behind her art and showcase each new piece, proving that gone are the days of having to frequent galleries to find the latest and greatest artist in the world. 

Keeping the cause of sustainability near and dear to her heart and offering only the highest of quality materials, Lauren is proud of say that she uses 100% natural wool materials, sourced from an animal friendly, Eco-responsible Wyoming based ranch. The wool in her fiber art is spun specifically for her, adding even more to the notion that each piece is unique and custom.

Peeping at Lauren Williams Art’s instagram account brings even more beauty than just her artwork. Her studio is a design lover’s dream. “Art is everywhere that we choose to see it,” Lauren exclaims. The studio is nothing more than a cement floor and drywall, but taking a moment after a hard day’s work, she is inspired by all that’s around her. “The texture, grit, drops, layers, shapes and colors that spill onto my floor and splash onto my walls bring me so much inspiration, and I continue to stare at every inch of it throughout my day. Even when it’s a struggle some days to create in my garage studio, I’m thankful that art continues to find me. And push me. Inspire me. Excite me!” Just like Lauren’s studio (which happens to be in her home), our home should always continue to be a source of joy and inspiration. It’s where we enjoy the company of family and friends, have good times, and bad and should be a reflection of who we are – with items that tell our story, and nothing tells a story like art! 

Inspired by a large blank wall the was begging for unique art in one of her rentals, is what sparked her movement, so when asked what style of interior she sees her artwork hanging in, Lauren simply replied “For me artwork can transcend all interior design styles. I see art as a direct connection with the person more so than the space. However interior design is an art form all on its own. I’ve seen my art hanging in a variety of design styles and have yet to find a space where it doesn’t work well… but hey I’m the artist so I’m personally biased!” 

Conquering “Canvas with Movement,” Lauren has expanded to home furnishings including, pillows, throws and candles. Afraid that people wouldn’t understand her vision, she started staging vignettes in her own home, and again, the questions starting pouring in asking where the accessories and pieces were from. That’s when her next project begun – home decor. 

So what is Lauren’s advice when it comes to choosing artwork for your home? “Go with a piece that makes you feel something. Each room has its own story and the art you choose continues the narrative. Find the feeling in a piece of art that triggers you and creates a spark of emotion that you can hold on to every time you see it.” She found velvets and trims that played well with the textures, look and feel of her art, making it easier for people to see and use her art in a home setting having “the artists vision of accessories that work well to allow the art to “come off the wall” with pillows and throws that perfectly coordinate.” 

As we continue into 2020 Lauren forecasts that art will start trending towards more sculptural elements. We see this a lot in furniture right now with bold shapes. “I love this look of bold elements in a space, but not so sure it always lends itself to being the most comfortable space to live life in. That’s the balance in art and design I think… not going too far away from the ultimate point of the design, which is to live in it.” 

Interested in Lauren’s work? Contact me to design a room with Lauren’s amazing artwork as inspiration.

Ashley Berdan | Owner, Ashley Berdan Design
B.F.A in Interior Design from Berkeley College, ASID Allied

Combining a passion for styling and a formal training in interior design, Ashley is a unique and innovative designer. Years spent working in various award wining design and design-build firms in Northern New Jersey, Ashley has developed her own design persona and unique approach at producing the most functional and aesthetic spaces. Focusing on contemporary, modern designs, Ashley enjoys the clean lines of mid-century modern, the minimalism of Scandinavian design and incorporates a touch of luxe into her designs with rich textures and bold colors. From volunteering to design an office for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s New Jersey and Rockland County Chapter office, to helping launch Nordstrom’s first Design Pop-Up Shop with a popular e-design firm, this multi-faceted designer can take on any task, including virtual interior design. Ashley is as active member of the American Society of Interior Designers and and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Berkeley College, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Ashley resides in Wanaque, NJ with her better half Ryan and rescue dog, Maple.

Learn more about working with Ashley Berdan of Ashley Berdan Design through her eDesign Tribe Featured member profile!

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