Art In The House

Yesterday, I spent the entire day in Atlanta. Living in the burbs has changed my driving significantly, I cruise at my leisure on some of the back country roads getting a taste of good ole Americana. After all what’s the hurry? So when I made the jaunt into the big city, my Sunday driving wasn’t appreciated by the hordes of speeding drivers ready to rear end me if I didn’t pick up the pace. Truth be told I have been known to have a lead foot, and I had to turn up the Turbo yesterday. That’s right my car has Turbo, and I can pick up the pace with the finesse of an Indy 500 driver. But, I prefer to drive at a leisurely clip, which is why one of my friends calls me a “Sunday driver…seven days a week.” Why was I in Atlanta? To pick out artwork for a few projects I’m working on with my “Brand Partners.” So I met with a few “up and comers in the art world,” and while I can appreciate all genres of art, I also see trends emerging in art that have me balking at spending several thousand dollars of my brand budget on art that will be passe in a year. Sadly, I saw some of my favorite artists go down the road of trendy art. I say to my followers, buy what you love.. all day long. When you invest in trendy art, that’s all you’ll ever have. When you go to sell it, it will be for pennies on the dollar. For years I have invested in art, Mr. B. believes in the stock market, I invest in art. I have a Chagall, Franklin VanCourt, some lesser but certainly as talented artists like Sarah Justice and Ambera out of Canada. The Chagall is not my favourite, but it came up at auction and a friend raised my hand with the words “You’ll thank me later.” I’ll never thank her. We don’t even hang it on the wall anymore; it’s that much of an eyesore. If you read my blog, I only talk about trends if they will outlive themselves. In other words, the ones that will be around for a very long time, and have a certain timeless quality.

After yesterday, I decided to start framing my daughters colorings after seeing a series done with crayons. The gallery I visited has had the art in-house for four years, at over $1500- for each 12″x12″ piece, it became passe before the crayons were dry. Over priced “trend art” is flooding the market.

As with anything in design, a $400. art bowl for example that is massed produced and marked-up is not a good investment, I know because every year we have a garage sale and I have had to sell “client mistakes” for significantly less than I paid for them. No one sees the value in overpriced merchandise. Even if you can’t afford to buy investment pieces there are a lot of sites and artists whose work are affordable, and something that you can live with for many, many years (unless you are a serious art collector). So if I can impart any wisdom today, buy what you love (just don’t break the bank over it).

Here are some pieces from Casa B. that I’m sharing to show that you can truly mix art and incorporate it successfully into your home…and enjoy what you buy for years.

1. Buy “street art,” I have and do. From Venice, Italy to Venice Beach California, I buy pieces from street artists, frame them and hang them around the house. They are meaningful and inexpensive (mostly).

2. Frame the artwork done by your children…and friends. Some of my favorite pieces were drawn or painted by my daughter and a few friends.

3. I love old school posters; I have one from Germany, and it hangs in the family room. (Thought I would show it off)…

4. Buy what you love, and speaks to you. If you buy trendy art, love it.

5. Buy and support local artists. A former client and her family lived in Singapore for years, and she had a substantial collection of carefully curated local art. A few pieces drove the entire colour palettes for some of the rooms. I also have a few pieces that I purchased from local artists.

6. Go black and white. There are a lot of photographers whose works are “wall-worthy,” and can be purchased at a reasonable price.


1. Some examples of the “street art,” I’ve purchased, someday I’ll frame the rest of the collection and it will fill up this wall.


2. A meaningful mix-Artwork drawn and painted by my daughter, and a favourite sketch drawn by a close friend one night while we were sipping wine and reminiscing. Yes, that is a photo-bombing Zebra…


3. If it hangs on the wall, then it’s art. I love this old school poster of a jaguar which works well in our “jungle chic” room. The entire room theme was driven by a John Robshaw pillow I bought at ABC Carpet in NYC.


4. Buy meaningful pieces-this is one of our most favourite pieces painted by Sarah Justice. I purchased it for Mr. B. when I worked at an Art Gallery and Design Studio in Atlanta.


5. Photo/Christina Wedge-My former client collected art from local artists when they lived in Singapore. Buy local and support artist communities…


6. Invest in B&W photos…one of my favorite ways to fill up bookshelves…

I’ll show you next week, what piece I decided on…

Until then…


♠♠♠ Now one more thing….as many of you know, I put my career as a designer on hold to blog & write full-time. So to be recognized for what you do is humbling. For the 3rd year, I’ve been chosen as a finalist for “The Hall of Fame Awards” at the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta. I have always been up against some truly talented Bloggers and that alone has been an incredible honour. So this is where my followers & supporters can help, this year we have been nominated in two categories-“Best Overall Design Blog” and “Best Writing On A Design Blog.” But, I need your votes! Here is the link where you can cast your vote for “The Ace of Space.”  Thanks to all for your incredible support -Vicki ♠♠♠

Also follow us on social media to find out all the latest buzz…

Objects of Desire :: 1| 27 |15

Yesterday it was “Madhouse Monday,” at least that’s what I called it. Corky “The Wallpaper Hanger” worked all day on “Project :: Masterbath” hanging my Fornesetti wallpaper in Aquario.  It’s finally happening, and frankly it’s been about three years since I first spied the Cole & Sons wallpaper gracing the walls of the Kips Bay Showhouse in NYC. Now it’s going up in Casa B. in time for our big reveal next week on One Kings Lane. I’m so excited to see it on the walls that I might be speechless for the remainder of the day. One of my readers asked me last week if they missed the final post about “Project :: Masterbath,” and actually you didn’t. We had some stops and starts and some unexpected challenges, so look for the BIG REVEAL on February 6th for Taylor Burke Home’s #styleitchallenge. We’ll also showcase all the fabulous product provided by Kohler in more detail next week.  It’s all about Project :: Masterbath.  So look for daily updates on Instagram We are finally in the home stretch and as I told Mr. B last night, I am bubbling over (pop open the Champs!) that it all came together. It’s truly a labour of love. Next week I’ll be going through serious design withdrawal when the flurry of activity comes to an abrupt end. Then the crews are gone, and I have no one to share a cup of coffee with in the morning (and maybe an occasional donut). What’s up next? It’s going to be the master-bedroom… (fabrics and furniture). More about that later.

Starting today we are going to do a weekly round up of our favorite design elements, and it’s going to be called “Objects of Desire.” It’s purely about design, no favorite shoes or perfume in the mix (which could possibly fill up pages). We will always be a Design & Entertaining Blog. It’s scheduled for every Tuesday, we decided to switch it up a little from “An Ace Up My Sleeve.” There are so many innovative products, it would be a shame not to share what I find with my readers. Our goal is to always inspire others to create beauty in their home, and my files are so full of wonderful things that deserve a mention or a design blog “shout out.”


“The Ace of Space’s” Objects of Desire

1. Walker Zanger Tile :: During KBIS15 the leader in luxury tile came out with some stunning new

2. Who doesn’t need a dose of Jonathan Adler’s “happy”? Formica just introduced another way to bring Jonathan into your home with the Jonathan Adler Collection, it features 9 chic designs in 3 patterns. Perfect for countertops, accent walls or cabinets,

3. The Bell Light from Avenue Road, designed by Sebastian Herkner. With an array of sockets and shades to choose from this pendant provides a subtle modern edge.

4. I absolutely love the Bell Table from Avenue Road, available in a myriad of colors this table adds a modern element to any space

5. These Infused Veneer Panels from B & N Industries are not only eye-catching, but offer a unique and impactful solution to more traditional wall-coverings. Imaginary graphics are infused onto various wood-species veneers

6. I have a pet-peeve which is toilet paper covers, this option is stylish and functional. The Helsinki Euro Toilet Paper Holder from (Yes, I ordered several for our house).

7. The market is flooded with simple stainless steel pulls and knobs for the kitchen. The Richelieu Collection introduced a more contemporary offering with these matte black pulls

8. Unique bathroom shelving is hard to find, so when I spotted this polished chisel edged marble shelf I ordered one before they go out of stock.

Those are some of my fabulous picks for the week.

♠♠♠ Also don’t forget to cast your vote for our Blog. We are a finalist in two categories at the Design Bloggers Conference for Best Overall Design Blog & Best Writing On A Design Blog.  A million thanks to all those who support me and follow the blog. We need your votes to be an Inductee. You can click on the link and vote here:   ♠♠♠


Until next time,


You can also follow the buzz on Social Media here::

The Details :: Bookmatched Stone

Rewind to last week and I have a former client on the phone who is begging me to go to the stone yard with her. With a full schedule that only allowed for an occasional trip to refresh my coffee, I told her “I’m not taking on clients right now.” Her reply “Pleazzzzzz….I’ll even throw in a weekend at our beach house in Seaside.” Okay…I’m not that busy. So off we went in her brand new Porsche Panamera. By the time I shut the door, my mood had improved significantly, and when she handed me a gift bag with a Tory Burch logo on the front, I decided that I would spend as much time looking for marble as she needed. My former client has impeccable taste and would have made the perfect choice without my help, but as we all know it’s hard to make decisions without a second opinion. Plus she came bearing gifts.

I was feeling generous with my time, and this unexpected jaunt was turning out surprisingly in my favour. Making it a very good day for “The Ace of Space.” A few years ago I tried to talk her into using bookmatched marble in her kitchen. It was expensive, gorgeous and would have been perfect on a back-wall. They could afford it, but her husband decided they needed a boat more…which again worked in my favor considering I was invited onboard for quite a few sunset cruises. Even though it didn’t end up in her kitchen, she still dreams of it gracing the walls of at least one room in her Chateau (yes it’s a house that has a name, it’s that big-unlike Casa B.)

Bookmatched stone is something that we’ve seen trending over the past few years, but I think it’s a timeless look that will be around for a very long time. Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you are more than likely familiar with the look. It’s dramatic without being overwhelming. The fluidity of pattern gives one the same visual sensation you may have when watching clouds drift by. It’s full of movement and striking vein patterns, even an occasional figure (think angels or birds with large wingspans). Although, I think I’ve seen more interesting objects in the bookmatched pieces…even without a glass of wine. It’s unrivaled beauty makes it popular in the upscale market. The cost is driven by the manufacturing process, taking me years to find the precise words to explain it to other people. So in simple terms it’s when slabs are next to each other but have been polished on opposite sides. When these slabs are placed side-by-side (the polished sides), they will be the mirror image of each other—the veining is usually matched by the fabricator creating one unbroken pattern. So there you have it.

The first picture is what we chose, but the others are some very fine examples of bookmatched by some of my favorite designers.


This is the one….although I think I see a spaceship…my client saw a cat’s head. It’s all subjective…


Designer/ Oliver Burns

This is all the artwork this room needs…slabs of bookmatched marble…


 Via Architectural Digest

This has always been one of my favorite examples of bookmatching…stunning.


Architect/Lee F. Mindel- Photographer/ Joshua McHugh

The angles, the beauty of this bathroom….


 Designer/Beth Webb

One of Atlanta’s own. Beth Webb is one of the most gracious and talented designers that I have had the honour of meeting. This kitchen is one of my favorites…


Designer/ Morgan K. Ofron

There aren’t any words to describe the beauty of this wall…


 Designer/ Croma Design

This is the home of Style At Home’s, Editor-In-Chief, Erin McLaughlin. The bookmatched stone on the fireplace is both understated and dramatic…


 Designer/ Lenny Kravitz

 Did you know that Musician-Lenny Kravitz has his own design firm? It’s obvious from that this man is multi-talented.


 Credit/The Hotel Viceroy, Anguilla

I’m not sure that I would go to the beach if I could look at this bookmatched stone all day…


via The Viceroy Hotel New York

If you are in New York this is a must see, although staying in this fabulous hotel is worth every pampered moment, and I have always been in love with the book-matched marble wall…


via design files

Technically this isn’t bookmatched, but I love the strategic placement of the mirror that actually fools the eye into thinking it is…


♠♠♠ Now one more thing….as many of you know, I put my career as a designer on hold to blog & write full-time, I travel, I interview industry movers & shakers, and attend industry events across the globe. So to be recognized for what you do is humbling. For the 3rd year, I’ve been chosen as a finalist for “The Hall of Fame Awards” at the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta. I have always been up against some truly talented Bloggers and that alone has been an incredible honour. So this is where my followers & supporters can help, this year we have been nominated in two categories-“Best Overall Design Blog” and “Best Writing On A Design Blog.” But, I need your votes! Here is the link where you can cast your vote for “The Ace of Space.”  Thanks to all for your incredible support -Vicki ♠♠♠

Also follow us on social media to find out all the latest buzz…

Until next time,