An artists resides in all of us…Long Live Rembrandt according to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Imagine…seeing your art hung at one of the most prestigious museums in the world! I was pleasantly surprised when I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to see the “Long Live Rembrandt” Show.

Not realizing that the show was a juried exhibition of 575 people who told stories about their relationship to Rembrandt and his art. Each contributor has his or her own view of the great master. Many painters feature Rembrandt as the main character in their narrative while others have shown him with other icons.

More than 8500 people from 95 countries sent in their work of art, young and old, professional and amateur! Side by side, these generations of artists pay tribute to Rembrandt. The youngest artist is three while the oldest artist is in her nineties.

What an awesome way to bring a bit of Rembrandt into all of our lives, the people looking at this unique collection to the 8500 participants that felt compelled to enter their work that was inspired by the greatest Dutch artist of all time.

Below are just a few pieces from the “Long Live Rembrandt” exhibition, showcasing various techniques from painting, torn paper, fabric manipulation, plaster and sculpture.

To quote Pieter Roelofs, chairman of the jury and head of the Rijksmuseum’s painting and sculpture department, “In Long Live Rembrandt we see the master through the eyes of the makers. The exhibition is not only about Rembrandt, but also about ourselves.”

Inspired!!!!!

I am going to get in touch with my Rembrandt in hopes that one day my artwork will inspire others like I was inspired by this creative and collaborative exhibition.

Lots of color, a bit of artistic chaos and a whole lot of creativity.

Leaving Amsterdam and heading to Paris hoping to seek out more creativity in the art world.

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The Balance Of Black and White in Interiors-Paris

As we see certain trends in color this season we are also experiencing graphic great trends in black and white that have been consistent with previous years statistics. This classic and sophisticated style adds dimension and drama to any interior space.

A favorite find at Pinto Paris today is this white chair accented with black piping and black metal arm detailing with accents of cork.Black based cocktail tables with marble tops by Sarah Lavoine Interiors. Importance here is the varied heights in the collection of tables that work as one style statement.

Textural black and white textiles at LE BVH in the Marais. It’s truly about the dimensional aspect of the weave this season in creating these updated graphic patterns.

Terrazzo Containers at LE BVH [trend watch 2018-19 products made with terrazzo]

Textured bathroom tile slabs in an updated chevron pattern in black, white , gray and taupe.

Retail Redo Overseas in Paris and London

Why is it that you can go into any store anywhere in the world and find duplication in products. What happened to originality, newness and craftsmanship justifying an original idea at retail. Lifestyle trends translate down from macro trends so interpretation should be varied and unique, right? Well that theory was lost along the way and in order for brick and mortar to survive at any level, we need to bring back the newness which is lacking! We all need to take the blame, move on and make it right again.

Just returning from overseas this week I unfortunately had the same experience..do not get me wrong, walking the streets of Paris and London were awesome and the food incredible, that might be why many of my photos were food or street trends because they were inspiring in color, texture and dimension.

Walking into Conran’s both in Paris and London as well as Harvey Nichols, Miss Selfridges and sadly John Lewis…it was a wall of sameness.

Plant Wall ✅

Global Artisan Baskets ✅

Cute Cafe✅

Appliances in red, white and blank✅

Enlarged Candle Areas✅

Smaller Furniture Space✅

Growing up in a retail centric family, my parents were both retailers, stores looked unique. Produce space was allocated more towards the personality of the store, window displays were original and technology was pretty much non-existent…which is why I feel products had personality. No one needed to compare every little detail and stores were not all things to all people…I do not remember walking into a department store to buy ketchup?

Hoping we will see change in the coming year in retail, both on-line and at brick and mortar stores.

Take Merci in Paris, I know, I know it’s a “weird concept store”, my favorite for that very reason because it allows you to look at products in a more creative and non-conforming way! Yeah!! Oh and did I mention the line to buy items was literally out the door…guess you get my point…originally needs to return to retail!

Sharing some images that were unique in some form, either color, retail setting or just plain FUN!

Merci, Paris

Food Fav’s

Bold Color And Product Finishes.

I took 2K pictures last week so I will be posting many of them throughout the month of February. Published articles can be found at http://www.designworksintl.com under press or on my personal website http://www.nancyfire.com


Textile Treasures at ‘Paris Deco Off’

What better way to add color and style to a rainy, cold and grey day in Paris…by visiting Deco Off, an international textile event that takes place once a year in the interior design district on the left bank of Paris.

Global, Graphic and Tropical inspired patterns were among the most popular in many of the textile showrooms. Most featured embroidered accents, appliqués and textured printing techniques.

More information regarding Paris Deco Off can be found at http://www.paris-deco-off.com/

KBIS Creativity

Fun filled day at the Kitchen and Bath Show at the Convention Center in Orlando. Creative home products that embrace new style, substrate and design produced by a multitude of amazing manufacturers and designers.

Ann Sachs “Green With Envy” at Koehler.

Bertazzoni Red Stove

Build A Hood

Matte Black at Wilsonart

Thermador Freedom Kitchen

Zac Posen For Momogram

Mixed Metals at Delta Faucets

Koehler Minimalist Sink

Creative Color Lisbon Style

So this happened…a few days ago I was in a city that inspired me on so many levels…Lisbon.

First let’s start with the obvious..it’s natural color, Terra-cotta from the intricate tiled rooftops to its original azulejo tiles…

Lisbon sunny skies are an inspiration to all, known for its amazing weather, azulejo tiles favoring blue color combinations as well as vibrant painted blue doors…Lisbon is feeling the blues.

Next up, golden yellow…like Lisbon’s weather..this sunny shade of yellow ripples throughout this beautiful city, emulating its sunny and energizing weather.

Green paired with coral and yellow create a light citrus palette perfect for Lisbon’s creative charm. From interior design stores to green inspired subway tiles…it’s a sea of green!

Red, being a color of passion and adventure, was spotted in some of the most famous areas of Lisbon and entrances to many historic sites.

And of course Millennial Pink…this shade of pink was here long before millennials were born…truly makes the city have an antique color quality among its long history!

Inspired yet….Portugal’s capital truly inspires on so many levels, especially if you are a creative soul…it’s creative color, terrific textures and wonderful weather are the perfect blend for an inspirational adventure.

Obrigado!!!!

My Lisbon Laundry List…

Loved spending time in Lisbon Portugal this past week and look forward to returning to this charming and historic city. Since it was my first time in Lisbon, I did what everyone says you should do while visiting…wander the narrow streets and enjoy discovering all the different areas of this wonderful city!

While wandering I kept noticing all the colorful laundry hanging in front of, above or behind the homes in Lisbon Portugal that were colorful and creative…most of the time complimenting the tile or paint color of the exterior….I know this sounds a bit odd, but it’s true as I spent 3 days hiking the steep streets of Alfama, Bairro Atlo, Principe Real and Alcantara only to be in awe of their laundry!

Loved seeing all the colorful and fun loads of Lisbon Laundry drying naturally outdoors. Such a beautiful and charming city…and I feel that their laundry lines are truly part of this charm. I guess it’s the designer in me…but I started to see color palettes, not laundry!

Check out my laundry list below…

Looks like this load of laundry truly matches the azulejo tiles on the house! “Denim Delight”

You gotta love tonal 💙 laundry, talk about color coordinating your style! “Feeling the Blues”.

Love these brilliant brights framed by the terra-cotta tiles and deep blue sky. “Primary Power”.

Nice to see Millennial Pink as the backdrop to this load of Lisbon laundry! Tonal reds and pinks play nicely with gray and black BUT love that pop of neon yellow! “Millennial”

Inspiration is everywhere!!!

Now I am heading back home to do my laundry and I can promise you it will NOT be as interesting or inspiring!

Artisan Aesthetic Lisbon Style

Bucket List Worthy!

Inspiration is everywhere in Lisbon, especially if you love Azulejos Tiles. Today these tiles are dominant in every Portuguese city and embedded in its history and culture.

The word “azulejo” means “small polished stone” and although they are not a Portuguese invention, by the 18th century no other European country was producing as many tiles as Portugal. Over the years, azulejo tiles have become an art form used for a variety of design applications both in exterior and interior home design.

Spending time in Bairro Atlo and Principe Real, two older areas of Lisbon, I spotted various azulejo tiles on homes in different color combinations and patterns. Below are a few of my favorites.

Heading back to our art/design studio in New York City, Design Works International, feeling inspired and excited to create our newest textile collections….and we just might have the perfect name….Artisan Aesthetic!