Summer House Plants

After months and months of brutally cold weather; Summer is finally here to stay! For those of us in New York City, the arrival of Summer is bittersweet. While we no longer have to worry about bundling up in scarves, hats, boots, and jackets just to walk to the subway, we are now faced with another dilemma: being stuck in the concrete jungle longing for luscious green grass and flowers.


We, over here at EPiC, have a solution to assist you in the summer months ahead! Bring some of Summer's nature to your home or office. There are great variety of plants to consider, but we particularly love herbs, aromatic flowers, and succulents. Here are some design ideas that we love and vendors we love to work with!

Window Boxes

Window boxes are simple to set up and offer the perfect space to add some greenery into your life. We recommend planting flowers to add pops of color to your home of course, basil and mint! Because we know that its not summer until you can indulge in a caprese salad with fresh basil or a mojito with fresh mint picked from your very own window sill garden! Look here to see some more good indoor house plants that not only look beautiful but smell wonderful as well!


Here are some ideas of window boxes that will work in small spaces and apartments:

Source: visit http://www.missmoss.co.za/2013/05/02/kekkila/ for more ideas on how to grow herbs and plants in a small indoor space

Source: visit http://www.missmoss.co.za/2013/05/02/kekkila/ for more ideas on how to grow herbs and plants in a small indoor space

Check out this great idea for small scale herb gardens and more innovational DIY Ikea tricks here: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/04/window-herb-garden.html#comment-form

Check out this great idea for small scale herb gardens and more innovational DIY Ikea tricks here: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/04/window-herb-garden.html#comment-form

Photo credit: http://www.gardeningclan.com/

Photo credit: http://www.gardeningclan.com/

Shelf and Desk Decor


For those who do not want to obstruct their windows with planters, there are plenty of other ways to introduce greenery into your apartment. Adorn a bookcase, etagere, or desk with a small scale potted plant such as a succulent or a cactus. These do not require much care, but it is important to take into consideration the location and the amount of sunlight that the plants will have access to. A good resource for these little succulents is The Sill

Photo Source: The Sill  (http://www.thesill.com/)  

Photo Source: The Sill  (http://www.thesill.com/)

 

 

Shop these Ideas

Here is a list of some of our favorite places to search for plants in the city: 

Some of our favorite places to scout for interesting, aromatic, and beautiful plants are:

 

Union Square Farmer’s Market

(Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday 8:00 AM- 6:00PM; Union Square)

Sprout Home

SkinnySkinny

(organic body and garden store)

The Sill

Gea’s Garden Jewels

(247 E 10th St)

And don't forget the Plant District on 28th St and 6th Ave

(find out a little more about this area here)

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Fresh Kills Brooklyn

On a recent walk through Williamsburg, we stumbled across the windowed storefront of Fresh Kills, an eclectic and artfully curated furniture, lighting, and object boutique on N 6th and Kent. The store describes their mission as “procuring and proving Special Things for Special People,” and considering the taxidermy wolf on display mere feet from the door, we image this is a store frequented by the curious, quirky, and creative.

Whether you're looking to replace a few key pieces post-Spring cleaning or simply browse an airy space filled with beautiful things, we strongly encourage you to visit their 1st Dibs store or stop by their enticing flagship location.


The Metro Show-NYC

A trip to The Metro Show will reveal a broad spectrum of artwork from a vast field of styles, mediums, and time periods. Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 West 18th Street, the venue provides a manageable space through which one can navigate easily. On the Show’s website (http://www.metroshownyc.com/), Fair director, Caroline Kerrighan Lerch explains that, “Our vision is to illustrate the intellect, beauty, and vision in American arts and design while placing it in a more modern and international context”. Not only does the fair provide an educational atmosphere where you can learn something new, but it also is a great place to scout artists and develop new relationships with galleries

Below are a few of the most EPiC pieces from the show-

   

 

 

The two above pieces are by Brooklynite, Marilla Palmer. Her use of ink, foliage, spores, artificial foliage and water color, demonstrates a unique perspective that results in beautiful and unique works. For more info visit her site: http://www.marillapalmer.com/12MP_01exh_01.html

The two above pieces are by Brooklynite, Marilla Palmer. Her use of ink, foliage, spores, artificial foliage and water color, demonstrates a unique perspective that results in beautiful and unique works. For more info visit her site: http://www.marillapalmer.com/12MP_01exh_01.html

Richard Anuscewicz, Untitled, 1972, Screenpring on white Lucite. Love the dimension that the lucite gives the screen print!

Richard Anuscewicz, Untitled, 1972, Screenpring on white Lucite.

Love the dimension that the lucite gives the screen print!

Wolf Kahn, Untitled, 1997  Kahn (October 4 , 1927) is a German born American painter known for his works that combine realism and Color Field. This work demonstrates his style perfectly. Kahn currently lives in NYC .   

Wolf Kahn, Untitled, 1997 

Kahn (October 4 , 1927) is a German born American painter known for his works that combine realism and Color Field. This work demonstrates his style perfectly. Kahn currently lives in NYC . 

 

Dieter Roth, Berner Oberland, 1970 Swiss artist Dieter Roth, also known as Dietor Rot or Diter Rot, was best known as a maker of multifarious artist books through which he exemplified his different interests; one of which was printmaking. His series of Berner Oberland from 1970 demonstrates his interest in print making. This series displays the furious energy that he expressed in his work. 

Dieter Roth, Berner Oberland, 1970

Swiss artist Dieter Roth, also known as Dietor Rot or Diter Rot, was best known as a maker of multifarious artist books through which he exemplified his different interests; one of which was printmaking. His series of Berner Oberland from 1970 demonstrates his interest in print making. This series displays the furious energy that he expressed in his work. 

Detail of Berner Oberland by Diter Roth (1970). 

Detail of Berner Oberland by Diter Roth (1970). 

Polly Barton, Persephone, 2008 Woven silk ikat

Polly Barton, Persephone, 2008

Woven silk ikat

Detail of Persephone (2008)

Detail of Persephone (2008)

Tramp Art Polychrome Mantle Clock Adorned with Abundant Figural Carvings. Made for the Canadian National Exposition in 1935. 

Tramp Art Polychrome Mantle Clock Adorned with Abundant Figural Carvings. Made for the Canadian National Exposition in 1935. 

Detail of clock

Detail of clock

Winold Reiss, Folk Motif- Women and Rooster, 1918-19 After being immediately drawn to Reiss’s piece I went and did a little further research on this artist that I knew very little about. I quickly learned that Reiss lived his life as an artist with the  philosophy that travel is necessary to find interesting subjects.  At EPiC we recognize and emphasize the importance on travel because it is travelling to new places the not only inspires us but enables us to find original and unique resources. What a great connection to have with such a talented artist!  

Winold Reiss, Folk Motif- Women and Rooster, 1918-19

After being immediately drawn to Reiss’s piece I went and did a little further research on this artist that I knew very little about. I quickly learned that Reiss lived his life as an artist with the  philosophy that travel is necessary to find interesting subjects.  At EPiC we recognize and emphasize the importance on travel because it is travelling to new places the not only inspires us but enables us to find original and unique resources. What a great connection to have with such a talented artist!

 

Gift Guide: Vintage & Repurposed Finds

At EPiC, we love giving gifts with history and meaning.  Yet every year during the holidays, we all still go out and buy new items that get bought, wrapped, and eventually discarded. We all enjoy giving and receiving, gifts, but it's important remember how they impact our environment.  That's why we've put together a little gift guide of items that are either vintage or repurposed, many of which can be found in our shop!  Don't forget to also check our Pinterest board for more ideas.

For the Gentlemen

1) Vintage Clock Gear Cufflinks; $200: The EPiC Shop

2) Vintage Silk Tie; $39: Flying A Vintage 

3) Hand Colored Engraving; $195+: The Old Print Shop

For the Ladies

1) Telephone Wire Bracelet; $20: The EPiC Shop

2) Earrings by Construct Jewelry; $120; The EPiC Shop

3) Mochia Bag; $150: The EPiC Shop: four colors available

For the Little Ones

1) Antique African Baby Blanket; $300: The EPiC Shop 

2) Plush Animal; $80: The EPiC Shop; elephants also available

3) Hand Embroidered Bib; $90; The EPiC Shop

For the Hostesses

1) Serving spoons; $90; The EPiC Shop

2) Throw pillows; $15--$250; The EPiC Shop; assorted colors and patterns

3) Olive wood bowls; $35: The EPiC Shop

THANKSGIVING SPECIAL: Table Setting Ideas

Looking to dress up and freshen your Thanksgiving scene?  These top trends for the autumn entertaining season will add warmth and elegance to your traditional table.

Hand-Drawn Runners and Placemats

Personalized touches are easy to make whether or not you have an artistic touch.  Look up script typography examples online for ideas (we like myfonts.com), and then plan out a lettering scheme that fits your event.  Play around with different styles and create placemats, name cards, and menus that are as unique as the characters gathered around your table.  And don’t worry about being perfect—variation in the sizes, shapes, and styles of your letters further personalizes the effect!

Rustic-Chic Tablescapes

Look for organic elements around your home or at the local market, like acorns, bunches of bittersweet, and fresh flowers.  Arrange them using eclectic containers ranging from small watering buckets to family heirloom crystal.  Use like colors to unite elements and add a little polish with small touches like gold ribbon ties around the silverware or metallic script lettering on the place cards.

Painted Pumpkins

 Add a little glamour to your décor by spray-painting pumpkins gold or silver and experiment with patterns, drips, and stencils.  Check out our Thanksgiving Special: Table Setting Ideas Pinterest board for more ideas.

Curate Your Walls! Cheap & Chic: Art Installation

For our final Curate Your Walls! post, we decided to test a few art installation tutorials that we came across online and summarize our findings for you.  Whether your goal is to create a unified display of prints and photographs or to achieve an eclectic look with combinations of photography, paintings, and art objects, all of these tips streamline the process and make it that much easier to dress up your empty walls.  At the end of our post we also list some great sites for affordable ready-made and custom frames, banishing any remaining excuses for the art collecting dust in your closet. Brush off those paintings you’ve “been meaning to put up,” and we’ll show you how to create a beautiful salon-style gallery wall.  Make sure you check out our Pinterest board for more art installation ideas and unique gallery wall example and inspiration photos!

Supply list:

  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Level
  • Painter’s tape
  • Butcher block paper
  • Tape measurer
  • Pencil
  • Ook Picture Hangers –**make sure to get the correct kind for your wall (brick nails vs. nails for sheetrock or plaster) and take the weight of your artwork into account (10lbs, 20lbs, 50lbs, etc.).

TIP 1 : FIND YOUR CENTER

These are great tips on finding the center whether you’re hanging one piece of art or ten!  Measure the width of the wall space where you would like to hang your art, divide it by two and mark the center with a pencil.  To get the height, measure 57-60” from the floor.  Bring your width point to meet your height point and mark it--this is the best height to hang artwork since it’s the average human eye level (what most museums and galleries use).  If you are doing a salon-style installation, hang your art around this center point. If you are hanging above your sofa, make sure to leave approximately an 8” - 10” clearance.  

If you are hanging one piece of art, this fool-proof formula from Apartment Therapy helps you find exactly where to hammer in the nail once you have found your center point:

1. Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall
   2. Measure top of your picture to the middle (or take height and divide by 2)
   3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
   4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57" your hook should go
   5. Measure up from 57" with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall

1. Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall
  

2. Measure top of your picture to the middle (or take height and divide by 2)
  

3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
  

4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57" your hook should go
  

5. Measure up from 57" with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall

TIP 2: WHEN IN DOUBT, LAY IT OUT

Put the butcher block paper on the floor in front of your wall and lay your framed pieces over it.  Start with your center piece (it doesn't have to be the biggest, but should be a considerable size), and move outward.  Keep moving your pieces around until you like the configuration.  Trace the frames with a pencil, mark where the anchors/nails will go, and then cut out the template.  Tape your layout on the wall using painter’s tape and play with the space between frames.  Have fun—it doesn’t have to be perfectly spaced – that’s the point!  Move it around if you want to try out any last minute changes.  

*Note about photo to right -- we used newsprint here, but learned that it can smudge white walls!  That's why we recommend butcher block paper. 

 

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TIP 3: HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD

Find the corresponding hooks for each frame, make sure you marked the right spots on your templates, and then nail in the hooks straight through the paper and tear the paper away once you’re done. For larger pieces, it’s sometimes better to use two hooks for extra support and to ensure the piece hangs correctly.  Use the level to make sure the frames are hanging straight.

 

TIP 4: THINK OF IT AS A WORK IN PROGRESS

Think of yourself as Gertrude Stein living in Paris in beginning of the 20th century collecting all of the up and coming modern artists!  What do you think Gerty did when she acquired a new Matisse?!  The works went up the ceiling and all around her walls.  As your collection grows add the new pieces above, below, or to the side, or if you don’t like where something is placed, cover the hole with another piece or it patch up and reposition.  Spontaneity and creativity are what give a salon-style gallery wall such personality.

 

Frame resources:

  • Pottery Barn - always has great sales of their simple wood frames
  • A.I. Friedman – nice wide selection of affordable ready-mades
  • Framed & Matted – awesome company that offers an easy step by step application that helps you custom design your own frame and mat, which they send you in the mail along with simple instructions on how to put it together
  • Michael’s -- all kinds of affordable frame options and diy kits to help you custom frame

Additional Tutorials

 

Curate Your Walls! Cheap & Chic: Objet D'Art

“Objet D’Art” is the second installment in our Curate Your Walls! Cheap & Chic series.  Here we feature unique objects all under $200 to hang on your wall, adding dimension and personality to an otherwise flat space.  We’ve found something for every taste—from decorative plates for the traditionalist to neon sign art for slightly edgier tastes.  Check out our Pinterest board for more object d’art finds! 

1-4: A New Take on Taxidermy

Stuffed animal heads and mounted antlers not your style?  Opt instead for these beautifully sculpted resin animal heads from White Faux Taxidermy, or these hand-painted antlers from Natural Elements by Ashley.

5,6: These Aren’t Your Grandmother’s Plates

Artful configurations of antique and contemporary plates lend a fresh take on what your grandmother once displayed.  Shop John DerianEtsy, and Palazzetti  for a range of styles and price points.

7, 8: Custom Neon Signs = Contemporary Art at Home

Neon word art is a hot trend in contemporary art, and now you can recreate the urban artist look in your own home!  Check out Bright Neon Signs  for a custom quote, and turn your favorite phrase or line of poetry into a unique, contemporary showpiece.

9, 10: Geometric and Organic Wall Sculptures

Drawing inspiration from natural forms and shapes, Hruskaa  and Element Ceramics  provide a number of stunning 3D wall art options.

11-13: Direct Wall Art

Aren’t ready to splurge on a mural-sized original painting?  Opt instead for watercolor wallpaper to transform your wall into a work of art itself.  And if you're looking for a smaller but no less striking accent, wall decals  provide chic, interesting wall décor at
ow-cost and minimal commitment.  

Next up: our final post in the Curate Your Walls! Cheap & Chic series where we help you put it all together in a salon-style gallery wall hanging.  We will even give tips on where to get affordable frames!  

Curate Your Walls! Cheap and Chic: Prints

Whether you’re dealing with the bare walls of a new home or looking to add a little color to your existing space, art and wall décor are key elements in cultivating personality for your rooms. EPiC has embarked on a 3 part series to help you curate your walls on a budget. The first post takes you on our quest to find the chicest prints available online (we stick to prints since this medium tends to hit a lower price point than paintings, but still produces beautiful results!). We found many great sites both small and large that suit all styles, and below is a list of our favorite finds all under $500.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for parts 2 and 3 of our Curate Your Walls! Cheap and Chic series.  Cheap and Chic: Objet D'Art shows you the best places to find unique art objects for your walls, from decorative plates to animal-head sculptures, and Cheap and Chic: Art Installation walks you through arranging your pieces in a unique and visually stunning salon-style gallery wall.

Don’t forget to check out EPiC’s Pinterest for more of our art finds!

 

TWENTY DOLLARS AND UNDER

Frances Lab is a Brooklyn-based print shop selling a range of “custom illustrated greeting cards, stationery and decorative prints.” Turn one of their lovely silk-screen note cards, like this hand-printed image of the Chrysler Building, into a work of art by framing it in a minimalist black frame with a black mat. The simple yet striking science-book inspired Geo Note Card —a steal at $18 for a set of 6—works nicely as a framed suite.

 

See the Hammerpress entry in the $20-60 section for prints ranging from $2.50 to $50.

 

TWENTY TO SIXTY DOLLARS

Happy Red Fish is studio run by Amsterdam-based artist Hagar Vardimon-van Heummen. Vardimon-van Heummen makes amazing hand-threaded print and collage art, and both originals and prints can be purchased at his online store. His art often features images of weathered homes combined with geological or biological elements, like collaged minerals and crystals. Prints range from $30 to $45 depending on the size (8.26” x 11.75” and 11.69” x 16.53”, respectively), but it’s also possible to purchase the stunning originals for prices ranging from $150 to $510.

 

 

Loteria Art Prints by Hammerpress Studio

Loteria Art Prints by Hammerpress Studio

Hammerpress is a print shop based in Kansas City, Missouri making everything from postcards to calendars to high-quality art prints. The common vein running through their wide variety of products is a tongue-in-cheek, vintage-inspired aesthetic paired with bold graphic design. If you’re looking for something with a visual punch in a larger size and are willingly to spend a little more, look to the Loteria Art Print Set (set of 5 is $125 but they also sell individually for $35 each).

 

 

Additional notable print shops selling art in the $30 to $60 range:

 

Degree is an online design store that “acts as a launch pad for ideas that are unlike any other.” They carry a beautiful series of botanical portraits at $30 each via whatiseewhenirun.

 

 

Glicee Print by Magnapaint Studio

Glicee Print by Magnapaint Studio

Mangapaint is an Etsy store selling bold geometric prints for $30 each.

 

 

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS +

 

Fragile Heroes by Sandra Chevrier

Fragile Heroes by Sandra Chevrier

Painter and collage artist Sandra Chevrier sells both prints and original work through COA Gallery. Prints range from $100-$400, while paintings creep into the $1,000s.

 

 

Stampa is a fantastic resource for high-quality artist prints. The site represents artists Alli Arnold and Bo Lundberg among others, and an 8” x 10” unframed print goes for $100.

 

 

Additional sites for high-end art prints:

 

Exhibition A  offers art enthusiasts the opportunity to build their fine art collections on a budget. Both Limited and Open Edition prints from well-known contemporary artists are avaliable for purchase, and can be narrowed down by category, artist, color, and price. One stunning print available on their site now is this 50-unit limited edition piece by Lowell Boyers for $175.

 

 

Art Space’s tagline is “Insider Access to the World’s Best Art," and with a wealth of prints by Andy Warhol and Alex Katz available for immediate purchase, that statement is no exaggeration! Art Space works hard to make fine art by both recognized artists and rising stars accessible for purchase online at affordable prices. Among the many beautiful prints for purchase include this surrealist-inspired photograph by Sharon Haskell available for only $250 (edition of 50), and a seven-color screen print by Fred Tomaselli for $350 each (edition of 200).

 

Happy print shopping! Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of our Curate Your Walls! Cheap and Chic series on art objects for the wall and salon-style gallery wall art instillation. 

Surpass the ordinary, make it EPiC!

4th of July & Other Summer Soirées Ideas

EPiC hosted a little impromptu small gathering in Montauk over the 4th July, and here are some of the results of our party-planning and crafting! Even though Independence Day has passed, there’s still plenty of time left this summer to plan a casual grill out with friends or just make a pitcher of sangria to keep on hand as a post- beach or work refreshment. Our new motto: #alwaysbecrafting

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Menu:

We planned out our menu a few days in advance so that our trip to the grocery store wouldn’t have us in a frenzy. Nonetheless, our experience at the IGA in Montauk was exactly how one might imagine the grocery store right before armageddon: people screaming at each other, the checkout line circling the store, and old people getting trampled. We somehow managed to get out okay with all of our supplies (and helping a few of our elders out along the way)!

Hamburgers & Hot Dogs with all the fixins (we let let the guys take care of the grilling)

Spinach & Orzo Salad*

Giada’s Grilled Vegetables

White Sangria (recipe below)*

Red & White Jello Shots (college throw back hit!)*

Watermelon Granitas (Used this recipe but added vodka! Image of our version is below.)*

*these food & bevies stay fresh for 2-3 days or longer, so great for storing in the fridge (freezer for the granitas) during a beach trip!

Decor:

We are all about reusable party decor items such as:

Paper lanterns - instant mood setters; we keep these in storage and bring them out for special occasions!

Bandanas - great for napkins, late night head accessories, or sand bag covers (see below).

Plastic paint palette - adds an element of creativity when used as a party tray! We had this lying around.

Mason jars with handles - these are great, inexpensive investments as they make every drink look delicious.

Red/White & Blue/White Paper straws - these are not reusable, but are an easy, fun way to dress up any drink and aren’t too pricey.

American flags - always need these for the 4th! You can reuse them every year.

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White Sangria recipe (mades approx. 2 pitchers):

4 cups of white cranberry juice

1.5 liters of pinot grigio

2 cups of triple sec

2 cups of club soda

juice from 1 lemon & 1 lime

Fresh blueberries & strawberries

Mix all together and chill in the fridge!

 

 

Beach/lawn games:

The bean bag toss game we ordered online didn’t make it in time. So, what did we do? We made our own version out of sand, plastic bags our new EPiC koozies came in (photo below), colored tape (our favorite tool), red bananas, and plastic buckets.

DIY Sand bag toss

1. Scoop sand into plastic bag (ziplocks work great too)

2. Fold over plastic bag sides to make it square, and seal up with colored painter’s tape (masking tape works too).

3. Fold bandana into a triangle and place sand bag in the middle.

4 Fold the widest point of the triangle over and under sand bag, and fold the base of the triangle over the bag.

5. Wrap the remaining sides over (like a ribbon on a present) and tie in a bow.

6. If you only have one color bandana, use painters tape to make a stripe to distinguish teams. We made 3 bags per team.

7. Use 2 buckets or dig 2 holes in the sand as your targets and let the games begin!

Montauk beach life:

To see more of our 4th of July & other summer soirée inspirations, check out our new board on Pinterest by clicking here.

An EPiC Art Experience: James Turrell's "Aten Reign"

On the summer solstice, EPiC had the pleasure of hearing James Turrell, one of the most interesting artists of our time (and perhaps funniest too -"art is not such a big deal, it's not even rock and roll!"), speak about his newest light installation, Aten Reign, and view it at the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York.  Aten Reign is the centerpiece of the Guggenheim's exhibition, which is a part of a three museum retrospective on the 70 year old artist's career (the two other venues being the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston).  The temporary installation is the largest to date for both the artist and the Guggenheim-- it takes over Frank Lloyd Wright's entire iconic rotunda with light that moves "seductively and seamlessly across the color spectrum."

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Who is James Turrell?

James Turrell (b. 1947) emerged as an artist in the 1960s as part of the "light and space movement" in Southern California.  What has set Turrell apart from his contemporaries, is where other artists used objects with light, Turrell only used light--no object, image, or focal point.  His largest project, which he has been working on since 1972, is the Roden Crater -- a natural cinder volcano situated on the southwestern edge of the Painted Desert in Arizona, which he has been transforming into a large-scale artwork with chambers, tunnels, pathways, and openings to observe the sky change, the passage of time, and the stars and planets.  In a sense, it's a large-scale version of his "skyspace" series of "framed experiences" or small chambers with large openings to the sky, and walls lined with tilted benches for viewing.  He has around 80 skyspaces all over the world.  

My experience of Aten Reign:

In his talk, Turrell made the comparison of the way people "enter" literature to how they view art.  He described how when we read a book, it's easy to get lost in the story and not notice the passerby or anything going on around us.  When we look at art in a museum, it's a quick once over and then on to the next.  To add to this, I must mention how much Smartphones have changed the way we view art--half of our experience now is capturing the work on our camera phones and putting it on social media sites.  I know that I am guilty of this and I consider myself an art person!  Thus, when I went to view Aten Reign, I took Turrell's challenge and submitted myself to the work and "indulged" in the light.  

I really wanted experience the installation, and fought the urge not to use my iPhone to capture the moment.  I found an open spot on the bench that follows the curve of the lobby floor, and leaned back and "just looked up" (another tidbit that Turrell pointed out was how New Yorkers having a tendency to never look up).  I tried to block out the noise of the others around me, and ignore the museum guards rushing to stop photography (it's not allowed!).  The full color cycle lasts an hour.  I watched the glowing colors fade in and out for about 30 minutes as I was unfortunately pressed for time (typical New Yorker!).  My experience began with shades of white emitting from the concentric ellipses; I thought about Turrell's words from earlier that white light is the combination of every color.  (A scientific fact that as a painter is hard to understand since it's impossible to make white from other colors; it's the color you add to other pure colors in order get a tint or lighten it up!)  

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The ocular skylight at the top of the building was bright as it was a sunny day outside, however, depending on the weather and the time of day, each viewer's perception of the light will be different.  I can't really remember the exact order of the colors after the white, but the interior of the Guggenhiem did emit light across the color spectrum: pink, violet, orange, yellow, red, blue, and green.  As the light changed hues fluidly, each tier of the rotunda showed various shades and tints within that hue, similar to a paint swatch.  At times the color felt like it was coming towards me, and at other times as though it was receding.  Towards the end of my experience, I just couldn't fight it anymore...how could I not capture such an amazing artwork and share it with all of my friends?! So I did it.  I took two photos with my iPhone from the inside of my purse.  Here are the results:

When I left the Guggenheim and viewed my photos, I immediately could tell that they did the work no justice and I felt silly (and guilty!) for even trying.  Aten Reign is truly "a collaboration with the viewer" and must be experienced in real time and space as the artist intended.  It's an EPiC art experience that cannot be missed this summer!  I already cannot wait to go back again before it closes on September 25th.  Hurry, get there quick!

For more information on Aten Reign and the exhibition James Turrell, please click here.

 

The New Checkerboard: Classic Tiling Gets a Modern Makeover

Here at EPiC we’re always on the lookout for new variations on a theme, and this week we couldn’t help but notice the ever-expanding variety of contemporary tiling options.  Whether you’re looking for something unique and unconventional, organic, or minimalist, we did the digging for you and came up with some beautiful and inspiring ideas for dressing up your floors and walls, transforming them into works of art in their own right.

MINIMALIST

 

1  |  In this update on the classic black-and-white motif, lacquered tiles reflect the light and super-sized squares give the room a bold geometric pop. 

2  |   Mirrored tile lends contemporary flair to the classic monochrome palette.

3  |   Marble chevron tiles are both elegant and durable, and their directional pattern attracts the eye without being distracting.

4  |  The dyed pattern on these carpet tiles mimics that of natural marble, but with a much softer texture and price tag.

 

 ORGANIC

1 & 2  |   If you’re looking for something utterly unique that takes literal inspiration from organic forms, look no further than these 
sea-creatures made of Helios Porcelain, or these rustic wood-slab tiles.

3 & 4  |   Imitation animal-skin brings an exotic feel to any room.  Pair these cow or 
snake tiles with simple wall or floor treatments to keep the effect luxurious rather than overwhelming.

5-8  |  Swedish design company Marrakech Design has a number of organic-inspired tiling options with labels signaling their visual sources, like Stone and Dandelion.

 

 

 UNCONVENTIONAL

1-3  |  Who said tiles have to form a checkerboard?  One trend literally breaking the mold is spontaneous tile design, incorporating mosaic techniques to create an overall image rather than a uniform pattern. 

4  |  Though we don’t suggest an over-the-top zebra theme to match it, these zebra-esque chevron tiles incorporate both a classic style and an organic inspiration to create a unique and eye-catching surface.

5  |   Tiling in unexpected places, like the vertical sides of your stairs, adds a pop of color and personality to the room.  

 

For these and other examples of contemporary tiling, check out our Tile Ideas Pinterest board!

Color Series: Refreshing Blue-Greens

This summer, we can't get enough of blue-green tints (mint, sea foam, and jade), and we're excited to see these colors in all facets of design.  Maybe it's the heat and our longing for a mint mojito, the ocean breeze, and waves crashing at our feet that has us desiring these blue-green variants.  When you have a strong attraction to a color, sometimes you just need to find that perfect dress, home accessory, paint color, or sweet treat to satisfy your craving! 

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Dream destination of North Island, a private island in the Seychelles, blue-green waters beckon at sunset.

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"Seychelles Chandelier" on Serena & Lily.

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Essie mint candy apple nail polish.

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Little reading nook with sea foam finishes.

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Stay cool at the beach under a mint and white umbrella!

To see more refreshing pinspirations, check out our blue-green color board on Pinterest!  

 

Party Planning...Gatsby Style

We are dreaming of a white...hot Gatsby-themed party!  

Ok, so maybe the new Gatsby movie has received quite a few rotten tomatoes and literature buffs are turning up their noses at director/producer/screen writer Baz Luhrmann and set/costume designer Catherine Martin's razzle dazzle version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's American classic.  However, we feel that you can't help but get inspired and excited by the husband and wife duo's brightly-colored, visually-decadent rendition of the roaring twenties fused with the "hip-hop consumerism" of the present day.  And being creatives in the 2000s, we are always looking for an excuse to come up with a party scheme with hopes to one day produce it!  

Her head spinning with ideas after just seeing the movie, Peyton dug up  story boards from design school in which she had taken creative liberties with Fitzgerald's text to create her own versions of the interiors and exteriors described in the book.  Here are two of my faves that seem pretty spot on:

"...even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay."  

or

"...enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden."

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"chain of connecting verandas to the porch...in its deep gloom we sat down side by side on a wicker setee."

or

"a rosy-colored porch open toward the sunset where four candles flickered..."

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So where did Fitzgerald get his inspiration for the imaginary towns of East and West Egg, you ask?  Manhasset Bay in Long Island.  And  where are we imagining our own fictitious party to be?  Also on Long Island, but perhaps in the shabby-chic-Manhattan-summer-escape-beach-town of Montauk???  And why a white party?  

Well three reasons, really:

1. I personally love white and have always wanted to have a white party!

2. Perhaps the all white theme can cleanse away some (but certainly not all) of the decadence and bring some pure simplicity to our own EPiC Gatsby interpretation.

3. Who doesn't love a guy in a white linen suit? And I don't mean your Southern dad's linen suit either.  These gentleman--one of them being the glorious Robert Redford in the first film version of Gatsby and the other one being my childhood and forever celebrity crush Brad Pitt...oh and P. Diddy, too--display it oh-so nicely.

 

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And what else can I tell you about the setting?  Well how about a beautiful grassy lawn, near the beach of course, outlined with big whimsical trees adorned with crystal chandeliers (gotta keep a little razzle dazzle) and string lights.  And how about some of those blowing white curtains depicted in the movie that so beautifully came right from the book: "A breeze blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of a ceiling..."

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What about food and drink?  I will make this easy.  Champagne, and lots of it in my favorite shaped glass, the coupe!

 

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Finally, there should be lawn games and music aplenty.  Croquet?  Cards?  Dancing?  And definitely some '20s jazz with a little Jay-Z and Lana Del Ray mixed in.  At the end of the party sparklers will be lit and white paper sky lanterns will be let go with wishes on the beach (the ones that are so popular right now at weddings, which originated in Asia).  

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So, when is this party? T.B.D, but an American girl can dream, right?  Check out EPiC's Pinterest Board for more Gatby inspirations on fashion, events, and decor! 

"Altered Perspectives"

Thinking beyond the frame or outside of the box...we are loving the "Altered Perspectives" series of art installations created by Little Owl Design founders Bruce Wayland and Marcello De Simone.  Two found European art objects are merged--historical paintings and transferware plates-- to create one composition that plays with the negative space of the wall and prompts conversation. 

For more information, please visit Little Owl Design's website http://littleowl.eu/. These works can be found on http://www.shopterrain.com/.