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A Busy Summer for the Art Base Basalt

August 22, 2019

Thank you to everyone who pARTied with us Saturday at Art Base’s 23rd annual fundraising event!  It was a fun event as usual and successful, thanks to the support of our community. This year’s pARTy included a cocktail reception, fine wine and dining, live music, as well as an exclusive silent auction and paddle raise for programs. If you haven’t experienced the Art Base auction, it’s unique. Over 100 works by “unseen” Colorado artists, each 10x10”, are auctioned off. Artists’ identities are concealed until the end at a big reveal which is pretty exciting!

The pARTy also included a presentation of the annual Melva Bucksbaum Dedication to the Arts Award, this year honoring Harry Teague and his years of creative architectural design in Basalt and the Roaring Fork Valley.

As an Art Base council member I’m so pleased to say we exceeded our fundraising goal by raising over $200,000! Art Base will use these funds to continue to provide access to the arts for youth and adults via scholarships - requests for which have more than doubled in the last year. 

If you missed the pARTy, an Art Base membership is another way to gain access to specialized events while contributing to the arts. In fact earlier this summer I partnered with John Cottle to host one such event, Art & Architecture, at my home in Basalt. 

John and I led an open discussion that covered, among other things, John’s architectural endeavors to bring soul to new structures and my experience and inspiration creating contemporary works of art from aged objects. My home, a 3-story, circa 1800’s barn relocated from Vermont provided the perfect backdrop for this discussion prompting much curiosity about the juxtaposition of new and old and the use of reclaimed materials in both art and architecture.


During the event, my photography studio was open for people to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the original pieces I photograph as well as a variety of finished works framed and at full scale.

Our busy summer at the ArtBase will not end with the season! Expect the energy to continue into the fall with new exhibitions and, for members only, the next Artist Talk!

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10 Key Home Decorating Tips: #6 Color & the 60/30/10 Rule

July 30, 2019

Color, color, color - so much to cover when considering color and decor! Within this blog series, 10 Key Home Decorating Tips, we’ve determined which colors work well together, chosen a palette and created a plan for transitioning that palette from room to room within your home

Now I’m ready to share one last important color tip that will help ensure each of your individual rooms look balanced. Simple yet effective, it’s the 60/30/10 rule. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? With your room atmosphere choices in hand, apply the rule as follows: use 60% of your primary color, 30% of your secondary color and 10% of your accent color(s).

Let’s jump right to some pictures to illustrate this concept. Notice how this powder room by Studio Black Interiors not only contains beautiful tile and cabinetry but is simply and naturally pleasing to look at. This room  follows the 60/30/10 rule: 60% gray, 30% brown, 10% white.

(Image from Studio Black Interiors)

This room, found on Vida + Luz, also follows the rule with 60% white, 30% dark teal and 10% brown. Extremely harmonious!

(Image from Vida + Luz)

Now if you are concerned that this rule is too limiting, be assured that it is a foundational guideline; a starting point, not an ending point. Slight deviations can actually enhance the rule. Take the below image by Jessi Eve Interior Styling + Design for example. White is used for approximately 60% of the space and its contents, brown for 30% and blue and burgundy for 10%. Again, an aesthetically balanced look but with some variations. For one, different shades of brown are used (floor, stools, sofa etc), and for another, there are two accent colors making up the 10% instead of just one. Both deviations are perfectly acceptable!

(Image from Jessi Eve Interior Styling + Design)

Trust and have fun experimenting with the 60/30/10 rule. I think you’ll love the results! 

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10 Key Home Decorating Tips: #5 Color transition

May 28, 2019

If you’ve read my last two blogs, the first about atmosphere, style and inspiration and the second about color, you have by now laid the groundwork for creating an aesthetic transition of color throughout your home. I have found that a bit of variety from room to room produces the best results. As an example, take a look at the picture below. Though this is a beautiful room, replicating navy walls and orange accents throughout your entire home may quickly cause decor fatigue. There is a different way.
(Image from

Review your palette

Let’s map out how you might take the colors in this room and use them to connect one room to another. Following the formula discussed in 10 Key Home Decorating Tips: #4 COLOR here’s a likely palette for this “blue room”:
  • 1 saturated color: navy
  • 1 neighbor to your saturated color: one shade up from navy
  • 1 accent color: orange
  • 1 white: alabaster white
  • 1 neutral: chocolate

Review your atmosphere choices

With this palette in mind we next review our atmosphere choices for each room. Let’s say you’d like a classic/regal feeling living room, a kitchen that is lively and welcoming and bed/baths that are clean and peaceful. Pick your colors accordingly. Using our example palette above I would select...
  • Living room: emphasis on navy
  • Kitchen: emphasis on white with orange accents
  • Bed/baths: emphasis on white and neutral
If you need guidance when picking your colors, online resources abound! Here are a few:

Get the lay of the land and leave a trail of breadcrumbs

Now stand in what you think to be the most important room of your house - let’s say it’s the living room. From that location look around to see what adjacent rooms or hallways are in your line of vision. Perhaps you can see into a hallway or get a partial view of the kitchen. Instead of repeating your living room palette in all of those areas, deviate a bit as necessary based on the atmosphere you want to achieve in those locations.

To get more specific, let’s say the above “blue room” is your living room and from there you can see into the kitchen. Your goal of creating a lively kitchen requires something different - different yet cohesive. I would recommend using the white from the living room carpet or chairs as the kitchen wall and trim color, bright orange as the primary accent (barstools or dishes or fixtures) and navy as the secondary accents (utensils or glassware or within a patterned backsplash). The palette neutral often transitions well on secondary furniture or flooring. A color scheme something like this room but with navy instead of aqua blue accents works very well:

(Image from

If, adjacent to the kitchen, you can see into a hallway or wash closet, revisit your atmosphere choice for those areas and continue the trail of breadcrumbs. To create a clean and peaceful ambience focus on the white or neutral colors from your palette, nix or minimize the bright pops, and accent with your saturated color and/or it’s neighbor.

(Image from Room & Board)

Each of these rooms tie together nicely with color; do keep in mind the added task of keeping your style streamlined, which these particular images do not do. For more information on style visit my December blog. For one last extremely helpful tip on color stay tuned for my next blog that discusses the Rule of 60-30-10!

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10 Key Home Decorating Tips: #4 COLOR

February 5, 2019

If you have plans to decorate or redecorate a space, consider breaking the process into steps. Following an orderly progression of tasks will prevent off-the-cuff, later-regretted decisions, while also deterring you from jumping the gun and purchasing something (or a load of things) that don’t come together well within your space. And, importantly, following a process will make the endeavor less overwhelming and much more enjoyable! There are 10 steps in particular that I think can really help. In my last blog I discussed steps 1, 2 and 3: nailing down your style and atmosphere goals and getting inspired. Once you’ve tackled those you are ready for step 4, color! 

Selecting a color palette is one of the most impactful decisions you will make when planning your home decor. No pressure, right? So, where to begin? Break this looming question down by following a few basic rules:
  1. Start with five or six colors 
  2. Use color theory to guide your choices

Five or Six Colors

It’s essential to achieve a balance between using one color for your entire home interior, and using different colors in every room. You will tire of both of these extremes quickly. So where do you draw the line? The best bet is to use a palette of five to six colors* and stick with them throughout. I am not only referring to paint, but to furniture, artwork and other interior elements. If the main elements of your decor come from a palette of five or six a majority of the time, you will achieve a natural flow of color throughout your home, where the rooms merge nicely without being too uniform or even worse, completely unrelated. 

So, you will want to pick...

1 saturated color
1 or 2 neighbors to your saturated color (more on this below)
1 accent color
1 white**
1 neutral***
* and both discuss using a 5 color palette.
** There are many whites out there! Check out this article by for advice on picking the right one!
*** Neutrals do not have to be tan or can also use black, midnight blue etc. Here’s a great article by Live Colorful to give you some ideas.


Use Color Theory to Guide Your Choices

Combining color can be a tricky business. Just because you love two colors doesn’t mean they will do well in a room together. Knowing just a little bit about Color Theory can go a long way. To achieve a harmonious combination try one of these three color schemes: 


Opposites attract, right? Well, a complementary color scheme brings this idea into full view. Complementary colors are those that are opposite one another on the color wheel, as the blue-green and red-orange are above. A complementary color palette can be lively, fresh, decadent or soothing depending on the saturation of the colors you choose, and will always be pleasing to the eye.

Use the five color palette rule with a complementary color scheme and choose a shade of your saturated color as the “neighbor”. Here’s a great example:

(Image Courtesty of​)


An analogous color palette is another way to create a harmonious interior. Analogous colors are those that are next to one another on the color wheel. Depending on the detail in your color wheel, you will generally want to choose 3 or 4 colors that are adjacent to one another. Analogous color schemes, often found in nature, can create a calm, interesting and/or playful space. Here is an excellent example of a room with an analogous color scheme along with a possible accompanying five color palette.

(Image courtesy of
With an analogous color scheme the “neighbor” color should be a shade of your saturated color or a color that is in the wedge directly “next door”. 

Notice in the above palette that we skip the purple colors that fall within our four adjacent wedges of the wheel. That is perfectly OK. If you are not a purple fan like me, you can exclude it from your decor altogether. If you do like purple you can throw in a few small accents here or there. With an analogous color scheme you can go either way as long as you stick to your palette a majority of the time.


A monochromatic color scheme is a little different than the first two in that you are using one wedge of the color wheel which contains various shades of a single color. This is where I recommend jumping from a five color palette to a six color palette (2 neighbor colors instead of 1) because you will need the variety. Neighbor colors should be taken from the same wedge as your saturated color. There is no hard rule for the accent color you choose however I would advise using something from the opposite side of the wheel. Or, if your entire palette is made up of cool colors, choose a warm accent color (and vice versa) to balance things out. You can see that the accent color in the below room plays a small but significant role. It just wouldn’t be the same without those little yellow flowers!

A monochromatic palette can create a modern, peaceful, elegant and of course harmonious interior. In some ways it is an easy palette to work with; at the same time getting it “just right” takes some thought. 

(Image courtesy of
Though above I have shown you an individual room treatment for each color scheme, I am not suggesting you repeat the same usage throughout your entire home. In fact, quite the contrary! Using your palette creatively is key...a key which I will unlock in my next blog!

For the color schemes discussed here and more try these articles from,, or
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10 Key Home Decorating Tips: Let’s start with #1, 2 & 3

December 7, 2018

Though decorating can be fun it can also be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to tackle an entire house. As I’ve mentioned in the past “sky’s the limit” can be more daunting than helpful. Projects without constraints can be the most difficult to complete because when the possibilities are endless, it’s all too easy to be pulled in many different directions. Here are some tips to narrow the field, guide the process and make this monumental task, fun!

Tools you’ll need for steps 1-3:
  • Notebook & pen
  • Pinboard (inspiration board)
  • Computer/internet/printer

1. It’s all about atmosphere

Spend a little time pondering what atmosphere you’d like your home to elicit. You can choose one unifying vibe or vary it by room or section. Perhaps you want an overall feeling of peacefulness and calm...something spa-like. Or maybe you want that vibe in the bedroom and bathrooms but prefer to have a lively and playful kitchen and living room area. Grab a notepad and pen and walk room by room noting your atmosphere goals and then pin them to your inspiration board. 

(spa-like decor; image courtesy of

(playful decor; image courtesty of

2. What is your style?

In addition to atmosphere, it’s important to determine what style you are after before jumping in. Are you going for a rustic, farmhouse look or something airy, minimalist and modern? Keep things as streamlined as possible. While it’s OK to vary the atmosphere throughout your home, doing the same with style can destroy the harmony between rooms and evoke feelings of disquiet. It’s better to stick to one underlying style or two at most. Once you determine your style write it down and tack it to your inspiration board. 

(airy & modern courtesty of; rustic farmhouse courtesty of

3. Get inspired!

Looking at the four above images may already have your head spinning. This next step will help. Let’s say you land on farmhouse/playful for your style/atmosphere. Now it’s time to have a little fun. Search the internet for inspiring images that match these decor goals. The resources online are off the charts these days. Pinterest and Houzz are excellent places to begin but don’t overlook magazine sites such as Luxe Source, Architectural Digest and Interior Design. Save images in a folder on your desktop. Once they begin to stack up, print out your favorites and put them on your inspiration board. Below are some images I found that fit a playful, lively farmhouse look and feel. At this stage in the game your images don’t have to match one another.

(left image courtesty of; right image courtesy of

(image courtesy of

If you take the time to walk through these first 3 steps you will have accomplished a lot and have a good foundation for moving forward into color and beyond which I’ll discuss in my next blog. Until then, happy planning!

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