From the category archives:

Art Objects

This article was written by Lawrence Karol for Houzz, and features a room I designed for a Showhouse

There are many reasons to include a landscape painting as a focal point or an accessory in any room.  Some designers highlighted here, featured work by artists they know personally.  One – in a find worthy of a segment on Antiques Roadshow – came across a valuable piece tucked away in a back room.  Personally, I find that landscape art adds a sense of calm to a space.  So prepare yourself for a soothing journey

Multiply and divide.  This vignette was done by Robin Muto for a designer show house.  “It was a study for a male artist, so I wanted the room to be masculine and filled with interesting objects that he might have collected on his travels or just walks in nature,” she says.

“My husband, Rick Muto, who is a decorative painter and fine artist, was the inspiration for the room.  He did the dark-green oil glaze on the wall, to feel like you were in the woods, and all the paintings are from his regional plein air series of locations that are within a two-hour drive from our house in upstate New York.”

Here are some other images of the room that are not featured in the article:

This image shows a large painting that I commissioned Rick Muto to do for this wall over the daybed.  This is a scene from our hike in Kaaterskill Falls which was a favorite destination of the Hudson River School of painters

To read the full article click on this link: Expert Talk: Have a Field Day With Landscape Art


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Framing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  People buy art for a variety of reasons, whether for its captivating beauty, its power to viscerally engage us or to heighten our intellectual awareness through its symbolic language.  Whatever the reason, it will provide us with years of enjoyment especially if care is taken in the proper framing and displaying of the work.

Poor quality mounting and framing damages more works of art on paper than any other agent.  A professional framer can provide you with options for using acid free materials and glass that offers UV protection.  If you are purchasing unframed art on paper, try to handle it as little as possible, since oils and pressure from hands can stain or smudge the work

The type of medium used to create the art often dictates the type of framing that is appropriate.  For instance, historically, the mounting of photography to a cardboard substrate was the only way to display it.  This is still often preferable since the image will not be subject to the glare of a glass cover.  Today there are options to use non-glare glass or Plexiglas, which offers additional protection while minimizing reflections.

Many contemporary works on canvas are displayed without a frame which often can be what the artist intended.  But nothing finishes a piece of art like a well-chosen frame.  Modern art looks best in minimal frames of wood or metal, one of our favorite styles is the ‘floating frame’ which allows the entire canvas to be viewed without cutting off the edges of the painting and creates a lovely reveal between the painting and the frame.  Traditional and Old-world styles of art look best in larger decorative frames.  The carved motifs on a frame will often evoke a particular style that will be compatible with the art.

Placement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Framing your art is the first step for displaying your art.  A general rule is to hang your artwork so that the center of the piece is 60” off the floor.  But rules are meant to be broken.  Placing art in unexpected places can heighten ones experience of the work, such as hanging a small piece at ‘eye level’ when seated in your favorite chair.  Or just above the highboy that you stand in front of every morning to get your clothes.

Our work in the interior design profession leads us to look beyond the obvious solutions to place art where it will be seen to its full potential.  When we consult with our clients on art placement, we consider the best possible grouping of pieces and how the arrangement complements other design elements in the room.  We are connected with a network of experienced framers and installers who can provide a high level of safety for valuable and fragile works, including securing sculpture and decorative items to pedestal bases.

At Robin Muto Interiors, we welcome collaborations with architects, art consultants, framers and art enthusiasts.

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Architecture for Art

December 2, 2011

I recently discovered the work of architect Jim Olson through his current retrospective show at Washington State University.  A passion for Art and Nature profoundly influences his architecture.  Jim’s philosophy about his work resonates with my personal sensibility about Interior Design, as Jim eloquently states,  ‘Architecture is one big continuous environment that includes the Climate, […]

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Crafting Modernism

October 7, 2011

Living in NYC in the late sixties, I witnessed the emergence of craft studios opening in many neighborhoods.  My boyfriend, at the time, was working at a pottery studio in Greenwich Village and the earthy energy I experienced there was like nothing I had experienced before.  Being young and filled with the romance and idealism […]

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On and Off the Wall

August 30, 2011

Some call it Decorative Art, or Fine Craft, others call it Applied Art or Design but when a maker and medium unite in skill and clarity of vision, art is born.  ‘The Spirit of Modernism’ a current show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, celebrates a distinctive collection of painting, sculpture, furniture, lighting […]

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