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An Art Swaperoo Plus a “Project” From 2011

I got a little over-excited about answering a reader Q regarding our television storage and accidentally shared a little change to the living room before I meant to.  It might seem insignificant to you, but it is a huge deal for me – both aesthetically, and also because I got around to something I put off for a year.  Tackling something I’ve put off for that long always feels strangely gratifying and productive to me.

So what’s the change?

I took down my beloved water colour from Paris – it was always too small for that wall – and finally hung up a vintage print I bought in 2011 from a mid-century shop.  Yup, you have to stick around for a year and a half to see the “after” sometimes.  Spot the difference?

The scale is so much better!!  The new piece isn’t turquoise (gasp!) but I think it pairs well with the paintings over the sofa which have similar pink and ochre hues.

In the end,  I just couldn’t find a nice pre-made frame anywhere for this print, so I decided to have it professionally framed.  I love the print, plus it had come from the estate of the artist who must have loved it too because she kept this first edition.  I figured it was worth the splurge.  We DIY so much (even a lot of the art), that I think it looks nice to have a “real” piece of art with a great frame here and there.

I have had a few pieces professionally framed (like my Hungarian embroidery piece) and am always surprised how much more affordable it is to go to a local shop, as opposed to a big box store (even with a 60% off coupon). This time I went to Malen Framing, in Ottawa, and was really pleased with the fabulous customer service and also the quality and pricing.  I have never taken so long to decide on a frame, but the staff were patient and shared their experienced opinions without being pushy.  In the end, the frame I chose looks gorgeous – it’s a perfect, muted, brushed gold that picks up on the warmth of the print and some of the metallic hues in the print itself.

Malen Framing also nailed the matting; the print is on a really yellow-tinged paper and the wrong matting would have made it look smoke-stained.  But they picked one that is bright and crisp but still suits the print.

I know it’s a weird little print, but I love it.

And don’t worry about the little watercolour.

It found a new home on a blank wall in the stairwell, a perfect complement to the antique postcards and a nice pop of colour in a tiny space.

I have the hardest time moving art around, because I get so accustomed to having things where they are – plus I like my favorite pieces where I can see them most frequently – but I might need to do some art shuffling again when I’m home, because I couldn’t resist buying a little print here, in Budapest.



  1. How2home
    October 3, 2012 / 1:19 pm

    I agree the scale of this print + frame is much more suitable. Great job Tanya!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 3, 2012 / 4:07 pm

      Thanks! I'm super happy with the change and it feels good to no longer shuffle the print from here to there. It has been living on the tops on furniture, like bookcases and armoires, to keep it safe. Ha ha.

  2. rusty duck
    October 3, 2012 / 5:40 pm

    I love the Townhouse, very light and airy.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 3, 2012 / 7:50 pm

      Awww, thanks! That's the goal! Except now I'm working on adding more hits of bright colour.

  3. Amelia @ House Pretty
    October 3, 2012 / 8:09 pm

    So at first I thought the first picture was the after and I was so confused! The new piece looks great and seems to suit the room better – glad you were able to find another home for your Paris print!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 3, 2012 / 8:17 pm

      Ooops, shoulda labelled them! I thought I'd set it up like one of those "spot the difference" cartoons. Hope you didn't spend too much time looking at the first photo . . . I may have fluffed the pillows differently, but that's the only difference 😉

  4. cred
    October 4, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    Love that new print- the colours are perfect. It picks up on the warmth of the teak, the brick in the fireplace and the rust/gold cushions. Nicely done! I wish I knew how to pick art. I find it incredibly difficult. But then I see something hanging in someone's home or in a magazine and suddenly, in context, and only then can I recognize what I like.The living room looks lovely- those warm tones are perfect for autumn.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 4, 2012 / 6:30 pm

      Thanks! I think the trick is to pick something you love. I picked the paintings above the sofa and the one in the dining room (both painted my Hubby's grandpa) and designed our life/decor around them. I pulled colours from the paintings and used them as inspiration for other work. Some people try to find art to "match" the room but I think it needs to be the other way around – art first, decor after. If a piece of art, even out of context, ever strikes your fancy – go for it. Or try painting your own (then you can paint over them when you change your mind).

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