Go Big or Go Home: Tips and Tricks for Buying & Styling Oversized Art At Home

Houzz Tour: New Traditional CA family

Melissa Mercier

Sarah Sarner Image via Photographer by Simon Watson / Interior Design by David Collins /


Domesticitie Oversized abstract painting via Nicole at Sketch 42

Pueblo St Bedroom by Laure Smith Design

Chelsea Apartment by Shagreene

Houzz Tour (from our house!)


I saw this recent houzz tour online (first two images from top) and was blown away by the stunning oversize art and dramatic placement. Getting abstract in the bathroom, why not?

When it comes to art, I am cut from the same cloth as this CA family, the bigger the better. We have a large painting in our living room right now and I would love to add some additional pieces to our collection. Rather than an accent wallpaper, or wall color, why not utilize the entire wall to hang a painting? You can easily swap it out if you change your mind on decor or buy a new sofa. Just pick it up and carry out, no need to repaint or paper.


A few things to consider before making your purchase:

-Measure your space. And then measure it again! I am a repeat offender of the incorrect measuring crime. Tall ceilings are usually necessary but not always a requirement.

-Think about lighting. Will it be near a window? Natural light is always best but not always possible. I love these battery powered lights for artwork and shelf detailing- we have them perched on top of the shelves in our office. The light we have over our living room painting is from Hudson, in the South End (last photo above). Hardwiring was an easy option here because the painting covered an outlet for a sconce that was removed. Getting an electrician in can be a pretty penny, so for me, battery is usually the way to go!

-Framing can either make or break a piece. Is the work vivid? Abstract? Less is often more when it comes to the frame. Antique, perhaps? Pick something that complements the composition and tone while meshing with your current space. My favourite local spot for all things frame is Framers Workshop in Brookline. They have great pricing, a huge selection, and will even walk you through building your own frames- much easier than it looks or sounds.

-Add the item to your homeowners or renters insurance policy, usually within 60-90 days from purchase. If it is worth investing in, it is worth protecting! I use Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers locally for insurance appraisals, but your insurance company can likely recommend someone.

-Transport! How? Will it fit? Can you package it to safely travel? Our painting is so large we could not fit it in our SUV. Or our friend's SUV. Or our other friend's SUV. Finally, like goldilocks, we found a truck that was just right (my father in laws oversize van). If that had not worked, we would have rented a van from U-Haul and moved it ourselves. Likewise, if you purchase from out of state, the gallery can often pack and ship or recommend someone reputable who can take care of this for you (for a fee).

-And most importantly, where to buy? If you read the blog with any frequency, you know I typically frequent Skinner Auctions in Boston for my art and antiques. The fine art department is stellar and they get an eclectic mix, from Warhol, to Picasso and everything in between. Is there a gallery you like? They can often work with a buyer to narrow down selections in line with their taste, that importantly, work in the home. Finally, there is another local lady doing amazing things for the art acquisition scene, Amelia Eichholz of Colour Bloc. She often shares finds on her own blog and has a way of making art infinitely approachable- from prints under 50.00 to fine art with a fine price tag. I always walk away from her site with a new idea or artist to check out.

Other places you like to look? Daydream? Let me know!


Post Pregnancy Wardrobe MUST: Leather Leggings & Tunic Layers

Above: H&M jacket and tunic, Topshop leather panel legging (similar legging via Topshop), YSL booties (similar style from Chloe), Jerome Dreyfuss bag, Celine sunglasses, Camilla James earrings via M Flynn


This entire photo sequence makes me wish I knew how to splice together a GIF.  Me, trying to snap some quick photos before the Saks event (see previous post from 10/1).  Kiki, total photobomb, and last ditch effort to make mom play before she runs out of the house.

Like pets, babies are total lessons in patience. The baby is the sensei, I am but the humble grasshopper.  I discovered a few things this last month, but seriously wait, can you believe it has been a month since I had a BABY? What the....

Baby wisdom from a new mom, with a fashion twist:

Babies be babies. They don't know how to do anything other than cry, coo, pee and poop. They definitely don't know how to sleep. When the poop hits the fan, take it as an excuse to make an outfit change for yourself and baby. Multiple outfit changes in one day, very glamorous, no?

Don't fight the baby. You won't win. Type A's take note- you have no rigid agenda to follow anymore. You will follow the lead of your baby. Or have a meltdown, of pure and utter frustration. Arriving fashionably late, is tres chic no? At any rate might be a good excuse to blend in with some neutrals and sneak into what ever event you are arriving at late! 

And repeat after me- celebrities lose the weight because they have trainers. And dieticians. And nannies. Breast feeding does not equate to miraculous, spontaneous, weight loss. They also have stylists that help them find flattering clothes for this in between period. I have turned to the GAP and their constant markdowns. 

So now that I have adopted this new fashion mantra, and accept that I can not reason with a baby, things are falling into a bit of a groove. 

These leggings are a great post baby transitional item I bought while pregnant (non maternity wear again), that are great now that I still have the baby pounds to shed. I have been living in long, flowy tunics and layers these days. Any suggestions for other post baby clothing items that will make the in between time a little more bearable and not take a huge bite out of the budget? All ears!


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