Clearly everyone and their mother is publishing and swooning over gift guides this time of year. These are fun for the first few minutes and then they’re not when you realize you’re bombarded with 100 things to buy for everyone everywhere. As a general rule, I value experience over materials (which is why we make the experience of making your space more complete so enriching). And bonus point: science agrees; having meaningful experiences with people proves to lead to greater happiness, more memories, and less clutter. On that note, here’s our short and sweet Experience Gift Guide of 2018.
In my hometown outside New York City, there was an Annual Halloween Window Painting Contest that drove a lot of anticipation in my house. My mom marked the registration date in her planner, I sketched out designs in advance, and my grandparents spectated on event day. It was always cold, so we brought gallons of hot chocolate to share with fellow budding artists. To be honest, we weren’t event that into Halloween — just the concept of painting with The People in a relatively public forum. I’m SO proud that as a Brooklynite, mom, art-business owner and community volunteer, we recreated that experience yesterday at the 1st Annual Cobble Hill Halloween Window Painting Day.
Last Friday I went to Field + Supply. It’s a GORGEOUS crafts fair in Kingston, New York at the Hutton Brickyards. There’s a lot to discuss. The location on the Hudson, the bonfires, the smell of bonfires, and the artisanal everything were all simply wonderful. But my favorite news to share is that this fair, and the buzz it has generated, has completely changed the market for beautiful, hand crafted pieces. And finding, owning, and loving them just got easier.
I recently learned through a new favorite podcast that people are increasingly working with and working for companies that represent their values. And vice versa- they’re NOT working with and for those that don’t. This got me thinking (while running in the POURING 2 days ago) what are our values and business philosophies? What does MaLa represent? WELL, here’s what I’ve got in the 3 areas that came to mind first:
Our current projects go through many phases from initial site visits to final installs, and it's rare that we're doing a lot of installs all at once. BUT, that moment has come lots of installs for 3 projects are happening simultaneously. Funnily enough, art installers are ALSO having a moment and my go-tos are all booked/having babies/not available, so this is a new juggle. Not all current installs are necessarily the FINAL situation, but seeing this kind of progress is objectively exciting. Here are the updates:
My mom friend Diana and I recently chatted over drinks about kid-related city outings. I had just brought my girls (ages 4 and 2) to the Met’s Heavenly Bodies exhibit (ie the “Fancy Dress Show”). She had similarly brought her 5 year old there, though apparently Fiamma subsequently requested to see the decorative arts rooms, the Temple of Dendur, the Modern Art exhibit, and more. As it turns out, this is standard for Fiamma, and it’s because Diana has crafted artsy adventures for her and her mini since forever. Together they explore, obsess, and bond over artsy things throughout the 5 boroughs. It puts us all to shame/is totally inspiring. So here lies the first Q+A blog we’ve done to share how Diana leverages the city’s art scene to bond with, and instill a cultural appreciation in, her daughter.
The art world can be QUITE diverse; there’s art of VASTLY different quality (think Etsy buys vs. Koons sculptures), insane price ranges ($0 to nearly $500,000,000), and events for everyone vs. exclusive buttoned up affairs. All in all, the art world has a prevailing reputation of being exclusive and expensive. That said, it’s clearly not just that, and today I’d like to point to three arts-related organizations that are supporting awesome charitable causes.
I've recently learned that quite a few artists follow me on Instagram, which is SUCH a fun fact since I thought my following them was one sided. But considering I have this audience AND an informed point of view on the art buying process , I thought I’d share some unsolicited advice for artists who enjoy selling art.
Last week we got 15 impressive artworks into our client's East Village apartment on approval. This means that we sent pieces the client was seriously interested in buying into her space to see them on the walls. NO ONE dislikes this service; seeing options that make your space better and picking favorites is objectively fun. BUT the results are always surprising. Here are the winners and rejects from last week's session:
Last week I asked our IG followers -- presumably like-minded art + design groupies -- to help us create a list of sources for art under $2k. The responses was AWESOME and it does feel warm and fuzzy to create and engage with an IG community. AND now we have over 25 new sources to check out. I haven't verified pricing on these, but it's exciting to even peak at the variety of artists across these pages, creating photography, painting, works on paper and more, and from the US and abroad. Hopefully this is the first of many mutually beneficial crowdsourcing attempts so high five to all.
Art ranges in price from $0 to hundreds of millions of dollars, and a common misconception is that it's totally subjective. YES, it is, but so is food, fashion, music, and many other things in life and there's still a general consensus on what's good quality and what's not. Art is no different, except that in general, people are less confident assessing it because they're not nearly as exposed to art as they are to food, fashion and music.
Last year one goal I set was to get a full house project. Apartments were fun but, um, houses are MORE fun because there's inherently more opportunity for art and creative alternatives. One year later we have 5 live full house projects with more in the pipeline, in addition to our NYC apartment line up. Each project is different and we're learning ALL THE TIME, but here are the three rules we've found keep our house clients happy and these larger projects on track.
Raise your hand if you saw our announcement on Barnaby Lane x Mason Lane. And raise your hand if you were excited and confused. WELL, curious enthused fans, I'm happy provide some clarity on how this happened, WHY it's a big dealio and how it benefits people near and far.
The New York gallery scene is one of the best in the world, but it's also SUPER intimidating; there are so many options that aren't always apparent or welcoming, and figuring out a route that's family friendly (i.e. near some snacks) is so tricky. I'm into art and efficiency, and as a mama I'm always all about family-friendly anything. SO, I wanted to share some ways to approach the New York gallery scene and have your kids enjoy the ride with you.
Recently I publicly stated (on Instagram) that I hate computer problems and hired a "tech consultant" to make them go away. Well, I am pleased to report that IT WORKED. Our Techie not only fixed my computer problems…
Today, we're meeting Jill Nathanson, a contemporary painter whose work feels summery and uplifting, and stands out from your typical pretty abstracts. Her solo show at a New York gallery just opened, so find out what you need to know about the hows and whys of her work.
Some of you may have been following my couch saga of the past 3 months (I think? Anyone?). Basically my amazing designer friends James and Fanny VERY KINDLY gave me solicited feedback on my kitchen/living space because it didn't feel right to me. In short…
For Mother's Day I received 2 ice cream scoops and 14+ original mixed media artworks done by my two favorite girls. I LOVE THEM ALL, and stay tuned for reviews of each ice cream scoop. But importantly, what should I do with the art? I'm a fan of editing school year highlights into a nice compact Stockholm box, but I want to see the "Mama I Love You" gifts every day of my life, in an organized and stylized fashion (is that wrong?). Accordingly, here are a few ways I approve of displaying kids art.
Does anyone remember me blasting this sunset pic on Instagram circa 2016, then again 3 months ago, then again last month at least 8 times? WELL, loyal followers, the latest update is that IT HAS FOUND ITS HOME! And it's one of our favorite recent installs... here's the story:
Our biz is about matchmaking people with art. And the more art we know about, the better we can matchmake. BUT importantly, I'm picky about what I recommend to clients... I'm hired for my taste, so I have to like an artist's work before even pitching it to a client, and sometimes it takes a lot of looking before finding pieces I like. Here are three new artists I've recently discovered and like. Their work is going right smack into our newly organized database (woot woot!) and you mayyyy see some on a big brick Soho loft wall very soon.