Visiting this spring's décor previews often felt like exploring an art gallery. There was an artistic vibe to everything from dinnerware to drapery, art photographs to textiles.
Manufacturers are now able to reproduce artwork with impressive detail and precision. Originals that may have been painted or inked retain evidence of brush and pen. Computer-generated designs have greater depth of colour and pattern than in the past. And photo prints are even more striking.
Zara Home has a bouquet of lovely throw pillows for spring with vintage prints or botanical ones reminiscent of paintings by the Masters. "Mariposa" features a flock of Edouard Travies-esque exotic butterflies on a white background; "Lula" evokes a Renoir still life; "Spring" has a sweet cottage floral; "Lannion," ''Hawaiana" and "Hojas'" tropical motifs have a retro vibe. (www.zarahome.com )
A spring walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden inspired artist Matthew Lew to create an exuberant burst of white and tan blooms on a bright orange background, rendered at CB2 on a hand-tufted rug. The retailer's got another modern rug featuring a graphic brush stroke of linen white on tonal carbon grey. And artist Katherine Finn-Gamino's colorful multi-media geometric pillow is abstract art for the sofa. (Botanical rug, Swoosh rug, pillow, www.cb2.com )
Watercolour paintings of many popular dog breeds, including Labs, golden retrievers and little terriers, are available from Pottery Barn on linen throw pillows with personalized monograms. The needle arts are showcased here, as well, on linen lampshades stitched with tonal ikat or floral motifs, and a pillow depicting a vintage bird postcard in finely-detailed embroidery.
Photographic art is an excellent way to bring a creative or unusual element to your room. Pottery Barn continues to expand its wall-art series this spring with a coterie of photo artists who have made intriguing works at a price point not easily matched in the market for great photography.
California photographer Lupen Grainne creates imagery that combines a pensive Instagram quality with professional composition. She captures dreamy San Francisco street scenes and beautiful fruit or fork still lifes that draw you in. San Francisco-based Ana Ramirez' shell photographs in stark black and white highlight the sculptural beauty of nature. And Prague-born photographer Michal Venera's expressive black-and-white Tanzanian animal prints depict the textural grace and beauty of the natural world.
You'll also find some amazing work from pro photogs Cindy Taylor and Rebecca Plotnick. (www.potterybarn.com )
At Crate & Barrel, there's the Monet-like watercolour floral of the "Myrtle" pillow, while the dramatic "Landscape" pillow, featuring a winding road through wild countryside, brings Turner to mind. (www.crateandbarrel.com )
Bird's eggs writ large — in fact, 32-inch-square large — are the powerful focal point of a series of wall art at Wisteria this spring. The eggs themselves are softly hued, but the scale of the photographic imagery is so remarkable that one or more would be a central feature in any room. (www.wisteria.com )