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Inspiration: Venice

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Venice is one of the most magical, timeless places I can think of. A floating city steeped in tradition and culture, and characterized by winding alleys and canals, it is truly a goldmine of inspiration. I have visited Venice many times and each time I go, I am awestruck by the city's rich colors. The crystal blue of Murano glass, the red brick of the palazzos, the dramatic black of the gondolas, the purple and pink of the traditional Venetian masks -- the eye-catching colors are endless.

Beyond color, Venice is a place of great architecture and design, which is why it is home of the Arts Biennale, an international festival of contemporary art (www.labiennale.org). Artists from around the world apply to have their art displayed in Venice's grand palaces and churches, transforming the city into an even more beautiful and creative space.

With the Biennale taking place now, I have Venice on the mind! Make sure to have a look at parts of the festival, but in the meantime, I'd like to share some images of the city. They are truly inspiring for my design ventures, and hopefully they will be for you as well.

Please enjoy!

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This photo looks old, but its antique view of Venice is still accurate today.
(pininterest.com)

1 This photo looks old, but its antique view of Venice is still accurate today. (pininterest.com)

A black and white photo gives you a better perception of the architecture of the city. The buildings look as if they are literally floating on the water -- and they are!
(designspiration.com)

2 A black and white photo gives you a better perception of the architecture of the city. The buildings look as if they are literally floating on the water -- and they are! (designspiration.com)

A birds-eye view of the city showcases its unique position and construction. 
(blackeiffel.blogspot.com)

3 A birds-eye view of the city showcases its unique position and construction. (blackeiffel.blogspot.com)

Piazza San Marco (pinterest.com)

4 Piazza San Marco (pinterest.com)

It is truly a city of contrasts -- light and dark, old and new. 
(topdesignmag.com)

5 It is truly a city of contrasts -- light and dark, old and new. (topdesignmag.com)

This is a light installation set up for the Biennale. The fixtures are amazing -- so simple and elegant. 
(interiordesign.net)

6 This is a light installation set up for the Biennale. The fixtures are amazing -- so simple and elegant. (interiordesign.net)

This is a light installation by Spencer Finch, set up for the Venice Biennale. 
(olivegoldwine.blogspot.com)

7 This is a light installation by Spencer Finch, set up for the Venice Biennale. (olivegoldwine.blogspot.com)

The way the buildings line the canal and stand like matches in a box, side by side, is truly unique to Venice.
(travelandleisure.com)

8 The way the buildings line the canal and stand like matches in a box, side by side, is truly unique to Venice. (travelandleisure.com)

The island off of Venice known as Burano, is full of vibrant, punchy color.
 (photography-edu.com)

9 The island off of Venice known as Burano, is full of vibrant, punchy color. (photography-edu.com)

The gondolier is so emblematic of Venice.
(atreelinedstreet.com)

10 The gondolier is so emblematic of Venice. (atreelinedstreet.com)

Here is a close up of the famous Venetian Gondola.
(apartmenttherapy.com)

11 Here is a close up of the famous Venetian Gondola. (apartmenttherapy.com)

This painting reflects a typical Venetian color palate -- it shows you how interconnected art and design really are, even centuries ago!
(

12 This painting reflects a typical Venetian color palate -- it shows you how interconnected art and design really are, even centuries ago! ("Bacchus and Ariadne", painting by Titian, 1523)

Another famous painting executed in the 16th century with a noticeably Venetian style and inspiration. 
(

13 Another famous painting executed in the 16th century with a noticeably Venetian style and inspiration. ("The Miracle of St. Mark", painting by Tintoretto, 1548)

A window shot of the traditional Venetian masks. They make a fun, whimsical decorating item. 
(iamfashion.blogspot)

14 A window shot of the traditional Venetian masks. They make a fun, whimsical decorating item. (iamfashion.blogspot)

Piazza San Marco can be captured from so many angles. 
(topdesignmag.com)

15 Piazza San Marco can be captured from so many angles. (topdesignmag.com)

An interior of Cafe Florian, the oldest coffee house in continuous operation in the world! Its design is beautifully old-world. Gold embellishments and intricate moldings make the cafe a true tourist destination.
 (thecountrypolitan.blogspot.com)

16 An interior of Cafe Florian, the oldest coffee house in continuous operation in the world! Its design is beautifully old-world. Gold embellishments and intricate moldings make the cafe a true tourist destination. (thecountrypolitan.blogspot.com)

The Hotel Cipriani is a staple of Venice. Its views and accomodations are special, and worth a peek.
(hotelcipriani.com)

17 The Hotel Cipriani is a staple of Venice. Its views and accomodations are special, and worth a peek. (hotelcipriani.com)

Look at how the water meets up against the buildings. This is really an awesome image of a typical view in Venice. 
(pininterest.com)

18 Look at how the water meets up against the buildings. This is really an awesome image of a typical view in Venice. (pininterest.com)

Framed or just as a fun poster on the wall, I love this map.
(pininterest.com)

19 Framed or just as a fun poster on the wall, I love this map. (pininterest.com)

A great guide to Venice for your kids!
(

20 A great guide to Venice for your kids! ("This is Venice" by M. Sasek)

So many artists have fallen in love with Venice. John Ruskin in particular, an art critic and draftsman, found inspiration in the architecture and design of the city. He compiled this book, 'The Stones of Venice' in its honor -- it is a true masterpiece.

21 So many artists have fallen in love with Venice. John Ruskin in particular, an art critic and draftsman, found inspiration in the architecture and design of the city. He compiled this book, 'The Stones of Venice' in its honor -- it is a true masterpiece.

Spotlight: Jane Booth

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I found out about this wonderful artist through one of my coworkers, Aaron Stewart.

Aaron is the Vice-President of Design here at MSLO, so he's a pretty good judge of art.

Booth's work is so refreshing. The bright, bold colors inspire such wonderful and happy palettes.

Booth lives and works on her ranch outside of Kansas City, Kansas. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kansas State University, and she took painting classes at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Currently her work is being exhibited at the Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art gallery, with plans for another exhibition next June at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri.
If those galleries aren't convenient, you can take in many of her beautiful pieces on her own site.

Below are a few of Booth's works, pictures of her studio, and the piece that first piqued my interest... the painting that graces Aaron's office.

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Aaron Stewart, VP of Design, has this painting of Booth's hung in his office. It gives the all-white office a good punch of color.

1 Aaron Stewart, VP of Design, has this painting of Booth's hung in his office. It gives the all-white office a good punch of color.

Series Sixty Six - Through

2 Series Sixty Six - Through

Series Sixty Six - Libby and Hank's Walk

3 Series Sixty Six - Libby and Hank's Walk

Series Sixty Six - Dissolution Part 2

4 Series Sixty Six - Dissolution Part 2

Series Sixty Six - The Lake in June

5 Series Sixty Six - The Lake in June

Here Booth is shown finishing her monolithic

6 Here Booth is shown finishing her monolithic "Birdsongs".

Painting is a messy job.

7 Painting is a messy job.

Swirls of color have stained this palette.

8 Swirls of color have stained this palette.

These bold colors are signature elements of Booth's paintings.

9 These bold colors are signature elements of Booth's paintings.

10

I love the use of oil pastel in Booth's paintings. Even though the paint is so bright, their oily nature makes them stick out.

11 I love the use of oil pastel in Booth's paintings. Even though the paint is so bright, their oily nature makes them stick out.

New paintings are hung to dry on a clothes line on a Florida beach. This image is art itself. I love the contrast of the modern, bright paintings against the natural seaside setting.

12 New paintings are hung to dry on a clothes line on a Florida beach. This image is art itself. I love the contrast of the modern, bright paintings against the natural seaside setting.

Organized paint bottles show the many colors of Booth's work.

13 Organized paint bottles show the many colors of Booth's work.

14

Oil pastels are a heavily used medium in Booth's paintings.

15 Oil pastels are a heavily used medium in Booth's paintings.

16

Tape aids the process of Booth's work.

17 Tape aids the process of Booth's work.

Completed paintings are laid on the floor of Booth's studio.

18 Completed paintings are laid on the floor of Booth's studio.

Overlapping canvasses.

19 Overlapping canvasses.

Sun Drenched Series - Above and Below

20 Sun Drenched Series - Above and Below

Sun Drenched Series - Beach

21 Sun Drenched Series - Beach

22

Sun Drenched Series - White

23 Sun Drenched Series - White

Triptych - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

24 Triptych - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Tunisia Series - Ode to Maria

25 Tunisia Series - Ode to Maria

Sun Drenched Series - Later

26 Sun Drenched Series - Later

Inspiration: Ice Cream

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Pistachio. Strawberry. Chocolate. Not only are these delicious ice-cream flavors...their colors make up just part of a soothing summer palette.

Ice cream is such an inspiring food. Whether it is a wall the color of sherbet or a pillow with ribbons of deep brown like a drizzle of chocolate syrup, your home can take on a much sweeter note when you let summer's favorite food inform your palette. The kitchens at Martha Stewart Living has produced some of the most delicious and beautiful ice-cream dishes...

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Ice Cream Cupcakes. 
(marthastewart.com/316908/ice-cream-cupcakes)

1 Ice Cream Cupcakes. (marthastewart.com/316908/ice-cream-cupcakes)

Coconut and Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches.
(marthastewart.com/284893/coconut-and-almond-ice-cream-sandwiches)

2 Coconut and Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches. (marthastewart.com/284893/coconut-and-almond-ice-cream-sandwiches)

Patriotic Ice Cream Cone Wrapper.
(marthastewart.com/264431/patriotic-ice-cream-cone-wrapper)

3 Patriotic Ice Cream Cone Wrapper. (marthastewart.com/264431/patriotic-ice-cream-cone-wrapper)

Fresh Spearmint Ice Cream.
(marthastewart.com/330145/fresh-spearmint-ice-cream)

4 Fresh Spearmint Ice Cream. (marthastewart.com/330145/fresh-spearmint-ice-cream)

Mint-Chocolate Chip Cake
(marthastewart.com/316788/mint-chocolate-chip-cake)

5 Mint-Chocolate Chip Cake (marthastewart.com/316788/mint-chocolate-chip-cake)

Lemon Meringue Semifreddi. 
(marthastewart.com/334696/lemon-meringue-semifreddi)

6 Lemon Meringue Semifreddi. (marthastewart.com/334696/lemon-meringue-semifreddi)

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake. 
(marthastewart.com/315158/neapolitan-ce-cream-cake)

7 Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake. (marthastewart.com/315158/neapolitan-ce-cream-cake)

Ice Cream and Mixed Berry Pops.
(marthastewart.com/355901/ice-cream-and-mixed-berry-pops)

8 Ice Cream and Mixed Berry Pops. (marthastewart.com/355901/ice-cream-and-mixed-berry-pops)

Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream Cake. (marthastewart.com/354975/peaches-and-cream-ice-cream-cake)

9 Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream Cake. (marthastewart.com/354975/peaches-and-cream-ice-cream-cake)

Black-and-white Peanut Bar Ice Cream Cake.
(marthastewart.com/332246/black-and-white-peanut-bar-ice-cream-cak)

10 Black-and-white Peanut Bar Ice Cream Cake. (marthastewart.com/332246/black-and-white-peanut-bar-ice-cream-cak)

Striped Ice Cream Cake.
(marthastewart.com/349789/striped-ice-cream-cake)

11 Striped Ice Cream Cake. (marthastewart.com/349789/striped-ice-cream-cake)

Swirly Cupcakes.
(marthastewart.com/281538/swirly-cupcakes)

12 Swirly Cupcakes. (marthastewart.com/281538/swirly-cupcakes)

To celebrate summer's unofficial dish, I selected a palette that reminds me of ice-cream delights.

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The following paint colors are from the Martha Stewart Living paint collection at Home Depot: Custard (MSL068), Sugared Pansy Pink (MSL006), Heavy Cream (MSL058), Wampum (MSL179), Chocolate Truffle (MSL221), Aurora Borealis (MSL089) and Calabash (MSL099). (homedepot.com)

1 The following paint colors are from the Martha Stewart Living paint collection at Home Depot: Custard (MSL068), Sugared Pansy Pink (MSL006), Heavy Cream (MSL058), Wampum (MSL179), Chocolate Truffle (MSL221), Aurora Borealis (MSL089) and Calabash (MSL099). (homedepot.com)

There are endless possibilities to include the colors of ice cream in your home. I hope these inspire you to sweeten your space this summer.

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The billowing layers of this bedspread remind me of the texture of ice cream. (urbanoutfitters.com)

1 The billowing layers of this bedspread remind me of the texture of ice cream. (urbanoutfitters.com)

Ice-cream bowls don't usually look modern. This piece will be right at home in my kitchen. (bloomingdales.com)

2 Ice-cream bowls don't usually look modern. This piece will be right at home in my kitchen. (bloomingdales.com)

Using this green as an accent keeps the room from being too overpowering. (Martha Stewart Living)

3 Using this green as an accent keeps the room from being too overpowering. (Martha Stewart Living)

How gorgeous would a scoop of double chocolate ice cream look in this bowl? (macys.com)

4 How gorgeous would a scoop of double chocolate ice cream look in this bowl? (macys.com)

The minty walls make this office space zen-like. (Martha Stewart Living)

5 The minty walls make this office space zen-like. (Martha Stewart Living)

The best place to have ice cream is by the pool These bright towels will match all the colors in your pint. (horchow.com)

6 The best place to have ice cream is by the pool These bright towels will match all the colors in your pint. (horchow.com)

The custard wall color makes this room pop with brightness. (Martha Stewart Living)

7 The custard wall color makes this room pop with brightness. (Martha Stewart Living)

These aren't your typical ice-cream bowls. (macys.com)

8 These aren't your typical ice-cream bowls. (macys.com)

This minty-green is such a soothing color for a bedroom. (Martha Stewart Living)

9 This minty-green is such a soothing color for a bedroom. (Martha Stewart Living)

The tiers are like layers of a sundae. (potterybarn.com)

10 The tiers are like layers of a sundae. (potterybarn.com)

A perfectly pastelled setting for this banquette. (via littleemmaenglishhome.blogspot.com)

11 A perfectly pastelled setting for this banquette. (via littleemmaenglishhome.blogspot.com)

This gorgeous piece of art will add a whimsical lightness to your living room. (horchow.com)

12 This gorgeous piece of art will add a whimsical lightness to your living room. (horchow.com)

A set of fun ice-cream bowls is a must-have for any household. Martha Stewart Collection (macys.com)

13 A set of fun ice-cream bowls is a must-have for any household. Martha Stewart Collection (macys.com)

Sometimes pastel can look frilly. This looks sophisticated. (Martha Stewart Living)

14 Sometimes pastel can look frilly. This looks sophisticated. (Martha Stewart Living)

The blackberry color on these sheets looks delicious enough to eat. Martha Stewart Collection. (macys.com)

15 The blackberry color on these sheets looks delicious enough to eat. Martha Stewart Collection. (macys.com)

The orange colors in this flower arrangement remind me of a refreshing sherbet. (Martha Stewart Living)

16 The orange colors in this flower arrangement remind me of a refreshing sherbet. (Martha Stewart Living)

What a chic way to serve a sundae. (macys.com)

17 What a chic way to serve a sundae. (macys.com)

A few pops of green tie this whole room together in a fun pistachio color. (Martha Stewart Living)

18 A few pops of green tie this whole room together in a fun pistachio color. (Martha Stewart Living)

The room looks as luxurious as a spoonful of your favorite ice cream. (decor8)

19 The room looks as luxurious as a spoonful of your favorite ice cream. (decor8)

I love the shape of these ice cream spoons. (crateandbarrel.com)

20 I love the shape of these ice cream spoons. (crateandbarrel.com)

Afraid of incorporating bright pinks and custards? Take a note from this room, and go for a more muted look. 
(Domino Magazine)

21 Afraid of incorporating bright pinks and custards? Take a note from this room, and go for a more muted look. (Domino Magazine)

Throw an adults only ice-cream party and serve up your sundaes in these gorgeous vintage-inspired bowls. (urbanoutfitters.com)

22 Throw an adults only ice-cream party and serve up your sundaes in these gorgeous vintage-inspired bowls. (urbanoutfitters.com)

What's your favorite ice-cream color?

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