Art Designers Love NOW

Designers and visual artists: They are a match made in heavenly living rooms, hallways, offices and bedrooms. It takes just the right artwork to pull together a space and elevate it from fresh to fabulous. Here, we share with you the artist/designer pairings that have us swooning this season.

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Colorful and Collected

Tello Interiors and Howard Fonda |

“Our goal was to enliven the spaces with texture and pattern. The design was inspired by the frenetic work of artist Howard Fonda, whose two bird paintings can be found in the home. Fonda’s large textural work pairs well in most Oregon homes; they bring in a natural element in a one-of-a-kind manner. The paintings give the space a sense of fun and energy, which was important to the owners.”

Photo by Benjamin Ariff


Graphic Statement

Stewart Horner and Benjamin Ewing |

“I love the simplicity of Benjamin Ewing’s work,” says Stewart Horner, designer for Penny Black Interiors, about the multidisciplinary Portland artist. “Art is just something that works for you at a personal level or it doesn’t, and his work just does it for me.” For Stewart, best known for his wild and bold updates to Victorians, Ewing’s work can be paired with any interior and looks equally at home in a maximal residence as it does on a gallery wall. “That’s the beauty of this work,” Horner says. “It’s tough.”

Photo by Stewart Horner

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French Country Serenity

Tiffany Home Design and Lisa Jensen |

“Lisa Jensen’s art grabbed my attention immediately, and I knew it would be a perfect complement to the French country home I was designing” says Brittainy Tiffany of Tiffany Home Design, a frequent contributor to the Northwest Natural Street of Dreams. Tiffany envisioned this French country home for a retired couple who loved to travel. She wanted the art for the office of this residence to look like something the couple might have gathered on their adventures through Europe and chose this triptych by Jensen, known for her abstract landscapes. “With the lighter pastel colors in Lisa’s painting, it allowed for that fresh feeling I was designing.”

Photo by Realty Photo NW

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Farmhouse Flair

Renaissance Homes and Kristen Engel | |

Renaissance Homes consulted with Lake Oswego-based Wishbone Home & Design to commission artist Kristen Engel to create a bold, abstract work for the great room of the company’s award-winning 2019 Street of Dreams home. “A room that is 20 feet tall requires a piece containing bold movement,” says associate designer Pam Criswell. “It’s a challenge to find the exact, right piece, and Kristen was willing to follow our lead.” Engel’s style, Criswell says, lends itself well to anything from a modern farmhouse to a modern contemporary.

Photo by Diana Sell

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Neutral Glamour

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design and Chris Mullins |

“I wanted to create a bit of juxtaposition in the space that was so formal. Gallery owner Amy Caplan recommended this Chris Mullins piece not only because of his scale but also the mix of color and palette and texture that really draws your attention. I love the movement you see in this large painting. And yes, the placement of the art is not centered—I just love that asymmetrical statement in this space.”

Photo by Blackstone Edge