I was browsing in the design section at McNally Robinson a while back, and came across the massive Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People tome. I turned to the first image in the book and gasped. The kitchen pictured is my ideal kitchen. Ideal. I scoured the internet for an image to show you, but unfortunately one does not seem to exist. But let me describe as best as I can.
It's a true open kitchen...it essentially exists in the corner of a real, old school loft with the highest ceilings I've ever seen in a residence. There's a vaguely industrial looking refrigerator that looks like actual chefs might use it, which I support over the Sub Zero behemoths that are popping up in every new condo building in New York. Perpendicular to the refrigerator wall is a long wooden countertop, with open wooden shelves and various appliances below. It all just looks very earthy and functional and yet totally stylish, in that eccentric yet tasteful old money way.
But the thing that really makes the room is the massive painting above said wooden counter (that, and the absurdly beautiful woman stirring something in a bowl while wearing a Chanel miniskirt). Turns out that this is the kitchen of Julian Schnabel (obviously the art was his as well), and his beautiful wife Olatz
is the one stirring in the skirt. Talk about an odd couple:
I guess he must be very brilliant. And talented. And witty. At least I hope.
Anyway, my point is that major art can really make a space amazing. I have constant apartment fantasies about my imaginary giant loft with massive canvases adorning the walls. Ideally I would know lots of dazzling young artists who would give them to me for free.
But, given that I know absolutely no visual artists other than the odd photographer, I will be very thankful for UGallery.com when (hopefully not if) I am in reality adorning vast expanses of wall.
This site is essentially a space for young artists to show and sell their work. The quality of the art varies quite widely, but there are some very impressive pieces to be had if you proceed with patience and check back frequently.
Whitney Babin, The University of the Arts
Sunil Gangadharan, Pennsylvania State University
Brian Whiteley, Ball State University
The pieces range in price from $100 up to several thousand (I think $4,500 is the highest I've seen on the site). Sadly, my favorites always seem to be towards the high end of the range. But if you wish to avoid temptation, sort by the price appropriate for your budget.