<![CDATA[LAURA KOWALSKI - Blog]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2023 14:14:37 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[How Much Boo Can You Do?]]>Fri, 27 Oct 2023 21:17:44 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/how-much-boo-can-you-doHalloween Decor 
Everyone has their favorite holiday, and I personally know a few who simply live for Halloween. They have life-size skeletons posed sitting around the dining table, and Halloween pieces drip from every square inch and surface. Very fun and creative!

Most of us, though, have limited space and no front yard. Maybe you live in an apartment, have a limited budget or no storage space for holiday celebration items. Maybe you're simply new to decorating.

​You can do a lot with a little, even last minute. We got ya covered!

Storage Solved

Don't let lack of storage space limit you!

If you have just about zero storage space for your decor once a holiday or celebration is over, you might think you have to skip decorating altogether. Happily, that's not true at all.

The key here is think organic. Think fresh pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, scarecrows, cornhusk dolls, Indian Corn, dried wheat wreaths, and Chrysanthemums.

If you live in an area that provides it, you can gather acorns and pretty leaves. Shake off any bugs first, but use these in flower vases or on plates and bowls as a pretty table decoration.

​(When I say "organics" I don't mean you need to spend extra to buy things that have been grown under Certified Organic guidelines. I simply mean that things are temporary and "live.")

A simple Command hook (one that can handle 5 pounds) can be put on the door to hold a wreath, wheat bunch, or Indian Corn arrangement. Even if you have a metal door or rent an apartment home these Command hooks are perfect for adding a touch of fun and color.

After the holiday is over these natural fibers and things can be put in the compost bin or garbage. No storage needed!

Add Some New to Your Old School

​If you want a little more pizzazz to your organics, simply love a more styled look, need something FAST, or have sworn off pumpkin carving for one reason or another, you can use simple crafts paint to spiff them up.

Painting gourds and pumpkins solid colors can be the fastest solution.

Painting them white, a variety of blues, or even gold are classic and classy ways to make centerpieces and doorstep decor.

Want something even more modern? You could do black and white paint for a dramatic solution. Use painters tape to help block off sections if you want to try a checkered pattern or get more detailed. 

Go Fiber

A quick trip to the fabric or craft store can net some very fun and simple decorations. Fabric that looks like cobwebs, or even simple black or white gauzy fabric is a fast way to add spook to your home.

Fabric can be draped over mirrors, artwork, tables, or even thumbtacked into doorways at odd angles to lend a cobwebby feel.

This can work even in an apartment where there is no lawn or floorspace to add anything big.

Fabric like this is very simple to roll up into a super small rolls or squares so you can easily store it in a place the size of a shoebox.

Eat it Up

Baking can be a great way to decorate.


A beautiful spooky cake, yummy creative cookies, apple pies, cinnamon rolls, and fun cupcakes are perfect. Any or all of these set on the counter or table bring a new level of delight to the eye and the tummy.

I can't think of a more delicious way to decorate. It also adds a fantastic smell to the air. Don't be surprised if you end up with unexpected guests wanting to help you sample the yummy.

Make it Last

Another bonus of using natural decor is it can be used for Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Yep, there is more versatility to Chrysanthemums, corn, and gourds!

You can pull down any fabric decorations that were Halloween-specific and leave the rest up for a beautiful November.

Keep an eye on the pumpkins and gourds and make sure they're still fresh and solid (not rotting). If you need to get fresh pumpkins just paint up a new set.

​There are so many simple, fast, affordable ways to bring energy and beauty into your home this year, you'll want to get in on the fun.

No matter your budget or storage space you can enjoy this time of year with all of your senses!

Tell me what your favorite way to decorate is in the comments below!

​Happy Halloween!
<![CDATA[Level up your Zoom Game with Art]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2023 02:56:09 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/level-up-your-zoom-game-with-artBrand and Connect
​You wouldn’t serve your friends food on a piece of paper towel saying “here, eat.” You wouldn’t sit your clients in an empty waiting room. You wouldn’t ignore LinkedIn profiles or business cards. So why are you ignoring your background on your video calls?

​Pay attention to that blank space behind you! That's where people are looking during the call, it's setting the tone, and becoming part of your brand as much as any marketing you're doing.

A boring wall isn't “professional” and isn’t building trust. It’s cold, boring, and shows you put no thought at all into what the other person is experiencing. You’re better than that!

But I Got Background

Maybe you're thinking to yourself "I use that virtual background option, so I don't need to worry about my real life background."  

Sorry that’s just not cutting it. If you need to use that once in a great while that's ok, but it’s unstable on the areas surrounding the most important thing: you! It also uncomfortable and difficult to look at. People don’t like being uncomfortable. If you're on a sales call or trying to build trust a virtual background won't cut it.

If you’re trying to project a safe environment, you’re missing out, too. Using that background only looks like you’re hiding something behind a curtain of technology.

​Level up! Get a real background!

Set the Stage at Your Desk

If you video call in from a desk top computer, invest some money in two things:

1) a simple light source that can be adjusted to fully light your face no matter what time of day or the weather

2) Art to hang behind you for others on your call to see

After you invest in some Art and have a simple light ring to light up your beautiful face, take a look at what people are seeing when they talk with you. Be set manager and director and do some practice runs. Turn on your camera, take screenshots of your video, save them, and then look at them objectively.  Is the camera at eye level? How is the light? How does the art look? Are you projecting the feeling that you want to? 

Shift things until you get them right, then keep things set up that way, or mark and make note of where things are positioned so you can easily set it up perfectly for your next call.

Make A Mobile Video Set

If you’re on a laptop, tablet, or phone trying to find a quiet corner of your house or apartment to video call from, you can still have a beautiful background.

It's likely you need to move from room to room for quiet and privacy depending on who else is home and what activities they're doing. 

To start use an ultra portable desk you can move to any room, even in small spaces. There's a great and very affordable desk that goes by another name: an ironing board! Easy to store no matter how limited the space, fast and easy height adjustment, and light and easy to move and set up even in small areas.

Next, light source. With the desk able to move so easily, you can angle to face a window (during the day), near a lamp, or you can use a simple portable light ring that lights your face.

Pick three places that are go-to spots, add Art in the background, do some dry runs taking screenshots of your video feed and adjust til it's great.

You know you'll sometimes need to take calls in your bedroom for example. Pick a wall or corner for the camera to face that doesn't show your bed but instead shows art, even if it's just part of it. Keep a chair available nearby, toss a throw blanket on the back to make it feel and look better. Use that ironing board desk to get angles just right.

Check your living room situation and choose two or three spots that will work (it's good to have options). Since it's a larger room, notice ALL of what is showing in the background. Make sure there are larger pieces of art for people to see.

For example in my living room I have a spot that works when the sun is up and one that's better even when it's dark out. Now I know how to get them set up in about 4 minutes.

As always they include Art.

This Isn't Hollywood

Doing these simple things doesn’t mean that every video call you'll look like you’re a movie star. We're not even saying you need your hair and makeup done.

That’s ok! It's even more reason to let people know you’ve thought about their experience on the call and want to show you value them and yourself by having beautiful art. 

There is an informal 5 AM call that I’m on. The lights, heat, and chairs don’t quite line up in the morning. but i’m working on it. But regardless of how I look for that particular early morning call, I have beautiful art in the background.

It’s wonderful to hear people say I love that. Oh those blues! Or to have my clients contact me and say “people LOVE your artwork…I was on a call the other day and so many people commented on how they loved the artwork!"

​Art is a point of connection without being revealing. Professional without being compromising.

How do you connect with people online?

<![CDATA[5 Tips for Gifting Art This Holiday]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2023 01:41:44 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/5-tips-for-gifting-art-this-holidayWant to be known as a great gift-giver? Looking for ways to give true gifts this year instead of just giving "stuff" that isn't loved? Want to have more fun shopping? We understand! Holiday gifting is meant to be about love and joy after all. We got you covered! 

Heart felt and unique, art is the perfect gift!

Here are 5 helpful tips to make it easier for you to choose with confidence.

1. Go Blue

If you're worried about buying a piece that "goes with" your loved ones decor, go with blue.

Blue is soothing and can work in a number of rooms: it works just as well in the living room as it does in the bedroom.

60% of men have some degree of color blindness. That means that blue and yellow are safe bet colors that everyone can truly see even if there are multiple people in the home. Yellow is stronger and brighter, a statement color that might be a risky fit. Blue is the safest bet. Even people who are afraid of color (a strong majority of men choose neutrals for decorating) enjoy the color blue. 

2. Go With The Happy Place

Whether it was a trip you took together, a place they always wanted to go, or a meaningful destination, your special someone has favorite happy places. A piece of art that captures or reminds them of that place is a fantastic choice.

​It could be a very specific location, like Santa Monica, CA, or it might be a more general like "the beach" or "the woods". For those more modern art lovers, it could even be an abstract piece that is inspired by the ocean or the woods. Your goal is to share the feeling of happy!

Don't know where their happy place is and don't want to ask? Almost everyone has happy memories or dreams of the ocean and sun.

3. Go Smaller

Art that is big can be fun and interesting. Who doesn't love a statement piece? But even if you're an interior designer that's too much for a gift situation.

Even in a large space, most houses have open floorpans. This means there's not much room for hanging art. If their home is in an apartment, wall space is more precious. Offices have similar issues.

​Art doesn't have to be big to make a big impact as a gift, though. Pieces that are smaller - and we mean from 4 to 20 inches - are perfect choices! They'll still capture the eye, bring beauty and joy, and are easier to ship, hang, and keep with them even if they move.

4. Go Ready to Hang

Make sure that the art you choose can be put it up on their walls immediately.

If you choose art that needs to be matted, framed, or otherwise altered to get on the wall, you'll end up gifting a project instead of something that can be immediately enjoyed. Make it easy on them to fall in love. (See our post about that here.)

5. Get it Personalized

Just because art is ready to hang doesn't mean that it has to be ready-made. Did you know that most artists LOVE to take requests? If asked, we'll happily paint pieces specifically for a person.

Known as "commission pieces" what they really are is personalized pieces.

When you're buying art online you can contact the artist and ask if they can do a special piece. This will take a little more time since it will need to be created and need time to dry. Depending on the artists' schedule, it also might take a little more planning to hit your deadline.

But there are some ways to make it easier to get a personalized piece. For example, instead of requesting something completely custom, you could ask them to paint a piece similar to one they already did but on a different canvas size or in a different color.

Remember it's art so no two pieces will be exactly the same, and you'll still need to factor in drying time.

It's Easier Than You Think!

Art is a wonderful gift any time of year, but will definitely stand out during the holiday season. 

Trust your intuition and go with the feeling that the art creates. If you look at the art and think of the person or simply can breathe a little deeper when you look at it, chances are they will, too. Remember it's about sharing the feelings of joy! 

Dorms,  apartments, houses, and offices of North America are ready for more beauty and joy this holiday. You're right on time for getting the perfect piece for the precious people in your life. Have fun being an art gifted this year!
<![CDATA[Dude, You Ready to Hang?]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2023 03:03:13 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/dude-you-ready-to-hang"I just want color. I want art. And I just want to hang it," she said with exasperation. "I didn't think it would be this complicated!" Cassandra was struggling to get her walls decorated. "I ordered this picture that I liked and looked cool on the site and it came and it was just a piece of canvas. What am I supposed to do now?" she groaned.

You Want It Up

Most of us think of art as something nice for the walls of the main hang out rooms in our place. Living, bed, or dining room wall decor so we have something to make the room look a little more finished.

In a bold move we might consider popping something in the entry area or the blank wall behind us that all of our zoom friends stare at when we meet. (Go for it!)

We think of art as ready-to-go, that we only need to decide where to put it. We expect the hardest part of hanging it to be getting the right sized nail and remembering where we put the hammer. 

We get it! It's not going to be quite that easy but we want to make it easier for you to get your place looking and feeling like you ASAP. Here are a few tips.

Paper or Canvas

If an artist has created a sketch or paints with watercolors, this means that they use paper and not canvas. 

Most of these creators will put a cardboard-like paper mat on the front of their piece and a plain piece of cardboard on the back and taped together. This is a mat, it isn't a frame and isn't ready to be hung up.

You'll need to pop this into a frame with a piece of glass on the front. The glass is needed to protect the paper.

You can take this to a professional framing service and do some elegant and beautiful things with trim, more matting, and frames.

For a fast, easy solution you can buy a basic glassed frame at a local craft or art store and pop the matted piece in. Choose the perfect spot and enjoy.

Wrapped is best!

If you're buying art painted with oil or acrylic paint, it'll be on canvas. That could mean a simple piece of flat canvas or canvas that's stretched around wooden stretcher bars.

If it's flat canvas you'll need to have it stretched or you can hang it in a very rustic way with clips on a wire.

When a piece says it's "On Gallery Wrapped Canvas" that means the canvas is stretched around the wooden bars and stapled or tucked into the back. This isn't framed, yet it is ideal. 

The sides might be blank black or white, or they might be painted with the image going all the way around the edges.

You can frame gallery wrapped canvas (no glass on these), but the nice thing is you don't have to! They can look beautiful on the wall just as they are.


Does it say multi-paneled? This means it's a few pieces, not just one big piece. It could be two, three, or even five pieces making up one image.

The tricky thing here is that the dimensions listed are of the entire work, meaning all the pieces put together side by side.

​For example my American Flag painting that had three panels, it would be listed a multi-panel 56" wide piece, not three pieces of 18"

Multi-paneled isn't bad, it's just a different look. There's more variety in how you can hang it, which can be fun. The bonus of multi paneled is that it's often less expensive way to fill a large space and also less expensive to ship to you and pack up later if you move.

Multi-paneled pieces are never framed.

Ready to Hang

Most art shows, especially around the holidays, will say that all the work is ready to hang. "Ready to hang" means you will be able to get this on your wall right out of the box.

This usually means there are metal pieces screwed into the sides on the back and a strong wire tight between them. This is easy hardware to hang up quickly with one supported nail and get it straight the first time.

But it doesn't mean that it's framed. Framing is so unique for each household that even choosing white floating frame can be limiting instead of versatile.

Art is always a good idea

​Having art on your walls is the best way to express yourself and bring color and delight to your decorating efforts. So find those perfect pieces for you and for gifts for others.

A lot of people buy art online on art sites instead of in-person or through a gallery, so you may not have someone who really knows the art helping you shop. Most art sites will happily offer help and answer questions. Ask away!

Get ready to hang.
<![CDATA[You Put Your Art Where?]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2023 07:00:00 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/you-put-your-art-where"Oh my gosh I LOVE THOSE BLUES!! I feel so good when I see your art!" These gushing words came from a zoom meeting attendee. The piece she was looking at over my shoulder hung over my couch and was a powerful piece in green and blue of the inside of a wave curling over.

Yeah, I love it, too. That piece had been hanging there for the past two years, but she hadn't seen it before because I had my laptop camera pointing elsewhere.

This got me thinking about art and where to put it.

First: Get Art

​Classic Design rules – and all great interior designers from Ethan Allen to @BobbyBerk – state that first of all great design includes art!

And we mean real art. Art isn't meant to "match the couch" and sit quietly on the wall. It should reach out and touch your heart and give you a little "zing" every time you see it. 

Original is best because it has an energy, power, and life of its own that can do WONDERS for even the most basic of beige rooms. Even if your budget says "squeak" you can get prints of original pieces. 

Now that you have some pieces, it might sound obvious, but you want to put your art where people can see it.

Revolutionary, I know. Well what does that mean, exactly?

Classic Design Rules

Again let's look at classic design rules.

Unless you're doing a gallery wall (a wall intentionally covered from high to low in a bunch of different pieces) classic design says hang that art at "eye level." That's code for 60" (152.4 cm) which is the eye level of the average American woman.

That's cool if that's who you and your peeps are. But we're betting a lot of you aren't as classic as that.

Know Your Audience

We gotta know who the "people" that are going to be seeing our art are.

My family is above average in the height department. We come in at about 6 feet tall so eye height for us is about 67”. 

​Of course we have guests of varying heights popping by all the time (I think they're in it for the baked goods) and we want them to enjoy the artwork, too. We handle that by hanging artwork about 6” higher than the rules. 

Does this work? It does indeed. We get to see the pieces that we love and feel like our home is really about us.

One day I had a much shorter friend over who said “I love that you hang your art higher than most people do! I feel like I can really see it!” It wasn't so high that she had to crane her to see it.

If someone in your home or a frequent guest is in a wheelchair adjust a few of their favorite pieces or use longer pieces that are more vertical. The eye level fo
r wheelchair seated people is 43-51”

When decorating a public space remember to vary the height of pieces. Assume that someone in a wheelchair will use the space. Hang some pieces for their delight.

Change with Changes 

That’s great for my home right now but we know that life never stays the same for long. Adjust for your household as it changes. 

​When my kids were younger, for example, I placed some fun art at whatever their eye level was. (It changed yearly because they were always growing.)

I also made art bigger and more colorful. I did murals on the base of the walls and let them help, too.

That was appropriate art for that time.

Now my art at home reflects my love of blues, greens, golds, and the ocean and it's up high where I can enjoy it.

Also adjust as you grow. As your tastes evolve, you discover new artists, travel to new places, and as your household changes you'll add art to your life.

Adjust for the Room

I also hang art a bit differently based on the room. 

For hallways, I tend to hang a bit higher.

In the bedrooms I hang art lower since I am always viewing the pieces from bed. The piece I have of the beach surf greets me as I awaken and the gold catches the light. It's a delightful way to start the day even when I can't see the Pacific from my place.

The dining room hosts seated dinners so I have a very large piece in there (we're talking 48" high and 60" wide) that catches the eye from both a seated and standing position.

Art is about YOUR JOY!

Showing your house some love by putting artwork in every room is a fast and easy way to bring color, light, and something close to your heart on the wall.

Whether you’re in a rented apartment or house you own, art makes the place yours, and delights your eyes and mind.

Having spent the past few years staring at people's offices, bedrooms, nooks, living rooms, and cars through their zoom, I can tell you that there is a serious shortage of art on American walls.

Get some art going and get it out there for people to see! Hang it the way you and yours can really see and enjoy it.

Leave me a note to let me know your greatest challenges in hanging art. I love to hear from you! 
<![CDATA[Three Things You Need To Know About Decorating a Black Walled Bedroom]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:31:03 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/three-things-you-need-to-know-about-decorating-a-black-walled-bedroomPicture
Sleep...it's so beautiful and delicious, isn't it? From new parents to busy teens to those recovering from COVID-19 to essential workers and healthcare heroes not to mention the everyday superheroes juggling life, family, work, and the pandemic, every single person is on the search for improving their chances of getting a good night's sleep every single night. In the constant quest to have beauty and function intersect there's a trend of painting bedroom walls BLACK to create that cozy cave.

Black absorbs light and can give you that snuggled in bear feeling, but in the interest of beauty and avoiding a depressive feeling, especially in winter, you definitely need to add other elements to the room. So how do you decorate a black bedroom?

1) Add COLOR

In a white walled bedroom you can afford austere undecorated or minimally decorated walls. There's so much light available and reflected, that it's not always necessary to add anything to bring in light and entertain the eye.

Not so in a black walled bedroom.

You will ALWAYS need to add color to black bedroom walls to avoid the dungeon look and the feel of heaviness. Even if you have high ceilings and a loft space with incredible skylights, the walls will need help.

You can opt for neutrals in  your paintings if you'd like to keep things simple, but this black walled bedroom is the most amazing opportunity to come in with bright, bold colors on canvas. No framing necessary (though I never think frames are needed on a canvas) makes it even simpler to decorate.


Some people might choose to add texture to the walls themselves by adding some wood and creating patterns on the walls before painting them dark.

And yes of course you'll be putting accent texture all over the place this with your throw blankets, throw pillows, and fabric on chairs and window coverings but don't miss out on the best place to add texture: paintings!

Yes, art can have LOTS of texture and it's practically edible when they do. You can have a fabric artwork/sculpture, but many people don't love that retro look enough to go that route.

There are also those who don't like a lot of fabric (or pillows) or may not be able to add a chair or window covering.

Rely on that original artwork to add depth to the situation. (Here's a moment where you don't want to use a print for a centerpiece because there won't be any texture to it. See previous post here on using prints and originals to decorate.)

I love to add a lot of texture to my paintings both with heavy paint and with a layer of texture underneath.

3) Add LIGHT

Yes the whole point of painting the walls dark is that you want to create a cozy little hibernation situation, but there are still plenty of times you will want some brilliance in the bedroom, especially in the winter.

Aside from the overhead lights (that many apartments or older homes do not have) and bedside lamps you may need some corner stand lamps. But light can come from more than a lighting fixture! Use light catching items to make the glow go further. Think mirrors and metallics used sparingly.

I love using metallic paints - especially gold - in my paintings so that they catch the light and add more to the piece. I absolutely smile to see the way the paint can catch a subtle winter sunrise light and expand that little glow as I am gently coming into my day.

Carefully chosen Art is the Perfect Solution!

So there you have it, the top three things you need to know about decorating a black walled bedroom. The great news is that ALL of these top moments can be addressed by choosing the right piece of original art!

If you need help choosing the right size, color, or piece please reach out in the comments or the contact us page and let us know! We'd love to help you decorate your home to easily and beautifully reflect your true and gorgeous self!

<![CDATA[The Secret to Home Decorating Like A Pro]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:29:03 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/the-secret-to-home-decorating-like-a-proPicture
It can be overwhelming to try to figure out how to decorate your home so that it feels beautiful and relaxing, like an oasis, when you are just starting out. A lot of people tell me they can't decorate because they don't "know about art" or know "about color." Woah! Take it easy! You don't  actually need to have a degree in interior design in order to make your place beautiful beyond your dreams and reflecting who you truly are. You just need to know and trust yourself and your heart.

Interior Designers are Great
We LOVE our friends who are interior designers. They have mad skills and we just can't get enough of how they make stunning choices with color, texture, and shapes. There are wonderful designers out there and we're all about hiring them and using their expertise. AND...we know that there are a lot of times when we can't work with an expert.

Study Them
There are some great blogs, videos, and shows with all kinds of tips and tricks from the designers that you can do for your studios, apartments, houses, and vacation homes. From DIY floor painting projects to some simple shopping there are many things you can do to add some WOW to your rooms.

Know Yourself
You don't have to know all about design, but you DO need to know all about yourself, or at least know what you like. Start simple: start with what what makes you feel good. Not what others say is pretty, nice, cool, or interesting, but what YOU like. (We have some great tips in our blog post here if you're decorating as a couple.) Don't make it complicated, but what makes you happy in a simple way inside.

Don't be scared! Choose colors that make you feel lighter and happy. Also choose colors that complement you, your skin, your eyes, your hair. If you are afraid to paint walls, can't paint them for one reason or another, or choosing colors feels overwhelming don't worry. Art to the rescue!

Art Is The Solution
One strong piece of art in a room can create energy, a focal point, a good feeling to share with others, and – very importantly – a connection to yourself. It can override a lot of shortcomings in a room, especially things that are beyond your control, true but it lets you know every time you see it that this is YOUR place and it's of you.

You are from Spirit, your core self, your true you is from the Universe, from God, from Mother Nature. Decorating with you and your love at the heart of it all is a way to honor Spirit.

If you like to keep it natural, choose a large piece of art with an horizon or a view that you love, or an abstract piece that helps you feel good.

If you want a more urban vibe or just want things to feel a little more flowing/nebulous go for abstracts that can be different every time you look at them, but that always feel good.

It's That Simple!
A piece of art in every room (see this post for when to use original and when to use prints) is a simple, fast way to make your home glow with you and who you are. No skills or degree needed!

Let me know what your favorite colors are! I'd love to hear from you.

<![CDATA[Why Friends Change the Way you Buy Art]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:24:57 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/why-friends-change-the-way-you-buy-artPicture
A while back I was visiting the beautiful mountains of Colorado and wanted to bring back some gifts for friends. I needed them to be relatively small so they could fit inside my suitcase but I wanted to share the joy and beauty and LOVE that I was feeling in the mountains.

I went to five different stores and found lots of lightweight things to bring back but my heart sank looking at them. They were kitschy, not in a cool way, and had just about nothing to do with the real Colorado. But worst of all to me, they were all Made in China. Nothing could be less Colorado than that!

I realized that people faced the same dilemma when visiting my beautiful home of Santa Monica. You've come to Los Angeles and seen iconic beaches and piers. You've taken in the breathtaking beauty of the bay. You want to share the golden sunlight and feeling of the waves. You want to give a little SoCal to the people you love. You go into the shops and find...Made in China. Ugh.

We can do better than that!

Art doesn't have to be fancy, but it's always best if it touches your heart and that's what gifts are all about.

I pride myself on making pieces of what can seem fairly everyday and easy to take for granted. Iconic horizons and visions of the beauty surrounding this gorgeous area. I create paintings that carry love, meditation, prayer, and energy in them.

The best thing is that these are all available to order as little prints that you can share with people you love. Order several of one print that is close to your heart, or mix it up.

Great news! The prints are also made in the U.S. so you are giving someone a taste of what you visited: an American beauty.

Even if your decor is "#coastal," "#lakehouse," "#beachy," "#patriotic," " #campcabin" or "#summer," and not #surf or #socal these can still make the perfect gifts and souvenirs for you!

<![CDATA[What You Need To Know About Buying Art Online]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:22:29 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-buying-art-onlinePicture
It can be overwhelming to try to figure out how to buy art online when you are just a homeowner starting on a decorating journey. You may be  thinking "I don't know anything about art! How do I know I'm going to pick the right piece that reflects me? What if I don't like it?" Hold on...stop the stress and don't worry! It's easier and safer than you think to invest in original art online! Here are the top five tricks to making buying art fun and simple and turning your home into a beautiful place that feels good and others will be awed by.

You don't need to "know about art"
I hear this ALL the time from people, "I don't know anything about art." As if "art" can't be owned 'til it's understood. Says who?! (Imagine if we felt this way about computers or smart phones! We'd still be back in the 80's and not in a good way.) I tell people every day "sure you do...you know what you like." The main - and only - requirement for getting art "right" is if it's right for you. That comes down to one main question: do you like the way it makes you feel?  Art speaks to you. That's the flat out truth and it's why we like it.  I write a whole blog post about this, but here's the quick version: only hang art that makes you feel a little better having seen it. Of course we want those colors to flow easily in your home (see this post on choosing colors for couples) but other than that, go by your intuition and emotion. Feel your way.

Pick one large piece per wall
Yes there are some really fun things you can do with small pieces lined up or clustered. When it comes to larger pieces, though, don't try to turn your home into a museum, just use one large piece per wall unless you have an exceptionally large wallspace to fill. The art becomes a focal point of energy, just like a window, and you don't want it to have to compete for attention. That can leave the viewer feeling tired or overwhelmed instead of peaceful. That's not what we want! You can hang art with beautiful results over a fireplace or television, and if you have a large wall with windows on either side the art can have pride of place.

If you fall in love with a piece that is smaller but you have a big space to fill, there are ways to make it work. Check this post out here.

See where else the Artist is available
Artist's rarely offer returns or refunds because original art runs a high risk of damage every time it is shipped or even leaves a studio or home. However, most artists would rather sell to you directly so they can make sure you're getting the piece you love and to avoid the middleman. If you're too anxious about buying directly from the artist, however, there are sites like Saatchiart that you can purchase from which offer you more purchase guarantees. Saatchi is a large company can offer protections that individual artists simply can't afford to.

Use the Pay Over Time feature
One concern people have about buying artwork is that it's an investment. It can feel scary or hard to invest a few thousand dollars all at once. Pay over time helps make it simple and affordable. If you don't like to use credit cards or don't currently have sufficient credit to get a card or the credit limit you want, there are ways to pay over time for a larger purchase like original art. Affirm is a service that offers you the ability to pay for an original artwork over a series of payments with prearranged amounts for each payment. All of the pieces on my site LauraKowalski.com are available with Affirm.

ASK the Artist for help
Whether it's just to talk to the artist before making the investment or to answer clarifying questions, artists enjoy helping people access their art. I know I LOVE helping people find the right piece of art for their home or office. As the creator of all the artwork, I know what work is available – including some that may not be listed on the site – and what might work in your space very easily. When I create a piece I see how it can look in a home in my mind. As a visitor it's not always easy to tell about an artwork from the site. I'm happy to help make recommendations, clarify colors, and even help you make multiple piece purchases for a discount (three pieces or more).  Also, custom pieces are far more affordable and easy than you might think. Simply reach out and we can have a video chat to connect and dissolve any of your stress.

It actually is that simple
It's just that easy. Gone are the days of having to be well-connected, hold an art degree, and live in a major city to invest in artwork. Now simply knowing what you like and being willing to reach out to artists,  we can all have beautiful original art with some easy steps all designed to help get the home you love.

​Soon others will say to you "hey, could you help me buy art online? I'd love my home to feel as good as yours does.”

<![CDATA[Top Three Home Decor Idea Tips for Couples]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:14:19 GMThttps://laurakowalski.com/blog/top-three-home-decor-idea-tips-for-couplesPicture
What's harder than creating beautiful design for your home? Decorating for a home that you share with someone else! From disagreements about colors, to style differences, to using the rooms in different ways, home decor can be a challenge, especially if you're both working from home or you're in a small space. Don't worry there IS a solution! Even if you're in an apartment home or renting a room, you don't have to settle for a boring space that doesn't truly reflect who you are. Keep reading to find out the top three ways you can easily decorate for two different people and still love your home.

Use Neutral on Walls

Over 70% of men prefer neutral colors in home decor and 70% of women prefer color. Guess what? No matter what camp you fall into everyone can win in this situation. Choose light neutral colors for the walls that have a slightly warm tint to them. This lets you have an organic but bright background. When you choose a white, go for one that has more pink or brown rather than green or blue in it. (NO hospital whites here!) It will be softer when lights hit it and be easier on the eyes. It will let you use the room for reading, work, play, cooking, sleep, sex, or whatever you want to do. Bonus is that if you are renting a space or living in room in a shared house, a gentle white on the walls will be easy to negotiate.

Use BLUES in your accents

Over 60% of men have some level of color blindness. That means that reds and greens are not going to work well for them, and also why many tend towards grays in decorating. While I have a lot of love for every color of the rainbow, I can say that blues top the list especially in decorating because they are SO versatile. Blues are universally appealing. Because it's an organic color, and indicate water - an essential element to life - blues please our eyes. Shades of blue look good on everyone no matter how light or dark their skin tone, so you can have a home that looks as good ON you as it looks TO you. You can layer a variety of shades of blue together to add depth and interest and find blues each person loves. Blues can also be calming (for bedrooms), soothing (for bathrooms), yet pleasant, energizing, and open for living areas. It's a perfect default color for everyone!

Use ART as a centerpiece

When you are adding blue to your space think fabric (sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, rugs), glass (dishware, glasses and especially vases),  and ART. Let the artwork be a centerpiece and a fast, easy, simple way to change the energy of a whole room and pull it together by keeping the focus on beauty. Choosing artwork of organic beauty - like the ocean or beach - is something everyone can agree on. In the living area a piece of art showing inside a wave or beach activity will bring energy and light. In the bedroom an artwork with calm seas or a view of the horizon helps create a peaceful focus. Avoid using cookie cutter prints that have no soul to them. You, your home, and your partner deserve a beautiful place the reflects who you really are.

Remember to have fun and enjoy!

Have a piece of art in mind you would like to have created especially for you? Let me know what you are imagining!