What, When, Where: Watercolor Inspiration

January 6, 2014

By Catie Parrish

We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous decorating axiom, “You can find inspiration anywhere.” It’s one of those encouraging expressions that sounds nice, but is it true? Really, anywhere? It’s easy to be skeptical, but you’d be surprised.

Recently, inspiration hit me the in the last place I’d expected—coming out of the Prudential T stop on the Green Line in Boston. You see, the Museum of Fine Arts is featuring an exhibit of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors right now (through the 20th, don’t wait!), and they’ve placed a vibrant ad right across from the station’s turnstiles.

Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts

Smart strategy. If anyone is starved for a splash of beauty, it’s the post-holiday commuter ascending from the gray underground to the gray outdoors.

Since spying that breathtaking billboard, lush watercolors have been dancing in my brain. I’m determined to work them into my décor in 2014. This is clearly a growing trend in the décor world because I was able to find some truly inventive and gorgeous items. I’m sure this is just a small sampling of what’s available, but it’s nice to know I could cloak my home in watercolors, from the floor all the way up the walls, if I so desired.

(Clockwise from top left)

• Watercolor Wallpaper from Black Crow Studios, Design by Robert Passal, Photo courtesy of Traditional Home

• New “Calum” rug collection from bluebellgray

• L. XV Marquise Gondola Chair from Moissonnier

• Myriad Horizons Lampshade from Anthropologie

For further inspiration on how painterly styling can work into your décor, look no further than this soft, yet stunning room decorated by Rafael de Cardenas

Photo courtesy of Elle Décor

In the end, whether I end up with a magnificent variegated headboard or just an abstract throw pillow, when that first watercolor item makes its way into my home, I’ll remember that moment coming off the train and consider it a full-circle moment. I’d say the adage rings true.