There are few things we love more than a new home tour served with a side of actionable design tips. Today’s home tour is home of Framebrigde’s CEO Susan Tynan, who commissioned Washington DC-based designer Zoe Feldman to refresh her home. If you read this blog, I guarantee you know Framebridge. You’ve seen their frames in Emily’s home and we’ve sung their praises again and again because what they do is make framing and hanging art EASY (something I thought I’d never say). They do custom framing, digital photo framing, and will even help you choose a layout for a gallery wall. So, when Susan shared her home with us, we knew we had to ask her all about her framing philosophies. Where and how does a framing expert like to hang art and what does she deem frame-able? You are about to find out while we tour her colorful, modern traditional home that is dripping with charm and personality.
If you’ve ever visited the Framebridge site or store, you know they are up to frame anything from flags, to jerseys, to souvenirs. They really emphasize personal artifacts as art and that is a principle we wholeheartedly support (we love all things budget-friendly and personal). On what Susan deems frame-worthy, kid’s art is up there, as you can see in the gallery wall above her breakfast nook. Going the kid art route means less creative control plus bright colors and shapes, which is very fun and brings so much personality to a space. That said, the frames play a huge part in making the gallery wall feel intentional. “To keep some semblance of order, it’s all framed in thin white and black gallery frames“, Susan says.
Now, if you are anything like me you want all of the gallery wall hanging advice you can get. Susan’s advice is to always take the frame dimensions into account: “If you’re planning a gallery wall with unframed pieces, don’t forget to check the final framing dimensions – the matte and frame add a lot of area to the final art size. The good news is that you get a lot of visual bang for your buck.”
Hanging art isn’t the only way she plays with color in her home as you will see. Paint color plays a huge role, even here in her mostly white kitchen. The sliver of blue paint makes a huge impact by visually breaking up the white surfaces.
While we are on the topic of color we must talk about the barstools. They are, goes without saying, FANTASTIC. Who knew dark walnut and schoolbus yellow would go together so well?? Excuse me while I examine my own apartment to figure out how I can implement bright yellow all around me!!
Speaking of making an impact, the cane cabinet fronts with leather pulls bring in a beautiful mix of textures that add a layer of warmth to the space.
The entryway and staircase are painted Georgia Peach by Benjamin Moore and became the perfect canvas for another gallery wall. One question we get a lot is how to mix and match frame styles and colors in a gallery wall. Susan’s expert point of view is, “there are no rules, only guidance.” Each of the pieces here, Susan explains, are full of personal significance which influenced her choice to mix and match the frames: “All of the items have personal meaning to me and were collected over the years, so I used a huge range of frame styles – woods and metallics and bamboos. It is layered and a little crazy – intentionally. I hung it all at once, but I wanted it to look collected over time”.
When you hang items with a personal story behind them, it makes your home feel even more special and unique to you. One item Susan pointed out is the yellow poster in the center of this gallery wall that has a long history behind it. “I have a Corita Kent poster that was in my childhood bedroom that I reframed, of course. I remembered it as a dated, burnt orange print and when I saw it again, I absolutely fell in love with it. Corita Kent is exceptionally cool – she was a nun, a pop artist, and a civil rights activist” she says.
The Little Gift 7×9: Burl Wood | Mandalay: Gold Bamboo Frame | Palmer: Matte Black Scallop Patterned Frame | Bali Black Bamboo Frame | Mercer Slim Clean Black Frame | Olympia Gold Frame | Monterey: Whitewashed Frame
In her formal dining room, color and art play an important role in making it feel both regal and playful. The dark navy paint color, wallpaper, and curtains bring a level of sophistication and the Josh Young Design House portraits really emphasize the modern traditional style with a hint of sass. The same goes for the pendant light which has a traditional shape and a playful, colorful pattern to top it off.
Again, bright yellow makes another surprising appearance in her built-in shelves. Anyone else utterly obsessed with this color combination??
In the living room, natural light plays a huge role making the space feel warm and inviting. For a calming effect, the color palette is mostly neutral with pops of color and pattern sprinkled throughout to keep the playful theme going.
Unexpected places to hang art is always a hot topic around here, so I had to ask Susan where she likes to play with hanging her art. Besides hanging art to be seen in her Zoom background, she also loves to display art on bookshelves. “I love to hang frames over a bookshelf. It looks so English country reading room to me.” she says.
If you thought I’d breeze over the leopard print rug, well then, you don’t know me at all! I am obsessed. As someone who grew up in a “Cheetah Girls” themed bedroom, I’ll always have a special fondness for animal print. The execution here is perfect and on par with Susan’s style: modern, playful, colorful, with a hint of traditional charm.
Leaning art is another beloved EHD styling trick, and one Susan also loves to apply in her home for its ease and simplicity. The larger print is of falling water that she took on her iPhone and the little sketch of a woman she downloaded from Juniper Print Shop, which just goes to show the impact the right frame can make.
When I saw this shot, I was immediately intrigued and had to ask Susan how they executed the piece above the fireplace mantel. It appears to be art layered over another larger piece of art so I had to investigate. Susan explained, “we hung an antique mirror over the fireplace and cut a small circle out of it so we could hang a picture hook in the middle and hang a frame over the mirror, in the center, over the fireplace. It’s awesome and I definitely wouldn’t have gone there without my friend & designer Zoe Feldman.” She is right, it’s awesome and so innovative.
We love a bold wallpaper moment and this powder room does not disappoint. Wallpaper as animated and playful as this one is perfect for a powder room, because it’s a great place to take risks. This is also a room Susan advocates for playful art. “I always love a fun art print framed in a powder room. You really have free rein in a powder room! If you love something, but you’re a little scared of it, you can always put it in the powder room!” she says.
In the bedroom, paint color plays a role once again but in an understated, calming way which is perfect for a bedroom. The soft blue is gentle on the eyes and is complimented with neutral tones and organic textures. Now, back on the art of framing, Susan says “for art or photos that I’m hanging alone as the focal point of the wall, that’s when I really think about the frame.” For this black and white print, she went with the Lawrence, which is a skinny medium burl wood frame. It contrasts beautifully with the black and white photo to really make the piece pop.
If you learn anything from this post, let it be that you already have more frame-able things than you may think. What I love about Susan’s philosophy is that almost anything sentimental can be art. In fact, when asked what her favorite thing she’s framed is, she answered: “I scanned a few of my parent’s wedding photos and framed them for a few family members. They’re black and white photos from 1968 and I love them. I also have a newspaper front page from Cleveland in 2014 when LeBron James returned to the city. I grew up in Cleveland and it meant a lot that LeBron, a superstar, felt duty-bound to return home. It’s framed in Georgetown, which is a fluted gold frame and I love that it’s a modern sports megastar framed in this pretty little classic frame.” So next time you are struggling to find affordable art (we’ve all been there) look around your home, and take inventory of what’s sentimental to you. Truly, the right piece with the right frame can make all the difference.
I hope you enjoyed touring Susan’s home as much as I did, and take away some helpful art hanging tips. Huge thanks to Susan for sharing her home with us and letting me pick her brain! Now, if you have any questions or comments, please fire away down below. xx