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The Artful Mix: An Exploration of Collected Living

eclectic minimal living room

From our furniture, to our fridge magnets, to the knick-knacks displayed on our coffee tables, our homes are full of the objects that tell the stories of who we are. Displaying such collected objects is at the heart of this living space. We’ve combined minimal styling with an eclectic assortment of statement and storied pieces. We call it the “Artful Mix;” it’s a space that works, no matter how you mix and match it.

The act of collecting is almost a universal practice. The stuff we surround ourselves with communicates information about who we are and what we like. Our homes, as private retreats and places to gather with friends and family, are highly personal and it makes sense that we would want to fill them with objects that tell our stories.

eclectic minimal living room

The impulse to collect and display is nothing new. In Western history, we can trace this idea back to the Ancient Romans, who amassed paintings and sculptures from the territories under their influence. These collections functioned as “idea banks” for their own artistic production as well as showcasing the reach of their influence.

The idea of collecting as a basis for inspiration was re-articulated in the Renaissance in the form of the studiolo. In the 15th century the studiolo, or “cabinet of curiosities,” became a staple of Renaissance princely life. Studiolos were small rooms in the homes of wealthy Europeans full of collected treasures such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, and specimens of the natural world. Conceived of as private places of study and contemplation, studiolos and their contents were a mark of their owners’ wealth and intellect.

The artist’s studio is a more modern manifestation of the collected space. Beginning in the late 18th century, the artist’s personal collection of art and objects took on importance as an outward illumination of his or her creative genius. Pablo Picasso, for example, was somewhat of a hoarder and his studio was home to a collection of art, sculpture, and found objects. As eclectic as they are personal, the artist’s studio is a private spaces for inspiration, and we see the intimate ambience of the renaissance studiolo reinterpreted to suit this modern setting.

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As the artifacts in a Renaissance studiolo evidenced the “well collected” minds of their princely curators, and in the same way the inner workings of the Artist’s genius are displayed in his or her studio, our personal collections of objects map the stories of who we are. The Artful Mix, and this impulse to collect has trickled down through time, and now serves as a means of self-expression within our homes.

eclectic minimal living room

You don’t have to be a world-traveler, artist, or curator to master the art of the mix. The same motivation is at work behind collecting fine wines, old books, and even souvenir snow globes. But if you need a little help jump-starting your collection, we put together a group of products that look great anyway you mix and match them.

Shop all the products in this collection below, or see it in your space with Modsy.

 

The Eclectic Minimal Living Room Collection

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Williams Sonoma

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