Making a Home: Your Parents’ Couch and Art on the Walls

By Nikki Brown, Art & Photography Blogger

Henri Matisse (1910) “Dance”

I cannot recall a memory of my grandmother’s house without seeing her favorite art prints. Diego Rivera’s “Flower Carrier” overlooked the stereo and her collection of Frank Sinatra CDs. Henri Matisse’s “Dance” adorned the wall above the fireplace. In my aunt’s old bedroom, Milton Avery’s pastel painting of two women, “Conversation,” watched over my sister and I as we dreamed.

   Diego Rivera (1935) “Flower Carrier”   Milton Avery (1956) “Conversation”

Art not only says something about the artist who creates the piece but also about the person who chooses it. Our homes that we adorn with photography, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and graphic works say a whole lot about the people who reside in them.

A little over a year ago, my boyfriend and I moved into a small apartment in Venice, California. Now, a year and a half later, I’ve lived in this apartment longer than any space since leaving my parents’ home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In college I moved each year, sometimes each semester. I repeated this process in graduate school. Upon getting my first job in Los Angeles, I moved to an apartment in Santa Monica. As soon as the lease was up, I packed my bags. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this vagabond lifestyle. You keep the couch your parents gave you because it’s easier than getting a new one; you eat at your desk so you don’t have to get a real table, and the walls remain empty.

“New York” by Martin Schwartz   “Flowered” by Ina Stanimirova


When my boyfriend and I started decorating our apartment, we wanted the place to reflect our tastes. We chose colorful paintings of imaginary cities, surreal illustrations of scenes from fairy tales, and raw photographs of places we dreamed of going some day. We discovered what many of you might already know, that the best way to make a place feel like home is with art. Keep your parents’ old couch, and don’t bother getting a new table, but put some art on the walls.

“London I” by Piotr Spigiel.


If you’re looking for inspiration in decorating your own home, whether you plan to stay for three months or a lifetime, check out the photography and graphic art on NiQOO. Some of my favorites are Martin Schwartz’s graphic city print, “New York,” Ina Stanimirova’s fanciful illustration, “Flowered,” and Piotr Spigiel’s reflective black and white photograph, “London I.”


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