What in the world is 'Out of the Picture', I hear you cry? Well, it's a regular series of posts where I will be taking a famous painting and creating a room design around it. I felt inspired to do this because our own Nest is in fact inspired by a picture that was painted by my Grandpa, who was an artist by day and jazz musician by night.

I used to visit his studio regularly to choose a new painting to brighten up the various rented flats and houses I lived in over the years, and every time he would tell me off for choosing a painting based on what would match the existing furnishings: "If the painting doesn't match the sofa, girl, then you need to buy a new sofa to match the painting", he would dictate.

So when we moved into the Nest and were happily creating inspiration boards to plan the new decor, I decided to take Grandpa at his word and design the entire look and feel of the house around my favourite of his paintings:

Our Nest is now decorated in a gorgeous palette of deep and pale blues, browns, creams and greys, with splashes of scarlet red. You can peep into the Nest in this photo gallery.

Getting back to 'Out of the Picture', the first picture I'll be working on is Van Gogh's 'Room at Arles':

Now, what I'm not going to do is try and create a replica of this room. So the room design won't include a single bed, a chair with a rush seat, a red blanket, and so on. The idea is more to create a design inspired by painting - so I'll be looking at the composition, the colour palette, the history of the painting, the life of the artist, and the general mood of the painting - and then developing a room design based on these things.

For example, when I look at 'Room at Arles', the rough brush strokes give a sense of rusticity, but the blocks of colour and strong lines provide a distinctly modern edge.

In future posts I'll be looking at paintings like these:

'Young Woman with a Water Jug' by Vermeer, 'Composition VIII' by Kandinsky, and 'The Kiss' by Klimt.

I'll be back with the room design based on 'Room at Arles' soon - stay tuned!