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Artist Interview: Meredith Pardue

I believe that Art is terribly personal and if you fill your home with what you love to look at – then no matter your style, it will be a success – Especially if you love to look at abstract artwork by Meredith Pardue.

We were lucky enough to catch the attention of the artist here at TEOT and to my dismay, Meredith has agreed to answer a few of our pressing questions?

You’ve lived in several pockets of the Nation! How has this changed your perspective of Home!? How has it changed your painting?

Visually, I have always been very literal.  I have observed that my physical surroundings influence the forms in my paintings.  For example, when I first moved to New York City, the forms and compositions became more rectilinear, which I attribute to the grid structure of Manhattan and to the prevalence and physical appearance of the architecture.  In Portland, OR a diagonal direction appeared in my compositions, probably due to the time I spent looking at and being in the mountains there.  I now live in Louisiana where everything grows on top of everything else.  The forms in my work have become quite organic, and the color and light here–mostly shades of green, blue, brown, gray, and black– have influenced the color palette in my work.  And the same held true of the work I made in Savannah.

Is it correct to call your work Abstract Expressionism!? Do you feel particularly inspired by artists from this era? If so, whom?
It could be, in that my work is abstract, and the brushwork is expressive.  However, when I think of Abstract Expressionism, I think of the early mid-century greats–Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, to name just a few–all of whom have been a tremendous influence on my work.  I think of the first generation of Abstract Expressionism as an art historical movement that had “rules.”  No reference to anything representational allowed, no illusion of three-dimensional space allowed, emphasis must be placed on the flatness of the canvas, etc.  While this produced an incredible new kind of painting and artist, and while some of these things may sometimes apply to my paintings, I simply cannot think inside of a box.  Besides, my approach to making a painting comes more from a place that is more intuitive than intellectual.

I am most inspired by the work of Cy Twombly.  I am completely mesmerized when I am before his work.  I am attracted to and fascinated by the rawness of his mark making, the boldness of his work, the fact that most of his work has no recognizable imagery yet the titles often come from Greek and Roman mythology.  There is something primal about Twombly’s work that simply stirs me to my core.

The Estate of Things chooses Artist Meredith Pardue

Collisons of Growth and Decay #1, 30″ x 22.5″, mixed media on paper

Are you just in love with color or what!?
Yes, sometimes.  And sometimes I am in love with only light and shadow/black and white.  I am fickle and tend to go back and forth between the two.

When you sit down with a blank piece in front of you, what is the process like!?
I may have an image in my mind before I begin a new piece or new series, but it is always lucid, like a dream image.  For me the process is about having a dialogue with the canvas, allowing the forms to emerge, controlling what happens in certain places, and allowing for moments of randomness to occur in others.  There is a delicate balance between the two, and sometimes it comes very easily, while other times there is a struggle.

When you complete a painting – Do you prefer to think of your artwork on the walls of galleries and museums, or do you imagine them hanging on the walls of homes like AB Chao’s home (as featured on Apartment Therapy).
Neither really.  I think of my paintings as little beings unto themselves.  They will make their way to somewhere, but I believe my part ends with their creation.  To me Wilco’s “What Light” explains it perfectly.


The Estate of Things chooses Meredith Pardue
A photo from AB Chao’s home, as featured on an AT House Tour.

Are you evolving away from oil painting toward mixed media works on paper?
No, I love working on paper, canvas, and linen.  I love drawing, painting, all of it.

The Estate of Things chooses Artist Meredit Pardue

Collisons of Growth and Decay #6, 30″ x 22.5″, mixed media on paper

What is inspiring you lately?
I found my old music collection.  Lately I’ve been listening to Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jeff Buckley, Pixies, and the Neville Brothers.

What emerging artists do you feel we should we be on the look out for!?
Some emerging artists whose work I love and collect (or hope to!) are Julio Garcia, Thrush Holmes, Doug Kennedy, Marcus Kenney, Lance Letscher, Emily Sartor, and Joey Slaughter. I also love the work of photographer Jack Pierson, although he is hardly an emerging artist.

What interests do you have outside of painting?
Fiction, yoga, and playing with my little boys!

What is the home decor of a couple of married artists like!?
Well, there are living things everywhere!  In my house you will find my husband Doug, me, our two young sons Julian and Jackson, Libby and Priscilla (our two cocker spaniels), an old grouchy cat named Kiki, with a variety of Legos, blocks, trains, and cars scattered throughout.  There is usually music playing in at least one room and something yummy cooking in the kitchen.
So picture all of that against all white walls and a collection of mid-century pieces mixed with a handful of French antiques and a pretty great art collection.  The color comes from our art collection, so all of our furniture is either black, brown or white.  It was important to us to create a simple, elegant space with clean lines and great light, but also a comfortable space where we can relax, play, and not have to worry about messing anything up.

The Estate of Things chooses Artist Meredith Pardue

And the Water Was Blue at Night, 72″ x 84″, oil on linen

What’s the best way to shop for your artwork?
Through any of the galleries that represent my work–Ann Connelly Fine Art (Baton Rouge), Bryant Street Gallery (Palo Alto, CA), Chicago Art Source Gallery (Chicago), Judith Costello Gallery (Hilton Head, SC), or Lounge Arts (Jackson, MS).

Is there anything else that you would like to tell me!!!? :)
I still love to draw from life, although I don’t have as much time to do that anymore.

Do you have any links you’d like for us to share with our readers?
Other things that make life nice: (Mojoware, my husband’s t-shirt company…think Southern Pop with an occasional Gothic twist.) (For the home…furniture, accessories.  LOVE this site!) (Bath products from heaven.)

I think I hate my kitchen

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What do I do? There is so much form/function to think of and where do I even start? I got into my house just after the builders already selected the cabinets and countertops. I did get to select my own stove & microwave (and I did decide on black, the stove and microwave’s blue interior is a fun surprise). But yeah – I feel unhappy with the overall choices that were made. So far I haven’t been able to commit to an update or a replacement of the cabinetry cause well, I just can’t commit to much of anything really.

You can see what I’ve been stuck with for cabinetry, and there are no windows in this room, so it has been very brown in there for the past 8 months. (I’m also painting over the brown in the LivingRoom – back to white).


I suppose wall color is a quick & easy upgrade in style and that will be happening this coming week. It will be done using this color in the kitchen. (I hope that your monitor shows this – the color is a wicked tiffany blue (maybe even a little on the greener side). It was matched to my totally rad danish leather sofa that I found on the side of the road.)

The Estate of Things chooses a light shade of turquoise for wall paint

I like the slab of raw wood seen on the wall in this next image, and I was considering doing something like that, but now I’m kind leaning towards a Beadboard Waynescotting with a similar corner banquet to the Ikea Hack pictured below. Its such a small corner, but I have a GREAT lighting fixture and some artwork that I can already see above it.

The Estate of Things chooses Ikea Hacker

I believe that adding an island would be of great value and I will be hitting up the new Charlotte, NC Ikea in hopes for a solution, but these pictured architectural details (both) are a must have….. The trick will be finding them or having them custom made. I notice them on great old houses – but also I see them on old and new Gazebos around here. I’ll have to check out the local builder’s supply.

I saved the Image below to the DecoFile (Domino). It is from Rambling Renovators and I think maybe it was b/c the the paint color with the white cabs was what I had in mind. Its been another inspiration in this kitchen brainstorming project.

The Estate of Things chooses Rambling Renovators

The tile above is interesting, but I think I’m gonna take it easy on the budget and go for the 3×4 white subway tile with dark grout. And I don’t know about hardware….. ?? Black?

The Estate of Things chooses White Subway Tile Backsplash The Estate of Things chooses Cottage Bin Cabinet Hardware


The Winner of Sweetshorn’s Vintage Shop item….

HUGE THANKS to everyone that played with us! We received some really great inspirational TV shows and Movies from you guys over there at the MAD MEN DECOR GIVEAWAY post. It was hard to decide who should receive Alia’s sweet Etched Number Glasses.

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Sweetshorn VintageThe Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Sweetshorn

So, I went on some image hunts and did some reading and googling for each entry and I think the most extensive inspiration was Stranger Than Fiction, nominated by Bliss. Bliss is a fellow Etsy seller of the shop SewBlissSew. Thank you Bliss, congratulations!

The movie Stranger than Fiction inspires me both visually and creatively. I too loved the modern eclectic mix of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character. I was just thinking last night about a design reference to the word “Bohemian” and all of its funny derivitives (BoHoMo, BoHoChic, etc.) and how its been used to characterize some design choices that I can identify with……… Ms. Pascal’s apartment fits under this term for sure.

The lamp that Bliss referred to – that hangs over Ms. Pascal’s dining room table, appears (fuzzily) in the movie still below. Tracking this Stain Glass chandelier down was a topic of cultish debate over at the Apartment Therapy site in 2006. I’ll save you from reading the 39 comments. No one found it – its a one of a kind. The best identification they could come up with was that it is a Moroccan Hanging Lantern.

Those HIGH ladder back chairs in that image are INSANE too. Wow! Bliss – thank you!!

The Estate of Things chooses Stranger Than Fiction Stain Glass Chandelier

PS: I HAVE to give a shout out to Anna’s selection – Revolution Road! It was really tough for me to choose between these two. As it turns out – Set Decorator FORD WHEELER worked on both.



Yay! Charlotte, NC opens Ikea in one month

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The Estate of Things chooses Ikea Charlotte, NC

My love affair with Ikea is long. It waxes and it wanes, but for the most part its been a constant affection – one that started out fiery and passionate (you’ve been in my Philadelphia apartment before, the one that feels like an Ikea Showroom). It has matured into a calm reliability with time (a carefully curated mix). I’m sure we will only grow closer as I now welcome Ikea with open arms into my home state of North Carolina. Location: I-85 at City Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina

The store has been officially added to the Ikea Website, you can see it here. A map will soon be added – and I just read that 135 retailer shops will be developed in the surrounding area!

My friend John and I have been joking about taking the camper down. They are opening up the parking lot 2 full days before opening day so that people can begin lining up for the Grand Opening on February 18th. I’m really interested in going to witness this as a spectacle, and I’m afraid to admit that I’m hoping I will totally score some free stuff on the adventure. Does anyone know what they typically give away for these events?

Aside from the girlish excitement of having some accessible and affordable Swedish modernism within a short drive, I’ve grown up and I’m a homeowner now, so I’m looking forward to shopping Ikea differently. I’m ready to get down business with their Kitchen Cabinets, Sinks, Fixtures, and Closet Solutions!! I don’t know about their reliability or their quality. Any thoughts!?

Ikea Set


Bokeh Photography

Bokeh” is a Japanese word for blurry or dizzy. And its my new favorite search term for Etsy and Flickr photo finds. This photography trend is weaseling its way into my heart and I wanna share a few examples with you!

Subject Matter often includes Nighttime Lights, Rain, Birds, and Florals and many times features focus on the object closest to the lens. The most important characteristic of the Bokeh photo is the blur happening within the light in the unfocused area, it becomes a fuzzy round spot, void of definition!

The best bokeh results for me evoke a dreamy ethereal feeling, and are especially desirable when the photographer has found the right sun ray to pour into the frame. Like this one by Etsy Seller KristyBee. I just wanna live inside of a photo like this.

The Estate of Things chooses Bokeh Photographer and Etsy Seller Kristybee

Here’s another that I enjoy by Etsy Seller Pretty Petal Studio

The Estate of Things chooses Bokeh Photographer and Etsy Seller Pretty Petal Studio

And who knew Nail Heads could be so cute, by Etsy Seller Helvetica Neue

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller HeveticaNeue

Please click on these beautiful thumbnail Images below from Flickr and enjoy as I have!!


Your MAD MEN Decor starts with an Etched Number Glasses GIVEAWAY!!

The world is abuzz with the aesthetic accuracy and overwhelmingly authentic homage to Mid-Century lifestyle and design seen in AMC’s hit TV show Mad Men and its no surprise that they captured Golden Globe’s BEST SERIES for the second year in a row. Design bloggers have been on this tip for some time, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their design tips in reference to the show.

I just recently watched the entire first season in two sittings. It took me about two weeks to stop fantasizing my everyday life was that of a Manhattanite Secretary from the 60s.

The Estate of Things chooses Mad Men Set Decor

So, we want to help you get started on your Mad Men Interiors by offering you these RAD glasses. Perfect for sipping on your highball while you watch the show. They come from Etsy Seller of the week, Sweetshorn .

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Sweetshorn

The Sweet Etched Number Glasses were TEOT’s pick for favorites from the many treasures that Alia at Sweetshorn has collected and she’s been kind enough to offer them to a specially chosen TEOT reader. Take a look at her other items and feel free to drop her a line to tell her how rad she is for the well curated collection of vintage finds, killer presentation too!

So how do you get your hands on these glasses!? Just write in and tell us which Television Shows and/or Movies have inspired you in your home decor!? We would certainly love to post pictures in your comment for you (if you have them email them to [email protected]) but they are certainly not required!!

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Sweetshorn

Recommended Reading: Sarah’s Mrs. Robinson Post


Looking for Great places to shop for Home Decor in North Carolina?

I’ve been gathering information about Small Businesses in town for a project that I’m working on and Wow! was I surprised to see the shockingly LOW amount of area home decor resources that I could find online. Where are you!?

Hickory, NC is seemingly brimming with opportunity for great Design Finds. Nestled amongst our sock factories and textile mills – we have a booming population of experienced furniture manufacturers employed by the companies whose products we drool over on our Design Blogs… (Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Williams Sonoma, West Elm, Broyhill, Hickory Chair, etc. etc.) So – these products make their way into Furniture Outlets peppered throughout the county, and if you are a super deal scavenger (like me), you can visit local thrift stores or Manufacturer Sales and steal furniture…….

Its all very fantastic and I really want to be able to tell you when its happening, and I wanna know when its happening in other cities here in my great state. Right now I’m relying on Indie N.C. to keep me apprised and well, I’m over here on the Western side of the State.

SO – This post is a plea to any North Carolina readers to take a few moments to jot down the retailers, thrift shops, and events that I shouldn’t miss in your area. It’ll be a long time in the making – but TEOT’s Official North Carolina City Shopping Guides for the Home Decor & Design Enthusiast are in the making! Please email me with information you think I should have at [email protected]


Should I buy this Antique Secretary?

For fear of jinxing my New Year’s Resolution, I won’t type it out explicitly – but okay yes I will type it out explicitly cause I’m already jinxed. It had something to do with putting an end to spending money on my home and/or clothing for 3-4 months and focusing instead on the Vintage Shasta Camper, a Fence for Pollock, a vehicle with which to pull my Vintage Shasta Camper, or uh… oh yeah – federal and state taxes (geez!!).

Yet – the forces of ANTI RESOLUTION have already started their work on me by introducing me to this Secretary at the Antique Market here in Hickory, NC.

The Estate of Things chooses Secretary Desk

I was just reviewing the Eddie Ross site today and saw his Secretary Desk Before/After shots from his year in review post. There I commented – asking how much he might say was the minimum to maximum that you would want to pay for this piece.  But I have no patience? How much would you pay for this thing and should I even do it!? Help Me!!

The Estate of Things chooses Eddie Ross' Secretary Desk The Estate of Things chooses Eddie Ross' Secretary Desk


Collections Atop Shelves

Sarah, is this you!? Do you likey? It made me think of the Collection of Globes that you liked from Sharilyn’s Studio and my little birdhouses that I’ve been crafting…

The Estate of Things chooses Design*Sponge Sneak Peak Jill Bliss

From yesterdays Design*Sponge Sneak Peak for Jill Bliss

The Estate of Things chooses Sharilyn's Studio

From Sarah’s previous post about Sharilyn’s Studio (from AT)

I wanted to include a pic of a collection of white bowls from the Eddie Ross site – they were stacked atop his apartment cabinets in his personal NY home…. but I can’t find the post anywhere.


Etsy Seller of the Week: Element Clay Studio – Ceramics by Heather Knight

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The Estate of Things chooses Etsy seller Heather Knight The Estate of Things chooses Etsy seller Heather Knight

I think I have a crush!

We were playing around in Asheville, North Carolina the other day, ducking in and out of little shops and eating delicious foods. Cruising through the booths at Woolworth Walk , I spotted Etsy Seller Heather Knight’s work. It was one of the more impressive booths in the entire place. In the shop, I especially dug the Aneneome & Atomic Bowls from her Environmentals Collection, the ones that are glazed on the interior. I’ve included a few examples of favs from her Etsy shop (click on the image to view it on Etsy), and you can check out her full collection on her website here:

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Heather Knight

The Estate of Things chooses Etsy Seller Heather Knight

The Estate of Things chooses Heather Knight