Creatively inspired living is a popular trend in Washington, D.C., with continuous pop-up art spaces, colorful neighborhood street murals and Instagram-worthy destinations around the entire city.
A number of residential areas are beginning to incorporate this popular artistic flair into their properties to bring that cool-factor into daily life for residents. One such property is The Modern at Art Place in Fort Totten. There, the walls have been adorned with the work of world class artists, in honor of the Washington Color School. An international art movement of the 1950’s and 60’s, The Washington Color School was a group of Washington D.C. artists that developed a form of abstract art from color field painting. A head-turning chandelier immediately grabs your attention as you enter: the piece, appropriately named “Phoenix” by Susan Chrysler White, symbolizes the revitalization within the Fort Totten community and how The Modern reflects that renewal. Other artists to note are Gene Davis who was the definitive artist of the stripe and the lyrical artist, Sam Gilliam who still lives here in Washington D.C. These pieces from silk screens to prints to photography, bring stunning visual imagery to residents’ lives. The Modern is a community at the forefront of this Washington trend of using artwork to convey a lifestyle or a story throughout a space.
Whether you’re a collector of watercolors, a lover of abstracts or just a curator of local pieces, you too can bring this blend of creativity into your home or apartment to reflect your interests and lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
1. Buy What You Love. If the artwork you are choosing for your space doesn’t evoke deep emotions or positive feelings for your everyday life, then don’t buy it. Purchasing and displaying quality artwork in your home is a commitment. You are the one that passes by it each day — so don’t be afraid to let your heart guide you.
2. Be Open to Various Mediums. Artists make beautiful works beyond paintings. Just as The Modern displays a variety of mediums, seek out different pieces that bring depth and diversity to your space. Photography, for example, is a fantastic way to make a strong statement and infuse meaning into your décor.
3. Support Local Artists. Whether you find an artist in your region, city or own backyard — there is nothing better than owning a piece made by a local artist. Not only are you supporting your community, but you are bringing locally sourced life and stories into your space. To find artists in your area, be sure to visit local art galleries, search online and ask friends and neighbors about the artwork in their homes.
4. Contrast + Complement the Space. Hanging artwork in your space is a talent in its own right and takes thoughtful planning. Just like you would style your outfit, you should also consider how you style your space. Pick pieces that complement and balance each other while also considering where you can add contrast in unique ways.
5. Framing and Location are Important. Purchasing and displaying artwork is a commitment. You don’t have to be an art connoisseur, but when you do purchase a quality piece that will hang in your space for a long time, you should give it the respect it deserves with professional framing. These days, professional framing can be done with a click of a button. There are a ton of outlets online to order custom materials — we recommend checking out SnapBox or Simply Framed to get started.
Remember, your home is a canvas that should reflect who you are, your values and the people and things you love. Take your time with the process, explore all that our diverse area has to offer, get inspired and most of all, have some fun.
The Team at The Modern at Art Place – The Modern is the residential cornerstone of the Art Place at Fort Totten development. The residential community is being developed by The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and managed by Bozzuto Management and features inspired amenity spaces, and studio, one-, and two-bedroom units within the property. Upon completion, the Art Place development will include more than 300,000 square feet of retail, including the Explore! Children’s Museum, an XSport Fitness center and 170,000 square feet of cultural and art spaces to entertain and educate community residents.