Tag Archives: Art


Grey House Design Studio-- LUMA STUDIO


I’ve talked before about our time in London, how it’s magical, and how basically anything that comes out of the UK seems more cool than anything out of the US (to me, at least).

For John’s birthday, I really wanted to get him something special. Typically, we tell each other what we want for our birthdays, and order it online. We go as far as wrapping the presents up and all of that, but usually we know exactly what we’re getting. He hadn’t given me any ideas and I was really struggling to think of what to get him. Something new for recording music? A new pedal for his bass guitar? Then it hit me.

When we’ve been to London in the past, we’ve been so, so lucky to be able to stay with our friends Eamon and Lucie. They live in a three-story flat in Bethnal Green, which is a district in East London.

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Aside from their home being seriously amazing, they have the Luma Studio on the first floor. Lucie and Mark run Luma, and you can feel the creativity as soon as you walk in the house/studio! Luma does screen printing, print management, and even workshops!

photo courtesy of http://lumastudio.co.uk/

While walking around in London, there are small shops that sell alcohol, magazines, candy, etc. Kind of like a QT or a Circle K here, except without the gas. On the doors of these shops are the “drink specials” for the different beers and ciders that the shop has, with prices marked out and changed. The tags are bright neon colors, and Luma had the idea of making a screen print called “English Landscape” (cheeky, ey?)  to look like these drink signs. When John and I saw the print on their website two years ago, we at once felt nostalgic for London and I knew we had to have the print in our house eventually. John’s birthday was the perfect excuse, and I was going to get it here under the radar to truly surprise him. I was SO excited!

I contacted Lucie and she was so very sweet to ship the print out to me right away. I told her my plans to surprise John with it, and the countdown was on! Getting a print from overseas and getting it framed in time would be cutting it very, very close to his birthday. Could it be done?

It came! And just in time. I took it the very next day to Aaron Brother Art & Framing. I have never had something professionally framed, so I really had no idea what to expect.

They gave white-glove service, (literally) and walked me through the entire process.

The Sales Associate showed me over to the selection of frames, and immediately went to the gallery style, black glossy frames. While I’m sure that would work I wanted this print to stand out and be ridiculous. Obviously, I chose the gaudiest gilded gold frame that they had (say that three times fast!). I left the store knowing the print was in great (white-gloved) hands, and went back to pick it up the very next day.


I had also ordered a DVD of The Strangers for John as this is one of his favorite movies, so I played a little trick on him the day of his birthday. I pretended that was the only gift that I got for him. After he opened it, we sat there for a minute and then I said “Oh, wait I think I forgot something!” and brought the print out from its hiding spot behind the curtains in his recording room! To say he was surprised is an understatement. He had totally forgotten about the print even existing, definitely didn’t expect me to order it and have it framed, and was so happy that we’d have another reminder of our time in London. Go me!

The custom frame including the matte and labor came out to be about $140. It wasn’t cheap, but was well worth it. If I would have framed this myself, guaranteed there’d be a dog hair or a fingerprint makeup smudge on the print somewhere!

“English Landscape” now hangs proudly over our sofa and reminds us of magical vacations filled with amazing friends, great drinks, bacon sandwiches, rain and love.


Head over to Luma’s page at http://lumastudio.co.uk/ and check out their work. They have some truly amazing pieces on there and deserve all the support they can get! You can also follow them on Twitter @StudioLuma

Some things run in the family. Some, not so much.

Blondie, Grey House Design Studio

If someone asked me if I am creative, I would say yes. I enjoy making things, putting things together, working with my hands. The other half of me is very happy making lists, solving problems, systematically organizing or planning. I’m probably right in the middle as far as right-brain vs. left-brain.

My brother Mike, on the other hand, is a phenomonally gifted and talented artist, in many areas. Ink, pen, watercolor, oils, acrylics – doesn’t matter what medium it is, he creates some of the most interesting work I’ve seen in real life. Instead of feeling sad about my lack of ability to compete, I get to benefit from his talents by decorating our house with his artwork. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces with you.

The fabulous Debbie Harry:

Personalized pet portraits of our rescued farm. Look at the personalization:

A 30-second painting from a life-drawing class. I don’t think I would have even figured out how to load my brush in 30 seconds:

Here’s a beautiful drawing he did our sweet dog, Gwen. She passed away a few months before this:

I had to save my favorite for last. I knew we needed something of substantial size to hang over our bed. The colors in our bedroom are a warm blue-green, wood, grey and gold. Mike painted this and I am still amazed by it! Something about it is so magical and personal. It’s perfect over our bed, and I just know that it means so much more to us than something we could have purchased:

Art can be pretty costly, and even more than that, is the fact that a lot of it isn’t personal. Sure, you can go and pick out a piece at the store and love it (I’ve done that too!) but to know that you have a one-of-a-kind piece by someone you love is pretty incredible.

Mike has a website and does custom artwork for really affordable prices. Check out his website and contact him if you’d like to discuss a piece for your home!


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