The past few months have given me the chance to reconnect with some creative channels like painting, which I haven’t done since the first piece in this collection which I created for the Dove Hill dining room a year ago. That piece, which hung above the entry table of my apartment, was the genesis of this series the Ida Collection which is now for sale on Kevin Francis Design.
Inspired by the distinctive triangles in a serigraph by New Orleans-based artist Ida Kohlmeyer that hung my the entryway of my childhood home, I incorporated a triangle into each of these abstract paintings. The triangle motif is a symbol of home, floating in each of these fields of color. Each piece is an expression of layered color and white space, interlaced with warm neutrals and my signature red – imparting power in small doses across each composition. As your eye travels across each canvas, I hope you discover a sense of home in each piece. “MY FIRST PAINTING SERIES: THE IDA COLLECTION BY KEVIN FRANCIS DESIGN”
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (“Toyota”) provided me with compensation and use of a Corolla for a short period of time. The opinions I have shared about this vehicle are my own.
One of the silver linings of the COVID shutdown in Atlanta has been the absence of daily rush hour in the city! I recently took advantage of the clear streets to spend a day exploring the city in the new 2020 Toyota Corolla – and in a city as spread out as Atlanta I got to spend lots of time in the car getting to know all of its features. As a hybrid, it gets over 50 miles per gallon which meant I could take it out on a full day hitting all my favorite neighborhoods without hardly seeing the gas indicator move. I hate paying for gas, so this is a great bonus!
The car also features Apply CarPlay, Alexa, JBL Speakers, and a sleek 8-inch touchscreen display console so I picked up my friends, put on my favorite music, and visited some cool neighborhoods, restaurants, and destinations around the city in the car. See all my hotspots below, plus check the car out in action in my new YouTube video below:
Kevin Francis O'Gara is founder of Thou Swell, an Atlanta lifestyle and interior design blog named for an old jazz tune, sharing home, garden, and entertaining projects and inspiration. Stop by to find an avant-garde mix of contemporary and traditional design curated by an emerging voice in Southern design.
(Photography by David Christensen and Kevin O’Gara)
I’ve been to many Southeastern Showhouses over the years – it’s always an impressive feat produced by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles with a talented team of builders and designers each year. BUT this year’s house really blew things out of the water. This Southern California-inspired renovation reimagined the former house of the founder of Ackerman Security on six acres in Buckhead. The formerly yellow stucco, Mediterranean-style house was an overwrought example of 90’s aesthetics but was completely renovated by Benecki Homes with Linda MacArthur Architect and Cole Construction, honorary chair designer Melanie Turner, and Source Atlanta to bring it into the modern-day. No detail was overlooked, from plaster walls, custom fireplace surrounds, herringbone floors, and incredible tile walls and floors throughout.
You can buy tickets to visit the house yourself here, in support of the Atlanta History Center. Take a peek inside some of the rooms below!
This post is sponsored by AllModern, but all text, images, and opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Thou Swell running!
As you might remember from my apartment tour video, my bedroom is the final room in my new apartment to be decorated and needed some finishing details to really complete the room. One of the biggest issues was the window above my bed, which I covered with a framed print for several months in an attempt to block the morning light that comes through! Another design challenge was the fact that this side of my apartment is actually underground, so I needed to find a way to give the room a little extra light and life to distract from this fact. I added three major updates to this room with AllModern to finish it off details you could add to ANY room to take it to the next level. Watch me transform the room in realtime with my latest YouTube video and check out all my bedroom design details below.
Over the past three months, I’ve been working with a client on a home renovation project and we’re at the final stages of the design process, which means styling out the house! While I can’t wait to show you the full room designs, I wanted to give you a roundup of all the accessories I bought to style out the spaces, to give you an idea of some of my favorite versatile decor pieces. I find the easiest way to tackle these details is to buy everything and then bring it over to style in-person with my client so we can decide what works best in each room. I wanted to give my client lots of options for pillow combinations, some objects to fill in shelves and tabletops, and faux plants to give a pop of greenery in corners and shelves where it might be hard to keep a real plant alive. I’m unboxing everything and giving out some of my best home styling tips in the video below, so watch now to see everything I bought!