Bathroom Diaries: Tara Clayton

Bathroom Diaries with Tara Clayton

Tara Clayton's former life in the art world lead her to move quite a bit. Her many moves and transitions meant she was constantly reimagining and redecorating her space. With each new home, her love for interior design began to catch up with her passion for art, and thus, Cobblestone Lane Gallery, Tara's interior decorating and art consulting business, was born.

She recently gave her own powder room a refresh, and we are OBSESSED. We were thrilled to chat with Tara about this colorful space.

Tell us about yourself! How did you find yourself working as an interior decorator and art consultant? For members of our audience that are less familiar, what does being an art consultant mean, exactly?

The first time I hung a beautiful, modern portrait over a Biedermeier chest I remember thinking “Wow! This is the power of art to completely transform a space.” I have always had an interest in how things are paired together––when I watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid, my favorite part was when he changed his blazer to a cardigan and swapped out his loafers for tennis shoes. I was unreasonably excited to see what combination he would choose! Even though my mom was an artist, I fell into art history somewhat unexpectedly in college when I filled an open slot on my class roster with Survey of West Art. I was planning to drop, but after two classes I was ready to change my major! My passion for aesthetics led me to work at some awesome museums in NYC, including the Met and the MoMA, and over that same decade I also took a curatorial position so that I could interact directly with art. Now, as an art consultant (also called an art advisor) and interior decorator, my focus at Cobblestone Lane Gallery is to help people discover and get their hands on works by overlooked and emerging artists and pair them with the perfect textiles, furnishings, and accessories for their space.

And in case you're curious, here is the aforementioned artwork and chest. Artwork is by Alex Katz and chest is by Modern History.

We are big fans of powder room art at Weezie HQ. As an art consultant, what are some of your best art sourcing tips, specifically for bathroom spaces?!

I agree, bathroom art is the most fun because you can be creative with scale and concepts! One tip for bathroom art is to be mindful of how your work’s medium will respond to fluctuating temperatures. For example, if you have a full bath, you’ll want to steer clear of works on paper which are sensitive to shower steam whereas a half bath can maintain a more consistent temperature.  If you have colorful, traditional wallpaper, it’s always fun to add an abstract piece to help modernize your space. Alternatively, if you have something as visually consistent as striped wallpaper, you may want to add a figural drawing to create more rhythm on the wall. Nontraditional items like framed vintage postcards/letters or intaglios are interesting choices, too!

This powder bathroom is FUN. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind its redo? 

Thank you so much, we really love it and call it our party bath! My husband and I grew up going to the beach and lakes, so I am drawn to coastal designs and knew I wanted something bright and bold for a small bathroom that sees traffic from adults and our young kids. I started with the wallpaper because I loved the design and believed that the upward movement would help make our ceilings feel taller and the walls wider. The rest came together pretty naturally! Did I mention that the before was an eyesore?! See for yourself!

We love that colored sinks are having a moment! How did you land on this dreamy pink sink? Do you have any tips on picking the perfect sink color?

I have been following Atmosphyre for a few years and had to have one of their sinks in this bathroom! We have pops of blue and pink throughout the house and the idea of juxtaposing them so boldly in this small space made me excited, so I was thrilled that this pink sink fit the dimensions we needed perfectly! Committing to a colored sink is no small feat, but the only time I have ever been disappointed in designing a space is when I played it safe. For longevity of design, I would recommend that you find a colored sink that is imperfect so that your space feels more historied instead of dated when the trend passes. If you’re thinking about a colored sink, think about how you will feel in your space. A white sink would have made our bathroom more serious, but I wanted our guests to be surprised with fun!

Sourcing:

Quick Fire:

  1. Favorite Coffee Table Book: A great combination of coffee table books can be just as interesting as works on the wall––it’s another opportunity to tell your story! I like to mix old and new exhibition catalogues, gorgeous cookbooks, and interior design books. Aerin Lauder Entertaining Beautifully, Mark Sikes Beautiful and More Beautiful, Marie Flanigan The Beauty of Home, Jennifer Ash Rudick Summer to Summer, Thalia Ho Wild Sweetness, Slim Aarons A Place in the Sun are a few of my favorites.
  2. Favorite Artists or Galleries:  Favorite artists to research and write about are Man Ray and Duchamp, My favorite place to view art is the Cy Twombly Gallery, a part of the Menil Collection in Houston.
  3. Favorite Brands to follow on IG: @thecolonypalmbeach has been filling me with all of the beach-chic vibes lately
  4. Favorite Interior Designers to follow on IG: @markdsikes, @arielokin, @carterkayinteriors, @clarybosbyshell, @amystudebakerdesign, @pencilandpaperco, so many!
  5. Recent Interior Design Splurge: A Parasol floor lamp!
  6. Recent Interior Design Steal: A great sale on flower pots from Vietri!

Feeling inspired yet? Thanks so much, Tara! If you are looking to add a pop of color to your powder, you can shop out piped edge towels here.