The most colorful festival in town has arrived for any artsy soul seeking things to do in Des Moines. This weekend, the Des Moines Art Festival returns in whimsical, modern and abstract splendor. Downtown streets will become painted canvases while hundreds of thousands receive inspiration and brand new art-lovers are born.
We’re thrilled to explore the gems in each tent and discover unique, new styles. Perusing remarkable art isn’t the only part we’re looking forward to, either. We can’t wait to see how each breathtaking piece of art fits seamlessly into real living spaces. In fact, we were so eager, we took a sneak peek at some of the artists’ works online. Excitement was definitely warranted.
The incredible displays piqued our creative inspiration, so we imagined furnished rooms around different artists’ works to share with you today. With each set, we gleaned inspiration from shapes, hues, textures and moods to build a room that complements the art without distracting from it.
Now that we’ve prepped some living space styles, we’re more excited than ever to see the same stunning artwork in-person. Scroll down to see our artist-inspired room décor ideas and discover how to furnish a living space around your Des Moines Art Festival treasures.
Photography from Lawrence W. Oliverson
To complement this stunning photography, we emphasized clean lines, simple shapes and earthy colors. Oliverson has created art that provokes calm, spacious feelings with smooth lines that flow off the edge of each photograph, making one continuous horizon that draws your eye through all three photos. The simple shapes and earthy hues add organic, minimalist allure.
We pulled on the essence of this art when deciding how to decorate a room that is just as soothing and natural. Our pieces showcase both smooth and grainy furniture that complements Oliverson’s textured composition. Wood furniture, beige tones and pops of color drawn from the photos create a contemporary room that beautifully showcases this eye-catching art.
Pieces We Used
- Global U5200 Collection sofa chaise
Uttermost Amelie Mirrored Wall Clock– no longer available Uttermost Langford leaner mirror– no longer available
- Ashley Larroni rectangular coffee table
- Palliser Georgia 100% leather orange chair
- Coaster 902 Collection blue donut chair
- Jonathan Louis Bennet sofa
Metalworks from Arabella Tattershall
Tattershall’s unique metalwork emphasizes feminine curves and showcases a foliage-inspired look. The natural hues and leafy shapes make these dresses seem as though they just stepped out of an enchanted forest. We wanted to evoke the same look and feel in our furniture and room décor ideas.
Our seating’s curving lines and smooth, leathery upholstery match the curvaceous, burnished look of Tattershall’s metal figures. We also drew on the plant-like appeal with a lovely metallic mirror featuring leafy framing details. Even the rug reminds us of the crackled, veiny texture of a tree’s leaves. Feminine allure is scattered throughout with the tufted chaise, graceful coffee table curves and chic, old-world chest with antiqued gold details and domed scroll legs. The soft lines and nature-inspired details beautifully accompany Tattershall’s gorgeous metal dresses.
Pieces We Used
- Palliser Rockland 100% leather green sofa
Uttermost Foliage wall mirror– no longer available
- Momeni Zen rug
- Ashley Lochain beige chaise
- Pulaski Lake Como green chest
- Flexsteel Atrium round coffee table
- Simon Li J369 Collection 100% leather brown sofa
Paintings from Su Abbott
Colorful hues and varied lines create stimulating appeal with Abbott’s paintings. The captivating composition blends contrasting sizes of square and rectangular shapes, and the striking, multi-hued textures create impressive depth. This artwork is bold and detailed, so we decided the best way to complement it was to pair non-distracting, simple furniture.
Distinctive lines and rectangular shapes are carried through the room with a boxy-framed mirror and clean-edged coffee table. Our rug also plays on the paintings’ composition with organic lines and helps establish the art as the focal point with neutral hues and a more subtle design. Casual appeal is introduced with the seating’s softer edges, while upholstery hues drawn from each painting complement the artwork flawlessly.
Pieces We Used
- La-Z-Boy Kennedy 3-piece sectional
Pacific Coast Lighting Gridlines mirror– no longer available Uttermost Palla floor lamp– no longer available
- Presidential Baker coffee table
- Ashley Damacio cream leather reclining sofa
- Coaster 902 Collection white accent rocking chair
- Sphinx Marrakesh rug
- Ekornes Dream 100% leather red stressless chair and ottoman
- Best Chair Attica red swivel barrel chair
Drawings/pastels from R. Michael Wommack
Vibrant, cool hues and angular lines are bold characteristics of Wommack’s artwork. The shades of teal and midnight black are collected within clean boundaries, and the overall effect is a clean, dreamlike look and feel. Wommack even included furniture in the artwork itself with contemporary chairs and a modern, open shelf table.
This made it even easier for us to pair furnishings with this set. We chose a black leather couch and chair to match the boxy shapes and softer chair corners in Wommack’s artwork. Likewise, our open-shelved console unit matches the partially visible open-shelved table. Our muted rug and colorful accent pillows draw hues and geometric shapes from the art through the room. Lastly, we used glossy silver bases, wood feet and smooth surfaces to duplicate textures showcased in the three pieces. Our furniture carries a cool, geometric tone throughout the entire room to beautifully complement Wommack’s unique artwork.
Pieces We Used
- Lite Source Celestel floor lamp
- Futura 7221 Collection 100% leather sofa
- Lite Source Celestel table lamp
- Ashley Casheral oversized swivel chair with accent pillows
- Rizzy Platoon rug
- La-Z-Boy Allegra chair
- Aspen Essentials Lifestyls 60-inch TV console
Photography from Judith Eastburn
High-contrast, black and white tones lead to beautifully distinctive photography in Eastburn’s artwork. The sharp focal point of worn country buildings creates a casual, industrial look and spacious feel. We drew on those characteristics when deciding how to decorate our living space.
A gorgeously weathered rug, multi-toned sofa and rust gray, metal-framed clock with burnished edges combine to produce a fascinating fusion of textures similar to those in Eastburn’s photos. A faux leather chest with hardware accents and an antiqued, cage-shaded lamp add even more textural appeal. We also added a small pop of blue with a color-blocked pillow. Throughout the room, black and gray tones meld together and the contrasting textures create a tastefully appealing aesthetic that complements Eastburn’s stunning art.
Pieces We Used
- Huntington House 3184 Collection club chair
Uttermost Armada tripod table lamp– no longer available
- Steve Silver Rowan 2-drawer chest
- Loloi Vera rug
Chooty & Co. Tinga pillow– no longer available Chooty & Co. Stampede Buzzard pillow– no longer available Uttermost Porthole wall clock– no longer available
- Catnpper Voyager black power triple recline sofa
- Liberty Hearthstone occasional black hall tree
Graphics/printmaking from Richard Nelson
The nature-inspired focus and charming design of Nelson’s artwork create a warm, casual look and feel. The organic shapes and wild animals as subjects make us wish we were enjoying this art in a cozy, chic cabin. To replicate that feel with our furniture, we chose relaxed seating with natural accents.
Plush seats set a comfortable mood while the rich wood accent furniture adds warm, disarming appeal. A moose sculpture and antler candlesticks seamlessly draw from Nelson’s art and create balanced unity throughout the room. To complement the intricate details of each work of art, we added a tribal-patterned accent chair. Last, to tie everything together we chose a black to brown ombre rug that pulls colors from each piece of furniture. The casual vibe and outdoorsy elements tastefully showcase Nelson’s beautiful art.
Pieces We Used
Uttermost elk sculpture– no longer available
- Jonathan Louis Choices reversible chaise sofa
- Simon Li J369 Collection white leather chair
- Nourison Contour rug
Uttermost Loughlin wall mirror– no longer available
- Flexsteel flat iron square coffee table
Pacific Coast Lighting Pyramids floor lamp– no longer available Uttermost Lawton drum console table– no longer available Uttermost stag horn candleholders– no longer available
- Fusion 1140 Collection patterned accent chair
Are you enjoying this year’s Des Moines Art Festival? Share photos of your favorite pieces with us on Instagram or show us how your new art complements your home.
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All artist photos are from The Des Moines Art Festival. Homemakers received permission to use these images