Design Direction: Start with Art - Styling a Colorful Console Table with Christen Joy

byTeam GM

4 years ago

Ready for some home decor inspiration? We’re back with another Start with Art post featuring interior designer Christen Anderson of Christen Joy. We love how she styled two prints from Gray’s Bon Voyage series in this space to bring out the colors in the other accessories. Keep reading for more in the space from Christen.

Growing up in a place like Moorhead, Minnesota, you experience the color and beauty of all four seasons — from snowy white winters skiing and snowboarding, to hot August afternoons boating and swimming in crisp Minnesota Lakes. The changing seasons made me want to experience other areas of the country and the world. Following college, I moved to the West Coast where I lived and worked for many years and spent my free time traveling internationally. In 2014, I moved back to Minnesota and launched Christen Joy, my interior design business. We create luxury home interiors throughout the United States, and art-direct some of the Midwest’s most stunning commercial spaces.

My specialty is bringing a client’s vision to life. As a visual storyteller, my role is directing the production. They are the star. I usually start by having them select art or pieces that truly speaks to them. Then, I work in classic furniture pieces, luxe fabrics, textures, rich colors, unique collectibles and accessories to make a space unforgettable.

How would you define your interior design style?

Fresh Traditional. I encourage investing in ‘classic pieces,’ and mixing in cost-effective options for personality and to spark joy. A classic piece such as a well-constructed sofa or original piece of art is something to invest a little more in for lasting quality or lovability, and because it stands the test of time. By educating clients on the value of foundational elements, most people will take risks within their comfort zone.

What drew you to The City Girl from Gray's Bon Voyage Series?

Meeting with my client, she told me she was a fan of Gray’s work. She follows him on Instagram to take her mind to another place, enter a more blissful state or spark a vacation memory. After that, I knew two things: One, we’d be fast friends; two, I’d found my art inspiration resource for her project! The Bon Voyage Series. She’s a jet setter living a busy corporate life in Washington DC. When escaping everyday life, she jets across the country to her Minnesota Lake home. Two pieces from the series spoke to her, The Queen Bee with it’s crisp bold yellow lemon held in adoration by the red-lacquered manicured hand of pop culture royalty. The strength of this piece along with Cosmo Girl and its refreshing citrus pink cocktail served up against a bright blue sky now greet her the moment she walks through the door and drops her carry-on in a blissful relief of relaxation having arrived at her holiday home.

What did you pick out as the most important elements of the print to incorporate into the space?

The feeling of a playful escape spoke to my client. And, since she’s a DC executive, the powerful elegance of the gold bracelet made sense. It references a time when HBO’s Sex and The City TV series had young professional women everywhere feeling empowered by ordering Cosmopolitans to emulate character Carrie Bradshaw. A modern day Boss Babe, just like my client!

With the art as the focus, I balanced the space with the furniture, a neutral console table and brass lamps with textured linen shades to mimic the gold bracelet. Pops of yellow paired to The Queen Bee and the lemon rind on the rim of the Martini glass in The City Girl pull out elements of playfulness in the lake home, along with personal items, sea glass beads and cozy textiles to add layers of comfort, personality and warmth.

The lake home is a place to unwind and have fun. To spend time with friends who know her best — the relaxed and playful her that comes out when she’s flown thousands of miles away from who she’s expected to be. Exactly as Gray captured in his art.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to design a space and start with art?

For me, art is the best place to start when designing a space, because art evokes emotion, and it can inspire everything that frames it. Look within it to find patterns, colors, shapes, textures and styles for your decor selections. Just make sure the selections support the art and don’t pull focus from it.

Invest in quality art pieces you’ll love for years, such as Gray’s amazing work. Choosing the right piece is easy if you listen to your intuition. If you’re like me, you’ll feel an immediate knee-jerk reaction, you’ll just know you’ll look at that piece and smile for years to come. When art does this, you’ll never tire of it. I gaze at Gray’s work every day in my office and every day I find new things I love about it.

I can’t thank Gray enough for the opportunity to share the joy, inspiration and fab style his art adds in my work and in the lives of my clients!

So, what do you think? Is this space making you want to redecorate a corner of your home? You can shop Gray’s Bon Voyage series here. We’re currently offering 25% off all photography on Keep up to date with Christen on her Instagram and website.


Team GM

Interior Design: Christen Anderson of Christen Joy

Photographer: Hillary Ehlen