April 19, 2010


 Larson Juhl, has long distinguished itself, in the framing industry through fine craftsmanship and personal service.
As a design-driven company, Larson Juhl, in the words of CEO Steve McKenzie, "Is committed to the success of the industry through new designs. We listen to what the consumer wants. We attend art shows and major exhibitions around the world and we investigate color trends and home trends."
(5th:  Think I would like to work for them!)

I was truly honored to share in the opportunity of meeting Steve McKenzie via an event co-hosted with Eddie Ross last January. Steve was extremely generous, and a gracious and approachable host who possesses a contagious passion for his company. I had to know more.............so am sharing our interview, an exciting new division of their company and a wonderful giveaway.
  5th;  Your thoughts on custom framing in today's interiors?

SMK;  "Decorating with custom frames challenges the senses, engages the spirit and transforms a room while influencing how a piece of art is perceived."

5th;  What design elements would you recommend we keep in mind?

SMK;  1)  Frame what you love. It may be a street painting from a special trip to Paris
             2)  Be aware of space and appropriate size
             3)  Understand your personal tastes so that you can express you style to the framer

5th:  What trends are you following and foreseeing?

-An extreme awareness of environmental responsibility. Larson Juhl has a parallel commitment to sustainability, utilizing managed forest lumber for all our products.

-A renewed appreciation for what nature provides. With such hi-tech and sleek modern lives, natural wood is comforting.
-Propensity  of color. Brights are used more in monochromatic rooms adding a punch that creates energy.
-Contemporary and Modernism continues to grow with clean and simple lines.

5th; I found your website to be very consumer friendly. Loved that the frames are separated into collections as shown above.

 Into the 'Style Notebooks' as shown with the Johnathon Adler collection

And as in the example above, you provide 'Framing Recipes' and in this case pocket watches.

This "recipe"

-Outer frame: 'Sevilla'
-Inner frame: 'Ambrosia'
-Top Mat: 'Buckskin Leather
-Bottom Mat: 'Bart'
-Fillet: 'Sevilla'

SMK:  "Many individuals do not fully understand their taste which transcends framing, this is to create a dialogue and prompt you in seeking your basic style. To ease the fear of making a mistake and to take your ideas to the framer who can ultimately navigate your decisions.

5th:  Steve, let's talk about our mutual love; framing objects. What ideas can you share with us?

SMK:   "Anything can be framed and acquired objects can be arranged as the ultimate personal collection. Consider for instance a Grandmother's christening gown. It is so personal and aesthetically beautiful that it becomes a work of art adding a touch of humanity into a space."

I am crazy in love with how Brooke from Velvet and Linen thought to frame vintage bathing suits.

My dear friend Betsy framed her son's first "big boy" jeans which she hung in her laundry room.

An old German fishmongers chart currently for sale in the shop

17th century French candy molds I had framed

5th:  Personally I am excited about your latest division, Artaissance, your pioneering art publishing division that addresses what is inside the frame.

SMK:  Artaissance or 'Art that Fits' represents the work of emerging and well-known artists. Our interactive online library has over 3,300 images representing the work of more than 140 artists, and is continually updated on a monthly basis. All of the images are exclusive to the collection be it watercolors, photography, collage and mixed media."

Remember this everyone? Eddie Ross' winning window for Bloomingdales. And the centerpiece was the framed art from Artaissance.

                                                                            Cirsk #1

What is choice about this division is the ability to customize the art for your space. You can choose the size and substrate be it paper or canvas. Eddie had the edges "deckled" then floated the piece for added depth.

So here is the generous giveaway;
-Go to the Larson Juhl website
-Scroll down the left and choose 'Artaissance' and scan the selections
-Email me with your choice of artwork, substrate and size. Hurry!
Winner will be chosen randomly.    Here are some of my favorites;

Jenny Nelson

Felipe Santama

Amy Butler

Photography by Thea Schrack

Thomas Paul

Miguel Dominguez

David Dauncey

HAVE FUN! I certainly did and found myself awash in possibilities.

A special thank you to Steve McKenzie for this generous opportunity for the readers of  '5th and State'


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