The Missing Piece(s)

Interiors & Decor


Gallons of paint. Endless furniture rearrangement. A renovation requiring Joe, Winnie and I to live with his parents for three months. You would think all of this would make the house feel complete, but something didn’t feel right. We chalked it up to us settling into the new space. After all, we hadn’t been there consistently the entire summer and we went to Europe for two weeks. Once we got back home it was a flurry of business travel and the holidays.

Even as the dust settled and we started 2016, we couldn’t shake this feeling. Instead of something missing, maybe it was due to too much stuff. So I Marie Kondo’d my way through the house, ridding it of various stuff that no longer sparked joy. After a few carloads to the Goodwill, the house was much cleaner but a little more sparse. And then it clicked. For all the furniture, clocks, lights, mirrors, books and various decorative knick knacks, not one piece of art was on the wall. Nothing. But Kate, I see all the images on your Instagram feed with art on the wall. Well, yes and no. We have plenty of “shooting art”, pieces that are rotated on an as-needed basis that I use in various rooms, but there is nothing permanent on the walls.


It’s not that we don’t want art, we just can’t seem to agree on what pieces to purchase and then where to put them. So, back to square one. Do we ignore that feeling and continue on with clean, once-comforting-but-now-slightly-claustrophobic, white walls, or do we get into multiple “discussions” about finding the right piece. Win-win!

A friend of mine recommended we talk with Tappan, an online art gallery focused on connecting some of the best emerging artists with collectors and assist with curating collections.



The service was easy enough. Both Joe and I took turns combing through their online gallery selecting images we both liked, and once we had a large “wishlist”, we sent images of our space, along with measurements, for recommendations from the team. As an admitted control freak, and someone that has worked as a stylist, it was strange and I felt a bit sheepish, giving carte blanche to an outside service that I provide myself.

In the end I realized we needed this impartial third party to help us out. I can style and design for others, but when it comes to myself. Nope. I’m far to close to the project to have any real perspective and think about the larger picture. It boggles the mind how many services are out there that seem specifically designed to prevent fights, ahem, discussions between couples. This being one of them.

We’ve had the art on the walls for a few weeks now, and that nagging feeling that something is missing is mostly gone. We’ve had the art for a few weeks now, and I’m starting to be able to relax. Just a little.

Look for more images and pieces in the upcoming months on the blog and on Instagram.

Ed. Note: In the interest of full disclosure, Tappan was an amazing partner and went above and beyond their standard services to help me curate my new collection. Please visit Tappan Collective for a full list of services as well as a roster of up and coming artists. As always, while product was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our partners!

Images: 2nd Truth Photography

First Photo:
Artist: Dafy Hagai / Artwork: Xenn
Second Photo:
Artist: Lani Trock
Third Photo:
Artist: Gia Coppola / Artwork: Sushi
Fourth Photo:
LEFT: Artist: Isaac Zoller / Artwork: Rocks of the North Pacific, San Francisco
RIGHT: Artist: Brian Merriam / Artwork: Mist Six

BY Kate Arends - January 27, 2016

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add a comment

  1. Prerna

    January 27th, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Knowledge on art and culture and then actually implementing it practically is one of the most difficult things I find.

  2. Emma

    January 27th, 2016 at 10:59 am

    The art in your home is beautiful. I’m trying to educate myself more and add more thoughtful pieces to our collection.

  3. Kate

    January 27th, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you Emma!!

  4. Amanda

    January 27th, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    your home/art/everything is gorgeous. I’ve been looking for a service like Tappan FOREVER, and I’m so glad you’ve shared it. I’ll be spending the next 2 (or 12) hours perusing – thanks again 🙂

  5. Carlyn

    June 1st, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Could you share what color/brand of white interior paint you use… PLEASE : )

  6. Kate

    June 1st, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    It is Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee!

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