The design process is different for everyone. Some can’t begin until they have a color palette in mind. Others let a rug or sofa define the space. Many of us are often swept away by a beautiful photo or moment and start designing with that in mind. We were inspired by this calm & serene living room in our latest issue… an impactful space with the art stealing the show.

The home belongs to painter Jenna Snyder Phillips. She created the abstract art above the sofa to represent reflective water, and designed her living room with “golden hour” in mind – that time of day shortly after sunrise or before sunset during when natural light is soft and romantic. Once the theme was set, the space come together beautifully. Tropical plants and vibrant prints abound while neutral furniture anchors the space. It became a relaxing escape right in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown.

We love this approach, and have a little redesign project planned with a favorite photograph in mind. Art is such a personal touch and adds so much to our homes, it only makes sense that we’d let it be the driving factor in the design process!

PS… you can spot some more of Jenna’s beautiful artwork in our most recent “At Home With” feature! Click here to check out Jenny Kaplan’s gorgeous Williamsburg apartment.

Image originally appeared as part of our October 2014 issue here.