portrait painting in ornate frame in home of helen gory via the design files. / sfgirlbybay

like a lot of things that interest me, one of the most interesting things for me about interior design is quite a bit about juxtaposition. i like contradictions — vintage paired with brand spanking new, mismatched versus cookie cutter. i guess i just like to be surprised. it’s just the kind of effortless, witty style i find fascinating — and one of the things i love about vintage portrait paintings — there’s a wry sense of humor to them. so let’s say you have a pretty simple room and then all of a sudden there’s this quirky face staring back at you — it just tends to make us smile. it’s a room that doesn’t take itself too seriously and the sly portraits offer up a unique personality you might have missed had they not been added — almost as if the room is winking at you. insert emoji here. 😉

british national portrait gallery. / sfgirlbybayoversized painting over mantle via lonny. / sfgirlbybayportrait paintings in bronte restaurant. / sfgirlbybaycolorful portrait painting and fiddle leaf fig. / sfgirlbybaypastel pink wall with vintage portrait painting. / sfgirlbybaywhite walls with vintage portrait painting via architectural digest espana. / sfgirlbybayblack leather furntiure with vintage portrait painting and chandelier. / sfgirlbybaypink walls and sofa and vintage portrait paintings via yellowtrace. / sfgirlbybayportrait paintings on the wall of the dean hotel. / sfgirlbybayportrait paintings in artist holly farrell's home. / sfgirlbybayportrait painting via wilde and watson locations. / sfgirlbybay

• photo credits in order of appearance: home of helen gory via the design files; british national portrait gallery via sfgirlbybay; lonny; bronte restaurant via sfgirlbybay; design*sponge; architectural digest france; architectural digest espana; @jengotch; yellowtrace; the dean hotel; artist holly farrell’s home; wilde and watson locations.