On a wall in the Noel home hangs a very special piece of art. The painting is an abstract mixture of blues, green, red, yellow, orange, and black. It’s vibrant and compelling, much like the Noels themselves. Lauren, and her youngest son Keegan (age seven), created the painting together. Mother and son recently had an art show entitled “Us” at The Creative Clubhouse in Cleveland, OH displaying 20 of their collaborations. But the original that hangs on the boys’ bedroom wall, the very first painting they created together, is not for sale. It remains as a testament to this family’s colorful life and spirit.
The Noel family — made up of Lauren and her husband Rian, sons Dylan (age eight) and Keegan, and their “fur creatures,” cat Margot Tenenpaw, and dogs Edie and Mowgli — recently moved from Florida to Cleveland. Lauren describes the move as an act of faith. They left behind family and friends, year-round sun and warmth, and a house just minutes from the beach. They did it in hopes of getting Keegan more therapies and better schooling for his autism. Once there, Lauren says they “fell hard and fast for the city. It’s a place that’s underrated and a true hidden gem. It’s full of so much life and culture. I know Rian and I both feel like we can plant our feet here.”
And plant their feet they did. What Lauren, an artist, and Rian, who works in the hotel industry, have been able to accomplish through a mixture of paint and original art in the eight months they’ve lived in their Cleveland Heights rental is mind-boggling. Lauren says using lots of color makes their rental feel “homey” and is a way of bringing with them a piece of their Florida life. As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Lauren and Rian painted the living room of the 1925 Colonial three different times with three different greens in their quest for the right emerald hue. Lauren also commissioned her friend and fellow artist Rachel Angelique Dewey to hand-paint flowers in the bathroom. And they’ve assembled a stunning array of furniture and décor from visits to thrift stores, finds picked up off the side of the road, and pieces passed down from family. This series of small things, brought together by a love of color, has resulted in something truly great. As Lauren says, “Color gives me life.” —Liberty
Photography by Heidi M. Rolf