By: Rick Hess/Mae Case DISD
It’s often said that life imitates art. This is probably most literal for the avid art collector, someone who enjoys displaying valuable art pieces in their living space. Designing the home of an art collector is no different than designing for any residence in that to be successful, striking a balance between creativity and functionality is key. In any well-designed space, the placement of art pieces within a home is deliberate. For instance, when it comes to valuable paintings, placing them away from vents, fireplaces, wet walls and radiators is something to consider in order to preserve the work. Lighting is also important when displaying paintings in a home – allowing direct sunlight is something you’d want to avoid to prevent fading and drying out.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider for an art collector’s home, making it a great idea to consult a professional interior designer to ensure that your artistic pieces will be displayed optimally. Design Institute of San Diego explores several stand-out examples of homes that find the perfect balance of showcasing priceless works of art and creating livable spaces for their unique owners.
Lee Ledbetter and Associates designed a custom residence for an art collector, with a smart interior design that brings enough natural light to illuminate the paintings but protects the works from direct daylight. The designer also plays with shape within the space by using a curved staircase, turning the interior design itself into a beautiful piece of art.
“The Logan Residence is first, a private museum, and second, a personal winter residence” says Jones Studio. The home features multiple galleries with careful lighting solutions that house some of the top art pieces from around the globe. The client and owner, Kent Logan, wanted a place where he could live but also display his wonderful collection. Simple materials like concrete and opaque glazing are used to keep the emphasis on the art.
Where the Logan Residence accommodates living in a space for art, this contemporary apartment in São Paulo, Brazil, brings the art into relaxed living spaces. Instead of a coffee table, a work of sculpture crawls its way through the living room. Various artifacts are strategically placed throughout the room, giving the space a timeless feel. In an artistic play on a traditional dining room, an out-of-proportion chair is paired with a stone sculpture.
What do you get when you transform a “3200 square foot Chinese Laundry and Tooth Powder Factory?” An urban loft with an art gallery! With concrete walls, soft wooden floors and exposed structural beams, who would not want to view art in this space? Two shipping containers, fully contained within the loft, house the bedroom and bathroom.
“A couple commissioned this wood, steel, and glass house on the shore of Lake Washington as a place to display their collection of contemporary art and to entertain fellow enthusiasts,” explains architect Jim Olson. The home uses clerestory windows to bring natural light into multiple gallery spaces throughout the residence. Of particular interest is an installation by iconic artist James Turrell on the east side of the home. This work is a “skyspace” illuminated by LEDs, providing an immersive sensory experience for the viewer.
Just as artists differ in their creative expressions, so do the fans who appreciate their work. It’s important to listen to the client and understand the way that they live in order to create a truly successful home for an avid art collector. A seasoned interior designer will know how to create a stunning vignette in the living room and will consider, when studying a floor plan, where people will rest their eyes when they enter a room, but none of that matters unless they can also allow the personality of the homeowner to shine through. As long as that remains a key focus, designing the space for art fanatics can be a truly rewarding creative experience.