by Lynn Byrne
By Lynn Byrne. Granted the photo above shows a collector on steroids. So how do you artfully integrate a collection in your interior design plan?
Today, at the D & D Building, I attended a seminar given by Suzanne Lovell, noted architect and interior designer, on just that subject. Named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 Architects and Interior Designers in the world, she knows what she is talking about.
Suzanne says that you should think about what goes on your walls and tabletops right from the beginning–not at the end of a project when most clients (or you) are pooped out and out of money. She maintains that architecture, interior design, fine and decorative art should all be an integrated part of the overall design process at the outset.
According to Suzanne, it is the artwork, sculpture and other objects that bring a space to life, and are more important than say the curtain fabric or coffee table to the ultimate success of a room.
She explained that she walks her clients through the project beginning at the front door with a focus on where the eye will land–to specifically show them where they need to place some kind of art object, be it a painting, sculpture or other collectible.
She encourages her clients to develop a collection that tells a story.
For example, one client, a psychiatrist, was not a collector. Suzanne showed her images and took her to galleries. Soon the client realized that she was attracted to items that focused on the human face. This led to a collection of portraiture that enlivened the interiors.
Cullman & Kravis took a similar approach in this year’s Kips Bay dining room. All of the art in that room related in some way to food and eating. Click here to see that space.
While many of Suzanne’s interiors are highly curated around one collecting theme, I don’t think you need to limit yourself to one overall theme for success. Rather, in my opinion, you need only group your art and objects in a rational way. I completely agree with her that it is wise to consider where your art and objects will make the biggest statement when you are initially planning the space.
At the coffee afterwards, I had the opportunity to chat personally with Suzanne. She elaborated on her lecture and explained that she designs by vignette.
She further explained that she tells her clients at the initial budget meeting to allow for an added 25% of the total budget for art.
How about that! Just imagine how interesting your home would be if you built that amount into your decorating budget right from the very first day.
To check out Suzanne’s work, click here.
First photo by Ricardo Labougle for World of Interiors.