Beyond all the elaborate ideas that may spring to mind when designing a space, finding a way to work with the elements already in place is an essential key— and yet can also be a source of inspiration. Taking a look at the existing colors, visible vignettes of nature, construction features and personality can all serve to inform the decor choices made moving forward, and working to compliment what is set in stone, so to speak, can have a great impact on the continuity and ultimate sense of harmony achieved.
Wendy Chazin – Interior, Still Life, SIGNED stone lithograph 1975
If the natural surrounding environment is cool and calm and, as with perhaps a vacation rental, maintaining an air of nighttime romance is desired, using blues and greens and themes of the moon can work wonders. Wendy Chazin’s Interior, Still Life is a signed 1975 stone lithograph that promotes a homey feeling of peacefulness. Jim Buckels’s Bel Air Blues and Gerard Razzia’s Clandestine are dramatic and chic signed silkscreens that both lend dreaminess, austerity and mystery.
Jim Buckels – Bel Air Blues, SIGNED silkscreen
Gerard Razzia – Clandestine, SIGNED silkscreen 1985
The windows allow for plants and landscape to come into the interior, which in turn become the first characters to dictate the mood. Choosing artwork that keeps up a conversation with the local flora residents can be an excellent vehicle to encourage the positive flow that they have created. P.S. Gordon’s Untitled has the right colors and themes, and Robert Zakanitch’s Avery Fisher Hall would easily blanket any wall with complimentary movement. And Bill Komoski’s Community Holiday Festival seems an easy pairing with what could be dancing sunlight dappling through leaves of trees or chandelier prisms.
P.S. Gordon – Untitled, SIGNED silkscreen 1987 Robert Zakanitch – Avery Fisher Hall, SIGNED silkscreen 1977
Bill Komoski – Community Holiday Festival, SIGNED silkscreen 1987
"...working to compliment what is set in stone, so to speak, can have a great impact on the continuity and ultimate sense of harmony achieved."
Marko Spalatin – Untitled, SIGNED silkscreen 1975 Mel Bochner – Twenty-Five Years, SIGNED silkscreen 1984
If the space has interesting modern architectural details or design features, then playing off those angles and shapes can bring an affirming gesture, reinforcing the existing tone. Marko Spalatin’s Untitled looks already like mid-century modern geometry, and Mel Bochner’s Twenty-Five Years begs to be placed near a see-through open staircase. A vertically enlightened loft-style space could require an equally as visionary piece of artwork, as is the case with one like Budget Enterprise by Olga Koumoundouros. And Notre Dame, Montreal by Roger Cartier could pick up on both classic renaissance moulding and a spirit of romantic tradition.
Olga Koumoundouros – Budget Enterprise, SIGNED mixed media 2010 Roger Cartier – Notre Dame, Montreal, SIGNED stone lithograph
To accentuate an ambiance of warmth and sunset glamour, choosing pieces with warm colors and summery themes fits the bill. Roland Ricardson’s Interior View holds all the perfect undertones and Rolf Rafflewski’s Hotel de Ville is reminiscent of twenties nostalgia of travel and fine weather bliss. Even if the weather is always changing, Howard Hodgkin’s The Sky's The Limit offers an abstract sunset that fosters a mood of cocktails by the sea no matter what time of year, and the desired warmth can make its home within yours.
Roland Ricardson – Interior View, SIGNED stone lithograph 1979 Rolf Rafflewski – Hotel de Ville, SIGNED stone lithograph 1975
Howard Hodgkin – The Sky's The Limit, SIGNED silkscreen 2002
And if waltzing with floor or wall tiles, textures or patterns strikes a fancy, then selecting art that employs those details can be a winning pairing. Tin Roof (2nd State) by James Rosenquist would make a thrilling companion to old fashioned malt shop tiling, and Katherine Porter’s Untitled (Newport Jazz Festival) would converse readily with exposed brick walls, whether inside or outside.
James Rosenquist – Tin Roof (2nd State), SIGNED etching 1978 Katherine Porter – Untitled (Newport Jazz Festival), SIGNED silkscreen 1972
Terry Winters’s Location Plan 2000 indulges an affinity toward all of what makes eye candy of natural wood and marble patterning. And to pick up on the textures found in stone finishes or perhaps rocky garden or exterior settings that may already be in play, works like Jennifer Bartlett’s House, Dots, Hatches or Olin Stephens’s Dorade: Sail Plan, 1936 could provide illuminated insight.
Terry Winters – Location Plan 2000, SIGNED silkscreen 2000
Jennifer Bartlett – House, Dots, Hatches, SIGNED silkscreen 1999 Olin Stephens – Dorade: Sail Plan, 1936, SIGNED silkscreen 2004