Tour a condo where unique artwork takes pride of place
Story by Michelle Mastro | Photography by Matt Kocourek
Intro Photo Credits: Sculpture on Pedestal ~ Artist Marek Zyga, Mahogany Wall Sculpture ~ Artist Pascal Pierme, Bench Under Sculpture ~ Norbury
Some homes that adhere too closely to trending styles seem to blend together after a while. See one modern farmhouse style abode done up to follow designs set by Joanna and Chip Gaines, for example, and you may feel like you have seen them all. Not so for this condo overflowing with unique artwork. The homeowners, a husband and wife, have been collecting art for thirty years and counting. They acquired the property to house their astonishing art collection.
Print ~ Artist Alex Katz
“Our collection is varied with oils, sculptures, photographs, prints and glass works. We don’t really gravitate to one art form over another. Rather, we base our selection on pieces that we love, pieces that bring us joy. But we also collect for investment, too,” reveals the wife. “We try to collect three or four pieces from a particular artist, so we have an investment in the artists and their works.”
Bronze Scultpure ~ Artist Tom Corbin, Acrylic Painting ~ Artist Christopher Martin
To allow the art to dominate the space, the walls were painted white with cooler undertones. Occasionally, the bright and brilliant artwork complements a room’s surroundings, such as when a boldly painted piece happens to match a seemingly color coordinated couch nearby or mirror pops of similar colors in throw pillows. However, the homeowners insist this is a coincidence. “Most of our art tends to be very colorful, so it just happens to work that some of a room’s colors complement the art.”
Children Photograph Portraits ~ Artist Drew Tal
In fact, the pair collect so many pieces that they rotate their art in and out of the home. In this way, the condo becomes a revolving gallery of sorts, as if a new traveling exhibition has just arrived to take the place of a recently departed special art showcase.
Managing the curious task of decorating around the art, Kathleen Ramsey of Ramsey Interiors (Allied Member ASID, CLIPP) created the condo’s designs in such a way as to give the art a strong presence. “In this condo, a lot of the art is modern and more contemporary, so the furnishings, we thought, needed to reflect that style, play off it, but not fight with it,” reveals Kathleen. “The pieces that they have are pretty bold and colorful, so I felt comfortable using pops of color and saturated hues, because these are generally reflected in the artwork they purchase. The homeowners gravitate towards warmer shades.”
Oil Painting ~ Artist David Bates
Hence in the condo’s second bedroom, a large sculpture of heavy-duty ceramic boasts a dazzling scarlet red color. “There were only so many places to put it,” laughs one of the homeowners, “so we put it in that room. We always manage to find a place where the art works.” Nearby, other sizzling primary colors, as seen in throw pillows and a lone lamp, are juxtaposed against the red, working in concert to create a feeling of warmth in the room’s mostly minimalist décor. Again, the art is meant to catch the viewer’s eye. Furniture patterns and décor items offering a relief to the sultry shades work as minor players in the room.
Oil Painting ~ Artist Eric Zener
“I typically start with some kind of inspiration piece, like a rug, so that is where some of the color palette comes from,” explains Kathleen, discussing how she organizes her designs from room to room. “I then pull a whole room together and build on each room to make every space feel like it flows well throughout a home.”
Thus, were someone to explore the condo, they would find not only a beautifully curated collection of unique artwork, but they would also discover how similar shades or effects are mirrored in adjacent pieces. For example, in the dining room, an image of a woman swimming to the surface of a body of water hangs beside a chair incorporating a water effect, with patterns akin to running water.
Silkscreen Print ~ Artist Swoon, Glass Sculpture ~ Artist Noel Hart
Overall, like the artwork itself, the selection of furniture and décor feels wonderfully eclectic. Kathleen reveals that many of the new pieces of furniture have a mid century modern vibe, given their tendency towards clean lines. “The views and the artwork are really the show in the condo,” she says, “But I feel like her [the wife’s] style has a mid century modern feel to it, yet she also has a kind of regency streak in her, since she likes a lot of bling. We can see this sometimes in the choice of hardware and some of the sconces.”
Women Photographs ~ Artist Drew Tal
Kathleen helped the homeowners weave together the various threads of style they adored, along with their beloved art collection. “I really do feel like it’s a collaboration, working with the clients,” says Kathleen. “But I also like to encourage clients to think outside the box. I want to help them bring something new to their spaces.”
Here, in this particular condo, this meant adding in a bit of textural and tactical experiences as well, especially when it came to selecting a lot of solid, investment pieces, like larger furniture items, says Kathleen. “These items need to have texture to make the condo feel cozy, especially when they take up a lot of space. The furniture should make guests want to sit down and stay awhile.”
Ceramic Head ~ Artist Jun Kaneko, Acrylic Painting ~ Artist Christopher Martin
The homeowners agree. Says the wife, “For me, less is more. I want to look at a piece and not be overwhelmed by what’s around it. You want your area to be you and reflect your personal taste and what you appreciate. Everyone’s taste is so different. Seek out what brings you joy.” For these homeowners, what brings them the most joy is their appreciation for art and its ability to enrich their lives.
- Interior Designer: Kathleen Ramsey Interiors
- Contractor: Scheier Complete Remodeling
- Furniture: Designers Library
- Rugs: Designers Library
- Countertops: CKF
- Lighting: Visual Comfort
- Tile: Jaeckle Tile
- Tile Installation: Kenny’s Tile
- Electrical: Wire It Up