Designing around art- The Uptown Condo

Over the past few months, I’ve had the amazing opportunity of designing an uptown condo around a piece of artwork- that doesn’t even exisit yet!

My client had seen this incredible artist- Kyle Mosher- and wanted to commission him to do a piece for his place. I was not only excited to have a client who cared about investing in art (and has been amazing to work with in general), but I was also blown away with his taste in art! Here are images of some of Kyle’s work:

Kyle uses found paper to create beautiful pieces that are a mix of story telling and imagery. They are so detailed and well thought out- I cannot wait to see the one he produces for my client. 

The condo hadn't been touched much since my client moved in and the only thing he knew he wanted was a great piece of art. We are starting with the living room (the main area that connects to all the other spaces) and while it had large ceilings and great features, it needed a killer design to go with it. Below are photos of what the condo looks like. 

I love the wall he has all his instruments on! 

Not only did my client have a great empty room to play with, but he also had great taste. Here is what he liked:

  • large graphics/typography
  • bold color
  • industrial/modern finishes
  • reclaimed wood
  • mid-century modern pieces
  • lots of seating for entertaining
  • a laptop table
  • a sophisticated way to incorporate plants into the room

Part of the job of a designer is to discern what a client say they want and knowing what they really want. The combination of midcentury modern style and industrial isn’t a hard one to join together. But when you add in large graphics and bold color, it can be hard to balance them all.

And since I’m basing the room’s design on this amazing art piece, I wanted to make sure that everything would work together.

I picked two main concepts. I’m going to take you through my reasons behind the first one today and then show you the other one later this week.

Option 1- the more “Mid-Century Design”

Mid-Century Design

Mid-century usually means having pieces of furniture that look like they came out of the 60’s with color and simplified shapes. I wanted to let this design have:

  • pops of color that tied in the artwork
  • a rug with a bold design
  • a funky coffee table
  • a large sectional as the grounding piece
  • an arching floor lamp
  • round "pods" as wall art and a place to have more plants integrated into the space

Since my client wanted as much seating as possible, I thought that having one design with a sectional was an efficient way to accomplish this. The other elements played up the mid-century look as well as added in a little industrial flair to the mix. Because the art piece is a collage, I wanted to use colors and patterns in layers like a collage. Notice I don't have any throw pillows...I had to restrain myself from focusing on accessories at this point in the process. While that can be an important element the design, I didn't feel it was necessary to focus on that yet. And, those things can always added later. What's more important is to get the main pieces of the design hammered out. 

I’ll share with you the other design concept later this week- and also tell you which design the client chose!

Do you find it easy to incorporate artwork into your style? Why or why not?