I love art. I considered curatorial studies for a time while in college. During my first exhibit installation, however, I broke two large glass plates protecting a famous photographer’s work. I concluded pretty quickly that “this is probably not for me”. Still, my love affair continued well into my interior design degree and career. There is almost no genre or medium that I don’t appreciate in some way. A 1982 kinetic sculpture and an oil portrait from the 19th century can both stir my senses. It follows then that artwork sometimes informs my designs.
THE STARTING POINT
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand – Children of Asher Wertheimer, 1902
It’s hard to not love Sargent. His oil paintings are lush, moody and undeniably beautiful. I chose this work as a jumping off point for a media principal’s office for its sophistication and intimacy.
The idea here is art as muse. I pulled what spoke to me – the colors, tones, textures and emotions. My design is an interpretation of the painting, not a copy of it.
Our client’s office is entered by way of an anteroom. The space is a waiting area for visitors and serves as a buffer between her office and the staff workplace. The finish selections and air of elegance are derived from the Sergent painting. But as this is a modern woman’s office and a Huntley & Co. interior, we changed tack by mixing genres and funking up certain elements.
– plan & anteroom elevations –
– office elevations –
Our client is a businesswoman and loving mother. She is worldly, feminine and capable – someone who is both interesting and interested. Her combination of sophistication, warmth and strength is part of what has made her a success in her field. With that in mind, we imbued her workspace with a similar sensibility and furnished it with antiques, modern European pieces and an impressive art collection. We think Mrs. Asher Wertheimer would have approved.
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Vicente Wolf published a book sometime back called ‘Learning to See’. I have always thought that was such a meaningful title. Seeing (and looking, fundamentally) is at the heart of a creative person. What drives artistic and design-minded individuals is a desire to seek out and study what’s interesting, beautiful and/or weird about the stuff of the world.
I’m no exception; I never stop culling the visual data around me. And I have no shame when it comes to capturing what I see on film. I’ll lie down on the sidewalk or crawl in the dirt if I see something worth photographing. Inspiration for my designs can be found in all kinds of places: museums, parks or city streets. It doesn’t matter if I’m looking at a Rodin sculpture or the bark of a tree. Cultivating one’s oeuvre (i.e. learning to see) means looking EVERYWHERE, even in the most unlikely of places.
– 3 unique versions of texture –
Left to right: DIY lattice on a courtyard door in LA; Crepe Myrtle bark in my neighborhood; a broken plate art installation at the 2016 AD Design Show.
Masterfully carved tassels and lace details on a marble statue at the National Gallery of Art.
– a sophisticated collection of swirls and curlicues –
Clockwise from top left: A frozen puddle in West Virginia; an antique carved marble table top at the State Department; an Art Deco planter on a Kansas City sidewalk; an ornamental fabric necklace in a London shop; a felt jewelry display at Anthropologie.
Left: Faux finish inspiration discovered at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Right: A sample of Japanning at the Geffrye Museum in London.
A large mineral sample on display at a mining museum in Creede, Colorado.
So many photos and so little time. This post could have been a mile long, so instead, you can expect a Part II, Part III and maybe even a Part IV of Whatchu Lookin At? Until next time — look, see and soak it all up!
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** all photos in this blog post are my own : )
We know you and our fabulous faux clients have been waiting for our big reveal. The design process is nothing, if not, an exercise in patience. From concept to installation, interior design requires vision, tenacity and know-how. It’s a labor of love, but labor nonetheless. So when the time finally comes to present our clients with their dream home, our excitement is hard to contain. This particular dream home is ‘faux show’, but the thrill of the reveal remains the same … So without further ado!
— THE 2016 FAUX HOUSE REVEAL —
[ Our clients seem pleased ]
* * *
— DESIGNER Q&A —
Our Huntley & Co. clients and room may have been crafted from imagination,
but they do speak to the real methodology and design vernacular of our firm’s work.
Here, principal Tricia Huntley, opens up about her influences, the importance
of breaking the rules and the best song to get a party started.
1. What are some of the things that influence you, aside from furniture and décor?
Museums, music, fashion, history, parks/nature, architecture, poetry … those things that are thoughtful, provocative, moving. I like to start with a feeling or mood before I pivot to the tangible aspect of things.
2. What qualities of a room do you most admire?
Substantial hardware and appropriate, expertly executed millwork. I would rather live in an empty house with those two qualities than a shoddy new-build with the best furniture.
3. Design rule you love to break?
Symmetry. I was classically trained so I believe in building a space according to the rules of symmetry. But I also believe that breaking that symmetry in clever, nuanced ways is what brings a room to life.
4. You know these clients will be having many a fete, what’s a good hostess gift?
I love to give sophisticated, unusual candles and fragrances. Aedes de Venustas, Joya and Santa Maria Novella all offer intriguing scents in stunning vessels. And of course, good booze and wine never go out of style. Add a beautiful ribbon with a handwritten tag and you’re done.
5. Rapid Fire!
* * *
It’s been fun, but we need to dash! Our clients told us to get out so they can enjoy their new home ; )
If you want another glimpse at the process, simply click on posts Part I, Part II and/or Part III.
A showhouse is unique in that it provides a designer with the freedom to create a space that is bound only by her innovation and talent. With a project that lacks a scope of work and a flesh-and-blood client, we find it important to invent a narrative to guide our design concept. At Huntley & Co. we create a “faux client” to serve as muse during the showhouse process. We have been blessed with some pretty wonderful clients throughout the years, but our Faux Clients 2016 definitely have us crushing hard!
dc interior designer
Washington DC is a city filled with people of varied and interesting backgrounds. Our Huntley & Co. “clients” are an art dealer wife with an international childhood (thanks to a father who was Ambassador to Peru) and a west coast-born husband with a Renaissance spirit. The couple shares a love of art, music and philanthropy. Both travel frequently to New York, California, Europe and South America. With that in mind, our goal for these busy and passionate entrepreneurs was to create a true LIVING space that reflects their personal histories and nurtures the lifestyle of their young family.
Already inspired? Fantastic! Because Huntley & Co. will be sharing more insights into our showhouse process as well as a final ‘reveal’ in forthcoming Luxe & Lucid posts. Subscribe to our feed or follow us on Bloglovin to stay tuned!
There are only two things in this world of which I will never tire. One, cute animals. And two, vignettes. It’s true, nothing snaps me out of a bad mood faster than a cleverly styled tabletop or an otter eating lettuce on Youtube. Vignettes I love because they can be pulled together in minutes. I love them because everyday things – a branch from the yard, a child’s toy, a vintage teacup – always make them more interesting. I love them because they have personality. I love them because they’re artistic and inspirational. I love them because they make me happy … even sans otter.
A favorite vignette from my LA trip this spring.
Richard Holley | McAlpine, Booth & Ferrier
Huntley & Co. (L&R) | Peter Vitale (center)
Huntley & Co. | Ellen DeGeneres
Huntley & Co. (L&R) | Elle Décor (center)
Elsie de Wolfe | David Hicks
Huntley & Co. | Ernesto Pigni
Sunday morning at chez Huntley | The National Museum of American History in DC
Darryl Carter | Lucinda Wharton | Horsch Interiors
Best tableau ever by A. Shaw Antiques at Highpoint.
Drop by the Luxe & Lucid Pinterest page for dozens of other gorgeous, brilliant vignettes.
I spent the day at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York on Friday. It’s always good to see what’s new, talk with vendors and “kick the tires” so to speak. Seeing the finish/scale/construction of products in person is integral to quality control and intelligent design. And, of course, it’s fun. I’ve shared ten best picks — whether it be a specific piece or an entire collection — and why each was worth a closer look.
#1 Van Cronenburg
I am passionate about hardware and this company is stellar. Substance and exquisite detail in every piece.
#2 A Space Wall Sconce
All of the products from A Space – lighting, furniture, vases – are beautiful, but the Falling Star lamp was a show-stopper. It will undoubtedly make a lot of “it lists”.
In a perfect world, Archetypal’s work would be on the floors of every home in America. A designer can dream.
#4 Jennifer Schinzing
Jennifer’s love for the natural world inspired her to learn taxidermy. She preserves small animals (many of them road kill casualties) and transforms them into art installations. The thoughtfulness and beauty of each “memorial” was remarkable. Take note world, SHE IS ONE TO WATCH.
This cabinet was perfection. The veneers, the joints, the mechanics, the proportions were all flawless. Filipe Rodrigues’ work is masterful.
#6 Brizio Faucet
The Brizio Solna faucet. It’s black, it’s functional, it’s sexy … and it’s plumbing. Gotta’ love it.
#7 Jefferson Hayman Photography
I never jumped on the gallery-style art installation bandwagon in design. Perhaps because often times it’s just a bunch of crap thrown up on the wall (yes, I just wrote that). But Jefferson Hayman’s installation at the AD Design Show was simply lovely. The collection was intimate, multi-faceted and beautifully framed. Purchasing the entire installation crossed my mind … and I think that of the gentleman in the photo (yes, I was eaves-dropping).
#8 Coral & Tusk
I’m a sucker for animal motifs, so naturally I was drawn to Coral & Tusk’s display. But what’s lovely about these goods is that the patterns are cute without being saccharine. The imagery is grounded by the quality and authenticity of the textiles. Moreover, Stephanie Housley was delightful; her enthusiasm and love for her work was evident.
#9 Joya’s F vs. S Candles
These candles may seem simple, but something about them caught my eye. They whispered [vs. shouted] sexy and luxurious — my personal sweet spot without a doubt. I inquired about an order at the show and pretty much want to purchase the whole collection of fragrances upon seeing the website.
#10 C&B at Dining by Design
Believe it or not, I am including Crate & Barrell in this list. Their dining room for DIFFA included a brilliant wall “art” installation. How many plates were broken to create this I don’t know. But what fun and how tongue-in-cheek. Kudos C&B.
*All photos are my own save the two that are hyperlinked. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images with our readers.