Photographs by Amy Vischio; Glick by Jane Beiles; Smokler by Stacy Bass
Above: John Weiss is a master collector. All of his groupings reveal a vast interest in art and design, as well as an expert’s eye for details.
When collecting is in one’s DNA—be it first-edition books or Depression-era leather suitcases—one just has to have them. Sometimes they are added to similar items in a dedicated space in the house. Other times, it’s the “one and only.” The Babe Ruth ball. The silver serving tray from a great-great-grandmother. A rare Chihuly. Most of us fall somewhere in between, a few special items that we love and that somehow speak to us. Making a collection livable, or a grouping feel authentic, comes down to key design decisions, and these local style pros know all too well about avoiding the pitfalls. Whether the design is for the collection or the collection is for the design, they arrange the details and unify them into one strong statement.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
COO, Lillian August; lillianaugust.com
“Look to shelving, walls, mantels and other exposed surfaces in a room to set your collections in edited arrangements. These areas become canvases to vignette collections and turn your passions and favorite obsessions into art and livable décor. You can find these displays throughout your entire home and we take the same approach in merchandising our showrooms as well.”
The art of finding the right space, and arrangement, for favorite home décor pieces
THINK ABOUT THE LAYERS
“I lacquered the built-ins in a beautiful grayish blue and installed antique mirror on the back walls to highlight the accessories and architectural elements. When designing an accessory collection, I mix elements to create a modern-yet-curated vibe. I search for bold-titled coffee-table books whose subject matter speaks to the client. It is always a starting point, along with interesting sculptural elements. I opted for gold meteor bowls and sculptured heads on black marble bases, flanking a stack of shagreen textured boxes, and added the work of a wonderful local photographer, Janet Samuels, on plexi blocks.”
LISA FRIEDMAN DESIGN
“This project was a full renovation, therefore, I was working with a blank slate. Due to the large scale of the space, my approach was to create different moments throughout the room that were each special yet cohesive. I pulled together the art, accessories, textiles and such to create a modern, serene, sophisticated, but approachable, vibe. It’s an organic process but each piece finds its place. I know what’s going to work, but it’s a journey to get there. I know my clients; they trust me.”
BALANCE THE OVERALL LOOK
JENNIFER SMOKLER DESIGN
“My client and I were out shopping together and saw all of the mirrors hanging together in an antique shop, Jack and Marcel in New York City. The mirrors are French rattan from the 1950s. We already had a large painting for one wall, so we wanted a collection of smaller pieces for the opposite wall to create balance. Sometimes you get lucky and find a collection already together, and other times you fall in love with a piece and you just want more. The hunt is the most fun part!”