I like decorating for collectors because they regularly bring the unexpected into our interiors. I am always delighted and surprised by objects they want to place in their rooms and enjoy the challenge of bridging them into the artistic vision of the space. I often point out that many collectors do not decorate, instead they just stack their collections into places without regard to arrangement, background, and light. However, collectors who entrust their objects to the hands of a decorator are often rewarded with a clear-eyed view of their treasures. The decorator not only brings order and clarity to the things that a collector has acquired for his or her own knowledge and pleasure, but provides a fresh new perspective. Still, some of these works of art or collectibles take time to visually digest, with some things immediately finding homes and others requiring special consideration.
Today, I am thinking about this in Philadelphia where my clients recently installed a pair of gates by Albert Paley. They were commissioned independently of me and their arrival was, as they say, a done deal. It is fantastic what they add to the house. They sit in a 19th century colonial revival hall which we painted pale yellow and centered with a great 18th century Dutch musical clock. I painted the old floor with blue deck paint to bounce light and color off the old narrow plank wood that had originally been carpeted. We furnished the space with a Scandinavian table and mirror, a red lantern from Charles Edwards and an Amazon headdress. Then the gates arrived, taking their place and I must say they work remarkably well. In context, they achieve a sort of balance, forming a pleasing holistic ideal between a sophisticated collector's possessions and the decoration.