The Art of Designing

A home should be a reflection of its owner and what better way to showcase the best of yourself than through art. With Art Basel right around the corner and set to take over Miami Beach we’re looking to the experts to show us how to incorporate our favorite art pieces into a room. Leave behind ghastly white walls and ill-placed pieces and create a compelling space that embodies your unique aesthetic. We spoke to some of Miami’s leading luxury interior designers who share their insight into how Art Basel has impacted the way we view art in our homes and the best way to achieve a cohesive ensemble.

Pfuner Design

Have you observed an influence from Art Basel on design requests from clients?

“Art Basel has definitely influenced how people use and perceive art in Miami,” said Renata Pfuner, founder and creative director of Pfuner Design. “Art was used more as a decorative element to accessorize or finish off the decoration of a home. Now, I see more and more clients using art to express their personality and make a statement. It became much more mainstream and is so much more accessible to clients with all the galleries and exhibitions that developed around the show.”

What’s one art decorating mistake you’ve noticed and how can homeowners correct it?

“One mistake that we’ve seen a lot is that people don’t take enough time or ask for advice selecting the right pieces that complement the interior design. Don’t let art be an afterthought. Incorporating art into the core design of your home, start at an early stage and ask for advice.”

Nicole White Designs

What are some tips you can give on how to use art appropriately to decorate?

“Mix framing,” advises Nicole White, president and principal designer at Nicole White Designs. “We so often see clients who think they have to use one consistent frame color and matting for all their pieces and that’s not needed. Mix gold, blacks, silver and float some pieces. It’s also okay to hang some items lower than the standard eye level, especially if there are multiple pieces in an area.”

Guimar Urbina Interiors

How do you select key pieces to complement a home?

“Art is very subjective and personal,” said Guimar Urbina, founder of her eponymous design firm.  “When it comes to selecting pieces for someone else’s home, it is all about the client’s reaction and connection. Before choosing anything, I learn as much as I can about my clients. If they have other homes, I like to see what they already have, and if it is a good idea to stick with the same styles, or go in a completely different direction. As a designer, I can help guide the selection of art, such as the overall style, subject matter, scale, and mood, but ultimately it is the client’s decision. I will never place a piece that the clients do not love.”

Is there a recipe for success when including art in decorations?

“The success of art in décor is about properly working with the “What” – the art itself, “Where” – its location, and the “How” – the presentation.  It is important to make a good decision of the art’s placement within the house, and how it is framed. If the art is meant to visually connect to the rest of the décor, choose a frame in a similar style and finish as other elements in the space.

Brown Davis Interiors

What is your favorite art interior design trend?

“Recently we have been playing with angles both in our architectural design as well as interior design,” said Todd Davis, president of Brown Davis. “As an example we will design a rug so that it has angles instead of just four corners.  We also add angles to walls, walkways and rooms to our modern architectural projects. This adds a compelling new twist.”