There is nothing I love more than introducing impactful, beautiful, collectable art into a neutral interior design. It is your single greatest asset for adding depth, colour and personality. A key detail in this property, for example, is a pair of intricately carved, Italian, Grand Tour Bronze urns from Guinevere Antiques (my favourite London specialist dealer) with relief scenes of classical antiquity, which are displayed to maximum effect against the polished plaster walls of the curved staircase. Another detail that draws the eye has to be a large plaster cast of the Gaddi Torso, also form Guinevere Antiques, (the original resides in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence); it is so impressive and truly unique.
I brought this tonal dining room to life with a glorious, shimmering, emerald and coral, impressionistic, painting by English contemporary artist, Rebecca Meanley, in front of which I positioned a pair of French, Baroque-style, rock crystal, candle sticks to add a theatrical flourish. Rebecca is represented in London by Cadogan Contemporary, my go-to Gallery in South Kensington for contemporary art.
Large-scale, abstract paintings, in colourful hues, form a vivid backdrop to life. In this Kensington project, the first floor living room stretches across the breadth of the building and is dominated by a pair of huge canvases also by Rebecca Meanly. Their glossy, swirling, ink blues and cerise pinks are vividly juxtaposed against the minimal and monochromatic interior. Elsewhere in this space, Chinese baluster stools and an octagonal, Venetian, etched glass mirror (c. 1890) from Guinevere Antiques, also draw the eye and add interest and texture.
With unexpected, yet precisely positioned flourishes of colour, this simply gorgeous artwork by the talented Jessica Zoob, transforms this neutral, informal snug room. Her work is so incredible; every piece is full of life and soul. I particularly love her vast triptych and diptych pieces, where the application of the paint “moves” so expressively over an entire wall. I am just waiting for the right project to come along to embrace her biggest works! Jessica’s work was introduced to me by the wonderful London Connoisseur, who represents many fabulous makers and artists.
Finally, this work by English artist, Brendan Burns, shows how a soft-toned piece can add depth and personality. In the yellow-accented master bedroom, this abstract canvas adds unexpected texture, which beautifully complements the ochre accents of the space. My boardroom in London features two large pieces by Brendan, hanging either side of its entrance. They inspire me every day; he is such an incredibly talented artist. You can view his work at Osborne Samuel Gallery.