‘A house is more than mere shelter. It should lift us emotionally and spiritually.’ John Saladino (American Interior Designer)
I have always had an affinity with interior design. As a painter with interior designers and architects in my family, design is in my blood. I have been raised to believe that art and design are closely entwined. Without art, design is merely function. Both art and design are means of communication, and both can elicit an emotional response. It has been said that every child is an artist, it’s just difficult to stay one when they grow up.
The homes I have been accustomed to with my family are as culturally diverse as their owners, from palaces around the world to luxury residential properties and royal residences in the UK. The wealth at some of these client’s disposal is staggering. But what I have come to appreciate most about home design is its faithfulness to the personality of the owner and to their environment and culture. The more personal the approach, rather than mere ostentatious display for its own sake, the more meaningful it is and the more I like it.
The houses featured in the summer edition of The World of Interiors Magazine are ones that would inspire anyone who treats their home as an extension of their personality. Coco Chanel is quoted to have said that an interior is a natural projection of the soul. I believe that art, like interior design, should be a refuge for self expression, a world away from the homogeneous capitalist industry that often seems to surround us. It should be a space for our soul and spirit to be restored, to remember what makes us individuals. I like the fact that the owner of the kitchen featured in the front cover, ‘Lady X’, has remained anonymous so her creative flow is not impeded by what the media or history might have portrayed. Adopting a pseudonym has given her the freedom to be herself and give others a glimpse into what really makes her alive. It also gives me a strange desire to purchase a balcony facade from an 18th century house in India and situate it within my living room. The welcoming and vibrant nature of her home is in stark contrast with the art of Marcus Jefferies, not less inspiring, whose work addresses the uncanny, lonely nature of a postindustrial society, with buildings that survey us rather than include us.
I was elated when Conde Nast’s World of Interiors contacted me saying my work would be a perfect fit for their summer design festival. Art should create conversation, and for me, be a hopeful response to a mundane society by encouraging the connection between people and the environment, rather than distancing us from one another. I chose to include my hydrangea oil painting in the Artistic Impressions pages, as to me the painting represents what art should do within a home.
Like a flower blossoming in nature, art should add life and hope, set in stark contrast to what is often a dark world. The pink petals denote warmth and passion, adding colour and vibrancy. Art should inspire you, and when situated within your home, it becomes an integral part of the tapestry of your life. Surround yourself with those meaningful pieces of art that uplift you and see what a difference it can make to your home.