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Collected, Not Decorated

Art in its purest form is an assembly that should reflect the tastes of the owner, art that inspires him/her, art that says something about the places he/she have been in a lifetime, art that causes the owner to pause when passing it on a mantle or wall…pause and reflect.


So how does a premier interiors expert direct the design and placement of a personal art collection? “I work with the owner to edit the art. We cull the best from the rest and often reframe the art to suit its new surroundings,” says Moinzad of his Top 5 Tips below:


Say goodbye to cliché art. “If the art is something you can buy on a postcard or see on a poster, it’s not true art. Get rid of it and keep a postcard-size copy in your favorite read as a bookmark.”


Leverage weight.
“If your art is statuary and large scale, use it as the focal statement of a formidable-sized room or area.” Examples: if the entry hall in a home is broad and long enough to position a table at the epicenter, don’t use it as a place to collect the day’s mail. Instead, position your treasured Frederic Remington at the center of a high sheen mid-century modern table. Or forego a table altogether and center your life-size Jason Messinger statue to greet your guests in regal style. Moinzad positioned a primitive stone water trough, in the tradition of the Mayan culture, at one end of a swimming pool in a Beaux-Arts home. The art had its purpose: as an open-air ice bucket for backyard fetes. The juxtaposition of era was organized by material, weight and texture.


When in doubt minimize color.
“Black and white art transitions modern, transitional and traditional styles.” Line drawings, pastels, pen and inks are stunning statements in a group or as a single piece. The frame and matte chosen should be congruous with the room design. The hanging system—whether from the ceiling or the wall, with wire showing or not—should also be in keeping with the room’s overall design theme. When in doubt, hang the images lower on the wall, not higher.


Build art without borders.
“Art is not just for walls. Art should be reflected in the positioning of every element in the room.” John Moinzad uses a large transparent acrylic tray at the center of a table and fills it edge to edge with fresh green apples to make a living centerpiece to the room itself. Highlighted by a low-hung straight line pendant lamp, the delicious edible centerpiece commands the room.


Rock, paper, texture.
“True art comes in layers and textures. Even the floor tile can become art when its thoughtfully chosen and applied.” From the ground up, texture IS art when designing living quarters. The pairing of crystal and glass, reptile and tile, chrome and steel at the hands of a professional designer can net extraordinary and satisfying results.