Make Your Mismatched Art Into Chic Interior Design

Finding the place where divergent aesthetics can coexist in good taste

By Tiffini Porter June 1, 2016 Published in the Summer/Fall 2016 issue of Park City Magazine

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Jeffrey Wright and Vanessa Di Palma Wright

If personal spaces are an extension of ourselves, what happens when we decide to share a space and find that our objects of affection—especially beloved works of art—are wildly divergent?

Parkites Vanessa Di Palma Wright, owner of Farasha Boutique, and her husband, Jeffrey Wright, chairman of Actium Partners LLC, have been happily solving that dilemma for years. “Jeff has a love of antiquities,” explains Vanessa, “and he had many traditional pieces when we met. My tastes are more contemporary, but I came to embrace antiquities as well. We fuse the traditional and contemporary to create a marriage of styles.”

The couple’s Park City home is thoughtfully curated to highlight their mutual love of fine art and design. The result is a chic and surprisingly cohesive mix of the unexpected. In the living room, for example, a 2013 abstract painting—featuring explosive marks made by the artist punching the canvas with boxing gloves—is hung next to a formal British portrait, circa 18th century (see above). In another hallway, a Chinese silk Qing Dynasty (c. 1644–1912) ancestor portrait is hung opposite a 1980s Andy Warhol screenprint depicting Teddy Roosevelt, and set above a Roman bust of Emperor Claudius (c. 5–15). “She’s pushed me to get outside my comfort zone, and vice versa,” says Jeffrey. “We don’t have niche. We like to explore and are open to all kinds of art.”

Achieving Effective Eclectic

Let Go

Loosen your assumptions about right and wrong, and play with new combinations. As local interior designer Laura Bezemer, owner of Laura Bezemer Design (1990 Kidd Circle, 435.513.6118), suggests, “art that has story or history, or evokes a particular feeling, really enriches any living or work space. It’s possible to keep and use mixed-period art, if done with a little creativity.”

Lead With the Art

“If you appreciate something’s design and beauty, and it evokes something for you, then you will find a way to incorporate it into a collection,” says Karen Terzian, owner of Terzian Galleries (625 Main Street, 435.649.4927) whose personal collection mixes Art Deco furniture, pottery, and contemporary artworks. “Fine art is about the quality and character of the work,” she says. Buy art you love, and the rest will follow.

Get Help From the Pros

You don’t have to go it alone. Gallerists, art consultants, and interior designers are in the business of making life easier on collectors, from first-time buyers to seasoned aficionados.

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