Art in the antiques

September 30, 2013

Art in the antiques

Though artistic instinct guides her, it would be questioning Mrs. Lewis’s thoroughness and professionalism to assume that her purchases are random and “lucky.” She is, in fact, a student of objects.
“I read constantly,” she says. “Where other people read novels, I read art and travel books and periodicals. Sometimes I feel guilty because I haven’t read a newspaper or a current novel.

Antique mexican jug

September 28, 2013

Antique mexican jug

The mexican jug and double-disli/curves/ electric light, 1983, by Andrew Lord, suggests a functional purpose while remaining teasingly aloof. “This is art and should be treated as such,” Mrs. Lewis observes. From the Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles.

Design of old object decorator

September 26, 2013

Design of old object decorator

The provenance of objects matters little to the designer. Instead, she allows their form and scale, texture and individuality to speak to her aesthetic sense. “I ask two questions when I consider an object for purchase,” says Mrs. Lewis. “Do I love it, and can I afford it? I don’t care who designed the piece, where it was made, or whether it was made today, yesterday or before Christ was born. I have always trusted my eye.”

Furniture and antiques

September 24, 2013

Furniture and antiques

“Things that are creative and unique move me very much. I think that’s why I use furniture and objects so sparingly in my work today. I would rather have one beautiful piece than five average ones. The older I get, the more discriminating I become, and the less willing I am to compromise on quality.”

Simple crystal vases

September 22, 2013

Simple crystal vases

“Like that glass cylinder, objects need not be expensive to be beautiful,” she continues. “Tiffany’s is a great source for simple crystal vases. Of course, if I see a Lalique or a Daum vase, I love that, too.”
Over the past several years, Mrs. Lewis’s work has drawn her westward across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands and the Orient most recently to Japan. “Learning about Japan, its culture and art, has left a mark on my work,” she says. “I find that I use less and less furniture, Even my taste in fabrics has become more pared down. I’ve gained new confidence to explore my ideas about very spare interiors.”

Dining room of the house painted white

September 20, 2013

Dining room of the house painted white

Furniture doesn’t jump out at you, and accessories and objects become pieces of art. For the dining room of a home in Honolulu (see Architectural Digest, October 1983), I selected a large black and white painting for the wall above a glass dining table. On the table I then placed a simple glass cylinder with one red flower in it. The single vase with the flower immediately became a work of art to me.

Interior classic and discreet

September 18, 2013

Interior classic and discreet

“I don’t know whether I’m a good or a bad merchandiser,” she remarks, “because I buy only things I really love, and I don’t think a bit about whether I will be able to sell them. In fact, I have often hoped particular objects do not sell, so I can enjoy them for a short time myself.”
Mrs. Lewis finds objects irresistible, yet she doesn’t overburden her interiors by displaying too many accessories at one time. “I’ve reached a point in my career where I don’t use a lot of objects in a room,” she says. “The interiors I create are very classical and low key.

Proper design for lofts

September 16, 2013

Proper design for lofts

The designers themselves whose clients include Pearl and Albert Nipon (see Architectural Digest, January 1983) are articulate and enthusiastic about their profession. “Both of us went to Parsons during the great years there,” says Mr. Zajac. “We learned to do palaces, and then to scale down. Now, of course, it’s the opposite they start with lofts.”

Living room with Art Deco

September 14, 2013

Living room with Art Deco

Inside, pale pastel walls reflect the light; books most of them on the theater and architecture are stacked about; and at the entrance a formidable collection of blue and white porcelain is reflected in a massive mirror. Everything sparkles; everything looks comfortable. The room beyond the small sitting area features two chaise longues, covered in a gentle-toned chintz, and two standing closets with a sleek Art Deco look.

Contemporary Renovation for apartment

September 12, 2013

Contemporary Renovation for apartment

Indeed, their work is so fashionable that it is a surprise to find their apartment on a downtown New York City street that is just starting to be in demand. “We thought we were moving to a slum,” says Edward Zajac wryly, going on to explain how they bought the 1840 townhouse because of its dignified proportions, and renovated it.

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