Design firm, Solis Betancourt & Sherrill renovates a pre-war home to create a colourful pied-à-terre that could highlight the client’s collection of Latin American art. |
Washington DC-based designers, Paul Sherrill and Jose Solis Betancourt have completely turned around this Manhattan apartment lending it a colourful Latin American flair. It was important to create interiors that reflected the client’s elegant lifestyle and eclectic art collection, but that could also serve as a comfortable place, where the client can spend time with her grandchildren. This being the fourth residence that Solis Betancourt & Sherrill has designed for the client, they decided that the pre-war apartment had great bones, but needed a dramatic update. A native of Puerto Rico, the client is accustomed to the bright hues of the Caribbean and wanted to incorporate that vibrancy in her new apartment. The dining room painting by Puerto Rican artist Rafael Ferrer was important to the family, so the designers used its bright colours as inspiration for the home.
Playing on the originality and experimentation of the style-file, and highlighting the interplay of colours, we see walls painted in an intense blue; then covered with a gilded wall covering, and a textural net-like pattern that permits the colour of the walls to show through. Vibrant colours and contemporary art – by Puerto Rican artist Olga Albizu; sculptural canvas from the 1970’s by Cuban-born artist Zilia Sanchez and over the sofa is a circular work by Linling Lu; and paintings by Puerto Rican artist Wilfredo Chiesa… fill the interiors with a narrative that seeps into the ambience. The living room melds vibrant colours and contemporary art while maintaining the elegance of a traditional salon. Striped chair upholstery, stools under console tables; an ottoman coffee table, and brilliant de Gournay silk damask covers for the dining room walls with contrasting silk draperies continue the vibrant colour scheme, while sheers provide privacy. Four club chairs (on casters for easy manoeuvring) surround a minimal 'ghost' table that brings a modern element to the room. Private areas don a serene colour palette. Sleek panelling conceals storage. Little trimmings that stand apart and yet, blend in comfortably dot the décor canvas viz., trimmings on cushions, pillows etc, free-flowing table covers and draperies, the deliberately articulated show of abundance (flowers in the vases, fruits on the table beside a fruit bowl), and the like. There is an excessive play of fabric – textures, patterns, and style of drapery.
The apartment unwarrantedly recalls the words of Critic Martin Filler about Brazilian designer, Linda Bo Bardi’s style, “intriguingly contradictory but intelligently resolved,” with designs that are “structurally audacious yet uncommonly comfortable, unapologetically untidy yet conceptually rigorous, and confidently dynamic yet suggestively hybrid.” Wonder whether this truly was an inspiration behind this renovation. check out the visuals on indiaartndesign.com
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