Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tips for Decorating with Art: Channel a little Luxe to brighten your life

Interview with Interior Decorator Young Huh
by artist Miriam Schulman

Room by Young Huh Interiors, Photo John Hall
MS: Do you choose art for your clients?
YH: We love getting involved with developing a client’s collection and finding ways to display their art.

MS: What are your resources for buying art?
YH: We try to go to gallery openings as much as possible and go to some of the important shows like the armory show.  We also maintain relationships with gallerists and curators as well as directly with artists such as you, so we get a lot of information about different artists and what they are doing.  We can then introduce our clients to the types of work they would like to collect.

MS: Does the art have to match the sofa?
YH: Never collect art to match the sofa!!  However, you want to think about showing your art in the best environment.  You are curating your personal collection and you want to make sure your environment and your artwork are interacting in a pleasing way.  I recently saw the Alexander McQueen show and I thought that was such an excellent example of the artwork and the environment enhancing each other.
MS: What color palette are you most attracted to at the moment?
YH: I am really loving jewel tones: peacock blues, rich greens and golden yellow against a dark lustrous backdrop- very Yves Saint Lauren.  There has been so much despair in the art and design world, I think everyone will be channeling a little luxe to brighten our lives.

MS: How does your Korean roots influence the way you decorate?
YH: I am very proud of my Korean roots.  So much of Korean culture is about art and glamour since ancient times.   First century Kings and Queens wore the most exquisite jewelry and textiles.  Korean 12th century celadon is where all of east Asian celadon comes from.  Seeing these things growing up taught me to love the decorative arts.

MS: How do you use art to enhance your classic, eclectic, chic design aesthetic?
YH: Artwork tells a story or expresses an idea.  Art is the soul of a room.  I like to install art and object that elaborate on the homeowner’s life and the feeling of a room.  We bring classicism with a disciplined approach to a room, eclecticism by breaking some rules and chic by instilling fashionable edge.  Art is critical component in creating this environment.

MS: Any other rules you want to share for decorating with artwork?
YH: Don't be afraid of art and weaving it into your life.  Paintings don’t need to all be hung formally and treated that way.  You can have some flea market finds or charming portraits in bookshelves.  You can place a small drawing on an easel on a hallway table.  Put some watercolors of fruit in your kitchen.   My photographer, John Hall, has a still life photograph of a blender and brightly covered fruit in his kitchen.  Brilliant.  

MS: What about hanging art? Do you have a rule of how high to hang it?
YH: This is an issue all the time!  The general rule is that you want to hang artwork at eye level.  Most people want to hang their art too high.  Sometimes the architectural conditions of a room require otherwise, but generally, you want to be able to see the artwork without craning your neck. 

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