Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art of the showhouse

This past week, I had the pleasure of going to the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas House. Some of Atlanta's top interior designers decorated rooms in the showhouse, and the house did not disappoint. Many of the designers involved in the showhouse are nationally recognized: Suzanne Kasler, Phoebe Howard, Stan Topol, Beth Webb, and Bob Brown are just a few of the designers from this year's house.

Each room was done by a different designer, but the house had a cohesive feel. This is quite an achievement; I have been in other showhouses where the styles were jarringly different from room to room. One common theme among the rooms was the amazing art. Much of the art was contemporary in style, although there were a few traditional paintings too.

Alas, pictures were not allowed in the showhouse, so I will have to wait until Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles publishes the showhouse spread in a future issue. However, since many of the designers patronize the top local art galleries, much of the art in the house can be seen on the gallery websites.

Suzanne Kasler often uses striking contemporary art in her designs, as seen in this room (pictured above) from a recent House Beautiful feature. The painting above the mantel was done by Dusty Griffith (represented by the Lowe Gallery), whose work has been featured in many of Kasler's designs. Kasler did the design for the living room in the Christmas showhouse, and the space was beautiful. A wall to the left of the fireplace had the biggest series of framed intaglios that I have ever seen - there must have been 20 of them. Framed series were seen in many of the rooms of the showhouse.

Over the sofa on the opposite wall of the living room were two large paintings, both by the same artist. Knowing that Kasler often shops at Atlanta's Lowe Gallery, I suspect they are the works of Ingrid Magidson. In fact, the painting above might be one of the actual paintings that is in the showhouse. It is available at the Lowe Gallery. I seem to recall that the cost was over $20,000.

Carole Weaks is another prominent Atlanta designer known for her use of contemporary art with traditional rooms. She designed the dining room of the showhouse (seen above, courtesy the AJC). Although not visible in this picture (blocked by the chandelier and the wreaths on the mirrors), Weaks used several paintings by Haidee Becker. Haidee Becker is an American artist who lives and paints in London, and is represented in Atlanta by Timothy Tew. Haidee's large paintings tend to retail from $20,000 and up.

Haidee Becker, Roman Vase 2007, oil on canvas, 58 x 47
(not in the showhouse, but very representative of Becker's style)

My favorite painting from the showhouse was in a bedroom room designed by Scott Laslie. The room was beautiful and subtle, and the art he selected was perfect for the room. After a bit of investigation, I found a picture of the painting online. The artist is Kenn Kotara, and he is represented at the Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta. This painting is called Veil, and it is luminscent in real life. It retails for $7500.  The picture from the gallery website does not show its silverleaf frame, and the frame is the perfect finishing touch for this painting. (If you have never seen Scott Laslie's work, check out his website. It is amazing.)

For those of you in Atlanta or the Southeast, I highly recommend a visit to the Christmas showhouse; you have until 12/7/08. Proceeds benefit the Alliance Childrens' Theatre, and the admission price of $20 is a bargain for the amazing interior inspiration that the house provides. For those of you who are not in Atlanta, the AJC had a small selection of photos of the home. The pictures do not do the rooms justice; they are so much more spectacular in person! However, it gives you a small view into the lovely home.


  1. Thanks for the great ideas and links.

  2. Thank you so much for featuring the fabulous works of art in the Show House. It is such a pleasure to see more of the designers assisting their clients with the choice of art, which is such an integral part of the completed design project.

  3. Yes, my monogrammed shams are euro size and they are so plush I just love them! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting....


  4. Thank you for the comments, everyone. I was excited to find the actual paintings in the showhouse on the gallery websites!

  5. Thanks for visiting our blog - Great entry! The art is stunning.

  6. The Ingrid Magidson painting is to die for, Thanks so much for the link I love her work! I just posted a thank you to you for sharing her work. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  7. Great post. You inspired me to go to the showhouse-looks so much better than last year's showhouse.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I'm drooling.


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