June 12, 2014
When you’re an interior designer and your boss is a longtime art collector and cultural philanthropist, your job comes with certain privileges.
As the in-house designer at Polygon Homes, Celia Dawson takes full advantage of the benefits that come with having Michael Audain as the chairman of the company. Polygon Homes’ display suites always stand apart for the often unconventional two-and-three-dimensional artwork that graces the rooms and common areas of the buildings.
“We are extremely lucky to have a company that is so strongly rooted and involved in the arts, and B.C. artists, in particular,” says Dawson. “Yes, we have access to some Polygon-owned art. But to outfit our homes with the necessary art, we source art for rental and purchase from several galleries around town. We then, in essence, curate our own art.”
The artistic influence is clear in the bathroom, where a great art piece hangs in an unexpected place: directly above the bathtub, a spot usually reserved for tiles. In one bedroom, it dominates in an abstract wood and resin sculpture. Dawson advises that art lovers not decorate around the shapes and hues of a favoured work, but use that piece to convey personal character to the home.
“I often get asked, ‘What piece of art should I purchase? What would be a good investment?’ ” she says.
“I don’t feel this is the right approach to purchasing art. It’s only a good investment if you love the piece of art. Art purchases need to be purchased from the heart — something that moves you or you seem to connect to or relate to.”
The colour in Dawson’s chosen works inject energy to the otherwise subdued, warm West Coast design feel in the rest of the suite.
Dawson chose dark neutrals for fundamental finishes in the suite — the kitchen backsplash, countertops and floor in the living space, set against white walls, chairs, and paler accents like the dining room pendant lamp and the coffee table.
Dawson says she worked with woods and softer textures to reflect the leafy Lynn Valley setting and the exterior design (which features timber accents, a water feature and a sculpture by a local artist)
“We were looking for a West Coast feel to the home so we felt woods would naturally be a nice fit. The greys and whites seem to work nicely with the warm woods/caramel colours. The white background helps give the space a more contemporary feel.”
How to buy the right art
What is your favourite piece in the suite, and where did you source it?
“I particularly love the contemporary wood and resin art sculpture above the bed.
This was made by one of our local artists that I happened to find on one of my travels to 1000 Parker Street. The artist is Michael Thomas Host and his company is called MTH Woodworks.”
What advice can you offer homeowners about purchasing art that stands out in a home, but doesn’t overpower a room?
“It’s all about placement. Art cannot compete with the decor and the decor cannot compete with the art. One can’t have ‘too much information’ happening in each room. If you have a calm, simple decor, then your art can be stronger. If your room has fabrics that are strong and a strong statement, then the art needs to be calmer.”
Source: The Province