The Art of Living
With an eye for fine art, Brown Davis Interiors orchestrates an inviting contemporary room for a show house in Washington, D.C.
Jen Renzi -- Interior Design, 1/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
FOR THE SECOND year running, Todd Davis and Robert Brown of Brown Davis Interiors were selected to design the main drawing room of the National Symphony Show House in Washington, D.C. For inspiration, the Georgetown-based duo delved into the history of the site, a Georgian Revival mansion previously owned by arts patron Paul Mellon and used as his private office and exhibition space. The spirit of Mellon's vast Impressionist collection is given a modern spin with paintings by Lee Krasner, Maurice Prendergast, Milton Avery, Jason Martin, and Byron Bowne, as well as works by local sculptors John Dreyfuss and David Aronson. "We wanted to make a statement about the validity of contemporary art in a private residential setting," says Davis, particularly in a city whose art scene is overshadowed by politics.
Brown and Davis, who share a passion for contemporary art, frequently design interiors around a client's personal collection. But for this project, they took a looser, more organic approach. Color schemes and furnishings, mostly from Brown Davis's own line, were finalized first. The duo then collaborated with local galleries to choose a selection of artworks. "We designed the room with the confidence that once the art arrived, it would find its own place among the clean, classic lines of the décor," says Davis.
Lacking the budget for blue-chip paintings? Take heart. Davis reminds us that fine art comes in many shapes and sizes. "We consider almost everything that goes into a room a work of art, from the curves of the furniture to the architecture of individual pieces."