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Mount High Accessorizing: Learning from a pro - Vicente Wolf

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Mount High Accessorizing: Learning from a pro - Vicente Wolf

Part 4 of 4 Accessorizing your home

I am intrigued by the designs of Vicente Wolf.   I've studied them as I study compositions by famous artists  in an effort to dissect  the lines of design, and the thought processes he engages in as he creates beautiful spaces.  In my opinion a good  design never looks too put together, too matched, but has  an effortless, collected feel. His always do.



Pale backdrops  and a mix of antiques and cultural artifacts are his trademarks, but there is so much more to his designs.  When you observe his work closely you find that there are design features he is drawn to that get repeated in variations in different spaces.  While each space is unique, you can see similarities in  his choice and arrangement of objects.


His background in photography obviously informs  his interior design aesthetic or maybe it's the other way around.  When I look at any space he has created, I see so many compositions within compositions, layers that cause you to look throughout his spaces.  I am  also sure they are photographed  to make you do just that.

The artist in me is attracted to how he organizes random objects into vignettes (object compositions).  So after much viewing, thought, and reading, here's what I've learned from this brilliant, self-taught, New York designer.

Repeat  still life elements


Wolf  often uses a painting to inform a vignette created near it.  Elements are repeated from the artwork as in the tree and scrubby plants  in the tray.The three candles mimic the strong vertical in the left of the painting and there's really three table tops- one in the art, the table itself, and the tray on the table.

Layer furniture


Not only is layering furniture a way to deal with limited space and provide versatility to meet various entertaining needs, it is also an effective strategy  to  provide visual interest and a focal point in an otherwise simple space. I like how the  large ottoman (often a signature piece for Wolf) is the only pattern in the room.  It is also a way to move  circular shapes around  an otherwise rectangular space.


Another idea for layering a table and an ottoman. Circular motifs play in this space too.  Have you noticed the use of higher tables? 


Circular motifs and layering under a bedside table.  The textural and geometric  elements of  pieced or woven wooden elements are also prominent as you can see below. 

Use texture and geometry in wood

Sometimes these effects are used over mirror to create intricacy and depth. 


Suspend mirrors/art  in space


 Frame  compositions in compositions 


This vignette illustrates  how to organize objects and frame them with what lies behind.  In this case the fireplace frames the vignette in front of it.  I also love how the mirror acts as an additional backdrop element in this vignette.

I'll finish with an important observation.  While I have highlighted some of the common themes I see in Wolf's designs I do not feel that his spaces are all the same.  He obviously feels it's important to work with clients to create personal spaces for them.  When you look at the slideshows on his website this is very apparent.  As he notes in Lifting the Curtain on Design (one of my favourite design books of all time)  page 128, " I know how to paddle a canoe.  But I approach each river in a different way"

If you're intrigued check out this interview done by Canadian House and Home.

And here's a great read  if you like the glimpse I've given you of this designer's work.  

Floating shelves, mixed chair styles,  limited patterns, repeating shapes and so much more not covered here.  I am limiting myself severely on this topic because I would break my self imposed post length rule. 

Feel free to add your comments to keep the conversation going. 

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