July 27, 2022

For the Love of Art

If you’re a loyal RRI follower you know that our love of art is not something we take lightly. In fact, it’s a huge component of the discovery stage of our process and essential to creating that one of a kind feel in our client’s homes. Here’s a behind the scenes look at how we approach and implement art in our residential and commercial design projects.

A big part of the work we do in the early stages of our process is getting to know our clients:  personality, interests and what connects them the most to a design. This understanding proves valuable when we look to add specific elements into the layers of the design that not only make a connection with the homeowners but are also authentic to its surroundings. The inclusion of art is hands down one of our favorite ways to add a unique and genuine personality to a home. The role that art plays in design, the different mediums and how we help clients to source art is all part of our overall approach. It is also the number one way to bring in a sense of place. And with August being American Artist Appreciation Month, we thought it would be fitting to lean in hard on the role that art and the wonderful artist networks like Jules Place Gallery and Salon Design, along with up and coming artisans,  play in the work we do. 

Keep reading for the two ways we often approach art in our design.


As a jumping off point.


Many times our clients will have an existing connection to art. Whether it be a deep rooted passion for collecting it, a desire to showcase a family heirloom, or an interest in incorporating keepsakes from their travels, art can come from a multitude of places. If a client has a piece that they love and is meaningful to them it can be a great jumping off point for our project. Think of it as an instant color palette. 


We’ve done a variety of projects that started with a beloved piece of art. A perfect example of this is with our Artfully Inspired project in Cohasset, Ma. This client had an extensive art collection so it was a no-brainer to start the discovery processes there. The design worked hard to incorporate the dynamic hues of each piece to create a feel that was both youthful and sophisticated but also fitting to the coastal locale.



Another example where we led with art was our urban Global Living Made Local project. In this case, our clients were looking to incorporate their abundant collection of art and antiques gathered from their adventures overseas. To help balance the traditional look of their Back Bay penthouse and neighborhood with the more modern feel of their collection, we brought in lux fabrics and highly textured materials with more traditional pieces in a way that felt cohesive and genuine.


As the final layer.


The other way we incorporate art is in the final layer. The final stage is a good time to assess how art can bring the design to life. When going through this process, we like to pull from all different sources. Everything from a gallery, like Jules Place or Salon Design, to discovering an up and coming local artist on places like Etsy and through our travels. We really like to have a variety of different sources and also mediums to choose from. When sourcing art, we try to make sure that each individual piece not only works in a space but also works in a collection. We look to mix up different mediums in terms of subject but also in terms of material so that it's both cohesive and complementary. Mediums can include canvas or high gloss finish on plexi, or even more tactile things like woven art. Nowadays, there are so many options that can really add a lot of personality and interest to the space.


In the case of our Great Cape Escape project we incorporated three dimensional sculptural glass along the wall that were reminiscent of sea glass. Not only did it create a focal point in the dining room but it also made for a very interactive experience.



Sometimes people associate fine art with being very exclusive but that does not always have to be the case. There’s always something satisfying and interesting to discovering new up and coming artists and supporting them. It can also be the best solution for creating unique artwork (as opposed to mass produced) when working on hotel projects where there are typically tighter price points coupled with a need to produce many pieces. In our Edgartown Inn project we collaborated with a photographer on Martha’s Vineyard to include local scenery to make its guests feel better connected to the island.



Partnering with local artists is a great way to bring in a sense of place. It’s not only subject matter focused but you feel good by supporting the local artisan community. And we are doing just that at our RI beachfront project. We can’t wait to give you a peek behind the scenes in the coming months!  


Until next time!



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