SEE HOW A SPORTS FAN, WINE BUFF AND HANDBAG ENTHUSIAST SHOWCASE THEIR PRIZED POSSESSIONS
By Laura Kostelny
While the thrill of the hunt is easily the most exciting aspect of collecting, showing off the spoils comes in a close second. The act of carefully arranging pieces based on artist, provenance or plain-old personal taste can be emotional – even for the most sophisticated of collectors. That’s where a great interior designer comes in. No matter how precious or priceless the treasure trove, it will benefit from a display that showcases it as a whole, highlights the most important pieces and keeps everything in pristine condition. The right professional can commission custom cases, provide the most flattering light and carve out attractive groupings. They’re also equipped to surround a collection with a pleasing palette and supporting furnishings that ensure favored finds remain the stars of the show. Here, a trio of interior designers gives up the goods on how they made various collections shine.
Batting Order: A Former Pro Athlete’s Memento-Filled Trophy Room
When Allison Seidler of Allison Seidler Interiors took on the home of a high-profile Dallas couple, she couldn’t help but notice the boxes of baseball bats, caps, mitts and awards piled high in the garage. The husband, a former player for the Texas Rangers, and his wife weren’t so sure the sporting goods merited an inside presence. Seidler convinced them otherwise.
The designer immediately put the accomplished athlete to work, sorting and prioritizing each and every item. Meanwhile, she began collaborating with a custom cabinet maker to design a cabinet outfitted with custom lighting that would complement the home’s overall modern aesthetic.
A selection of bats, each holding special meaning for the homeowner, serves as the centerpiece in the space, but Seidler also made room for even more sentimental mementos. “We have signed jerseys and footballs from top athletes,” she says. “We also inlaid all the golf balls he’s saved from every course he’s ever played throughout the U.S. onto a countertop in the space. We made sure to leave extra space for all the courses on his list that he wants to go to.”
The resulting display is equal parts elegant and inspiring. “When you’re in the room,” Seidler says, “you realize you’re in the presence of someone who has lived his dream and accomplished so much.”
Bid Now: From Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio to Ted Williams and Willie Mays, Heritage Auctions’ September 29-30 Sports Catalog Auction offers collectibles from a bevy of baseball legends.
Handbag Heaven: A Closet Fit for a Fashionista
Most people don’t experience visions of Chanel bags dancing in their heads when they tour a house that has been neglected for more than two decades. Michelle DeLaCruz, a Fort Myers, Florida-based interior designer by trade, and a collector of iconic handbags by hobby, is not like most people. As soon as she walked in the primary bedroom, she declared, “This will be a closet,” and that was that.
Once she and her husband closed on the house, she joined forces with Candice Clarke of California Closets, and together they created a space for her high-end accessories inspired by one of her favorites: the classic black Chanel 2.55 bag made (even more) famous by none other than Jackie O. “Chanel boutiques are mainly black lacquer, but I wanted to do a white version of that,” she says. “I mainly have darker-toned bags, so a darker-toned closet would not have made them stand out.”
The lighting and placement of the Chanels – as well as pieces from Saint Laurent, Fendi, Dior and Louis Vuitton – had to be just right. “To me this is art. Everything on the shelf is there for a reason and something that I had thought about for a while,” DeLaCruz explains. “I like to space the bags out. I don’t want them too close together, and it also leaves me motivated to work hard and buy more.”
Luxurious finishing touches such as a velvet chaise, modern pendant lighting, well-stocked bar and plenty of brass make for a room that – like DeLaCruz’s handbags – will remain fashionable for years to come. “It’s clean and contemporary,” she says. “I didn’t want it to harken back to a certain decade. I wanted it to feel like a room that was stylish 20 years ago and will be 20 years from now.”
Bid Now: Heritage Auctions’ October 6 Luxury Accessories Signature® Auction offers a slew of designer handbags, including pieces by Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Goyard and more.
Bottle Service: An Oenophile’s Ultimate Wine Room
Vanessa DeLeon was tasked with creating a tasteful entertaining space for an oenophile’s home in Edgewater, New Jersey. The way the designer and her clients figured it, the 108-square-foot room just off the kitchen was the perfect spot to both exhibit and interact with a wine collection that had been amassed through the years.
“Because it’s adjacent to the kitchen, it’s an ideal spot for guests to select and try the wines before dinner,” DeLeon says. After surveying the room, she opted to add mounted 2-by-12 wine racks to stack bottles against a mirrored wall. “Safety is a priority when you have a collection of fine wines, and a mirror placed on the back of the racks was not only attractive, but it gives an illusion of a much larger space,” she explains.
The client’s favorite wine, Opus One, a Bordeaux-style blend made from five grape varietals and sold in limited quantities, takes center stage. From there, DeLeon arranged bottles by label and color. “The more expensive bottles are more prominently displayed,” she says. Bubbly and other best-served-cold selections are stored in a pair of automated compact dual zone preservers and chillers on either side.
When it came to adding furnishings, she says it was important to give a nod to the home’s overall palette while providing an exciting spot to test impressions of weight and fullness on the palate: “I wanted to create a place where people really enjoyed selecting a bottle that also paired well with the kitchen and dining room.”
Bid Now: Fellow oenophiles can stock their cellars during Heritage Auctions’ Wine Signature® Auction on September 23 in Beverly Hills. Highlights include a never-before-sold bottle of 1991 Screaming Eagle.
LAURA KOSTELNY is a contributor to Intelligent Collector.