Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark

Acute Accent

Why piece-by-piece can be a better decor approach than wall-to-wall

When you’re working with updating a century-old brick Italianate—one of the last of its kind in the city—there’s plenty on the docket. An oversized two-car carriage house garage was built, the floors raised, several layers of drop ceilings removed, the kitchen opened up to the great room, not to mention new electric and plumbing systems put in place.
Yet, the project’s final look, a collaboration between Mulberry Design + Build and Shane Spencer Design, was tied together with the simplest of touches: artful additions to each room’s walls. The end result was a fusion of contemporary, European and historic preservation with a modern and useable floorplan.
Mulberry Principal Chad Seiber gives (614) Home the low-down on how to give the inner sanctum of your home an out-of-this world feel:
Personality on Canvas:
The artwork in any home says a lot about the owner: is it challenging or simple? Offensive or Inviting? The personality of the owner becomes part of the home.

Future Flexibility:
Usually we stick with pretty simple whites painted on standard drywall. I like to use art and photographs to define the space. It is cleaner and can be changed up seasonally or from time to time. In some cases we use wallpaper when we are trying to add color, definition, or just trying to make a statement.

Glass Legacy:
The history of how that piece [top] ended in the home is interesting. A similar piece was actually donated to the Equitas biannual Art for Life auction by Dawson Kellogg (1965-2014), former head of the CCAD glass studio. Someone else actually outbid me for the piece, and Dawson, who happened to be at the auction, gracefully agreed to make me another one.
What to know:
I try to keep things simple, eclectic and timeless. I love to blend styles without overcomplicating things. Wallpaper and other treatments can be great if they are simple and/or geometric … it’s easy to screw the room up if you try and do too much. Also: use a stud finder and a heavy duty art hanging kit (Container Store has great ones).

Where to shop:
I have acquired a lot of the artwork through charity auctions such as the Equitas Art for Life Auction and the HRC Gala. They are great opportunities to pick up unique pieces and support local and national charities. We also work with a few local artists like Ryan Orewiler and Dion Johnson (now in Los Angeles), who will create a custom piece if you can’t find anything you like. I would say the best way to pick up great art is to walk around the various galleries in the Short North and attend the exhibitions at the Pizzuti Collection and at the Joseph. Mr. Pizzuti brings in great art from all over the world and it’s a great place to start if you are a beginner or novice at collecting. The chalkboard was easy—we just bought some chalkboard paint at Lowe’s and then hired local artist Bryan Grey to do the drawing. Several of the light fixtures are from Crate and Barrel and there are a few small pieces and accessories from Kelly Wearstler.