Award-winning contemporary artist Dominic Beattie believes that until a work is presented, it doesn’t really exist. “Exhibiting,” he explains, “is everything.” Here, the experts in the art world reveal the top eight secrets to putting together a successful exhibition and letting the pieces reach their full potential.
1. Start the creative process years in advance Beattie’s latest collection of paintings and sculptures was recently shown at London’s FOLD gallery, and was the result of some serious effort. “It was the fullest show I’ve done,” notes the artist. “I showed paintings, along with some pseudo ceramics—reminiscent of Modernist pottery but made with scrap wood and spray paint. I’ve been working on some of them for about four years. The ceramics link nicely to a new series of paintings, inspired by textiles and quilt-making. It was a very colorful show, full of wonky rhythm.”
2. Get a date in the diary Kim Savage, owner and director of FOLD, also spent a long time working on the Beattie show, called Sweet. “We knew early in 2017 that Dominic would have a show this year. I finalized 2018’s calendar last summer,” says the gallerist, who represents the work of some 11 artists in his space in London’s West End, and at art fairs around the world.
3. Pick your position wisely FOLD opened in 2015, when Savage wanted to relocate a previous venture from east to central London, becoming more commercial at the same time. The name was chosen to represent “bringing people together, bringing them into the fold.” Savage chose his new address because, “as a younger gallery trying to get the right clients along it definitely helps to be central—collectors might be flying in and have busy schedules, so you have to make it easy for them to visit.”
Savage says he loves working for himself and that putting on exhibitions is his passion. “I love that I get the chance, every six weeks, to change the space and bring in something new,” he enthuses, even though such a busy schedule can sometimes bring problems. “I love the challenges that come with different artists and different works, the unique logistical and curatorial demands that come up.”
4. Find the right partners Savage cites keeping everything fresh and contemporary as being some of the challenges he faces, as well as spending too much time on planes visiting art fairs, and, of course, the bottom line: “Finances can be a headache,” he confesses. Freelance creative producer Bakul Patki adds to this list. “You need to keep the artist happy, to make the client happy, if there is one, and you need to not kill anyone if it’s something large scale.”
I love that I get the chance, every six weeks, to change the space and bring in something new
Patki has organized many site-specific, large-scale works, often in public spaces—hence her quip about not committing artistic homicide. She has helped illuminate London’s Piccadilly Circus with color to investigate synesthesia, and recently worked with Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley on a piece that resulted in 1,500 LED-lit pigeons taking to the skies over the River Thames. She agrees with Savage that funding can be an issue—“It’s always a bit of a juggle and a struggle”—and is lucky to have good relationships with “brands and organizations that are interested in supporting culture.”
5. Spread the word Of course, staging an exhibition is one thing, getting people to see it is another. “I learned very early on that you can put all your energy and budget into putting on a great show, but then it can very easily come and go without anyone knowing about or seeing it,” Patki observes. “‘Build it and they will come’ just isn’t true. They won’t come if they don’t know about it.” To this end she also helps with the public relations and marketing on the shows she curates.
To ensure they absolutely do know about what is happening at FOLD, Savage meticulously manages his database of contacts, inviting them to previews, a private view “for the artist and friends,” and in the case of select clients, to drinks or dinners with the artist so they can see the works ahead of the public.
The viewing of the work is one of many stages that Emily Sarokin, AVP Head of Gallery Operation, Christie’s New York, also has to manage. Like Savage, Sarokin and her team have long lead times. “We begin our year by mapping out a sales calendar. We have so many sales and exhibitions we have to play a Tetris-like game to work out how they will all slot in.”
6. Put your team together Sarokin, who worked on Christie’s 2011 Elizabeth Taylor sale and the recent record-breaking Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, will then work with Christie’s teams processing materials, photographing them for catalogues, and preparing condition reports, as well as organizing the physical layout of a show.
“Some exhibition designs take into account that the objects on display have been lived with and will be again, so it’s important that people can really experience them close up,” says Sarokin. “Others are staged like a museum, where visitors just savor the works on the wall. This is especially true of very valuable or fragile works.”
The lead-up to a show is a chance for the artist to experiment in the studio and try new ideas and new materials
Sarokin estimates that each of the exhibitions she works on will involve between 80 and 100 people, from the proposal team that secures a collection to the auctioneer who sells it, and of course, the teams who actually install the works for show.
At New York’s Brooklyn Museum, Matthew Yokobosky, senior curator of fashion and material culture, tops this: “The museum has 300 people on staff and I would say that every person worked on the [recent] David Bowie is show in some capacity or other.” For the New York leg of the Bowie exhibit, Yokobosky oversaw the 400 pieces that had already been seen around the globe, along with an additional 100 pieces unique to New York. He has been at Brooklyn Museum for 19 years, and it’s his job to “have a concept for an exhibition and then find the story about that idea.”
This often means dealing with 50 or 60 different lenders, he says. “Finding all those pieces, checking to make sure they’re great, doing all the paperwork and getting the work here is a long, complicated process.”
7. Know your space Because Savage works with his own artists, getting the work to the gallery is a more straightforward affair. Once the exhibits are on site, the hanging of a show is very much a collaboration between gallerist and artist.
“I like to get to know a gallery space, its dimensions,” says Beattie. “When the show is laid out in my preferred configuration, Kim and I will discuss and make any necessary edits. We usually leave it overnight and come back the next day with fresh eyes. Hopefully you’ve got it right first time. Presenting work well is a craft in itself and it takes a long time to learn.”
8. Collaborate with the artist “It’s important not to overhang, to have space in the gallery, to give visitors the chance to pause, to give the show rhythm,” says Savage. Prior to the works being finished and delivered, Savage will make several studio visits to see how the artist is progressing. For the gallerist, this is a vital part of any exhibition. “You’ve got to keep abreast of what’s going on for the artist—the lead-up to a show is a chance for them to experiment in the studio and try new ideas and new materials,” he notes.
These visits also provide an opportunity for the artist and Savage to engage in a “conversation about ambition and developing the work while keeping an eye on how we’re going to market it.” Because of course, sellability is tantamount. Without those red dots on works no gallery can survive. “A good review is always nice,” says Savage. “And the week of the opening is exciting because there’s a buzz. But it isn’t until you’ve made some good sales, and know the show has paid for itself, that the pressure is off a bit.”
The serene, meditative garden from the East has become increasingly appealing as a private sanctuary for garden lovers everywhere. Asian-style spaces are largely influenced by Buddhist, Shinto, and Taoist philosophies, and as our understanding of these ideologies grows, it’s logical that our fascination with Oriental landscape design should also evolve.
“The enigma of the Japanese garden is a threshold through which we may discover not simply an arrangement of plants and rocks, but a moment of revelation…” notes Sophie Walker, in her book The Japanese Garden (Phaidon). “As I reflect on the Japanese garden and its cultural resonance, I am ever more convinced that garden-making belongs to the highest arts.”
We asked the experts for their advice on how to master this fine art and create the perfect Asian-inspired oasis.
1. Take inspiration from international travel Global travel, international business, and a greater appreciation of cross-border culture play a part in our appreciation of these Asian exports. “Several of my clients have lived and worked in Asia,” explains Evan Blewett of LandArts, a landscape design firm in Apex, North Carolina. “When they return home, they bring with them an appreciation of Asian design and want to incorporate that into their gardens.”
2. Let nature be your guide “We live in an unusually distracted and increasingly impersonal world,” says Tim Gruner, curator of Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. “We are often almost completely disconnected from the ancient rhythms of nature and seasonal rejuvenation that were once an integral part of our lives. A Japanese-style garden can help us re-engage with nature and feel part of something timeless, ancient, and healthy.”
3. Understand the subtle differences In Chinese gardens, the emphasis is on the convergence of nature and culture, and the driving force is one of harmony and discovery. Japanese gardens, while superficially similar, are more carefully controlled. “The Japanese garden remains committed to its cultural significance and, most importantly, it remains fully fledged in its aspiration to high art,” explains Walker. “Stepping into the Japanese garden is like entering a place of worship… We are expected to follow the path without straying, for it strictly determines what is revealed, and how and when.”
If that sounds a little prescriptive, it is perfectly possible to create the effect of an Asian-style garden without feeling obliged to conquer nature, or control the movements of visiting guests.
A Japanese-style garden can help us re-engage with nature and feel part of something timeless, ancient, and healthy
4. Get creative with water These precisely designed landscapes can solve some environmental dilemmas, too. Water—arguably the single most important element in both Japanese and Chinese gardens—can be manipulated to conceal unwanted noise from beyond the garden boundaries, and carpets of velvety moss will silently absorb excess moisture, unwanted sound, and harmful airborne pollution.
5. Search for symbolism Asian-inspired gardens are generally asymmetrical, and most are inherently high maintenance because their appeal is based on perfection and simplicity. In Japanese gardens, evergreen trees, which are said to represent age, are sculpted into ancient-looking specimens using a technique called “cloud-pruning” (or niwaki), while stones and rocks are carefully placed to represent strength, purity, and permanence.
Much is also made of the process of transition: in Chinese gardens, a circular moon gate (or yuèmén) will often be positioned at the threshold of a garden or to divide two separate spaces, while small stone bridges are employed in the Japanese garden to provide a “path of salvation,” enabling you to pass safely from one world to another. The Japanese “dry” garden—or karesansui—is perhaps the most labor-intensive of all, involving exquisitely raked gravel patterns representing the ocean, with little more than a single tree or a mighty rock for adornment.
Stepping into the Japanese garden is like entering a place of worship…
6. Keep it simple The idea of creating such a refined space successfully can be intimidating, but Gruner has some wise words. “What we call a Japanese-style garden is more about patterns of nature and the associated human connection, than cultural icons,” he explains. “When creating a garden, don’t focus too much on its ‘Japanese-ness.’ Stay away from the torii gates, too much statuary, and big temple bells. Instead, focus on a space that creates a sense of connection with nature.”
7. Pick the perfect plants Willow, black, or Swiss mountain pine (Pinus nigra or Pinus mugo) and Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are appropriate trees to use in a Japanese garden but, as Gruner advises, with considerations: “There is no need for variegated foliage, and only a very few weeping plants—typically at major focal points,” he explains. “Red-leaved plants, such as Japanese maples, should also be used sparingly. The garden should appear to be the result of a natural process that reflects a functioning ecosystem.”
Peach (for longevity) and plum trees (a symbol of rebirth) are widely used in Chinese gardens, and bamboo, a symbol of endurance, is useful for screening or framing a view. Hostas, particularly those with blue leaves, can be planted around water to emphasize its coolness. Seasonal color in a Japanese garden comes from azalea, camellia, flag iris, and peony; Blewett also suggests juniper, creeping fig (Ficus pumila), and fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale). For inspiration, there is a superb glossary of Japanese plants in Walker’s book, The Japanese Garden.
A Japanese-style garden can be constructed anywhere on the planet.
8. Add architectural elements Architecture is another important component in a Japanese garden. “Gates, bridges, arbors, teahouses—and, of course, the residence itself—are integrated with the landscape to create a seamless transition between the two,” says Gruner.
9. Believe it’s possible Perhaps the final question is one of location: can an Asian-style garden really sit comfortably in a continent many miles away? Blewett believes so: “Arts and Crafts-style architecture is a natural fit, and a minimalist Zen-style garden can work well against a modern home.”
Gruner goes one step further. “A Japanese-style garden can be constructed anywhere on the planet,” he says with passion. “Many ranch-style homes are very conducive, as is Mid-Century Modern architecture. I have also seen some geometric contemporary homes with modern Japanese gardens that were very satisfying.”
A billionaire’s farmhouse in the star-studded Los Angeles enclave of Holmby Hills, a Bel-Air château on the most expensive street in the United States, and a colonial-style Caribbean compound on the island of St. Barths were among the top second-quarter sales reported by the Affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate. Visit our online report to view more noteworthy sales from 2018.
Contemporary Farmhouse—Holmby Hills, California US$70 Million Sold by Hilton & Hyland Real Estate on May 8, 2018Billionaire financier Bruce Karsh—co-founder of Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management—bought this five-bedroom contemporary farmhouse from the estate of the late Paramount Pictures’ CEO Brad Grey. The US$70 million sale was brokered by listing agent Linda May of Hilton & Hyland, who also represented the buyer. Designed by Napa Valley-based architect Howard Backen, the house, crafted from patinated barnwood with oversized leaded windows and doors, wraps around a courtyard with a pool and hot tub. An outbuilding accessed by a bridge houses recreational space, with two gyms. The property sits on 2.15 acres in one of the Holmby Hills’ most prestigious enclaves—the billionaire-lined street of North Carolwood Drive.
Le Belvédère, a French-inspired château on Bel-Air’s coveted Nimes Road—a street renowned for commanding prices greater than anywhere in the United States—sold for US$56 million in May. The sale was represented by Stephen Resnick and Jonathan Nash of Hilton & Hyland. With 35,000 square feet of living space and 2.2 acres of grounds, this magnificent estate has a scale and size no longer allowed in Bel Air. The property also boasts unparalleled 280-degree views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. The palatial residence is lavishly appointed with 10 bedrooms, 14 fireplaces, an elevator, grand ballroom, card room, commercial kitchen, loggias and terraces, a hammam and gym, infinity pool, spa, screening room, and 5,000-bottle wine cellar.
Fleur de Mer—Colombier, Saint Barthélemy US$20.8 Million Sold by Sibarth Real Estate in May 2018
Fleur de Mer, a hilltop “sea flower” on the heights on Colombier in Saint Barthélemy sold in May. The property was listed by Christian Wattiau of Sibarth Real Estate, who represented the buyer and the seller. The rambling estate offers traditional, colonial-style architecture as reimagined by the ODP design firm. Semi-detached bungalows, each with en suite bathroom and private terrace, surround a Japanese-inspired pond. The one-level layout blends into its forested surroundings, yet has panoramic views of the islands of Saint Kitts, Saint Eustache, Saba, Saint Martin, and Anguilla on the horizon—and a sundeck, heated infinity pool and Jacuzzi from which to enjoy them.
As with fine art and wine, the market in collector cars is thriving. And while that may be enough of an enticement to head off to the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach this August with checkbook in hand, much care must still be taken when choosing the perfect classic automobile. David Gooding—president of Gooding & Company, which runs the major auction at Pebble Beach—offers directions on taking the right road to high-end classic car ownership.
1. Listen to your heart I always tell anyone entering the collector car hobby that they should just buy what they love. Always buy the best example you can find and afford. You will never be disappointed, regardless of what the price is. Try to ignore all these data sets telling you where your particular collector car is in terms of price. If you bought an exceptional example, you most likely will only gain value over the next 10 years.
The most valuable car we sold at auction was a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, which went for $18.15 million in 2016 at Pebble Beach. Many Ferrari aficionados consider this Ferrari among the most desirable California Spiders ever built. When it is something truly special like this car, which was a record for an LWB (long-wheelbase) California Spider, it most certainly represents great value, as it is one of the greatest Ferraris of all time.
2. Don’t worry about your investment Many collectors had their fingers burned in the classic car "crash" of the early 1990s, when the global recession caused the prices of exotic cars to go into freefall. Anything can happen, but I don’t think there is any reason to expect a repeat of this. I think the perfect example of a car with a great story will always do well at auction. Other markets, such as modern art, have followed similar trends. Buyers are looking for a significant car, a car that had limited production numbers or important race history—like the Ferrari California Spider we sold in 2016. Cars such as these, again, are only likely to gain in value over the next decade.
3. It’s not just about Ferraris I feel buyers are looking for cars that represent good value. For example, maybe they can’t afford a 1960s Ferrari, so they look to another great 1960s car from a different marque, such as Alfa Romeo, Osca or Lamborghini, that meets a lot of their specific criteria. Much of the buyer’s criteria today is driven by all of the events surrounding the car collector calendar—for example, Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, of which Christie’s International Real Estate is a sponsor, Monterey Car Week in California, the Villa d’Este Concours show in Italy, and so on. So, if you can find a Lamborghini 350 GT that is $700,000 to $1 million cheaper than, say, a Ferrari 275 GTB, the Lamborghini is still eligible for many of the same events as the Ferrari, so it represents a good buy for the collector. And it doesn’t always have to be about Italian cars. You can never go wrong with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing or Roadster.
4. Research, research, research Spend time amassing as much knowledge as you can on the specific model you’re after. Take your time, find the best example, speak to experts, and if you don’t know of a specialist within the marque or model you are looking for, contact Gooding & Company for advice. A second opinion from a knowledgeable, unbiased source is never a bad thing.
5. Look for provenance Provenance is extremely important with regard to a car’s value, but it has much more of an effect for older cars. Knowing that your potential purchase came from an esteemed collection or someone who is an excellent steward truly adds real dollars to a car’s price. Celebrity provenance is hard to quantify but can be a factor if that individual is seen as a highly regarded collector or has significant motorsport history. To give an example, Steve McQueen’s Ferrari Lusso was part of his image, and there are numerous photos of him with that car. But other cars he owned, which are not seen as part of McQueen’s story or image, would certainly not be as valuable as his Lusso.
6. Original is best A car does not have to be fully restored to be valuable. In fact, we are seeing highly original cars bring a premium over restored examples. It truly depends on what you want. I love a beautifully restored car but, personally, it is the highly original cars that speak to me the most. When looking at restoration, there are a lot of factors to consider and there is not one catch-all rule to follow. If you buy a car that’s in need of work, certainly make a point of seeking out the restorers who are well-known for that specific model.
7. Storage is important Always keep your classic in a dry and airy storage facility. Your main enemy when storing an older car is damp, so make sure to avoid this at all costs. Ensure that the car is cleaned thoroughly after every use and is completely dry before being put away. Leave the windows slightly open so that air can circulate around the interior. If you’re planning to store the car for a while—for example over the winter months—have the tires pumped up a little over the normal recommended level. This can prevent tire deterioration if the pressures are too low. Finally, ensure that the car is started and driven for around 15 minutes every couple of weeks. This keeps the battery charged and the engine properly lubricated.
8. Cars are meant to be driven You should absolutely get out and enjoy your car. This is what makes car collecting so special—you can actually take out your investment and enjoy it with millions of enthusiasts just like you. It’s also worth bearing in mind that many of these cars need to be driven regularly to run properly. There’s obviously a difference between a daily driver and a collector car you take out on occasion, but it certainly won’t hurt your car’s value by putting a few miles on it. Even if it is a $20m Ferrari.
Warm lights, cool lights, colored lights, bright lights, and even mellow, dim, romantic lights, they are all available for today’s homeowners at the flick of a switch—or a spoken word, thanks to the latest in “smart” wireless technology. Classic techniques and principles of interior design combine elegantly with the latest technology. Check out the beautiful use of light fixtures in these properties and get inspired to set your home aglow with professional tips from a Christie’s lighting specialist and experts from Christie’s International Real Estate. They reveal the ultimate dynamics in home lighting that adapts easily from day to night, from hour to hour, even moment to moment. Let there be light!
1. LIGHT THE WAY: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NATURAL LIGHT AND REINVIGORATE WITH GLAMOROUS FIXTURES“The importance of lighting in a residence cannot be overstated—whether we’re talking about natural light or the most sophisticated lighting systems,” says Zackary Wright, Executive Director of Christie's International Real Estate's Asia Pacific and Western North America Regions.
“What often is overlooked is the importance of the time of day one visits or shows a property. If a home is prized for its natural lighting, morning or early afternoon hours may be best. Homes with sophisticated lighting designs should be visited both during the day and in the evening to illustrate the effectiveness and versatility of the lighting effects.”
The spectacular custom-designed light fixtures in this luxury residence at the Foster + Partners-designed 551 West 21st Street on New York City’s West Chelsea waterfront illustrate this point beautifully.
2. HOW TO LIGHT YOUR ART: FOLLOW THE ARTIST'S LIGHT AND ENJOY BEING CREATIVE A Visual Supervisor for Christie’s Galleries, shares this advice: “Lighting art is a fun creative process. It is very similar to lighting a theatrical set. Follow the artist’s use of light in a painting, and experiment with angles of light to the painting. Rarely do I put light on a painting straight on. When you use light at a steep angle the painting takes on a dimension on its own.” For more guidance on lighting your prized works like an art world expert, read the Christie’s feature.
3. CHANDELIERS AND PENDANTS: ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF CHANDELIERS & PENDANTS FOR DRAMATIC EFFECTFrom antique chandeliers in the foyer to modern pendants in the kitchen, there are so many fantastic lighting options available in this versatile category. Indeed, a dramatic chandelier can readily transition from room to room by simply by shortening its chain to suit the room’s height.
The bespoke two-story chandelier in this Beverly Hills villa was scaled to complement the grandeur of the formal entrance hall and its magnificent glass rotunda. Pendant lights with vintage-inspired bulbs look especially elegant above a dining room table or in the living room.
4. FLOOR AND TABLE LAMPS: MAXIMIZE ON FUNCTIONALITY AND STYLE WITH A VARIETY OF LIGHTING STYLES Experts advise layering several styles of lighting in a room for maximum style and functionality, and floor lamps look particularly elegant paired with a nearby table lamp and other decorative objects.
"You can never have enough lamps, particularly in spaces that do not offer much natural light. Aim for three types in each room: overhead or ambient lighting, task lighting (such as reading lamps), and an accent or table lamp," says Kathleen Coumou, Executive Director of Christie's International Real Estate's Northeast and Eastern Canada Regions.
Fixtures made from natural materials like quartz, pyrite, shell, and malachite are especially popular today and highlight the organic beauty of lighting. Another expert trick to enhance your lighting décor? Add a throw in high-quality faux fur or Mongolian lamb's wool for texture and warmth under the light of a midcentury modern floor lamp or spread in front of a glowing fireplace.
5. SCONCES AND FLUSH MOUNTS: SAVE SPACE AND SPICE UP YOUR WALLS WITH TRENDY, ELEGANT PIECES Sconces are especially important in bathroom lighting, and also in other areas of a home as they add interest to walls and save valuable floor and surface space. Modern or traditional, there are endless lust-worthy options in this category.
Our experts’ favorites are finished in brass or copper for a look that’s both timeless and trendy at the same time. Flush mounts may conjure visions of office lighting but this hardworking light fixture is a staple in many homes and today there are more attractive options of this once-institutional fixture than ever. And, it’s always a good idea to replace any flush mounts that come with your home with high-end fixtures suited to your personal style.
6. INTELLIGENT LIGHTING: THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY MEETS TIMELESS STYLE Among the biggest trends in today’s modern lighting? Switching to LED bulbs and maximizing comforts through next-generation technology such as biometric lighting sensors and motorized shades that can adjust the light and mood of a room in a moment.
However, there’s no need to trade out everything old for new. Instead, James Forbes, Head of Strutt & Parker Knightsbridge, advises: "Today’s buyer is looking for a mixture of old and new, period features combines with the newest, most cutting-edge features.”
7. MOOD LIGHTING: USE THE RIGHT LIGHT IN THE RIGHT ROOM TO CREATE A FLATTERING GLOW AND ENHANCE WELLBEINGLet there be light, yes, but make certain it’s the right kind of light. Modern lighting technology uses current knowledge about human physiology to get the right light for the right room. Not to get too technical, it’s all about triggering the body’s natural biorhythms at the proper time.
Serotonin and dopamine, the mood-enhancing, motivation-inducing neurotransmitters, are triggered by the cool white and blue frequencies of daylight. That’s why you’ll want those “high temperature” lights in your kitchen, breakfast room, playroom, home office, and study.
To adjust the mood in the living room and dining room, consider dimmable lights in the neutral, mid-range temperatures, and LED bulbs for the chandelier that can turn up the temperature from mild and mellow to “party-hearty.” And, most important of all, the bedroom: Your warmest, dimmest lights glimmer here, invoking the sleep hormone melatonin. And don’t you forget to shut off those blue light-producing smart phones, laptops, e-readers and TVs at least a half-hour before bedtime! Sweet dreams . . .
8. ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING: DRAMATIZE THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME AND ITS LANDSCAPE, WHILE ENHANCING SAFETY AND SECURITYThe same design principles used in lighting the interior of your home also apply to illuminating its exterior. It’s more just a welcoming lamp at the front door or a burglar-dissuading spotlight in the back. Think of It as stagecraft in its purest form, lighting the outside of your home like a theatrical set, illuminating architectural focal points, then underscoring them with dramatic shadows, bringing depth and texture to the house and its landscape.
Outdoor lighting can also extend your living and play spaces, bringing the indoors outside, whether it’s an intimate dinner party on the terrace, a festive occasion by the pool, or a head-to-head matchup at tennis or hoops. Professional lighting designers, working with specialist contractors, can develop custom illuminations for your house, then rig a demonstration setup to show you the finished product. And, when the house is asleep, security night lights will safely convey the house and its dreamers to the break of day.
Header Image: In Telluride, Colorado, Sunset Ridge boasts beautiful natural light and light fixtures.
Hollywood mega-producer Joel Silver’s trophy Malibu estate, an oceanfront retreat on the Hawaiian island of Maui, and one of the finest equestrian properties in Australia were among the noteworthy sales from the Affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate in the first quarter of 2018. While client confidentiality precludes sharing a full list of our network's top sales, these are the notable achievements approved for public presentation. To view more Significant Sales from 2018, visit our online report.
The oceanfront Malibu estate of Joel Silver, the producer of action film franchises Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, sold for $38 million in March 2018. The luxurious main residence offers open-plan living spaces with magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows, five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a chef’s kitchen. The three-quarter-acre grounds include a detached guest house, pool, spa, 137 feet of Pacific frontage, and the only seafront tennis court on Carbon Beach. Mr. Silver bought the house in 2003 from the late Robert Chartoff, the producer of Rocky and Raging Bull.
A private beachfront retreat with 130 feet of oceanfront on Maui’s world-famous Keawakapu Beach sold for $22.8 million in February. Realtor David Richardson of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers represented the buyer. The newly constructed 9,843-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence offers dazzling sea, sunset, and island vistas. A façade of beautiful coral stone is punctuated with vast windows, sliding glass doors, and trim crafted from mahogany. The steel frame interior and soaring ceilings of up to 23 feet provide a flowing, open floor plan. A 500-bottle climate-controlled wine room, ADA-approved elevator, media room, double-island gourmet kitchen, caretaker’s quarters, pool and spa, and a gated entrance are among the outstanding amenities.
Fernhill Estate—Mulgoa, NSW, Australia US$20.9 Million Sold by Ken Jacobs on March 7, 2018
One of New South Wales’ oldest and most significant landholdings, the Fernhill Estate was bought by the NSW government for A$27.25 million (US$20.9 million) in March 2018. The historic 946-acre property, which overlooks the picturesque Mulgoa Valley, is less than an hour west of Sydney. At the heart of the estate is a magnificent circa-1845 Greek Revival mansion built from local sandstone. Fernhill is renowned as a premier equestrian and events facility. The estate has been home to champion racehorses and is recognized in all three Olympic disciplines: show jumping, dressage, and eventing. The world-class amenities include a manager’s cottage, grooms’ quarters, a 2,400-meter horse-racing track, stables, a pool, and several lakes.
Harvesting armfuls of fresh flowers from your garden—like growing vegetables and picking fruit from your own trees—gives the joy of growing real purpose. The reaction against wasteful “flower miles” means cutting gardens are enjoying a resurgence: traditional flower farms are springing up again, and flower fields for cutting are being designed into large gardens and country estates. We asked the experts how to plan the perfect garden for fresh, seasonal blooms throughout the year.
1. Plan your plot You’ll need a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil, ideally shielded from the rest of the estate—low evergreen hedging or a picket fence works well. Professional growers recommend you work in simple rectangular blocks or rows, with practical consideration given to maintenance. Ease of reach is a priority.
Erin Benzakein from Floret Flower Farm in Washington’s Skagit Valley recommends long beds around three feet wide for easy access from either side. Kathleen Murphy from New York state’s Primrose Hill Flower Company adds: “My greatest struggle with becoming a flower farmer was not thinking like a gardener,” she says. “In my gardens, I planted large, curvy swathes of color. Now, I had to plant in evenly spaced rows. Initially, I created beds that were much too wide, and staking was another challenge.” Murphy now designs beds 60 feet by three feet, and she stakes her young plants carefully before they even begin to grow.
We grow our flowers organically, so compost, natural fertilizers, mulch, and foliar compost tea treatments are essential items in our toolbox
2. Protect and nourish Protecting your cutting garden from hungry deer, rabbits, and woodchucks is another consideration, along with soil nutrition and irrigation. At Floret Flower Farm, Benzakein nourishes the soil every season: “We grow our flowers organically, so compost, natural fertilizers, mulch, and foliar compost tea treatments are essential items in our toolbox.”
Canadian floral designer and master gardener Clare Monica Day also offers useful advice: “Consider grouping plants by their need for water: grow drought-tolerant plants next to each other, and locate water-hungry plants in a separate block.”
3. Make it beautiful Blocks of single plants, grown en masse, create the greatest impact: English gardener and author Sarah Raven advocates placing blocks of stronger colors in the foreground, with whites and pale colors fading off into the distance; Murphy recommends planting young seedlings of small plants seven to nine inches apart, and larger varieties a foot apart.
4. Choose your plants carefully Your most challenging task will then be deciding between hundreds of exquisite flower varieties. Ideally, your plot should have a mix of annuals (pretty, short-lived plants such as nigella and cosmos), perennials (showstoppers such as peony and delphinium), shrubs that remain in the ground for many years (rose, hydrangea, and lilac), as well as bulbs (tulips, daffodils, alliums, and lilies), and tubers (dahlias are a must for every cutting garden).
Combine a variety of flower shapes—daisies, spires, plumes, globes, and umbellifers—and introduce a few foliage plants and evergreen herbs. Drought-tolerant plants from the Southern Hemisphere, including protea, kniphofia, and watsonia, make beautiful cut flowers in hot, dry climates.
We cut our flowers first thing in the morning or at dusk, and we always put a drop of bleach in the vase water
5. Timing is everything Day has a clever suggestion for year-long displays: “Choose a minimum of three flowers for each growing window,” she says. “In other words, three flowers that will bloom in early spring, three for mid-spring, late spring, early summer, and so on. This simple approach will give you a continuous supply of blooms throughout the season.”
6. Keep it clean Murphy recommends “clean-cutting” to help your flower display look beautiful for longer. “We clean every item that will touch the flower stems with bleach, including secateurs and containers,” she says. “Ideally, we cut our flowers first thing in the morning or at dusk, and we always put a drop of bleach in the vase water.”
7. Ask the experts Guidance for budding flower growers is easy to find. Floret Flower Farm’s Cut Flower Garden condenses Benzakein’s expertise into 300 beautifully illustrated pages. She also offers the Floret Online Workshop, a six-week video-based course.
Instagram is another source of inspiration—Becky Crowley (@beckycrowley_), head gardener at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England, grows cut flowers for the stately home and regularly posts her bounty.
Talk to any interior designer about creating a children’s room and one word always crops up: fun. While designing spaces for adults is often a serious and sometimes fraught process, creating a child’s bedroom or playroom is a creative challenge that everyone seems to enjoy.
“It’s not like a formal living or dining room where every single guest and family member is going to use it and judge it, so we are allowed to take more liberties and chances, add whimsy and fun,” says interior designer and art consultant Alison Palevsky, owner of Los Angeles-based Palevsky Inc. “And when people are talking about children, they’re happy. They love talking about their kids!”
From climbing walls to chairs that swing, here’s how to create rooms with the fun factor…
1. Match it to your child’s personality It’s hard not to smile when looking at wallpaper swatches of a starry sky, or sketches showing the multicolored toeholds of a climbing wall. And in the case of Palevsky’s sons Miles and Jules, a room with bunk beds for sleepovers, and a giant, colorful vinyl map of downtown Los Angeles for the floor.
“I love the idea of the kids driving their toy cars on the floor and using it as a giant play mat,” she says. “I also thought it would be an interesting tool to help them learn about the city they live in and how it has changed over time.”
Interior designer Brigette Romanek of Hancock Design in Los Angeles also created spaces for her own children. “When children love their rooms, it’s a nice way for them to grow up,” she says. “My children’s rooms are fun and wild, just like they are, and they love to be in their spaces. They feel good, confident, and happy there.”
As with any interior-design project, to be successful, it needs to reflect the personality of those who are going to live there, and this applies to children’s spaces, too. “We did a room for a little girl who was really into butterflies, so we designed an installation with them all the way up the walls and on the ceiling,” says Palevsky. “For girls who are into fairies and forests, we have created a large tree hung with fabric, stars, or lights.”
My children’s rooms are fun and wild, just like they are, and they love to be in their spaces
2. Go for a wow factor Many designers agree that rich colors should always feature in a child’s room. “Adults are out in the world and stimulated, so the colors in their bedroom are pretty mellow and relaxing,” says Romanek. “Kids, meanwhile, are full of energy and want stimulation.”
Emma Pocock of London- and Geneva-based interior designer Turner Pocock says one of her favorite creations is a bedroom she designed for a little girl. The room’s vaulted ceiling lent itself perfectly to being painted with thick red and white stripes to resemble a circus tent. “The child absolutely loved it,” she says. “I would have loved it as a child, too!”
For one child who loved gymnastics, Romanek built mats into the bedroom floor. “We’ve also installed basketball nets and climbing walls,” she says. “And for another, because the room was his only personal space—we created a climbing wall behind his bed, so now he jumps from the wall onto his bed.”
Los Angeles-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who has an A-list clientele and works around the world, is also a believer in the wow moment. For one vacation penthouse on Grand Cayman that’s being marketed by Provenance Properties Cayman Islands, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the Caymans, he created a bedroom for boy and girl siblings. He used a palette of blue, green, and pops of red before adding a hanging chair by the window. “It created a fun visual moment and is a great spot for the kids to read and their friends to hang out,” he says.
3. Make it fun but functional Of course, decoration that excites is only part of the design brief: children’s spaces must also be highly functional.
“The better and more storage there is, the more places there are to put things that would otherwise be left lying all over the floor,” observes Pocock. “We’ve put in a series of small boxes along the bottom of a bed to store Lego according to color. We’ll also do shelves for books and toys. You need overflow beds for when friends come to stay, so we often do twin beds or built-in bunk beds, even if there is only one child in the room. In a smaller room, built-in beds that incorporate sleep and storage are the best way of leaving enough floor space for play.”
Wardrobes can be built in for a streamlined look or form part of the decorative scheme, either simply by covering the doors with wallpaper or by modifying via other creative methods. “For one child who loved emojis, we did a large smiley face on the wall that was actually a desk with storage,” says Romanek.
The layout of a children’s space depends on how it is going to be used. “Is it a bedroom or a playroom?” asks Palevsky. “Does there need to be a desk for homework? Do you want to have bunk beds for sleepovers?”
Special places to read feature strongly, with cozy nooks created in the corner of a room, or indoor tents that give a child space to hide away with a good book. “I will always have a place for the child to read with at least one other person,” Palevsky adds.
4. Get your child’s input—or don’t Bullard is keen to speak directly to the child whose room he is working on. “As children get older, they really start to have ideas of their own,” he says. “The children of today have more exposure to design than ever before; they learn early to surf the web for design inspiration that formulates their own style.”
Palevsky usually gives a few questions to parents to pass on to their child. “I find children respond more to parents,” she says. “But ultimately, it depends on how much the parents want the child to be involved.”
By contrast, Pocock prefers to work only with the child’s parents. “We design rooms that children are going to love, and they always do love them,” she says. “A child will slot into a nice room because they’re very adaptable. For us, that works far better than them getting involved.”
When children love their rooms, it’s a nice way for them to grow up
5. Keep it safe Keeping children safe is another issue—the toe holds of those climbing walls, for example, cannot give way. “They need to be installed to withstand the weight of an elephant,” explains Romanek. “And with chandeliers, they’re bolted in even more than usual, because I want to make sure it won’t be coming down if a child is throwing a ball around.”
Bunk bed safety rails are put in as standard. “If there is even a short set of stairs, you need to have a banister—and we’ll put a few inches of traction tape on the edges of the steps,” says Palevsky. “Also, consider the weight and size of furniture—a play table that has some weight to it, and chairs that won’t completely tip over.”
6. Think about the future Is it possible to design a room that sees a child all the way through to young adulthood? “About five to seven years is the maximum, as there is such a difference between a four-year-old and a pre-teen,” says Palevsky.
Instead, you can future-proof a room with timeless furniture. “This way the layout and big pieces remain the same,” says Romanek. “Then you simply change the wallpaper and accessories.” The climbing wall can stay, though.