Pro Spotlight: How to Find the Right Art for Your Home
Turn your home into a masterpiece using tips from this Philadelphia designer
“Interior design is an art form in itself. I consider myself an artist and a problem solver before anything else.”
If your walls are mostly bare, don’t despair. Adam Verboys, owner of Verboys Interiors in Philadelphia, knows the power that a single painting or object can have. “Art goes hand in hand with home design, because they both use the same visual language,” he says. “Art can make or break a room.”
One of Verboys’ earliest memories is redesigning his childhood home. “My mom would often come home to find that I had rearranged the house,” he says. “That led me to set design and then interior design. It was the same passion for design that carried me through.”
“Art is vital to expressing yourself in home design,” Verboys says. “I work with what my clients already have and help them find the pieces to push their design further. You can have the perfect furniture arrangement, but if nothing’s on the walls, the design could be a dud.”
Below, Verboys reveals how your walls — and the rest of your space — can really wow.
Keep an Eye Out Wherever you go, always be on the lookout for art that speaks to you. “Don’t look for art only when you’re redecorating or after you’ve just moved,” Verboys advises. “The process takes a lifetime. Whether it’s in your travels or in your everyday life, picking up things you least expect will help enrich your home. Plus, they’ll become heirlooms.” Spruce Street clients weren’t expecting to find inspiration on a trip to Miami. “They happened to stumble upon this artist,” he says. “They couldn’t decide which of his pieces, if any, they should buy. They called me, and I helped them choose the painting I knew would best pull out the darker colors of their floral couch.”
Complete a Room Use art to balance out elements in your home. “You essentially have two options: enhance the vibe of a room or tone it down,” Verboys says. Before placing a piece of art, he recommends taking in all the existing elements in the room. Is there a color or texture that needs to be heightened, or is there something that needs to be dialed back? “Art pieces don’t need to match a room so much as they need to pull the room together,” Verboys says. A client’s Washington Square living room had plaid club chairs with leather trim, but something was missing. “That modern painting added a bright motif and made the room far less serious,” he says.
Focus on Taste, Not Price. Avoid prioritizing expensive art and decor over inexpensive things you enjoy. “I like to layer homes with a mixture of upscale pieces and things I’ve polished up,” Verboys says. “Go ahead and shop at junk stores, or reprint something and present it in a nice frame. I’ve even used stones from a construction site as a statement piece. It just requires an editing eye.”
When designing the apartment seen here, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Verboys noticed the eclectic objects his client’s young daughter had created. “She sculpted these wild ceramic change dishes,” he says. He decided to show off the dishes throughout the home, including on the living room coffee table. “Even though it was a child’s art project, it had more taste than many items found in a gallery. Art is at its best when it has meaning.”