I am honored to be a featured artist in the Educational Alliance 2019 Art School Exhibition at the Lower East Side’s Manny Cantor Center. The Creative Forces behind inspiration is the focus of this season’s show. Guest curators are Yulia Topchiy and Paola Gallio of The Assembly Room Gallery. My piece, pictured above, came from recent events in my life. Come see it in person and experience and the rest of the works for yourself!
The Road Less Traveled By
The Manny Cantor Center
197 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
December 10, 2019-January 23, 2020
Now is an exciting time for Interior Design!
Truly spectacular and inspiring design blogs abound. Simplified DIY’s appear with amazing frequency in our inboxes and feeds rather than the monthly, glacial pace once set by print magazines. Bolder design and envelope-pushing choices that had once only been found in Elle Decor and other aspirational shelter magazines are accessible daily during our morning commutes. More people are exposed to Interior Design than ever before. HGTV, DIY-design services, and apps make “good” design easily accessible to a larger audience.
As a result of this mix of technology + design, more people are turned on to the power and play of an environment. Design buffs are born and are empowered to recreate for themselves what they see. With all of this content available to do it yourself: “Why work with an Interior Designer?”
I was asked this exact question just the other day. And it’s an important question. Both for me to reckon with as a designer, and for my clients to consider when making the design choices that impact how they live. The answer is both simple and complex—much like good design itself.
Visiting 10 Hindu temples in 10 days, all dedicated to the planets and deities, was a window into the concentrated energy and spiritual life of how Hindus may pray. I caught colorful glimpse of many of these folk carrying out their domestic lives as we drove through street after village street. In my 3+ week South India sojourn there was only one private house I entered into. It was a good one.
What is important to you? What is the transformation you are looking for? Know that your home is the fertile ground where your life takes root.
Allow me to understand what you would like from your home – functionality improvements, aesthetic upgrades – and help you envision it. Together we will make deliberate changes in your environment to enrich your life.
My home has become a laboratory for Biodynamic design.
It’s a new year. All that we have to be grateful for can be astounding. Let’s get into that headspace. Gratitude. Being present. Being open. But open to what? My wise client said recently that “culture is not what we say [we are] but instead what we tolerate.” I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means in practice for our day-to-day lives. Can we walk the walk or just talk the talk. Do we give lip service for how we want our lives to be better/easier/lovelier, or can we make concrete steps towards making it so? I recently returned from a trip to India and, as traveling does, I was able to really spend time exploring these ideas.
Design and Art effect every aspect of our life. Day-to-day happiness springs from our environments and experiences being beautiful, rational, and making sense. Art isn’t only found sitting in a museum but all around us if we take the time to truly see what we are looking at.
Experiencing The Salon Art + Design at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City during this season is always a special treat. There, inspiring objects abound and are presented in a compelling and charming way. To have so many different, inspiring, and noteworthy galleries and objects brought together in unexpected contrast creates a feeling of wonder.
As we start to spend more time indoors (with more to come) now is a perfect time for home updates. This starts by recognizing all that we have and whom we have in our lives and then making the most of it to create an inclusive, inspired space. I call this Intentional Design—when we design to support and celebrate our lives.
Possible updates include (finally) hanging art work, or rotating art to a new location. Painting. Rearranging a room to finally find flow. And one of my favorites; creating an “altar” or sacred space. All of these changes serve in softening your nest and getting your home ready to welcome in friends and family, to create a space that reflects who you are and how you live.
There is tangible value in creating moments of peace via beauty in your home. This time of year, when our thoughts turn to gift-giving, this kind of value is a wonderful and unexpected thing to share with those we love. That’s why from now until 12/1/18, I’m offering $100 off a Mini Interior Design Makeover.
This experiential indulgence will resonate long after the makeover has passed. After all, it’s about joy in living well in space. Truly, a gift that keeps on giving.
This season is busy with new projects. Sometimes, in recent past, I’m involved in one or two major apartment renovations at a time (think: ripping out entire floors and building new walls). Maybe with the changing of the seasons, the current real estate market or the success in my mission that we can all love where(ver) we live, I have a current crop of clients—who are renters—looking to inject some much-needed style and substance into a space they do not own. After all, living in New York, renting an apartment or owning, is an American Dream. Make it your own.
There is a visceral pleasure to return to simple, direct and instant gratification “fixes” presented by the limitations in renting. While demo-ing bathrooms, adding stairs, or changing an entire floor plans will give a space major upgrades in its feel and utility, here is an important reminder that the power of smaller updates to totally transform a space is real. You do not need to own your space in order to live well in it.
The biggest possible impact? Read More
This summer marks the 11th anniversary of Samantha Gore Interiors + Design. And, at risk of getting a little spiritual on you, looking back at these gratifying years in the art and interior design business, I find my greatest inspiration comes when I’m designing spaces meant to be enjoyed for a life lived well.
On the occasion of my 11th anniversary (and inspired by my brainwave) I’ve been taking a trip back into my archives, revisiting some of my favorite spaces from those early days. What resonates with me is how much these spaces still so alive, always there to welcome you, a comfort and a refuge.
During my adventures this spring in Italy and at the Salone I found myself constantly drawn to the juxtaposition of ancient forms alongside sleek and minimalist modernity. After all, contemporary and future-facing design pairs incredibly well with more primitive elements. The clean, often austere lines, palettes, and angles are an elegant counterpoint to artisanal, hand-wrought shapes and furnitures.
Environment is huge part of our daily experience. Immersion in a new environment is an opportunity to understand both the area and my self better. Eyes and ears open readily to sights, sounds and ideas while logistics and planning can take a back seat.Visiting with friends living in great cities and regions adds greater context than a visit as an outsider. Finding myself with nostalgia for places as well as for people, I often return to my friend Lucia’s maternal home in Citta della Pieve, a province of Perugia, Umbria.Pictured in town.
Lake Trasimeno, the second largest lake in Italy, is in the distance. It is an alluvial, verdant land rich in Etruscan-Roman History.The town of Citta della Pieve, founded in the 7th Century, has long inspired artists. The most well known, Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, better known as Perugino, immortalized and idealized his native land in the XVI century.
Here is his work, The Adoration, from 1504. I visited this large fresco in town at the Oratory of Santa Maria dei Bianchi for where it was commissioned. Represented here, for almost the last time, is a dream of the ancient world envisioned as a place of contemplation and harmony. It is no wonder I feel at peace in this place.
This work was contemporaneous with the iconic pieces of Michelangelo Buonarotti and Leonardo da Vinci, with each artist processing the tensions of a modern world troubled by the worries and anguish of contemporary man in their own way. This feels quite current. A less bucolic detail of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement fresco for the Sistine Chapel, 1541.
Being asked into a friend’s home and home turf is a chance to understand and connect further with them, too. Lucia and I first became friends in 1997 while living in Florence at my first internship out of college. I had just completed my degree in Art History and Fine Art from New York University and we worked side by side at the same small painting conservation studio near by to Santo Spirito. When our two lady bosses, Sandra and Nicola were off site at the Uffizi Galleries, we connected through my improving Italian, over music, art and our ragazzi—a singularly Italian bonhomie.
I admire Lucia as she continues her work as an art restorer. She has incredible skill, patience and knowledge of color pigment, solvents, technique and history. My career path brought me here instead. Visiting Lucia; her home and her studio, gives me a warm, nostalgic feeling of a road not taken as well as the eternal pleasure of seeing a creator at work in their created habitat. Lucia’s spaces are a perfect representation of the rich, painterly life she leads in them. This is, of course, deeply resonant for me as an Interior Designer.
Il Ritocco or retouching a canvas.The eastern light from over the Valdichiana illuminates the room.
What a trip. Linking back and forth and back again further through time. Connecting with art and artists through a sharing of vistas and city streets. My life, my friends and experiences woven into the fabric of a landscape that resonates through me.
Grace and power of environment, indeed, all of the earthly delights.