15 Masterful Art Collectors’ Homes That Let the Work Shine

15 Masterful Art Collectors’ Homes That Let the Work Shine

By Jen Woo
Home is where the art is.

Serious art connoisseurs don’t just curate their personal art collection—they also direct how the pieces will rotate through, and be shown in, their homes. These 15 residences are designed to showcase commanding works of art, allowing the paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more to dictate the flow of the space.

South Beach Residence by Fiedler Marciano Architecture 

What was once the industrial loft of a knitting mill is now a modern canvas for a collection of some 300 pieces of art. One can find pieces from Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, John McCracken, Gary Hume, Francis Picabia, and more covering this renovated loft by Fiedler Marciano Architecture in conjunction with the art-loving husband-and-wife team that own the home. While the collection informed many of the elements, the space is a fusing, or conversation, rather, between the art, architecture, and design. The owners wanted a home, not a gallery. 

Within the walls of this updated 1920s Spanish Colonial home is a world-class art collection that includes the work of James Turrell and Jenny Holzer. The abode was meant to contrast with the creative couple’s main residence in San Francisco—a Victorian on a steep hill. The Los Angeles getaway, designed by Síol Studios, was renovated to embody indoor/outdoor living while maintaining the original charm with beautiful bones and arched windows. The placement of the art was an organic process—some were designed in place, while others were placed afterwards such as the Barry McGee surfboards in the dining room.

On a green, elevated plot in Ancram, New York, an art collector couple has designed their weekend home to serve as a gallery space for their large paintings. Designed by Swiss studio HHF Architects and Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, the residence is an abstract work of art in itself, made up of four rectangular geometric forms clad in corrugated iron. The overlapping of the horizontal edges create dimension in the structure, while allowing vertical slivers of natural light to shine through and illuminate the interiors and artwork on the walls.

The chromatic Paris apartment of Jean-Christophe Aumas holds a treasure trove of rare vintage furniture, displays from his work, and items curated from his travels. As the artistic director of the creative agency Voici-Voilà, he designs store windows and special events for clients like Louis Vuitton, John Galliano, Lacoste, Céline, and more; and so it’s no wonder that his own 1,023-square-foot apartment is teeming with character. The entire flat is self-designed in a fusion of his professional and personal flavors. Over herringbone wood floors, walls with painted shapes frame hanging artworks; colored cubes, created for a Sol LeWitt–themed Louis Vuitton display, pepper the space; and foraged furnishings ranging from flea market finds to designer pieces outfit the home. 

A carefully crafted studio serves as the home and workplace of painter Kent Monkman. The artist sanctuary in Toronto is swathed in white walls with strategic lighting to be able to take in every brushstroke. The home makes use of an open plan with his studio, office, living room, and dining room all in one place. Plywood sits behind drywall so that he may hang art anywhere he pleases. It also makes way for a gallery when collectors and curators visit. The 3,300-square-foot loft is largely the work of architectural designer Jason Halter, formerly of Bruce Mau Design, where he’d worked on a range of projects from MoMA signage to a sweeping urban park with Rem Koolhaas. He explains that every element in the home was done out of necessity so that it may properly function as an artist’s studio. 

Built in just five months by mf+arquitetos, this is a timeless sanctuary for art lovers. The residence was created to integrate with nature and reflect the client’s love of travel and exploration. The 1,399-square-foot home was developed as a gathering place for ideas and is permeated with art, photography, and sculptures. Natural elements including wood, marble, and porcelain provide a neutral palette, while the slatted wood exterior filters in sunlight, cools the interiors, and also creates interesting shadow play. 

Brooklyn-born painter Christopher Florentino sought a residence to house his collection of midcentury modern furniture that he’d started to amass as a teen. When he saw a Gene Leedy–designed 1963 ranch house on Instagram, he knew he’d found the perfect place. Nestled in Winter Haven, Florida, the Ellison Residence was teeming with all the elements of Florentino’s modern design fantasy including courtyards, local sandstone, glass walls, and a sense of indoor/outdoor living. He bought the house without even stepping inside. Now, it’s filled with the quintessential accents of the era including a George Nelson’s Saucer Bubble pendant, Eames furnishings including a LCW chair, Molded Fiberglass armchair, and Molded Plywood coffee table. He also maintained all original facets of the home from cabinets to door hardware down to the cork flooring; and even the palette plays to the era with primary colors and color blocking dominating the abode.

This rural Montana residence was designed both around the owners’ art collection as well as the sweeping landscape. Jackson Hole–based Carney Logan Burke Architects developed a modern abode knitted into the sweeping setting of the eight-acre valley property. The 9,000-square-foot home RCR Compound was developed as a series of connected buildings encircling an elevated courtyard. To meld with the settings, they used ledger-cut Montana Sandstone, clear cedar, and oxidized steel roof-and-wall paneling. Inside, wood and plaster surfaces exude warmth without competing with the art. 

A full penthouse floor of a Chicago high-rise with 11-foot ceilings was gutted by Wheeler Kearns Architects to make way for the vision of two life-long collectors. They wanted a space that would display their furnishings ranging from midcentury to contemporary pieces as well as an array of art and sculptures. In addition to comfortably housing the couple and their dog, the home also needed to be able to transition into an event space that could accommodate 75 people. 

Designed by Studio B Architecture + Interiors, this modern farmhouse in Aspen allows a couple’s art collection to shine with understated finishes and materials. Views and natural light were maximized via large spans of glass to instill a sense of airiness while the same wood used throughout the home added warmth. The minimalist interiors provide a muted canvas for their artifacts collected from travels to Africa and Indonesia, and art which includes 8-foot wooden sculptures, baskets from around the world, and Native American pieces including from R.C. Gorman.

In this Charles Rose Architects–designed home, the owners’ art stands as the centerpiece with gallery spaces created to adapt to a rotating collection. The residence is accessed via a private elevator that opens up to a sequence of art spaces—a strategic experience that brings visitors through the collection before introducing another visual element: views of the Mississippi River and the St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. The museum-like abode was designed for entertaining with large living and dining areas, while more intimate spaces like the library offer a quiet place to recharge. 

Set within an architectural village in Nova Scotia, Canada, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects’ Smith House is a vacation home for an art collector couple. Comprising three pavilions looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, each building differs drastically in space and materials. For instance, the night pavilion reflects a stone cave with bedrooms, while the day pavilion’s living and social spaces—including a hidden wine cellar under the kitchen—are reminiscent of a temple. 

For a family of art lovers, Prime Architecture updated a six-story building that was listed and protected by Historic England. The goal was to modernize the space while also providing a home for the owners’ lifelong collection. While maintaining the character and original features of the property, Prime Architecture kept the home minimalistic to provide a clean palette for artwork and bold decor. 

A modern farmhouse outside Tahoe National Forest stands as a vacation home and gallery for the owner’s art. Designed by architect Clare Walton, Martis Camp House consists of four gable forms divided by stone-clad volumes. Inside, the spaces are a collaboration between the owner, an artist and art collector, and interior designer Brittany Haines of ABD Studio. A departure from the owner’s main residence that exudes a more traditional style, the summer and winter getaway is teeming with bespoke furniture, vintage finds, and personal art. 

This modernist home was designed by Drewett Works to embrace the extensive art collection of the owners spanning paintings, sculpture, tapestry, and cultural antiquities. Neutral materials like canterra stone, chopped sandstone, copper, and stucco create a sleek palette for an array of stylish furnishings in muted tones. A restrained palette allows the art to take the forefront. 

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