Blog post

Vicente Wolf: Wanderlust & Collecting, Part II

In our second interview (you can read the first here) we learned about Wolf’s next jaunt, and why you should always buy that special piece wherever and whenever you see it.

PR: Where are you off to in 2017?

VW: Sri Lanka, Munich, Bombay, Bali, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

PR: What were some of your most profound/ favorite travel experiences from your 2016 trip?

VW: Going to the top of the Himalayas to a small kingdom called Mustang. Also: Egypt and going up the Nile to visit Luxor.


PR: When designing a space, how do you like to feature artifacts and objects with real cultural meaning?

VW: I like to show objects as collections. It’s important to put them together to get the strongest impact. As an example: my collection of Dorje, which I’ve amassed for the last 15 years at my beach house. Also, I’ve been collecting through flea markets and yard sales, 19th century small glass medicine bottles that I display on the shelf in my kitchen.

PR: For homeowners looking to build their own collections of cultural art, found objects and such, how do you suggest they start? Are there any rules?

VW: The best rule is to keep buying the same type of objects to increase the impact of the collection. It doesn’t matter how expensive the item is, just buy what appeals to you. Always keep them together and not spread around your house.


PR: How do you edit objects from various cultures and eras so they look cohesive in a space?

VW: I make sure they have a cohesive sense of balance. I try to position objects from different periods or regions together. For example, an African stool next to a gilded chair; it’s important that the objects have a dialogue with each other from old to new, primitive to sophisticated.


PR: What is the most overlooked area of the home, and how do you like to dress it or tend to it? 

VW: As a society, we’re focusing on every part of the home. Whether it’s a bathroom with a collection of perfume bottles or a kitchen with a collection of baskets mounted on the wall. There is no forgotten space of the home anymore.


PR: What is the one object from your travels that you WISH you would have brought home with you? The one that got away!

VW: While I was on the Amalfi Coast of Portofino last year, I saw a store with very cool woodcarvings. I waited for two hours for the shop to open but they never did. I still think about the wood carving that got away.

PR: Can you speak specifically to Asian furniture and antiques? What draws you to them? Why should every home have an Asian piece with true provenance in their home?

VW: Every home should have a mixture of culture and periods. To me, objects from Asia have a particular appeal. They always have a warm sensibility and refinement of design that, whether new or old, can work well in every home—traditional or modern.


For more inspiring images, pick up a copy of The Four Elements of Design, or one of Vicente Wolf’s three previous titles: Learning to See, Crossing Boundaries, and Lifting the Curtain on Design. You can also read Part I of our interview: Vicente Wolf: The Elements of Style.

Images courtesy of Vicente Wolf




Previous Post

Next Post