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February 13, 2019

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When Art Dictates Décor

In Soledad Twombly’s Buenos Aires flat, paintings took center stage, then triggered design decisions that made the apartment a home

 

 

I wanted this home to be a homage, particularly to Argentine artists,” said Soledad Twombly of her Buenos Aires apartment, “and of course to my family of painters, writers and photographers.” Consequently, the locally born fashion designer—and daughter-in-law of American artist Cy Twombly —started by hanging her art collection, and only then considered furnishings.

 

“Art comes first for me,” said the globe-trotting designer, known for the dresses she hand cuts and sews in her eponymous Rome atelier. Interior designers generally prioritize upholstery schemes over paintings, and artwork often becomes a predictable extension of the design—the antithesis of Ms. Twombly’s approach. Finding beauty is about digging a little further than the obvious, she said: “Matchy matchy isn’t my thing at all.” Here’s how she let the apartment’s art hold a vaunted position without turning her home into lifeless exhibition space.

 

1. Place pictures first.

 

“I hang my paintings where I want to see them,” said Ms. Twombly, who placed a low-key, personally significant poster by her famous father-in-law in her bedroom. Higher impact, color-loaded pieces, such as the Andy Warhol “Flower” lithographs in the living room, go in communal spaces. But while she curates the art