“I love color,” gushes designer Anne Spilman. For all who know the young talent – who opened her namesake firm in 2016 after four years working for Katie Ridder – this statement perfectly aligns with her sunny personality.
With an eye for special objects and a fearless approach to polychromatic interiors, Spilman reminds us that sophistication need not be at odds with fun.
Ahead of the Interiors sale at Christie’s on August 22, Spilman, alongside Gotham magazine editor Sarah Bray, styled five captivating vignettes that bring a welcome joie de vivre to the antiques on offer. Included in the sale are pieces by renowned decorator Tom Britt, superbly described by AD‘s decorative arts editor, Mitchell Owens, as “dynamic, inventive, and endlessly optimistic” and “as much an impresario as a decorator.”
Whereas maximalism is often a game of strategic pattern play a la JJ Martin, Spilman and Bray’s vignettes play on rich textures – think lucite and lacquer teamed with antique mirrors dripping in ornament. “The pieces from the Tom Britt collection are amazing,” says Spilman. “There are a ton of Chinese pieces, English pieces, some modern pieces, and even some lucite coffee tables. So many of those pair so well with antiques.”
One of the vignettes features a vibrant orange backdrop.
In one vignette a bright orange backdrop highlights a velvet sofa and satin royal blue slipper chair. An angular glass table injects a modern edge into the more traditional space.
Spilman loves this “cubist” wallpaper by Schumacher.
Three vignettes are even set against graphic Schumacher wallpapers. “For one, we did a Cubist-inspired paper that we paired with a satin turquoise sofa that has a really traditional shape,” Spilman says.
“To make a strong contrast with, we placed a Venetian mirror above the sofa.”
This vignette features two of Spilman’s favorite pieces.
Spilman’s favorite piece from the sale is a reverse-painted mirror with silver and peacock-blue tones. “The characters in the mirror are so much fun – it has a little monkey reaching up for a pomegranate,” she says. “The piece is really dressy and beautiful but also has a sense of humor, which I love.” Paired with an inlaid console with a scroll-like edge, it brings even more glamour to the space.
“I like to do bright colors for a lot of reasons,” Spilman says. “It makes the antiques come alive.”