From his deftly-decorated homes in Hombly Hills and Malibu, to his furniture line, Studiolo, designer and antiques dealer Richard Shapiro is known for his ability to procure a masterful mix. Using grand architecture, old world finishes, and a mix of high and low collectibles, Shapiro makes new builds appear as if they’ve been artfully weathering for centuries. To learn how we can impart some of Shapiro’s magic into our own homes, we asked the designer to break down his decorating methodology. Here, Shapiro shares his step-by-step guide to transforming your home from generic, white-walled box into a treasured Old World retreat.
“Through my studies and looking back to my days at Cranbrook, I realized Detroit has this great design legacy,” says Isabelle Weiss, DECASO dealer and founder of Detroit-based gallery NEXT:SPACE. “However, it is a legacy that most people have either forgotten about, or never knew about—especially when it comes to furniture.”
Stepping into Talisman’s triple-decker London store, it feels more like you’ve entered a fantasy-land than antiques shop. A Paul Evans Cityscape credenza is tucked into one corner, while a bronze Sergio Bustamante rhino lurks behind another.
“My interest in design has been part of my whole life,” says Talisman owner Ken Bolan. “I’ve always been aware of how things work together, from the fashion of the day to their function.” Bolan opened Talisman in Dorset in 1982. “We opened with a BANG!,” says Bolan of the shop’s early incarnation. “It was a 10,000 square foot showroom showcasing French, Swedish, Italian antiques and statuary. It was a new way of doing things in the antique business.”
Rob Delamater and Gaetan Caron have a knack for discovery. They are the team behind San Francisco-based Lost Art Salon, and they have built their gallery around artists “overlooked by the confines of art history.” Equipped with the mission to provide affordable, original 20th Century art, Delamater and Caron started out by purchasing one-off pieces of art at flea markets and auctions. As they grew, the duo ramped up inventory by assuming entire bodies of artists’ works. Lots came in courtesy of other dealers, artist estates, or in many cases, the artists themselves, who were seeking not just a resting place for their work, but their legacy.