Scattered through Heber Valley this week are hundreds of artists hard at work at their easels, participating in Wasatch Plein Air.

In the Wasatch back, the week of July 4th is synonymous with artists at work. I have seen them with brushes in hand staring out at a field of old farm implements or at crumbling wood plank sheds, finding beauty in unlikely places and capturing it for others to see. It inspires me to try to find a view that I might like to paint if I had their skills and talent. 

The importance of art in homes and the design skill to create homes for art lovers is the subject of this blog. The opening shot is the entry of an art collector’s home in Millcreek (renovation built by Living Homes and design consultation by Cody Beal). The entry promises the pleasure of more paintings as one ventures into the heart of the space, which is what we will do.

Here is the living room of the same home with a formal dining table in the foreground. It’s a private, serene space connected by one doorway that closes for privacy. With separation from the kitchen, it affords a different style for entertaining guests. Three walls abut to the exterior, allowing ample windows and French doors to the patio, but the remodeled design ensures ample display space for paintings. The large sculpture on the console table behind the sofa offers a visual barrier between the conversation and dining spaces.

This is a corner detail by the glass dining table.

 The kitchen has an informal dining table, fireplace, paired glassed-door hutches, and a space for a vibrant piece of art that it is nicely set off by the white background.

Traveling up to Park City, this new home built on a narrow Old Town lot stacks spaces on four levels. The art offers each flight of stairs a distinct experience. (Design by Jonathan DeGray, architect)

In the same home, a series of portraits sets the tone in the media room.

Art again offers stairways and transitions visual excitement in this Sun Valley home looking at two ascending and one descending stairways. (Dr. Jack Smith, FAIA, architect)

Just as in the last example, the art adds excitement. This piece sets a dynamic tone in this Park City home. (K Rocke Interior Design)

Two artists live in one of John Sugden’s fine modernist Salt Lake homes and fill their spaces with their own work and that of their favorite colleagues. I was struck by the perfect placement of the pieces, but shouldn’t have been surprised!

In the same artist home, there is sensitivity of always something wonderful to see, but one is never overwhelmed. 

The homeowner of this renovated Salt Lake City home is an art collector from a family of collectors. (Jaffa Group responsible for architecture, interior design consultation, and construction)

In the same home, the renovation planned for displaying and lighting this sculpture collection. 

(Same home) Established homes in Utah usually have living space in the basement, which is a cool relief on summer days but a challenge for design. An interesting graphic art piece compensates for windowless walls.

This art piece sets a tone of settled calm in its subject, composition, and cool colors. (K Rocke Design)

The reflective gold of this piece pops the neutral-toned dining area and adds an elegance in this Promontory home. (K Rocke Design)

Moving to the primary bedroom of the same home, the art is soft, flowing, and the detailed lines of the painting can be better appreciated in a space viewed at eyelevel. 

The lower level of the same home has the same challenge as the Salt Lake basement room, and the playful art piece and the care to add lighting to the artwork and the shelves in the back bar compensate for the lack of windows. 

This saturated rich colors of the remodel to this Salt Lake City mansion make each room a work of art. (Cody Beal Design)

(Same home) With glass on two sides, the design adds color with the carpet and an electronic art piece that changes images. For those who were not around in the 1970s to become acquainted with conversation pits, the black outlined square with colored cushions peeking out is a sunken seating area designed for relaxation and (you guessed it) conversations. From a design perspective, you are designing the room both to be viewed from head high in the conversation pit, essentially floor level, and from the elevation of someone walking through the room.

I have just touched upon how much art adds to our experiences in homes and buildings. This week, you can find me wandering through the art on display and those for sale and auction at Wasatch Plein Air, wishing I had a little more wall space.

See more Photo Friday blogs here.

Previous articleDesign and Decorating Trends of 2024, According to Utah Pros
Next articleStylemakers Spring 2024: Sunline Landscapes