This spring, Arteriors partnered with international design tastemaker Ken Downing to curate an immersive installation housed within the Arteriors flagship showroom in the Dallas Design District. The space seamlessly fuses fashion, art and interior design to create a bold sensory experience. Here, Downing, shares his inspiration behind the collaboration.
Tell us about the space that you designed?
I’ve created spaces for Arteriors that are warm, welcoming, yet arresting!
Unapologetic interiors with bold gestures that celebrate individuality with an eccentric spirit. Spaces that celebrate the love of collecting, everything from the haute to the humble, defying the ideas of minimalism, ushering in an era of abundance and opulence. I’ve always believed an interior should be the reflection of those who inhabit it, not the taste and attitude of the decorator. This collaboration with Arteriors celebrates a sophisticate couple with a bohemian spirit, a curiosity that underscores their love of family, friends and a never ending passion for life’s unexpected journey.
What is your color palette and why did you select those colors?
I have always believed color begins every conversation! In fashion, art and the world of interior design. The unapologetic bold strokes of color begin in the entrance foyer with a retro rewind of Mauve! Ignited and brightened with a heaping helping of violet! It enlivens the senses and announces you are entering an experience like no other. Yellow is a favorite color of mine, and currently having a major return to popularity. A presentation wall saturated in sunshine, yellow becomes the New Neutral for sculptural sconces, art and artifacts.
THE SS18 runways were illuminated with mauve and yellow tones.
You’ve described the space initially as “Le Salon – 1920 meets 2020 – the return of culture, collecting and civilized conversation”. What about the 1920’s design era inspires you?
I’ve recently found myself adding to my real estate portfolio a 1917 historic mansion in Detroit and a 1929 Emery Roth Pied-a-Terre in New York. The 1917 Detroit property being built as Art Deco ideas were emerging, and the 1929 Emery Roth tower, his first Art Deco structure, heading into the skyline as the Great Depression gripped the country. The sensuality of the geometry that defines the architecture and interior finishes are intoxicating.
El Dorado, one of Emery Roth’s famed projects.
How is does that era of design translate into modern interiors?
Art Deco was a design rebellion. Today, we are living in uncertain times, with rebel voices and ideas are everywhere. That rebellious spirit of the Roaring 20’s, that re-emerged again during the 1960’s, making a repeat performance under the handle Punk Rock during the late 70’s-early 80’s feel ripe for return in unpredictable world we live in. History repeats itself. Design always looks to the past to redefine the future.
Where do you find inspiration for your home?
I find inspiration in the obvious and the obscure. A birds nest, a sea shell, the button on a Chanel jacket, a thrift store find, a painting in the Pompidou! As the Senior Vice President/Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus, I find my curiosity to be one of my best attributes. I also revel in finding beauty in the unexpected. Redefining the ideas of conventional beauty keeps style and design relevant.