A Q & A with Mark Wilkerson // Austin Modern Homes Tour 2015

Winter is always eye candy season for design enthusiasts as home tours are back to back during this time. This weekend {yes, already!}, it is the famous and always fun and engaging Austin Modern Home Tours. Modern Home Tours, the outfit which produces the tour has now grown to include both the US & Canada with events in various cities to boot {with cities like Vancouver, Santa Fe ,Chicago & New Orleans to name a few} but it all started here, Austin. This year, there is more modern inspiration to come!

I had the privilege of doing a Q & A with a prodigious designer, Mark Wilkerson. I was instantly captivated by the home he designed because of it’s world class and avant-garde art selection in a backdrop of clean and beautiful architecture.

garbage frames

 

1.Art is the hardest thing to source for a design client because it can be so subjective and personal, what’s your magic tip or trick when choosing art for a space?

Art is most certainly subjective and highly personal however when working closely with a client you develop an understanding for their likes and dislikes as you make decisions regarding furniture, lighting , accessories…All of these decisions involve the same psychological process that takes place when you  purchase art. The clients aesthetics and the project budget give me a good platform for understanding where we will enter the market from a financial perspective and allows me to narrow the hunt. I tend to encourage purchasing as major a piece as one is willing to invest in and I guide my clients towards listed artists with a successful auction records in the larger houses like Christies, Sothebys and Philips. Not everyone can afford a large scale original Warhol or Serra but most people engaging the services of a designer have the budget for a minor work by a major artist; which is an excellent place to start a collection. There are beautiful original pieces for any interested purchasers at all levels of pricing; most importantly, I encourage my clients to purchase what they love.

art sitting room

2. What is your favorite feature of the home at 600 Terrace? 

600 Terrace Mountain has been a labor of love. I genuinely adore this property and will be continuing finishing the space out over the next few months but I would say my favorite feature of the house is the large Jean-Michel Basquiat on the second level. This piece is full of life and movement and sets an enigmatic whimsical tone for the majority of the common spaces upstairs. Aside from being a historically significant piece I have always been a personal fan of his work, unfortunately there is not much of his work out there to be seen, thus I feel fortunate to have the chance to spend so much time with this one.

3. Being so vastly traveled {wow, 30 countries!}, which city have you been most inspired by?

I have be influenced greatly by travel and have been fortunate to see some amazing places across the world. I have so many favorites, but I would say the most influential, from an architectural perspective would probably be Singapore or Hong Kong and from an interiors and art perspective I’ve been influenced by several Eastern European countries like Slovakia and Austria…There of course is Paris which I feel like could possibly be the epicenter of design and luxury living and is still one of my favorite cities to shop for antiques, art and objects, as well as Mexico City and San Francisco.

I told you there were a lot!

facade 600 terrace mountain

4. Tell me more about your process when designing a space.

My process for designing a space starts with simply listening to the client’s needs and translating those needs into a reality through design, art and objects. Most people have an understanding or vision of what they are trying to achieve with design, and in most cases just have trouble communicating that vision. I have found by working closely with a client and being able to translate the likes/dislikes into a workable space is easiest achieved my spending time with that person, seeing their current home, photos of interiors or art that interests them and even shopping trips together. Designing someone’s home is a very personal and intimate venture and you get to know the client on a personal level quite quickly, I mean you usually see their bedroom on the first meeting for goodness sake!

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Thank you so much Mark! I am thoroughly inspired! The art selection is truly unique & captivating and it’s great to know that the process of curating this home is still evolving. And yes, design is so personal & intimate and bedrooms {and may I say the restrooms too can reveal so much about a person!}.

Check out the Austin Modern Home Tours this weekend everyone! See this home and more:

Get your tickets

Saturday, February 7, 2015

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CST)

 Have fun, get inspired & learn more about modern design!