A home is never too small to show off an art collection! While renovating their 1954 brick ranch home, (part 1) Karen Lantz and Andy Farkas wanted to create a space where they could display their art collection. At 1,500 square feet, the couple felt the size of house allowed them to invest in furnishings and art instead of having to fill up the rooms of a larger home.
Their collection includes works from Aaron Parazette, Bob Russell, Janaki Lennie and Russell Crotty. They collect fine art, decorative objects and pedigreed furnishings, such as the corrugated cardboard side tables and bentwood chairs from Frank Gehry, Droog light fixtures and a footed—literally—vase by Gaetano Pesce. “We have midcentury pieces and we have people who are inspired by midcentury, like Jonathan Adler,” Lantz says. In front of the living room’s vintage custom mohair sofa sits a Noguchi reissued glass-top coffee table. “You’ve got to have the Noguchi; it’s a classic. We have some old things but I like new ones because they’re not scratched,” she says.
Farkas, a dentist who practices in a fab modernist building designed by his wife, is the one most drawn to the art; he does research on an artist and brings purchase ideas to Lantz. A globe by Crotty, which was lent several years ago to a local museum, hangs like a giant moon over their vintage sofa. Another piece, a large canvas by Parazette titled “Black Sea,” barely fits on their smidge-over-8’ walls. “When we first began collecting, it was more about something looking good in a particular space,” he says. “Now it’s, ‘This is a great piece; we’re going to make it fit.’ ”
Their advice to other would-be art patrons: join a young collectors’ group at a museum, attend art openings at galleries and “buy what you like because you are going to look at it every day. Follow your heart first, but if you are spending a lot, you need to know what you are getting, so educate yourself about the artist and the art,” Farkas counsels.
Check back for part 3 to find out how Lantz and Farkas’ ranch was in teardown condition–but how they completely remodeled it on a tight budget!