One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Jon Stewart November 1, 2011

Home Gallery

L'Ambiance Condo


Janis Bullard’s client roster boasts some of the most interesting private art collectors in town, but she didn’t plan it that way. “My work with collectors evolved through word of mouth. When people see how much a friend’s artwork can be enhanced by interior design, they call,” she says. That was the case with Arnold and Bette Hoffman, a Longboat Key couple whose 3,700-square-foot L’Ambiance condo was completely remodeled to showcase a spectacular collection of art glass by internationally recognized artists.

Bullard designed strategic display areas, including tall end units with concave curves that envelop the dining area in art. The rich wood built-ins maintain an open see-through effect so that art pieces are also visible from the living area.

“I chose a neutral gray and green palette to allow the various colors and [art glass] media to work without harsh contrast to the furnishings,” Bullard says. “The secret to designing for collectors is proportion and balance. The scale of their art will dictate the interior design.”

1 Halogen bulbs in a track system by Tech Lighting from Light Up Your Life provide a clear bright light that enhances the colors of artwork but also allows for moving the light source as collectors add or change out art pieces. 2 Floating soffits help create a visual separation from the living room and give the feeling of an intimate separate space enveloped in artwork. 3 Custom built-in cabinetry, designed by Bullard and crafted by local artisan Mark Snowdon, is a unique combination of cherry and maple woods with brushed stainless steel and black lacquer accents. 4 Designer showrooms at DCOTA in Fort Lauderdale yielded great finds like the Pace dining room table and chairs, R. Jones of Texas sofas, and Barbara Barry living room chairs and ottoman. 5 The floors feature 24-inch squares of Jerusalem limestone cut into triangles in the living and dining areas. The color, Ramon Dark, supplied by Architectural Marble in Sarasota, is a neutral foil to colorful art. 6 Wonderful glass art includes Mitochondria by Julius Weiland as dining room table centerpiece, Reeds from the Wind and Water series by Shayna Leib on the console separating dining and living room, and End of My Garden by Steffen Dam on the dining room credenza. 7 The living room is grounded with a traditional Agra design carpet from Jalil’s Oriental Rugs in DCOTA with subtle patterns and colors that do not compete with art.

Designer's tips

“Designing a home for collectors depends on the art and its scale. But in all cases, lighting is key.”

“Creating a balance in the actual placement of artwork keeps the home from looking like a museum or a department store.”

“I’m a firm believer in mixing traditional and antique pieces with contemporary design to give a home soul.

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