You barely register it's there when you walk in. Yet it is part of the reason you end up making an offer on a luxury condo. It's part of the reason you relax when you cross the threshold to your building. It's the lure, it's the appeal—and it's the subliminal effect—of luxury art.
"When I first started staging, nobody in the high end was staging at all for some reason," says Cheryl Eisen, founder of Interior Marketing Group, which stages many luxury and celebrity homes. "As we started doing it, I always started by putting art in the spaces. Now the highest end of real estate in New York City, which is the highest in the world, more or less, is being staged more and more. This is more of a growing thing." One of the first things Eisen does upon seeing a client's space is to photoshop in ideas of art that would both look good and highlight the home's features, such as its double-height ceilings or tall windows. Then her in-house art team, Art Loft, creates unique pieces for each of the spaces.
The trend started with the obvious—hanging pictures on the wall or creating places for freestanding sculptures in the corner. But as it became clear how powerful an impact art has on influencing the purchase of the property, developers realized they could have even more success by weaving art into the tiny spaces that had previously been overlooked. The leather-and-silk custom-made headboards in Dubai's super-prime Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences are one example. Developers commissioned artist Helen Amy Murray and interior designer Sybille de Margerie to create interiors that weave artwork into the living spaces so that from every vantage point in a room there is artwork within view. Here's a close-up of the leather-and-silk piece indicative of what will be created for the units.
“Buyers of superprime property have travelled the world, have the finest luxury goods at their fingertips and expect the very best in design, architecture and lifestyle," says Maria Morris, partner at global real estate agency Knight Frank and spokesperson for Dubai's superprime Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences. "We understand the importance these buyers place on ‘individuality’ – just as with any other luxury purchase they are making, they want something that no one else has. As a result, superprime developers are constantly pushing themselves to create properties different to any residences previously offered on the market."
There's even a German word for all this—Gesamtkuntstwerk, which means "total artwork" in the sense of creating a comprehensive art experience within a space. The 19 Dutch building, pictured up top, pays homage to its namesake country with a front lobby desk made from custom Dutch Delft-style tiles by artist Colum McCartan with pictures of old 17th-century etchings and drawings of New Amsterdam. The rest of the building has other nods to Dutch heritage including custom Dutch-inspired elevator cabs, references to Vermeer and a 4.5-meter Magnus Gjoen-created piece for the leasing office that harkens the Arms of the Dutch Republic.