For this year’s Sotheby's Designer Showhouse and Auction, twelve established and up-and-coming designers are curating signature rooms with unique pieces from a range of Sotheby’s departments, including 20th Century Design, Prints, Silver, Photography and English furniture. Here, Scott Sanders, who is creating the Showhouse Library, shares his design philosophy, tips for new collectors and more.
For Sanders, a library is more than a place for books. “I envision the Showhouse library to be multifunctional,” he says. “It’s an inviting place where someone can entertain, work and relax as well as enjoy their collection of books, art and antiques. The library is a space of personal growth,” he says, adding that like the rest of a client’s home, “it should offer the latest 21st century technology.”
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Eclectic, approachable, sophisticated.
What is your number-one design rule?
Make your client happy!
Is there a major rule you like to break?
I don’t like rules.
Finish this sentence: No room is ever complete without ______.
At least one great piece of art.
A SANDERS-DESIGNED LIVING ROOM IN A NEW YORK RESIDENCE. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARCO RICCA.
What are easy ways to update a library?
It could be as simple as changing your desk lamp and accessories or stationary. For a bolder statement, paint the walls an unexpected colour or add a new area rug.
What are your thoughts on the conversation between art and design?
As a designer, I aim to create rooms that offer a mixture of furniture from different time periods for an eclectic but cohesive feel. With that in mind, I also select art in different mediums, and curate the works to create balance within a space.
Why do you love working with antiques? What do they add to a space?
Antiques bring character and history into a space, which is always a great conversation starter.
A WEST VILLAGE LIVING ROOM DESIGNED BY SANDERS. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARCO RICCA.
What period are you most inspired by right now?
I am most inspired by what is happening right now. There has been a shift to an eclecticism that embraces all styles and periods which, when mixed together properly, can be timeless.
Are there any designers whose work has influenced you?
Jean-Michel Frank and Ralph Lauren.
Can you share some of your favourite sources in and around New York for wallpaper, furniture, carpet and unique pieces?
Clarence House, Lee Jofa, Holland & Sherry, Wyeth, Monc XIII, Sacco, Patterson Flynn & Martin, Phillip Jeffries and Mecox.