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, Fawn Galli, who is creating the Showhouse Gallery 2, shares her design philosophy, tips for new collectors and more.


“A gallery should be totally interactive,” says Galli of her designated Showhouse space. The New York-based designer knows exactly want she wants to achieve: “By hanging art at interesting heights and creating different levels, you can make it feel more like a collection less like a museum.” The gallery, like all of Galli’s interiors, is sure to be elevated by glamourous, whimsical touches.


FAWN GALLI. PHOTO: COURTESY OF FAWN GALLI INTERIORS

Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Colourful, unexpected, personalized.

What is your number-one design rule?
To make the space function for how the client lives with a lot of flair and fun.

Do you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your Gallery for Sotheby’s?
I want to highlight very traditional pieces in a very contemporary way. The perfect gallery should be eclectic, irreverent and unique.

A LIVING ROOM DESIGNED BY GALLI. PHOTO: COSTAS PICADAS

Are there any pieces you discovered during the selection process that you especially fell in love with?
I love the Campana Brothers chair alongside one of the really great Louis XVI pieces.

What are your thoughts on the conversation between art and design?
Art can complement an interior and bring a completely new mood to a space, but I don’t believe that art and interiors should match. Coupling contemporary art with traditional furnishings highlights them both in a stronger way.

Why do you love working with antiques? What do they add to a space?
Antiques instantly add elements of history, craftsmanship and soul that are difficult to obtain solely with new pieces.

A DINING ROOM DESIGNED BY GALLI. PHOTO: COSTAS PICADAS

What’s your advice for first-time art and antique buyers?
The more you see, the more you will refine your vision and taste. Buy pieces that speak to you, whether they’re by a famous artist or someone unknown. If you love it, it’s right for you.

What period are you most inspired by right now?
French 1950s and 1960s.

Which design sites do you browse for inspiration?
Remodelista, Rue Magazine, Design Sponge, Domino, Lonny and Vogue.

Are there any designers whose work has influenced or inspired you?
Le Corbusier, Pierre Chareau, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne and Jean Prouvé.

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17 April 2016 | New York