by Becca Bergman Bull | June 15, 2015
With spring’s record-setting art auctions in the rearview and the buzz of this week’s Art Basel fair building to a steady roar, it’s safe to say that fine art has never occupied so prominent a place in the zeitgeist than at this very moment. Art has long been integral to interior design — Wen Zhenheng, the Albert Hadley of China’s 16th-century Ming Dynasty period, outlined very specific rules for how it should be deployed in the home (among them: No more than one painting per wall and horizontal scrolls belong in hallways), and every 18th-century English pile boasted a panoply of oil-painted ancestors staring down from gilded frames. But while art has long been considered a finishing touch — or, just as often, a mere afterthought — today its role is often more mutable, and influential. Now a room might be designed around one piece, or a designer may commission an art installation along with a custom couch. An impressive art collection does not a perfect interior make, however: As always, it’s about striking a balance, selecting the right furniture, fabrics and finishes to complement what’s on the walls — and vice versa — and the best efforts look effortless though they are anything but. Below, click through 10 examples of knockout New York rooms that represent the ideal union of fine art and interior design.