Wednesday, 11 May 2011

In Conversation with Axis Decorative Arts

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Foster Eastman & Tracy Averill

 

Tracy Averill and Foster Eastman turned their passion for collecting French antiques into a business. By 2001, when Axis Decorative Arts opened on Howe Street, the pair had been collecting French furnishings from the 1920's-1940's for over a dozen years. They were an immediate success thanks to their refined eye and design skills. Visiting their showroom alone is a real experience, the combination of vintage pieces in pristine condition paired with contemporary accents and their brilliant glamour-meets-industrial space is a combination to die for.

 

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Axis Decorative Arts

 

Axis Decorative Arts focuses on 3 main types of business: Interior Design, Sales, and Consulting. Their spaces are stunning combinations of styles, moody lighting, and textures that feels so decadent yet liveable. Their inclusion of art and antiques really do add a personal but rich touch to the overall atmosphere. The sales portion of their business is a great find - all of the beautiful pieces from Paris and Southern France that once can see in their showroom are actually for sale, and you can be sure that it is a genuine, quality piece when purchasing from Axis. And lastly, their consulting has brought them much success with movie sets and events - glamorous!

 

I have always admired their showroom and their work, and I cannot wait to find out more about the men behind Axis Decorative Arts - read on to get in on the conversation…

 

Ivan Meade - What was your first experience with design?

Tracy Averill -I worked for a fashion retailer in the late 70's and early 80's and that company trained me for their display department. I was a quick learner and ended up managing a region for them. I then went to work for Holt Renfrew and worked as the visual presentation manager for ten years.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - Where does your passion for collecting 1920's -1940's French Furnishings come from?

Tracy Averill -Foster and I both collected 18th and 19th century antiques for a few years and did two apartments in that style. When Foster opened Axis Hair Salons we started to look at Art Deco pieces from the 1920's for the salons and soon became hooked! We moved to a modern apartment and changed our collecting from that point on. I loved the clean lines of the Deco period and how well they worked with contemporary  furniture and art. We have been on that hunt for great pieces ever since. That has opened our eyes to all things 20th century. The French part of it has been many trips to Paris and the south of France and that has also taken us to Italy looking for great pieces from the 1960's

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - What do you look for in a furniture piece?

Tracy Averill -I like what vintage furniture adds to the room. I feel that a good piece should also add function but for me uniqueness and quality would be what I would want out of it. So much of what I see I see everywhere and that would not hold my interest for very long. It is hard to put into words but I just know when I see a piece that works. It has very little to do with price but like all things the best are always going to cost.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade – What is the most practical thing you own and what is the most rare?

Tracy Averill -All pieces that have storage are practical and add tons in what has become smaller and smaller spaces. I love using sideboards or buffets in living rooms to anchor the room and you can put so much in them. I also think that a desk in the living room with a great desk chair is perfect. I have one and I use it all the time and with lap tops you can keep them small and tidy? I have a desk set by Hermes made in the 1930's in perfect condition... that is rare.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - What do you think the furnishings of today are missing?

 

Tracy Averill -Most furnishings that I like today, and I like many just need time and use to soften the edges. I now look for pieces from the 70's to do that in coffee tables end tables even soft furnishings so I don't have to wait.  

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - One of my favourite aspects of your designs is that you use original Art, Sculptures and elements with old world patina in all your projects - Do you design around these pieces or are the pieces guests to your spaces?

 

Tracy Averill -I think that all my interiors start from a few pieces that I like the look of together. I then start to fill in the spaces with pieces that are needed to make the room function. I would always wait for them to come from a vintage source in my own rooms but that is not always the way that it works with clients. In that case we look at what is available in the new lines. But for me the balance should lean toward vintage this is where the room will stand out from what we see around us today. Art is very important and original art is also very assessable at any price level. Sculpture is a little more difficult as good pieces are hard to find and will cost a bit, but don't put a ugly sculpture in a room as it will always stand out!!

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - I also noticed that you often enhance every space with beautiful paneling and custom fireplaces that work in concert with modern living, but also relate with the antique furnishings  you use - How do you achieve this?

 

Tracy Averill -I am glad you ask this question as I think it is what I try to do in all rooms. The back grounds to fine antiques and 20th century vintage need to help contain the pieces. I love to use a grid of panels to frame the room and help focus the eye. A fire place is a great central focus for a room. Most new homes or apartments unfortunately have ugly fireplaces in the worst places so for me they need to be redone or blocked up.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - What is your approach to lifestyle and design?

 

Tracy Averill -I think that some of us see design in everything that we approach and the lifestyle is almost a by product. Living with style takes some work you have to take the time to put things in order. It is often the small details that set this apart from the ordinary and I try to see through what I find as mundane and make it more interesting.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - What is the best advice (design related or otherwise) that you have ever received?

 

Tracy Averill -Having the patience to research and find just the right piece to give the room that WOW factor.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade –  What is next for Axis Decorative Arts Interior Design?

 

Tracy Averill -My market is now global and I have alined myself with 1st Dibb's most of my business is now international and I see that as the future.

 

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Interior Design by Axis Decorative Arts

 

Iván Meade - Lastly, you have created a stunning body of work in a multitude of mediums – what would you like your legacy to be?

Tracy Averill -That clients enjoy the experience as much as I do. Helping them see them selves in their homes living with quality vintage pieces and striving for uniqueness.



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

4 comments:

medtopicwriter.com said...
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Karena said...

Great interview Ivan very interesting design work!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily

Marcus Design said...

What a wonderful interview, and such amazing talent!! Nothing short of impressive.
Nancy xo

JASR said...

i admire their design flair... such a pleasing mixture of different design styles yet, so cohesive together...