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Case Study: Using Art As Inspiration For Interior Design

How Home Interiors Are Tailored To Our Clients

When our interior design studio receives a new commission, one of the first undertakings for our designers is to establish the inspiration for the project. Whilst other interior designers simply design from what inspires them, Janine Stone & Co. invest a tremendous amount of  work seeking inspiration from our client’s lifestyle and personal tastes. For instance a client with a particular penchant for 1920s American literature may well lead to few subtle references to the 1920’s art deco movement being incorporated into the finished interiors.

Beyond books, such inspiration may come from the places our clients choose to eat, drink, holiday or perhaps their collection of wine, antiques or fine art. By thoroughly researching and threading together all the historical and cultural touch points that speak to our clients, we are able create interiors that are truly tailored to their occupants. 


Art As Inspiration

On this particular project, our client had a late Queen Anne style mansion in Kensington built in 1883, with a red brick facade, terracotta window cladding and handsome classical interior features including; picturesque cornices and magnificent ceiling moldings.

Shortly after the initial chemistry meeting and once Janine Stone & Co. had been commissioned to renovate and refurbish the property, our interior design studio discovered that our client had an extensive collection of works by the Maltese artist Ġoxwa Borg (pronounced Joshwa). Her paintings are a happy marriage of age-old tradition with modern sensibilities, perfectly befitting the classical architecture of the house and blank canvas within. It seemed a perfect source of inspiration to steer our designers throughout the project.


Drawing Room

The main drawing room features a five meter long credenza, topped in Moon Stone with hand-crafted grey gesso doors made by Rupert Bevan. Just as many would describe Ġoxwa’s art, the credenza has a contemporary form, but crafted from materials evocative of ancient times.

The contemporary grey pallet chosen for the restoration of the queen Anne style paneling, compliments the colours of the credenza, artwork and surrounding furniture.

Aware of our client’s interest in fine art, even the selection of books placed on the coffee table were carefully curated to include subjects such as Rembrandt and Kandinsky.

Dining Table

The Ġoxwa painting that sits behind the dining table shows a young girl, who is a flower merchant. Painted with oil and wax on canvas to create both richness and liveliness of color, that contrasts the neutral pallet chosen for the walls of this space.

The gold accent colours in the portrait are reflected in; the choice of frame for the painting, gold speckled tumblers and amber coloured champagne glass that sits filled with walnuts – fruits cultivated in North Africa and Mediterranean by the Romans – that help to transport the other senses to the rustic toroq (streets) where this girl roams with her wares. Janine Stone & Co. commissioned this bespoke table from SIGébène, master ébéniste from France. The brass trim, which picks up on the portraits colour accents, hides an inset covered in Italian leather which transforms the dining table into a surface to play card games.


Corridors are wonderful places to hang art and delight the eyes. The delicate white blossom flowers sourced from the renowned Lavender Green  Flowers, in South Kensington, mimics the spindly red flower heads that stretch across Ġoxwa’s canvas.

The fluidity with which the painted flowers sprawl is seen also in Massimo Micheluzzi’s murrano vessel, that sits on the table top. Micheluzzi’s actually takes his inspiration from a painting by Canaletto, stating that he “simply wanted to use a static material to convey a feeling of motion”. The synergy between nature, art and craftsmanship makes for pretty scene even in the corridors of this home.


Grey, oil brushed, wide oak flooring underfoot and a custom made bed in grey tinted sycamore contrasts the lighter tones of the walls in this bedroom. This two-tone interior canvas is akin to how Ġoxwa has chosen to paint the background to her picture.

Up close the artwork reveals green hues and reflected in the choice of a sage green, mohair, bed throw and a woven wool and silk rug by Luke Irwin, that features aqua tones threading themselves throughout.

Not only does any interior have to be tailored to our client’s eye for aesthetics, but for the practicalities of daily life. In this case, all of the textile covers were selected and designed to be protected against hairstyling products used by our client.

Gentleman’s Salon

This sophisticated, yet comfortable Gentleman’s salon is the ultimate space in the house to sit with a confidant, pour a dram of whisky and talk long into the night. Truthfully, the artwork in the room may not have inspired this room set, but nonetheless the artwork chosen had to befit the qualities of the space – comfort and intimacy.

The Italian mid-century inspired chairs are upholstered in a fine Mohair silk, providing incredible comfort and stimulation to touch. These tan hues are reflected in the painted woman’s complexion, as per the ivory coloured bed shown in the portrait and fireplace in the room. The painting’s background is virtually matched with the brushed oak book cabinet, which almost creates an effect whereby the fictional intimate space captured in the artwork becomes an extension of the salon which our designers have created.


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For more information about our interior design services visit the relevant pages on our website, or contact our studio to discuss a project you are taking on. We’d like to thank Katharina Bollinger, one of our interior designers who worked on this project and provided many of the details for this case study to be written.