Living with Design
Works from the Collection of Erica Mindes and Ken Zaslav
Ken Zaslav and Erica Mindes discovered famed design gallery Néotù while visiting Paris in the early 1990s. The contemporary furniture gallery—founded by Gérard Dalmon and Pierre Staudenmeyer in 1984—took the couple by surprise. Captivated by the striking designs on display, Mindes expressed to her husband that she had never seen furniture like that in the states. The newlyweds, having recently moved from New York City to a brownstone in Richmond, Virginia, had almost no furniture in their home, a blank slate ripe with possibility. Inspired and intrigued, the couple inquired if the gallery would ship to the US and Staudemeyer informed them that indeed they would, and that their gallery in New York would accommodate. Rather fortuitously, Staudenmeyer was already planning a trip stateside to visit with clients on the East Coast in the coming months, and Zaslav and Mindes took the opportunity to invite him to their home in Richmond where they could discuss design. After his visit, Staudenmeyer drafted a proposal to decorate the living room and dining room of their home with bespoke works by Néotù's brilliant designers: Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti, Eric Schmitt and Jasper Morrison.
The works offered here were selected expressly for the interior by Staudenmeyer and in some instances, custom built to meet his specifications. This beautiful collection offers a glimpse into the mind of Néotù's visionary founder, and an opportunity to live with fine examples of exceptional art furniture that defined the early 1990s.
The whole project is conducted by the ideas to provide the living room and the dining room of the house a vivid expression of Mr. and Mrs. Zaslav's lifestyle, concerned with well tempered modernity and comfort of physical and social use. Regarding the classical structure of the house and the present renovation, the choice of furniture has been done to respect the "historical" (using neoclassical shapes) but completing it with touches of modernism (using typically "design" pieces and changing some details). Also, the distribution of the surfaces respect a classical functional point of view: the living room will present sitting, talking, reading and listening areas while the dining room will be treated as a enter for conviviality, exulting the pleasure to give dinner parties. Regarding this double aspect, we prefer not to elect only one designer and style, but to mix different ones, contributing to give the impression of a collected furniture more than of a decorated set.
Principles for the project as outlined by Pierre Staudenmeyer