Published Mar 1, 2016 5:00 AM
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ART “Wayfarers” original watercolor$1,200 kateschelter.com ART “Gold Iridium Aviators” original watercolor$1,200 kateschelter.com ART“Washington Square in Winter” oil painting by Guy Wiggins ART “Untitled” original watercolor, edithvonnegut.com FABRIC (settee) Tella 22 in pink,fabricut.com
photographs by PATRICK CLINE text by CATHERINE HONG interior design byKATE SCHELTER
Kate Schelter’s Manhattan apartment is a showcase for her painterly talents and creative vision.
The couple’s art collection includes works by Damien Hirst, Hugo Guinness, and Arthur Elgort. “Filling a wall with multiple framed pieces helps scale down the vast space,” says Schelter.
ART untitled print of woman in sunglasses by Hugo Guinness, johnderian.com
On a recent afternoon, Kate Schelter walked into her loft in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood and looked up at her ceiling. Not happy with the way a large air duct jutted out above the foyer, she was suddenly struck with inspiration. “I realized that if I painted a circus tent border a few feet below the ceiling, it would draw your eye away from the duct,” she says. In no time, she was up on a ladder, freehand-painting an Italianate scalloped edge in a cheery shade of green. Such plunging into projects has informed every step of Schelter’s multifaceted career—she’s worked as a street-style photographer, fashion stylist, brand consultant and designer for David Netto, Bonpoint, House of Lavande, Vogue, andsleepy jones
But these days, Schelter is best known for her evocative watercolor paintings, which capture glimpses of a stylish life— think handbags, shoes, vintage cars, and sidewalk cafés. Last year, she had her first solo exhibition, curated by John Derian, and began the first of a series of graphic wall murals for her friend Jeff Klein’s landmark new hotel project, San Vicente Bungalows, in Los Angeles.
“We didn’t start out with a specific vision for what we wanted to create,” says Schelter, here with her husband and their daughter, Charlotte. “But we knew it had to be casual and child-friendly.”
RUG Serape wool dhurrie in juice by Serena & Lily ART “Peony” print by Kate Schelter available through ArtStar exclusively for domino.com FRAME (for “Peony” print) custom, cityframe.com
The antique painted secretary desk is a family heirloom from Schelter’s mother.
SADDLE custom, berneybrossaddles.com SCARF by Hermès, framedART “Grass Tennis Court” original watercolor $1,400 kateschelter.com
Schelter gave glamorous new life to the sofa (a holdover from her husband’s bachelor days) by reupholstering it in Brunschwig & Fils’ Les Touches and adding bolsters. Paper artist Livia Cetti created a landscape of geraniums inspired by one of Schelter’s murals.
FABRIC (sofa) Les Touches in black,search.brunschwig.com OTTOMANDu Long et Du Le, custom,johnderian.com RUG ASHBURY$13,800 abchome.com PAPER FLOWERS assorted,shopthegreenvase.com
ART original watercolor paintings, kateschelter.com FABRIC (on sofa)antique Turkish suzani
Schelter always paints her watercolors from life. “The nature of watercolors is that you have to work quickly, before the colors dry. It suits my style perfectly.”
CRIB Sleepi $799 stokke.com RUG Catamaran Stripe indoor/outdoor in light blue/ivory $43–$1,308 dashandalbert.annieselke.com FABRIC (settee) Lanka Oyster, johnrobshaw.com
Schelter’s improvisational aesthetic informs every corner of the family’s loft, where she and her husband, Chris Schumacher, are raising their two-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Though there’s a unifying color palette (shades of pink, which Schelter uses like a neutral), the overall atmosphere is one of freewheeling ease. A speckled black-and-white sofa shares space with a bold red-and-white-striped armchair; a vintage Scandinavian scrubbed-pine dining table is paired with a bench with peelingwhite paint
and the walls display an ever-changing gallery of prints, paintings, and photographs. “We treat the walls like a fridge with magnets,” she says with a laugh. “We move things around like it’s a sport.”Schelter painted a mural of geraniums (her favorite flower) along the shared wall of the master bedroom and nursery.
John Robshaw curtains draped around the bed speak to Schelter’s love for printed textiles, and they also add an element of privacy.
FABRIC (canopy and bedding)Ginger Coral,johnrobshaw.com WALL LIGHTMelampo mini $345 ylighting.com