By Caroline Biggs

Published on December 1, 2015

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Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

A vivid artwork from Erik Parker makes a bold entrance statement in the foyer.

SOFA ames compact $5,100 store.hermanmiller.com PILLOW reversible Peace/Love Pop in purple and natural $145 jonathanadler.com

text by   CAROLINE BIGGS
photography by   BRITTANY AMBRIDGE
interior design by   MARK JAY FREEDMAN

Mark Jay Freedman’s family home is a colorful oasis tucked inside a scenic rural landscape.

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Freedman with the family’s long-haired miniature dachshunds, Astrid and Nava.

LIGHT HOUSE

“It feels like living in a grown-up tree house,” artist Mark Jay Freedman says of the Westchester County home he shares with his wife, Francesca, and daughter, Hunter. “It’s the middle of the forest by a lake and conjures the spirit of being at camp.” However, when Freedman first purchased the home eight years ago, it was missing the modern and airy aesthetic that he and his wife craved. So he immediately began stripping down the space by removing all of its original bulky wood paneling and then painted the entire house (except his daughter’s room) bright white. The next step was to add an ethereal touch—translucent chairs, large mirrors, and even curtainless windows—allowing the natural light and surrounding environment to shine through. Freedman explains, “When you keep the physical space simple, it feels both bigger and brighter.”

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“I cannot separate my work as an artist from the space and objects with which I surround myself,” Freedman says.

ART (rolled tubes of spray-painted paper) “Leaking the Spectrum,”markjayfreedman.com ART (photographs of Heather Locklear) “The Three Graces,”markjayfreedman.com ART (denim sculptures) details from “White Denim, Dionysus and the Black Sunrise,” markjayfreedman.com ART (wooden object) detail from “A Change of Atmosphere,” markjayfreedman.com ART (bust) detail from “A Western Wellspring (Hollywood Pink),” markjayfreedman.com

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In the basement work studio, Freedman cleverly organized his assortment of paints and figurines

ART (wooden triangles) work in progress markjayfreedman.com

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“A library should really only have three things: books, art, and a place to sit,” Freedman says.

LOUNGE AND OTTOMAN Eames in ivory $4,859 dwr.com RUG Pat Nixon Peruvian llama flatweave $1,795–$2,795 jonathanadler.com ART “Cash for Your Warhol” screen print by Geoff Hargadon, samuelowen.com ART “The Secret of Life” serigraph by Genevieve Gauckler, about $135, eshop.sergeantpaper.com

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A salon-style installation of artwork and a sunny yellow ottoman punctuate the living room’s airy backdrop.

ART “Meringue” lithograph by Will Cotton, paceprints.com ART “Eve in Blue Sweater” photograph by Russ Meyer, markmooregallery.com ART “Old Enough to Be My Mother #76” painting by Nathan Ritterpusch, ericfirestonegallery.com OTTOMAN 250 Met in Divina 3 936, cassina.com

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DECALS Space Invaders Re-Stik by Blik $38.50 fab.com  ART “Ahava” silkscreen by Robert Indiana, jimkempnerfineart.com

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ART “Smorkin’ Labbit” prints by Frank Kozik kidrobot.com

“CREATING VIGNETTES AROUND THE HOUSE IS A COOL WAY TO CURATE DIFFERENT KINDS OF OBJECTS,” FREEDMAN SAYS, “AND HELP CREATE A RHYTHM FOR THE SPACE.”

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Floaty, translucent furnishings, such as Ghost chairs and a Lucite dining table, open up a smaller dining space.

CLOCK Nelson Eye $490 dwr.com ART “Under the Volcano” digital print by Mark Quinn $1,838 manifoldeditions.com DINING TABLE Saarinen $2,064 knoll.com

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A cutout wooden pendant lamp and a graphic pillow print add geometric elements to a toned-down kid’s room.

LAMP Coral pendant by David Trubridge $500 dwr.com WALLCOVERING lias in silver $69/yard, maharam.com

MIXED MEDIA

Freedman’s creativity really came into play when organizing and incorporating his massive collection of books and artwork throughout the three-bedroom home. This included transforming an entire room into a library and filling it with treasured tomes acquired over a lifetime. Here, the white color palette showcases Freedman’s assortment of prints and paintings—including his own kaleidoscopic creations as well as lively works from artists like Keith Haring, KAWS, and Russ Meyer; in addition, gallery-style grids of art have been installed on most of the room’s walls. By asymmetrically grouping works in similarly hued frames (Freedman suggests matching frames to your wall paint to form a floating effect), he turned each vignette into its own kind of interior masterpiece. “The immutable laws of art—line, shape, color, balance—can be applied to all creative endeavors regardless of the medium,” Freedman says. “In my eyes, there’s no difference between designing a space or crafting a painting.”

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“I have two principles for book placement,” Freedman says. “Art books by spine color and literature by genre. They allow for relatively painless adding and subtracting, and the color spectrum creates a striking but cost-free display.”

BOOKCASE glass, custom; hardware, simonsny.com

A FEW TIPS FROM FREEDMAN FOR MAKING YOUR OWN gallery wall

Try to keep the variety of frames to a minimum and the colors natural (or something that will disappear a bit into your wall). That way, the art is the star.

When hanging, instead of centering one artwork on top of another, line it up on one edge regardless of size. It allows for greater flow across the wall.

Start in the middle of your space and work your way out to the sides. This will help keep a consistent balance.

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