Bombarded by imagery all day at work, Sam Shadid, the renowned mastermind behind ads for Calvin Klein and Banana Republic, prefers an ultra-minimalist home with the feel of a luxe high-design hotel room. It was recently featured in a slideshow in The Times’ T Magazine. Although we find his sensibility crazy-austere, we LOVE a couple of his ideas…

…like festooning his closet with art works, above. Groups of photographs, paintings and small sculptures are arranged above his shirts and suits.

Francois Halard
Francois Halard

Shadid stores artworks in a hall closet, pulling out the ones he wishes to look at for a while, and then returning them when he needs his eye refreshed with a different one.  “Friends come by and say, ‘Art in the closet?’ Yes, because I don’t always want to see it. I want it to be a surprise.” 

On a ledge above his mud boots in a hall closet, is a sublime Chinese terra-cotta horse illuminated from above. The effect writes Cathy Horyn for the Times: The pleasure of looking at the horse seems both temporal and private.  

Shadid also props artwork on the floor, something we’ve done for years, not liking the committment of art to a wall and ALWAYS wanting to be able to change our view when we “stop seeing” a work. There is something more informal, and more intimate about it.

Francois Halard
Francois Halard


If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

5 replies on “Why Not Art in the Closet and On the Floor?

  1. I absolutely love the idea of art on the shelf above your clothes and intend to use this. The article about the man was quite interesting but I know I wouldn’t go as minimal as he has (and I cringed a bit when seeing the multiple art pieces hidden in the closet). Still … this is a very interesting man and decor. Thanks for finding it!

  2. Yeah, that guy is BEYOND minimal, maybe the most austere I’ve ever encountered in the style realm. But he has some great ideas.

  3. I love the intimacy a closet would provide. We live in an old house with very small closets. This may take some real ingenuity. I don’t think I could do the art part but I am glad to have a reminder of how nice it is to move things around for a different perspective.

  4. I’ve been rather liking my paintings and art simply lying down on table tops (but face up, you know, similar to coffee table book or a tray) these days. It appears casual, unstudied, nonchalant, unfinished, temporary and it gives me comfort. Allows me to glimpse a view while I walk and glance at table tops (end tables, long side tables, etc.) and they do not clog my walls with too many images, however beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *