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Melanie Raines’ Curation Reveal + Her Thoughts on Art and Design

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Melanie Raines’ Curation Reveal + Her Thoughts on Art and Design

Selecting Art with Purpose: collaborating with interior designer, Melanie Raines.

At CoCollect, we work with many talented interior designers, but it’s not every day that we get to work with a designer in their own home. This project was a particularly notable collaboration with Melanie Raines, who has been transforming residences, boutique hotels, and restaurants worldwide. Her studio creates spaces that connect deeply with people, blending architectural precision with a holistic approach that considers mind, body, spirit, and space. 

Working with Melanie was a refreshing experience as her thoughtful and layered design process prioritizes how a space functions and feels over solely its appearance. Melanie’s designs often feature playful and unexpected elements that encourage relaxation and creativity, and we were thrilled to be a part of the project. Thank you, Melanie, for trusting us with your vision and allowing us to be a part of a space that resonates personally with you. 

Discover Melanie Raines’ insights as she discusses her process for selecting art for this house, her design philosophy, what art means to her, and more. See below for the full interview.

Melanie’s Edit:

What do you think the importance of art in your home is? 

“I think the role of art in a home mirrors the role of art anywhere: It touches something in us that we otherwise can’t reach or articulate. It reminds us who we are, solidifies our sense of ourselves in the world, and brings pleasure. For those reasons, I largely disagree with art being an extension of a room’s style or aesthetic in a residence. It should be resonant on a personal level so that we may live with it and not just look at it.”

Kesewa Aboah, Untitled, 2022. Photo by Lindsay Brown.

What do you think the relationship between interior design and art should be?

“I’m drawn to spaces where the relationship is actually quite contradictory, or there is a tension between them. If the architecture and interior together establish a logical system, art can then break a pattern, disrupt, and strike a chord. This isn’t to say that interior design should fade to the background, I just think things are the most meaningful and visually interesting when art and design are marching to two different -or offset- beats.”

Rachel Wolfson Smith, A World Without Us, 2023. Photo by Lindsay Brown.

How is your collection (or specific art pieces) meaningful to you? 

“The pieces have sort of become ritualized as we move around the home each day. Living in a small home with oversized works by Rachel Wolfson-Smith and Kesewa Aboah, it’s quite intimate and immersive. Like our kitchen is in Wolfson-Smith’s field of ferns! We dine with Martha Tuttle, and the piece often becomes an incredibly striking background for video calls: a reality today that’s worth consideration. My favorite of all is Agnes Martin’s Praise, which sits small and solitary at the end of our stair corridor, in a field of floor-to-ceiling sage green. It’s an incredibly meditative moment, punctuated throughout each day.”

“To me, the addition of artwork into my home recalibrated the space and made it more relatable, and more livable. I actually cried when I saw the pieces rendered in the space.”

What was the vision for your home when selecting artwork? 

“I’m going to critique myself here. When designing my own home, I moved quickly and didn’t prioritize the process in the same way I do for my clients. As they say, the cobbler’s children have no shoes. The result of this is that the interiors were a bit over-designed and over-curated, it takes more time and special effort to breathe in restraint. To me, the addition of the artwork recalibrated the spaces and made them more relatable, and more livable. I actually cried when I saw the pieces rendered in the space.”

Martha Tuttle, The One That You Pass Who Is Singing, 2022. Photo by Lindsay Brown.

Any interesting notes on sharing your collection with your guests?

“I love to host and invite others into my home, and it’s been fulfilling now that the home feels like an extension of myself and my partner. We enjoy thoughtful conversations, and the art always seems like a shortcut to get to that depth. I feel connected to these artists, their stories, and what they represent. Many of my friends are artists themselves, so I also enjoy asking what the pieces mean to them; it’s always a surprising conversation starter.”

Derrick Velasquez, Untitled 340, 2022. Photo by Lindsay Brown.

How has CoCollect played into your overall experience as a collector?

“CoCollect has allowed me to slow down and be intentional about the pieces I’d like to collect, as opposed to feeling pressure to use art to make a space feel finished. It was so wonderful to purchase our first piece, Agnes Martin’s Praise– after a year of living with it, I couldn’t wait to make her a permanent addition to my life and collection.”

Agnes Martin, Praise, 1976.

Photo featured at top of post by Lindsay Brown, Artwork: Martha Tuttle, The One That You Pass Who Is Singing, 2022. Portrait of Melanie Raines by Cristina Fisher.

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