Introducing Guest Curator, Wesley Stanley! A known vintage lover and mid-century enthusiast, Wesley is an interior designer based in Nashville Tennessee and we are so happy to have Wesley as our latest guest curator. We’ve said this time and time again, but it is always such a treat to learn about art through another person’s perspective, especially when they have such a keen eye for design. Reading Wesley’s thoughts on art in our collection is no different. See Wesley’s current Well + Wonder picks below as well as read more about her in our rapid-fire Q&A.
Mackenzie Dove: “XXV” I love Mackenzie’s use of blank space and her perfectly monochromatic palette. A collection of three of these smaller works in a powder room would be amazing.
Kerry Hays: “Hindsight” I’m obsessed with the composition and her brush strokes that somewhat resemble watercolor. Also, love the pop of bright French blue that she’s incorporated.
Chambers Austelle: “Madeline” I simply adore any one of Chambers’ female portraits. Her bold use of color and the juxtaposition of a detailed face against collaged layers is so refreshingly different. I’d love to pair one of her works with a more traditional antique.
Tell us about yourself.
I have always loved art, design, and pretty things. Long before I knew what I’d do with my Art History degree from Sewanee, I dreamt I’d work in a field where I could help people using my creative gifts. I’m a lover of anything vintage/unique, and I’m also an estate sale junkie. I find myself exhilarated by the thrill of the hunt, whether for my closet, my own home, or my clients’ homes. I currently live in Nashville, TN, with my incredible husband, two awesome little people, two dogs, and four chickens.
Why did you start your blog/brand/business?
I know it sounds strange, but I honestly think being married to the military is what led me to my business. Ten years and a lot of moves alongside my husband, allowed me to hone in on my craft of transforming any space into a home. I’d worked in a variety of design jobs, but it wasn’t until three years ago, upon the encouragement of a friend, that I started Hunt + Gather. I initially began my business with the mantra that “no project was too small,” whether room styling or sourcing unique finds for a specific area. I quickly found that people valued my aesthetic opinion on larger scale projects, as well.
What is currently on your nightstand? What are you reading?
An amazing pair of re-invented vintage lamps found at a fabulous old estate in Belle Meade, alongside a stack of self-help books on raising kids, spiritual guidance, relationships, you name it (right next to another stack of chick-lit, if we’re being honest:).
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Probably my den. It’s a funky mid-century room with an off-centered fireplace, a large bank of built-ins, and two full walls of windows that look out onto our backyard. The furnishings are an eclectic mix, and the room is a place where I’ve been able to showcase years of collecting (vintage/antique books, objects, small paintings, etc.).
What is your biggest score online to date?
Hands down, my vintage McGuire bamboo dining table with octagonal glass top purchased on Chairish.com. It was the perfect addition to my nearly square dining room.
It is said to look for art that “makes your heart skip a beat.” What aspects of art make your heart skip?
I tend to purchase art that I have an instant connection with. If it immediately speaks to you, chances are you will treasure it always, even if small. Specifically, thoughtful and unique composition, as well as advanced use of color, texture, and layers are typically what make my heart skip when it comes to art.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
Art collectives like Well +Wonder are always my first stop on a client art hunt. Being able to peruse an online gallery of perfectly curated and diverse art from the comfort of your own home is obviously a dream! I can say from experience that Well +Wonder also makes the commission process so simple and seamless, not to mention they represent a wonderful variety of price points.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
As an art history major, I’d have to say the Louvre in Paris, as you can literally retrace the history of art there.
When and where do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I love looking through design books and magazines. I am constantly tearing out pages and taping them up on my office wall. Traditional Home, Veranda, and Architectural Digest are among my favorites. I also find a lot of inspiration lately from other designers and creatives on Instagram.
The key to making a house a home? What does a home need more of and less of?
Layers. They’re what tell your story: colors you’re drawn to, where you’ve been, things you’ve inherited, treasures you’ve found, art you’ve collected, photographs you’ve taken. Your home is like a tapestry of you. It should feel multi-dimensional, eclectic, and unlike anyone else’s.
The greatest color combination that ever existed?
Blue and white.
What’s your favorite housewarming gift?
I love to gift people things that they might not splurge on themselves. Among my favorite gifts to give are a beautifully packaged candle, a simple tea towel for the kitchen or powder room, or sophisticated paper products, such as cocktails napkins or guest towels.
So, tell us a bit about your corner of the world – where do you live and what do you love about it?
Nashville is obviously growing by leaps and bounds, which has brought lots of change, but fortunately, our neck of the woods feels protected from that growth with its big yards, gorgeous old trees, and beautiful boxwoods. One thing I definitely appreciate about Nashville’s growth is the food and entertainment scene – we’re certainly never lacking in those departments!
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