Interior designer Beth Webb approaches each project with a steadfast rule: The home must reflect the personality of its owners. So when she spotted Lisa and Nick McKay’s impressive art collection during a visit to their home, Webb decided to make it the centerpiece of the home’s renovation—and for good reason. “The art is not only really stunning but it’s an intensely personal collection,” says Webb.
All of varying sizes and mediums, the sculptures, maquettes and medals are by Lisa’s late grandfather, Henry Kreis, an accomplished German-born sculptor who immigrated to the United States in 1922. After studying at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York City, Kreis apprenticed with Paul Manship, a highly influential American sculptor. As an assistant to Manship, Kreis worked on Rockefeller Center’s world-famous Prometheus sculpture. He went on to have a highly regarded career himself, earning accolades and commissions across the country.
“I have loved and coveted all his sculptures and other works since I was a child,” says Lisa. “My father recently passed on a very large portion of his collection to me at once, and I was at a loss on how to showcase them because I wanted each piece to be appreciated.”
To make the artwork a focal point Webb added pedestals, shelving and other displays throughout the home to give the sculptures—once tucked into corners, relegated to the floor or even in storage—prominent viewing. And although there are countless works on display, including beautiful silk-screen prints by Lisa’s late grandmother, Patricia Alden Kreis, it never feels overwhelming, thanks to Webb’s thoughtful planning, no doubt influenced by her background in art history.
Also top of mind for Webb was to scale and soften the home’s interiors. In the living room, the fireplace was given a complete overhaul, as the designer deemed its petite proportions too small for the space. Also under scale was the contemporary leather furniture that exuded an uninviting ambience. “[The McKays] weren’t using this room much because it felt very uncomfortable,” says Webb. She gave the room new life by commissioning a handsome stone fireplace and layering in plush textures. Bedrooms also received a makeover, including the master bedroom that was retrofitted with a curtained wall. “Just like the rest of the home, this space needed to be more approachable. We accomplished that by adding layers of soft textures,” Webb says. “There’s a lot of consideration that goes into the parts and pieces when decorating.”
Webb’s attention to detail is a trait familiar to Lisa. “My grandfather’s forms are very simple yet very strong,” says Lisa. “They have a natural and soothing simplicity to them. He never wanted to create a piece that had anything unnecessary in it. It’s a philosophy that’s echoed in her home’s interiors—peaceful and pared down, yet full of panache.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Beth Webb, Beth Webb Interiors. (404) 869-6367; bethwebb.com