I'm fascinated by people. I'm fascinated by people who've led remarkable lives. Interior designer Timothy Whealon is just the sort of person who fascinates me. Prior to his design days, he was a college graduate who found himself on Wall Street with a very promising career in private banking. The former financier would spend his weekends enjoying all the wonderful art venues the city had to offer. Despite his mother's belief that "art should be an advocation and not a career," Whealon left the financial world behind for the opportunity to study at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London where he became inspired by the country's rich history and the connection between the decorative arts and architecture that contained them.
From London he travelled back to New York to participate in the management training program where he was exposed to both the business as well as the curatorial sides of art. An opportunity to catalog the art collection of Saul and Gayfryd Steinberg would pave the path to his first job as an Interior Designer. His knowledge of art history, fine art, art restoration and architecture would lead to perhaps his most pivotal moment - the opportunity to renovate and transform a decrepit Grade II Georgian house in London where he oversaw everything from hiring the restorative architect to purchasing the arts and antiques. During this time Whelan had sublet the Chelsea flat belonging to India Hicks whose father was the renown designer David Hicks. Enthralled by some of Hicks' watercolors that sat upon his daughter's desk, Whealon immersed himself in the study of this legendary designer.
Whealon also attributes his current success to his midwestern childhood. Influenced by his artistic mother who had an interest in houses and decorating, at the age of 12 when most boys were saving for baseball mitts and skateboards, he purchased a pair of Sheffield candlesticks. The rural midwestern beauty also gave him an appreciation for the outdoors - the natural light and the beauty surrounding it.
Whealon's style, clearly reflective of the events of his life thus far, may best be described as classic with a thoroughly fresh and modern approach. His interiors reflect and respect the architecture that surrounds them with elements from yesterday as well as today. In In Pursuit of Beauty you'll have a chance to peek inside a a modernist glass house in the Hamptons, a stately Gramercy Park penthouse, an eclectic Carnegie Hill townhouse, a glamourous villa in Monaco and more.
Whealon's knowledge and appreciation of art and architecture, old and new perfectly lend themselves to these masterfully curated rooms that seem at times museum and gallery-like, and always inspiring. Whether simple or eclectic, traditional or modern each individual space offers a sense of timelessness.
Timothy Whealon specializes in high end interior design with a focus on fine and decorative arts. His work has been published in ElleDecor, House Beautiful, Veranda, Architectural Digest, The New York Times and numerous books. A founding editor or The New York Times Styles section, journalist Dan Shaw has co-written several books including Mary McDonald: Interiors : The Allure of Style and The Age of Elegance and Interiors by Alex Papachristidis.
In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon
By Timothy Whealon with Dan Shaw
Published by RIzzoli New York
For those of you in the Westchester NY and Fairfield County CT areas, Juliska is hosting a book launch and party in honor of Whealon. Come meet the designer and get an autographed copy!