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July 15-31, 2007


FEATURES

Color Conscious
By Liz Arnold
Photographs by Elizabeth Felicella

NEW YORK GALLERIST PAIGE WEST BRIGHTENS HER VIVIDLY PAINTED MONTAUK HOME WITH PLAYFUL CONTEMPORARY ART

[Image]

Maybe it's the white walls of her gallery that did it. Or maybe it's because she loves color. But when Paige West, the curator and owner of Chelsea gallery Mixed Greens, applied her figurative paintbrush to the blank canvas of her Montauk vacation house, she really dipped in: There's hot pink, a lot of green, a combination of purple, red and her favorite color, orange.

For the prismatic project, West brought in her friend Ghislaine Viñas, the interior designer she's worked with on several occasions starting with her first gallery location eight years ago. "I don't go into a space without consulting Ghislaine! I bring a vision, and she has the expertise," West explains. "She makes it happen."

In this case, it had to happen fast. West and her husband, real estate developer JC Keeler, with whom she has a two-year-old son, Charlie, weren't looking to buy. The pair was considering rental properties in Montauk, where JC spent childhood summers working at his grandfather's marina. But then they came upon the 5,000-square-foot, cedar-shingled beach house a day after it went on the market. "There was something about it and the view that felt like home," West says. They closed in January 2006 with the goal of getting it ready for summer.

"It wasn't tough," Viñas says. "Paige makes decisions quickly, she takes risks, she doesn't care much about labels. She just wants to do things that are fun, and it's a house that makes you smile when you walk in."

Though West knew she wanted lots of color, the challenge was selecting art to complement those vibrant walls. "It was really tricky for me to find works that didn't clash," says the gallerist. "Whereas most people might start with wallpaper and flooring, I think about which painting goes where. It's my first instinct," she explains.

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