A Visit to the Home of Interior Designer Bailey Li

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Bailey's charmingly eccentric yet bohemian home ©Brian Winston Fraser

Known for her stunning statement murals, New Jersey based interior designer Bailey Li is no stranger to the art world and how it intertwines with interior design. Take a tour of her home with Artsper and discover her eccentric bohemian design style, her favorite emerging artists and tips for refreshing your space!

1. Hello Bailey! First of all, how would you describe your interior design style?

House Beautiful magazine once referred to me as the "eccentric bohemian". I thought that was spot on, however, because my clients are the muse I make it a point to be open and versatile. I am drawn to intricately carved antiques, sculptural elements and items with loads of rich detail and texture so you will notice lots of it in many of my projects. My design process as well as my art comes from an intuitive place in combination with being inspired by my clients' life achievements, their culture & heritage and what they are evolving into. It's important for me to educate them, push them a bit beyond their comfort zone, elevate their spaces and ultimately enhance the aesthetic experience of their homes and lives.

2. Where do you draw your inspiration from at the start of a design project? What do you think is the most important factor to consider when designing a space? 

Merging my designs with art is important to me. I love creating spaces that function beautifully but are infused with elements that support the client's spiritual expansion and growth. The study of neuroaesthetics has proven that our environments have a huge impact on our lives. Experiencing beauty through a hand painted art wall inspired by the client's personality and the design palette adds another layer to the home or business.

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Mix and match wall art for an eclectic visual that sparks joy ©Brian Winston Fraser

3. You are known in the design world for your hand-painted murals: what links do you feel can be established between art and design? 

Interior design is a form of art; the space acts as a canvas, the client is the muse and the designer is the artist, the curator and the art advisor. Interior designers often expose other artists' works to their clients and to the public by incorporating their works into the projects.

4. Which artists or artistic movements serve as sources of inspiration to you? 

I draw a great deal of inspiration from emerging and local artists who offer a unique lens into a wide array of cultures, more specifically artists of color. Through artists of color I get to experience glimpses of my personal journey as a Black American who has roots stemming from the origin of all humanity: Africa. I love to see the artist's journey to self acceptance, self realization and self love that's offered up in such an authentic way in their works. Some of my favorite artists at the moment are Bisa Butler, Genesis Tramaine, Philip Robinson Jr. and Serron Green.

5. Which artistic venue or cultural center anywhere in the world do you find the most inspiring?

Art Basel in Miami is definitely at the top of my list. As I mentioned earlier, I am drawn to works created by Black artists so I frequent the galleries and platforms that support their work. Before Covid-19 I spent a lot of time at the Prizm Art Fair at Art Basel for that reason. In addition, I highly recommend checking out the following galleries, organizations and movements: the Black Artists and Design Guild (BADG), the Black Wall Street Gallery, the Richard Beavers Gallery, and the Gardenship at Kearny Point. All of the aforementioned in the New Jersey and New York area and seem to have an instinct for the emerging greats in the world of art and design. There's no question that Black artists have been widely overlooked and grossly underrepresented, so I'm overjoyed to see them finally getting the recognition and support that they deserve, and that includes the Black owned galleries, the curators of color, as well the organizations responsible for providing greater exposure to the artist. 

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Layering various textures, tones and patterns creates an eye-catching yet comforting space ©Brian Winston Fraser

6. Are you an art collector yourself? If so, which works of art can be found in your home? Which works of art would be your dream to own? 

I am a beginner collector looking to discover works for not only myself but for my clients as well. I often advise my clients to invest in works of art for their homes and I introduce them to emerging artists all the time. Of course it would be my dream to own a Jean-Michel Basquiat but it would also be my dream to own art from the artists that I listed above.

7. And finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to refresh their space, but by only changing one thing?  

My advice to someone looking to refresh their space by changing only one thing would be to commission an artist to create an oversized piece or to create an art wall mural specific to them. A change like this will make a huge impact, add a dynamic focal point, provide a unique conversation point and serve as a constant source of inspiration. Many of my art wall clients tell me how the wall uplifts the space and overall makes them feel happier and inspired when they are in its presence.

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Bailey Li's living space bursts with texture, pattern and visual intrigue ©Brian Winston Fraser


Their favorite artworks

The blue haired model, Mosoti Kepha

The blue haired model

Mosoti Kepha

Sculpture - 51.2 x 11.8 x 4.7 inch

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MailBox Sweet Art Teddy, S2Bart

MailBox Sweet Art Teddy

S2Bart

Sculpture - 51.6 x 13.8 x 9.3 inch

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