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A visit to the home of David Quarles, IV

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An insight into David Quarles' home, from his dining room, to his living room and his snug room

Interior stylist, content creator and jewelry designer, David Quarles, IV is a man of many talents. So where does he get his inspiration from? He begins, "I have an appreciation for my heritage and my love of art and color influence how I curate my home. I come from an African-Indigenous American and Afro-Caribbean background." Artsper joins David for a guided tour of his home, a mid-century ranch in Memphis, Tennessee.

1. Hello David! How would you describe your interior design style and where do you get your inspiration when starting a design project?

My interior design style can be described as a colorful mix of mid-century modern, with a touch of world-traveled eclecticism. I love for a space to look and feel collected over time, rather than instantly styled. When starting a design project, I turn to two things: nature and music. In nature, I'm able to get a fresh view and perspective on design; sometimes drawing inspiration from the shapes in leaves, the colors in the sky, and even the sound of the waves crashing against the lake's shoreline (I have a favorite park I go to when jumpstarting a project). And speaking of sound, music inspires me in a totally different way! As a synesthète, I process the sound of music as color. Basically, I see sound and hear color. So, if I ever need a little help drawing out a desired color palette for a client, or simply during the creative process, I put on music and let the colors speak to help me determine a project's featured textures, colors and overall vibe.

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Bright geometric decor fills David's interior design

2. What have been your favorite past projects?

As far as commercial work, hands down, I would have to say a restaurant I completed back in October! The chef trained in Barcelona, and he wanted me to infuse a bit of Catalan culture into the city of Memphis through the design of his restaurant. He told me, “I want people to walk into another world once they open the door". So that's what I had to deliver! From the famous banquette area, to the mirror-clad Dragon Room, each space in Pantà (the name of the restaurant) had to have its own moment.

3. Would you say that artwork seems to be an important part of your interiors? How do you incorporate art into your designs?

Art most definitely plays an important role in my personal design, as well as that of the spaces I curate for clients. In fact, I can say it's one of the foundations on which my design is built. It's a way for me to add color, culture and depth to a designed space. I like to source art with a personal connection. This way, the space in which it exists can tell the story of a home without uttering a word. Artwork is essential to design.

4. Color seems to be a key element of your aesthetic, both in your portfolio and on your Instagram account. What advice would you give to people who want to embrace color for the first time within their interior design?

Color is very much how I naturally and choose to experience life. Coincidentally, for those who are experimenting with color for the first time in their homes, I suggest bringing in color through accessories and art. That way, you're expressing color in a confined space, rather than painting a wall or introducing it through a large piece of furniture. This will help a person get acquainted with living with color first, then gradually allowing them to feel comfortable with layering in more and more color.

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Interior designer David Quarles, pictured at home

5. How influenced are your designs to the location and surroundings in which they exist?

I would have to say the age and location of a home/building definitely influences how I design spaces within them. Even if I have clients who want to introduce a modern aesthetic inside a century-old home, I will make sure that the architectural elements either remain the same or are restored to that of when the home was built. Too, through decor, I like to maintain a client's desired aesthetic while dressing their space in an “age-appropriate" way. So, I'll always have a bit of an eclectic spin on every design project.

6. Which contemporary artists, famous or emerging, are a source of inspiration to you?

Some of my favorite artists at the moment are Monica Lewis, Raelis Vasquez and Lauren Pearce.

7. Finally, you've built your career digitally. What are your views on the expansion of the online art market and what do you think the art market will look like in the future?

As I built out my design business and presence online, I like to create an experience that my audience can relate to and feel a part of, virtually. I simply recreate the vibe I experience on the daily and share it. So the same can be said for the art market online. Art can be presented, or involve storytelling in a way that makes the viewer almost feel that they are part of the experience; which in turn would encourage more art to be acquired for curating homes and public spaces alike. And if that storytelling involves video, even better! For the past two years, our main line of communication or experiencing life has been through video. And since there are some beautiful visuals that can be created in videography, presenting artwork in this manner would only drive more business towards the worldwide arts community.

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David's dining room


Their favourite artworks

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Mai-Britt Wolthers

Genève III, 2017
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Pascal Milcendeau, Le Colmado (Republique Dominicaine), Painting

Pascal Milcendeau

Le Colmado (Republique Dominicaine), 2018
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Éric Odartey

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Antony Squizzato, Borderface 2, Painting

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Timothy Archer, La rencontre d'Eros et de Thanatos, Painting

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