In today’s edition of Washington Life, a home design feature about the building and furnishings from a D.C. artist who uses ethically sourced materials and the environmental applications in her work.
With her recent exhibit at the Annabelle gallery in Shaw, she brings together unique pieces of furniture that share a common, recognizable aesthetic; elegant columns with detailed wooden and plastic pieces from a local workshop; and a fantastical harness made from recycled glass. As a home designer, Kim Abeles uses ethically sourced materials, working to create a product that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Abeles, who works with certified organic clay tiles to create a modern yet warm look, stumbled across these artisans and their work when searching for a mosaic wall piece for the bathroom of her new home. While exploring the exhibits from the Native Gallery, she began to listen to the owner’s story of how the tile pieces were created, something that inspired Abeles to explain her artistic process.
From that discovery of the collaborative effort between tribal artists, Abeles also collaborated with three local artists to showcase their ceramic tableware. The pieces are made from a traditional technique of hanging pottery, which has an identifiable look, yet are gentle, intricate and sustainable.
In choosing this work to showcase, Abeles hoped to create a home that would please her, the homeowner and the community. After touring each design, she made a list of pros and cons: the artwork was affordable and she was impressed with its dedication to a local, regional designer; she thought the pieces were balanced and beautiful; and she appreciated the clean lines and original shapes.
She chose this piece with room in mind, referring to the space as a home office and a part of her larger landscape. Ancillary features within the home also influenced Abeles’ choice. A favorite item is the carpet; this type of flooring has seen a resurgence in popularity in home design and is easy to manage. It keeps surfaces clean by wearing them smooth.
There are also different colors of room paint that are white or dark; this can give the feeling of a more mature space or one where there is more personality. It also has a bold presence that Abeles hopes will work with her open plan home. One key piece that supports her statement is her black and white painted cabinet with beautiful wooden access panels. Each panel is beautifully lighted, a reflection of the room’s muted tone.
Abeles’ Studio, “Kim is a light and beautiful artist with a keen sense of structure and color. This is thanks to the detailed craftsmanship that separates her pieces. Regardless of how large or small her piece is, she never skips a detail.” Annie Beers
This article is part of a Washington Life series focused on ethically sourced furniture and home décor pieces.