Designer, painter and sculptor Pablo Solomon has been featured in major publications online and in print—and each time for something different. Whether it’s a National Geographic piece about Earth Day, an article about vintage home renovation (featuring his own “Comanche territory” Texas ranch) in the Wall Street Journal or a hotel-inspired decor piece for Woman’s Day, Pablo seems to be the designer to interview.
Here, Pablo tells us about his latest project (in which he built a relief sculpture of his client!), and shares three must-have design books from his own shelf, including a title written by one of his all-time top inspirations.
GN: How did you come to develop your style?
Pablo: Two of the biggest influences on my style in art and design have been my love of Japanese Zen simplicity and balance, and my love of the wonderful natural colors here in Texas. I pride myself on conveying feelings and ideas in as few lines and curves as possible.
GN: Tell us about your most recent project.
Pablo: One of my recent projects that I especially enjoyed was working on a large estate outside of Dallas. Although the owners and their architect had done the big stuff, I was able to add some art and solve some design problems, which really added uniqueness and elegance.
GN: What did you love most about it?
Pablo: Actually, one of the fun elements was doing a near life-size relief sculpture of the wife depicting her figure when she had been a ballet dancer. She thought she was secretly commissioning it as a surprise to her husband, and he thought he was commissioning it as a surprise to his wife. I never let on. And no, I did not charge each of them.
[Main image: Pablo Solomon]
GN: What was the biggest challenge about this particular project?
Pablo: Although I had several design challenges to help them work through, I was most pleased with my solution for the air return for the AC/heating for one section of the mansion. Instead of the predictable vent, I created a niche at the end of a long hall that flowed up from the floor and doubled as an angular display area.
[Image: Pablo Solomon]
GN: What advice would you have for homeowners in hiring and managing contractors, whether it be for paint, flooring, handymen or big remodels like custom-made closets?
Pablo: I can recommend three wonderful books:
1. The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Home and Saving Thousands on Your New House by Corie Richter (Atlantic Publishing). This is an absolute must. It’s simple yet covers all the important points of planning and dealing with contractors, including sample contracts.
2. Terence Conran’s New House Book: The Complete Guide to Home Design (Villard Books). Conran is one of my all-time top inspirations, and you’ll see why in this classic.
3. Metropolitan Home Renovation Style by Joanna Krotz (Villard Books). If nothing else, get this book to monkey see, monkey do. Fantastic designs and design solutions.
GN: What makes a happy home?
Pablo: A place you love to be.
GN: What's your philosophy on creating meaning in the home?
Pablo: You should feel safe and comfortable in your home. You should feel joy and pride in the design every time you look around. You should want to share your home with your friends. You should always look forward to coming home.
Pablo Solomon is an internationally recognized artist known primarily for his drawings and sculptures of dancers and for his calm, soothing and environmentally friendly designs. He has been featured in books, magazines and newspapers, and on radio, TV and film. Currently he lives and works with his wife, Beverly, on their historic 1856 ranch north of Austin, Texas. Visit pablosolomon.com.