The Art of Fine Dining at The Wolf: Choosing Art for Restaurant Interior Design

Whether a design project starts with choosing the art or whether the art is the finishing touch that pulls a design together, perfectly punctuating the visual and feeling tones, art is essential to interior design.

This is true whether the art is hanging in your living room, or on the wall of a restaurant, as is in the case of my firm’s recently-completed commercial project, The Wolf.

We have many art dealers, galleries, and visual artists, with whom we consult on art sourcing. For The Wolf, we turned to our own LMBI designer, and professional visual artist, Andi Yablonski, and David Coyle’s limited-edition fine-art printmaking studio, ArtBrokers, Inc.

Andi had previously created paintings for another of our commercial projects, Oakland’s Lampwork Lofts, and since she worked on the design for The Wolf, she was intimately connected to the project.

The process of searching for just the right pieces led our clients to commission Andi to create them.

Andi explains: “As the designer, I knew the art that I wanted in the space. The luxury of being the artist as well as a designer is that I was able to create custom pieces that are the exact sizes, colors, and textures we wanted.”

In this case, that meant one piece in particular that was going to be very large scale. Andi’s favorite format. She says, “I love working on large canvases. I’m not that tall, so a piece that’s 60 inches tall, that’s my height. That large piece is 48 x 80. Working on it, it’s almost like I’m a part of the painting; it’s a physically-demanding full-body experience.”

“Sœurs d’âme” — commissioned work by Andi Yablonski

Andi’s abstract paintings adorn the main dining rooms. For the private dining room, we turned to David Coyle, founder of ArtBrokers Inc.

ArtBrokers Inc. is a unique fine-art printmaking studio. Representing a select portfolio of artists, the company makes very high-resolution images (500-600 MB) of original artworks, which are then giclee-printed in a way that is similar to artists’ etchings; the print is not a reproduction, but rather, respectful of the new medium it is being translated into, an art piece in its own right. Also like traditional printmaking, each artwork is produced in a limited-edition run.

David says, “I looked at the colors and finishes Laura was doing and we quickly settled on Jeff Faust for the elements of surrealism with a lighter feel in his work.

“Waiting for Scotland” by Jeff Faust. Limited edition gallery-quality giclee print sourced via David Coyle at artbrokersinc.com

“In ‘Waiting for Scotland’ there’s a cow sitting in an altered state, it gets you thinking; you can’t get your arms around it in terms of understanding it completely. That keeps you looking at it and keeps it fun.

“‘Placing the Moon’ is a bit of a daring image. It has a candid feel and a Romanesque style, like an old world painting, but in the context of the California coast. The color matches the color of our water at the Golden Gate. When Faust painted that piece, he was living in Sausalito.”

David was the perfect resource for us. I often say, when we near completion of a project, the right art pieces usually find us (in part because we have relationships with such wonderful vendors and colleagues in the art world). In the case of The Wolf, we certainly had a leg up with Andi on our team. And David’s suggestions of what images might spark delight was spot on.

“Placing the Moon” by Jeff Faust. Limited edition gallery-quality giclee print sourced via David Coyle at artbrokersinc.com

“Placing the Moon,” in particular, spoke to my heart.

Readers may recall my writing in this blog about my personal journey with this space; how my sister Rebekah Wood and I celebrated so many milestones in our lives at Bay Wolf, how exciting it has been for us to collaborate on her and her husband Rich Wood’s restaurant ventures: The Wolf, and before that, Wood Tavern and Southie.

When we were younger, my sister used to love to sing the song “Blue Moon,” and she sang it to her daughter Riley Celeste when she was a baby.

It’s arduous work to place a moon. Women’s work. To me, this painting is the story of my sister, building her dream as a restaurateur and a mother.


View ArtBrokers Inc.’s collection of images at artbrokersinc.com

Andi is available for commissions for your home or restaurant. Contact her at andi@lmbinteriors.com

View more photos of our interior designs at The Wolf at lmbinteriors.com/commercial

All photos by Gillian Walsworth

A version of this article appeared in the Piedmont Post

Click here to view our video of this project: The Wolf, Oakland

Read the HERstory of the two sisters involved in this project, restaurateur Rebekah Wood and interior designer Laura Martin Bovard.

Learn more about Charles Leonard, the artist who created the amazing decorative wall finishes featured in this project and view photos of his work in progress.

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