Andy Warhol's <em>Campbell's Soup Cans</em> in a dining room.
Cultured Collections

Go Inside an Interior Designer’s Aspen Home Built Around Her Art Collection

Joshua Glass: How did you begin to build your own collection?

Sterling McDavid: I have had a love for art for as long as I can remember. As an interior designer I have a contemporary aesthetic, so naturally modern and contemporary art work well with my interiors. It was when I began to build and design our Aspen home that I really dove into adding modern and contemporary art to our personal collection. Also, shoutout to our art advisor Sarah Calodney, who always sources the perfect pieces for our collection.

Woman standing in front of paintings.
Designer Sterling McDavid in her Aspen home. Photography by BFA.

JG: What were the first pieces you purchased for your Aspen home?

SMD: The Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Cans. I proceeded to then design the dining room specifically around the artwork, which is a common practice for me with interiors. Most people design the space and then add art, but if I am building it from the ground up, there is nothing more fun than designing a home for the art.

Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962 in a dining room.
Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962 in McDavid's Aspen home. Photography by Aaron Leitz.

JG: Have you sourced art for a design client only to fall in love with it yourself?

SMD: Absolutely! I have a client in Los Angeles who has the most incredible, oversized Banksy work in his office that I designed. It is in my top five favorite pieces I have ever seen!

JG: You recently shifted your focus of your collection from masters to Modern art. What prompted this change?

SMD: I go for art that makes a statement wherever I am designing. I actually think masters are preferable in certain spaces. As an example, I am currently redoing my parents I.M. Pei home in Texas, and although the interiors are now contemporary, there is just nothing like seeing the Monet piece that greets you upon entering. In my opinion, the masters often look best in a contemporary setting.

JG: Who is inspiring you right now?

SMD: My favorite artist is Jean-Michel Basquiat and he will forever inspire me. I also am a huge KAWS and Yayoi Kusama fan. In addition, I find inspiration in other creatives such as Johnson Hartig, Virgil Abloh, Shigeru Ban, Peter Marino, Maya Angelou and many others.

JG: Is there one Basquiat piece in particular that left a strong memory?

SMD: I visited David Mugrabi's office in 2010, and he offered to sell us a beautiful Basquiat work. At the time I remember thinking he would never get his list price, but the joke was on me, because today that piece is worth at least 15 times more. I have always loved Basquiat's work more than that of any other artist, so I still kick myself over it!