My friend Tracy was checking out Fixed Gear Gallery earlier this week (it’s a bike nerd’s paradise) when he ran across this photo of an apparently beautiful bike hanging in a really interesting living room. Tracy sent me the link and my interest was piqued. (I also posted it on OK Great). The house is the Wheeler family residence, and Dan Wheeler was nice enough to send me some more photos and explain his interest in collections.
As you can see, the Wheeler family loves vintage paint-by-numbers pieces, and owns over 600 of them. (On a side note, I recently got a couple paint-by-numbers myself, and love the way they pop against some of my more modern, soft colored pieces. Now that I’ve seen the Wheeler’s house, I might have to pick up a few more!)
When I asked Dan how his collection obsession began, he said “Well, aren’t all our collections found when placing one thing next to another, and they start a conversation? For me, first stamps as a kid, then globes given to me when I was in school by an old girlfriend. (Ode to my wanderlust!). Black and white postcards in Italy [Dan spent 2 years living in Rome], sketchbooks, then our kids and their trophies. Natural stuff, shells/rocks, and wood found their way into a glass cureo table. My Fisher-Price manic wife (her childhood) found a couple paint-by-numbers, she/we loved the “art but not art” quality, and the cost which was cheaper than wallpaper to cover cracking plaster walls. This has led to a stress relieving past-time for a very hyperactive architect, a lead-in to cycling, speeding from site to site, to bike upon bike, to each a story but each the same beautiful, efficient form. With bikes came biking shirts, and tires and tubes. The bike rolled past a shop with a Dansk (Jens Quistgaard) pitcher in the window (remembered from childhood as the vessel for milk), leading to Quistgaard Peppermills and Bowls, each totally functional.”
“What I think I’ve learned is the collections are fine on their own, but in proximity to others new conversations crop up: of color, scale, purpose, fun. While we architects always appreciate and admire emptiness, we also are learning to appreciate the density of density!”
Since many of the photos deserve a closer look, just click on them to see the full-sized version.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful house with us, Dan and the rest of the Wheelers. Don’t forget to check out the Wheeler Kearns architecture firm (post below).
[photos owned by dan wheeler]