Designer Spotlight

Q & A with Vanessa Alexander

This week, Saatchi Art’s Director of Art Advisory to the Trade Hayley Miner chatted with designer Vanessa Alexander about her affinity for photography, Cy Twombly, and creating the perfect flow for her clients.


Vanessa Alexander grew up traveling the world. From a young age, she was influenced by both her international experiences and her mother’s strong aesthetic and passion for collecting art. After several years in the entertainment industry (and meeting her husband – who shares her obsession with aesthetics), Vanessa elected to redesign her life, focusing on a new family and the design and building of unique and personal spaces for her clients.

With contacts from ‘the industry,’ a drive to create the perfect home for her own family and a few private projects under her belt, Alexander Design was born. It is now a thriving, multifaceted firm with residential, creative, hospitality and retail projects from California to New York, Miami and beyond.

The style of Alexander Design employs a blend of contemporary, custom/bespoke and vintage pieces from a variety of periods, creating a layered feel that is rich in texture and influence yet functional and elegantly effortless. Inspired by light (both natural and curated), the logistical rhythm of space and a practical lifestyle, Vanessa’s works tell a story  – beginning at the front door and unfolding throughout.

How would you describe your taste in art?

I am definitely attracted to the story and emotion – be it deliberate or perceived. I like to be transported into the world that the mood or characters or subject matter evokes.

What type of art do you collect?

I tend to collect photography. I used to be fascinated by the subtle yet complex nature of black and white but more recently have totally embraced color and am all in! My interiors tend to be more tonal and I use color in a low key way so art really has a prominent place to shine in that context.

What is the one work of art you would want to own if you had an infinite budget?

Wow that’s so very hard!  I’d love to have a Gregory Crewdson for the evocative cinematic quality but also dying for a large scale Alison Van Pelt!  Also on the legendary side of the spectrum, Cy Twombly for the sheer power of his works and sentimental value as I shared a love for his work with my father.

What music (genre/band) do you have on your playlist?

Loving Leon Bridges but will always be die hard Radiohead.

How do you select art for your design projects?

Purchasing art for a clients is an area where you absolutely have to try to set aside your own emotion and help the person find what moves them. That being said , I like to find a balance to their choices so that there’s a flow to the collection (be it big or small) as you experience the house and to some extent marry the vibe of the room or the activity of the space with something in the works itself.  I don’t want to match the art to the room in any other way than by creating an emotional fit.

Want to work with an Art Advisor of your own? Work with a Saatchi Art curator–it’s free.