Joanie Mulkin credits her interest in art and collections to her husband, Jon. “When we were first married, for fun we’d frequent antiques shops and estate sales,” she explains. And when they traveled they would visit local museums and galleries and bring back something to remind them of their journey. Joanie says, “Jon’s parents had interesting collections when he was growing up, so his interests probably grew from that.”
When the couple moved into their cottage 13 years ago they spent a year “getting to know its bones,” Joanie explains. “Living in a place for a while helps you figure out what the family needs.” But the style of the home’s décor didn’t need figuring out. With the couple’s love for art it was bound to be on the eclectic side.
The kitchen, Joanie’s favorite room, was originally at the front of the house, but for convenience it was moved to the back. Now you can look directly out to the backyard. “It’s so private,” she exclaims, “there’s no need for curtains.” A large island and plenty of seating makes it the family’s hub.
And while the kitchen may be her favorite room, Joanie admits the living room is the most interesting room. It’s filled with art and unique finds from both around town and around the world. From New Orleans, Joanie’s hometown, they purchased the painting above the credenza as well as the bust, one of Jon’s favorite pieces. In contrast to the fine art, a funky chain made of bottle caps, a local find, decorates the coffee table. Joanie credits Fritz Woehle, an antiques dealer and friend, with helping them find many of their unusual pieces.
The master bedroom is a quiet retreat for both Jon and Joanie. “We always leave the curtains open so we can watch the birds and nature outside our window. It is a great way to start the day,” she explains. Decorated in shades of white the space is another perfect backdrop for art, such as the landscape painting by Banister Pope hanging above the bed.
The couple says another reason for creating their collections was to surround their kids with interesting things as they were growing up. And looking around at the assortment of art displayed throughout the home, they did just that and in the meantime have probably inspired a new generation of collectors.