Artist in PreservationAuthor:Lindsey Shook
L.A. artist Flore opens the doors to his Florida home that honors original, mid-century design
‘There are a few key elements that I keep in mind when designing, the first being color. I like color and feel that a space should always have a color palette that is determined before any furniture is picked,” says artist and painter Christopher Florentino—known as Flore—on how he approached the interior design inside his Winter Haven home.
Originally designed by Gene Leedy, who was one of the pioneers of the Florida modernist movement and founders of the Sarasota School of Architecture, Flore wanted to honor the home and leave most of the original details intact. “When you walk into the house nothing stood out to you being new,” he says. “I wanted everything to look period-specific, like you walked into a home from 1963.”
Aside from paint and a few updates here and there, Flore left the interior finishes untouched and focused his creativity on decor and art selections. “I love low lines in furniture, which you will see reflected in most pieces I have chosen for my homes. In addition, I always approach a space with a theme (time period, color, etc.). My loft in Miami was inspired by Japanese architects, where as the Gene Leedy home was inspired by mid-century design.”
With his goal of maintaining the home’s bones and enhancing with pieces that paid tribute to the original design, Flore created a contemporary peek into historic modernism. “I want to live in spaces that inspire me and be surrounded by designs that I admire,” he says. “Everything becomes pieces of art.”
Globally respected for his Urban Cubism collection, the final design inside the Leedy home inspired Flore to create his now popular series, The Modernist, all available through L.A. gallery Art Angels. A symphonic display of chaos and color, each work evokes the explosion of hues inside the Leedy home. “There is not a lot of separation between my life and my art.”