Original art, fine crafts seen as a boost to office productivity
August 4, 2014
Marilee Wintz is convinced that fine art and masterful craft items are worth every dime that they represent in the design of an office.
Wintz, a registered interior designer who owns Sage Interiors LLC in Reno, says good design and excellent furnishings and décor pays off in better performance by an organization's staff.
"When people are surround by a beautiful environment, they are going to be inspired to do good work," says Wintz.
She's not along in that belief.
Dr. Louis Bonaldi, a plastic surgeon in Reno, says his choice to place an original oil painting, rather than an inexpensive print, on the walls of his office makes an important statement about his practice.
"It is important for patients to realize that the practice appreciates fine art as it reflects the attitude of the surgeon," Bonaldi says.
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Another benefit: Employees take a greater pride in their workplace when they're surrounded by artistic excellence.
Sage Interiors was called upon to inspire staff and impress clients at Atlantic Aviation when the company built a new facility to serve pilots of private aircraft at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
A handful of carefully selected items drove the design developed by Wintz.
An antique wooden propeller displayed on a wall was an obvious focal point of the design.
Wintz sought to capture, too, the feeling of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra in her choice of materials and furnishings.
"We wanted a strong local tie to the region," she says. "The new luxury is authentic regional experience."
An oil painting by Reno artist Pat Wallis, for instance, provides a birds-eye — perhaps a pilot's eye? — viewpoint of the Sierra region landscape.
Other regional artists also helped tell the story.
Brett Moten Infinity Forge of Reno crafted hammered copper and forged iron for the facility. Sparhawk Metals of Sparks created metal stair railings. Mark Lissick of South Lake Tahoe provided photography of the Sierra.
Custom-made tables, meanwhile, create what Wintz calls a "wow factor" as Atlantic Aviation clients enter the building.
"When you walk into a room, I want you to stop and look," she says.
A custom-made couch, meanwhile, is shaped to follow a curve in the design of the floor coverings.
Custom furnishings and fine art aren't necessarily big-ticket items.
"Customized furniture is not more expensive," says Wintz. "It just takes a design professional who sees the big picture to create styles, shapes, textiles and materials that reflect the design concept."
Atlantic Aviation was sufficiently impressed with Wintz' work at its Reno facility that it hired her to work on its centers at Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Chicago and Juneau, Alaska.
Her other commercial projects in the region range from Red Hawk Golf and Resort to the offices of Muckel Anderson CPAs and the Neil Road Senior Center.