Sarah Harrelson is the Founder and Editor in Chief of CULTURED, one of our favorite art and design magazines. And you can tell, just from looking around her space, how important design is to her and what a special eye she has. Her elevated taste and knack for uncovering talent have established her as an icon in the Miami art scene. Her home serves as both a functional space for her family (her husband, interior designer, Austin Harrelson, and their three teenagers) and an elegant, art-filled space for entertaining–a delicate balance to achieve. The small details, found objects and brushed gold accents, show the mark of a truly knowledgeable collector. Below, Sarah invites us inside and shares with us a bit about her style, design aesthetic, and career path.
Describe your style in three words.
Classic. Minimalistic. Understated.
Who / what are your biggest design influences?
My first design influence came from my husband. I was very focused on fashion early on in my career, but when I met my husband, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of design, I really started to think about a more broad interpretation of design—something that could include both Rei Kawakubo and Isamu Noguchi. This was 20 years ago, and it did influence me to be very open to contemporary design. I would say now my biggest influences are the designers with whom I’ve become good friends, like Katie Stout, Rogan Gregory and the Haas Brothers, who are pushing the limits of how we define contemporary design today. Having a relationship with a designer and watching them evolve really inspires me.
How does your knowledge of, and involvement in, the art world affect how you went about the design of your home?
I am incredibly passionate about what I do and feel very fortunate to be exposed to so many designers and artists, so of course there is overlap with the pages of my magazine and the walls in our home.
How does your environment—Miami—affect your design aesthetic and lifestyle?
My life is so bonkers with constant deadlines and three teenagers so I think living in Miami gives me the space I need to breathe on either side of my day. After spending so many years in NYC, I really appreciate what Miami has to offer. It has connected me with nature in a significant way—I could stare at the palm trees all day and I love taking walks and listening to the parrots. I also love the ease of traveling from Miami.
What inspired you to start CULTURED?
I started reading magazines when I was 14 years old, and then spent the first 15 years of my career working as an editor—in fashion, entertainment, design and contemporary art. I just hit a point where I felt like I kept reading about the same 150 people and I wanted to tell stories that weren’t being told. I wanted to create a magazine where you could discover new talent. I am driven daily by my curiosity and I’m always most interested in stories of people who have overcome great obstacles to reach success. Cultured has been the most fulfilling, inspiring and engaging 7 years of my career.
What are you most excited about in art/design right now?
Being so immersed in the contemporary art world puts me around the brightest, most provocative minds, so I am always most excited about whoever is in my next issue.