Timothy Whealon discovered his passion very early, so choosing a profession was not accidental. He has always been engrossed in designing. At some point, while studying art, he started to advise people which things they should buy and how to arrange them later. Besides, all his pocket money was spent at auctions. Needless to say, he had to become a designer.
It came to fruition after Whealon’s attempt at career in banking though. Born in Wisconsin, he graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio, U.S. where he studied English Literature and Art History. Then he moved to New York and his ‘banking adventure’ took place. Coming back to what he was predestined for best, Whealon accomplished Sotheby’s Works of Art course in London. The next step was to open his own business and he did it in 1994.
Today, Timothy Whealon is widely recognized and valued both for his thorough knowledge as far as fine and decorative arts are concerned and the masterly use of artwork and antiques. Placing a special emphasis on fine and decorative arts, he majors in high-end interior design. His name and his projects appear in various magazines, including Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, Architectural Digest and the New York Times. Recently, In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon was published. It is a result of his cooperation with Dan Shaw – a founding editor of the New York Times.
‘At its base, my decorating has a very American, or maybe North American, sensibility. It’s clean and edited, but it references so many different things that I’ve seen in different places’, says Whealon who draws inspiration from his journeys. Some ideas remain in his mind, waiting for the right moment to be used. It also concerns various accessories – he buys them not knowing where they are going to be placed. All decorations we have in a house should be somehow connected with our personality. If you associate a particular object with something personal, you’ll know where to put it at once. Wheaton always leaves his projects unfinished so that the owners of a house can add their own ideas to it, modify the space not changing its main character though.
England (especially English country house) and Scotland are his sources of inspiration. He also mentions Georgian architecture that had a great impact on his style. As for designers and architects, he was highly influenced by Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, William Kent and Edwin Lutyens.
Whealon’s way of designing is deeply rooted in classicism – not in a pejorative sense of these words. Quite the contrary, he splendidly mixes both styles (traditional and contemporary), so that the interiors designed by him look timeless and up-to-date. He is not afraid of combining elements from various historic periods and different cultures that seemingly don’t match one another. An item which is unanticipated and seems to be odd is always desirable. That’s what art is all about.
Whealon also designs rugs. According to him, first and foremost they have to be practical – durable and easy to clean so that their owners can marvel at them for a long time.
Timothy Whealon’s recipe for succeeding in a project is simply looking outside the window, checking the location. Then you just need to listen to your clients and interpret correctly what their needs are.