Finding Harmony with Vicente Wolf
Original article appeared in the premier issue of Connected Design Magazine.
Leon Speakers’ vision statement, “To mix art with audio, and design with technology” may seem simplistic, but the expert judgment, technical know-how and dedicated effort required to mix quality audio and design efficiently is no joke. In order to achieve “balance by design” the American manufacturer of custom audio and audiovisual solutions often works side by side with interior designers and integrators to create the ideal look and sound for a living space.
This collaborative spirit was key when Leon teamed up with world-renowned interior designer Vicente Wolf to create the interior for his Montauk House. According to Noah Kaplan, President of Leon Speakers, the goal of the Montauk House project was to create a space with a super simple design, high audio quality and a blend of hidden and exposed technology.
“The most important thing was to not disrupt all of [Vicente’s] designs but also not to completely hide them,” Kaplan said. “We custom built some of our highest-end speakers using his color palette, which includes special kinds of whites. So, in this case, we actually specified and used his line of paint to custom match the speakers.”
“The flexibility and capability to design a product that you can incorporate into a home that can either be a show stopper or can fade away in the walls of the space is just amazing. I love that Leon provides options when designing.” - Vicente Wolf
Leon worked with multi-award-winning integrator Richard Hollander who has worked with Vicente for years as the conduit for this artistic endeavor. “Working with Vicente is always a special occasion – however working on his own home, I was honored, very fortunate, yet realized that nothing less than bringing my A-Game would be acceptable. I believe we hit the mark on all of the above!”
In order to create a balance of design and audio functionality, Leon noted the importance of looking at the environment as a whole. As a designer, Vicente is often drawn toward clean designs and eclectic pieces of art. According to Kaplan, this doesn’t necessarily have to exclude the audio pieces, more and more of which are being made as stand-alone décor for a person’s home.
“The flexibility and capability to design a product that you can incorporate into a home that can either be a show stopper or can fade away in the walls of the space is just amazing. I love that Leon provides options when designing,” said Wolf.
In order to get just the right mix of clean design with statement-making audio, Leon sought to blend the installed technology in a way that would make it partially exposed and part of the overall design. Soundbars were used as they added the sound needed in a particular area without adding too much weight or obstruction in a space.
With a project as monumental as the Montauk House, Kaplan said the opportunity to work with Vicente was inspirational. Vicente’s knowledge of design made him invaluable to the success of bringing Leon’s mantra of mixing art with audio, and design with technology.
“The team at Leon worked closely with me to design a product that has a seamless approach to interiors. Creating a look that works hand in hand with the design elements of any project,” said Wolf.
“[Vicente is] still the person who is looking through the design books, looking through the fabrics, searching the world for the finest products he can find and guiding the team on the front-end,” said Kaplan.
“It’s inspirational for me to see that. This is a lifelong process. That’s something I’ve always connected with. The way we see Leon, Leon is our art.”