Tucked into the curve of a hilly road in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Libby Silvia’s charming late-19th-century house is painted a cheerful yellow. “When I moved in, I thought everything needed to be Victorian,” says Silvia, who purchased the house with her husband, Sean, in the mid-1990s. Two decades later, several fine
antiques remain, but the home’s decor has evolved significantly around Silvia
and her family, which now includes two children, a 20-year-old college student
and a 17-year-old high-school senior, as well as her love of fine art.
Today, traditional furnishings such as a mahogany dining table and chairs
and period-style lighting live in harmony with Silvia’s large, rotating collection of mainly contemporary pieces, creating what she calls “busy but beautiful” decor, a “layered look” that cohesively unites multiple eras and styles. The
art is always and everywhere — hanging in each room, leaning against walls,
arranged gallery style in nooks, stacked in the basement.
Art isn’t just Silvia’s passion — it’s her vocation. After working at Jules
Place gallery in Boston’s South End for 15 years, she started her own art consultancy, Libby Silvia Artstyle, just more than a year ago. Although she had
worked previously in corporate communications, the transition wasn’t totally
out of the blue: Silvia grew up in Arkansas painting and throwing clay with her
mother and grandmother, both bona fide creative types.
in the living room, a mixed-media work by Brian Hibbard of
North Carolina (top left) hangs near a collectible statue. The
room’s focal point is a dramatic, mixed-media work (top right)
by Stephanie Henderson of Atlanta. Silvia sits with her Miniature
Australian Shepherd, Bentley, on the front porch (above).
The Beginner’s Mind
Years before she even considered representing artists or
consulting, Libby Silvia persuaded a colleague to put her paintings
on display at a yoga studio in Wellesley. “It was just for fun,” says
Silvia, but it turns out, her instincts were spot on: Julie Riola, the
artist whose work was shown, also left the corporate world and
now is a successful abstract painter based in Boston.