Exploring The Empty Apartment
Photos courtesy The Empty Apartment
Lina Hargrett is a art and design consultant in the midst of setting up shop in Miami's Little River neighborhood. With a keen eye for style and a passion for design, she tells us a little about what she does and what's in the works for The Empty Apartment.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and The Empty Apartment?
If I could just read biographies on artists and designers for a living that would be my job. I studied Art History in college so that was a pretty good start. My passion is finding art or design pieces that tell a story. I've been fortunate enough to be in both the art market and collectible design market at some point in my career and now I help others find unique and meaningful pieces for their home. The Empty Apartment started as an online archive/blog-type website for collecting art and design, and it later became the name of my consulting firm which now will have it's own inventory of design pieces.
I was born here. We moved away when I was 8 and after grad school in London I was debating moving back to NYC or Costa Rica – where my family is. It was 2007 and the art scene was growing in Miami so I figured I'd give it a shot. We've definitely seen growing pains together, this city and I. I love how you have easy access to the rest of world from here. I travel a lot but it's always nice to come back to the ocean and the warm weather.
Can you share with us a list of your favorite shops and galleries?
You'll have to visit The Empty Apartment, for all of them by city. In Miami I'd say my tops are the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Kampong – more of a botanical garden but David Fairchild's house is from the 30s and together with the permanent piece by artist Mark Dion recreate a historic time period of old south Floridian culture which is rare to find – and the Webster on Miami Beach. I enjoy places that take you somewhere, tell you a story, and teach your something.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My aesthetic is eclectic, I love pieces that feel timeless, with a hint of color, maybe a conversation piece here or there and pieces that are inviting and comfortable. I love how Japanese design, Brazilian design and Scandinavian design are influenced by nature either in form or material. I pick up pieces when I travel a lot. My father's mother had amazing style she had beautiful Murano glass ashtrays and a regency marble coffee table I'll never forget, my mother was always refurbishing antiques and hauling me to antique stores. I think between the two of them I learned how to visualize the potential in a piece and appreciate the history in objects. My take on interior design is to build art and design collections. Our homes really should be a reflection of who we are, where we've been and the things we love.
What's next in the works for you?
I'm in the process of opening a showroom for design in Little River – pieces will be available on The Empty Apartment website and viewing by appointment – more interior design projects, more sourcing of rare mid-century Scandinavian design pieces, more traveling and always more learning.
The Empty Apartment