New York, NY
What do you get when two people who each grew up with artist parents meet, fall in love and build a life together? The crazy-colorful, art-filled NYC home of Jordan and Paul Ferney. From her mother, Jordan learned clever ways to create cheery spaces without spending a fortune, but her skills are certainly enhanced by the aesthetic convenience of having married her own artist in residence. Paul, who has a background in photography and graphic design, is a full-time painter who works in oils, primarily painting landscapes, beaches and portraits. A former event planner, Jordan co-founded Color Factory, a large scale experiential art project that she sold in 2018, and is the founder and CEO at Oh Happy Day, a design and lifestyle website. She’s also a columnist at Domino Magazine where she shares home decor tips, like how she turned her children’s drawings into custom wallpaper. By including her three kids in decorating projects and decisions, she hopes to encourage them to care about design, to take it personally.
Taking the time to get your hands dirty and learn to discern your own tastes — like Jordan’s fondness for San Francisco artists Leah Rosenberg and Kindah Khalidy and the works of Hilma af Klimt, among others — is its own payoff. “I don't want to acquire art just for investment,” she explains. “I want to collect art because it makes me feel happy or nostalgic or moves me.”
“I don't want to acquire art just for investment. I want to collect art because it makes me feel happy or nostalgic or moves me.” — Jordan Ferney
Which of your art purchases might your spouse consider…questionable?
“I love scouring eBay or Etsy for old paintings. Paul sometimes gets annoyed because I will bring home a painting by a 12 year old that I think is delightful. I also got a drunk tattoo and spent a small fortune on decorating a dollhouse. ”
Do you believe art can transport you to another time or place?
“Yes. I have a pair of photographs [of newspapers] by Andy Spade, and they really remind me of my childhood. I had a paper route from the time I was six years old. When I was very young, my dad would drive around while I did my route. Once I was old enough to do it by myself, I would go around on my bike.”
Your top museum recommendation for your next European vacation?
“I love the Louisiana [Museum of Modern Art] in Denmark. I went in the winter, and there was snow on the beach. It was one of the most beautiful things — to see such gorgeous art in such a beautiful setting.”
How did your upbringing shape your relationship with art?
“I grew up in a small suburb where my parents were school teachers and my mother was an artist and always made a point to make our surroundings beautiful. She taught me that you don't need money to create a beautiful space and that aesthetics can really affect how we feel and how we act.”