Interior designer Tania Vartan shows a tour inside the Louisville home

Artist, designer and manufacturer of wallpapers and fabrics, Tania Vartan has lived all over the world. From her self-proclaimed hippie years as a California girl to her time working in a theater in Montreal, life has taken her all over the world. Eight years ago, those adventures brought her home to Louisville.

“I was born and raised here,” Vartan said, explaining that after many years of traveling around the Golden State, Canada, France and England, she went to New York and founded a fabric and wallpaper company.

“I didn’t want to stay in New York, I really didn’t want to grow old there,” she added with a laugh. “I thought, well, I might as well go back to Louisville. So 50 years later, (I was back) here, and I’ve been here (now) for nine years.

Creative concepts

A portrait of painter and artist Carlos Gamez De Francisco de Tania Vartan in the lobby of his Louisville condominium.  January 28, 2022

Vartan’s creativity is evident the moment you walk through the door of his Glenview condominium.

“This tortoiseshell wallpaper,” she said, referring to the entryway wallpaper, “is my new design. I designed all the wallpaper and all the fabric. I painted the paintings; I painted the furniture.

In the middle of the entrance wall facing the front door hangs a large work of art that is not by Vartan, but by her. Painter and artist Carlos Gamez De Francisco’s large portrait depicts Vartan wearing a colorful blouse and holding a blue fan while seated against a red, white, and yellow background.

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Drawings by Tania Vartan for a wallpaper mural, on her workbench in her condominium in the Glenview area.  January 28, 2022

Past the entrance is the main living area of ​​Vartan’s condo, which serves as his home studio. A table covered with tubes of paint, magazine clippings, brushes, canvases, and other supplies sits near the center of the room.

“I’m designing a new wallpaper mural made up of panels,” she said, referring to many of the paintings currently on display. “It will be panels, side by side, which can be enlarged or reduced…digitally. This is the only step that is done by hand. I paint each section and have them all scanned.”

Like everything on the table, almost all of the objects on the walls in the house are Vartan’s own creation. That is, apart from the entrance room as well as some framed photographs.

Aged artifacts

The works of Tania Vartan adorn the walls of her condominium in Louisville.  January 28, 2022

One such photo is a black and white framed photograph of a shirtless Muhammad Ali standing next to a man in a suit and tie. A smile on his face, Ali shakes the man’s hand; his left hand resting on the man’s back. The man, Vartan explains, is her father.

“(My dad) discovered (Ali), and I kind of grew up with him,” she said. “He was his business manager and he also taught him how to dress. That’s why Cassius was always a very sharp dresser.

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Ali was clearly not the only one with style. To the right of the boxer’s photograph is a color image of Vartan during a photo shoot in 2004. Sitting on a bed fitted with a set of floral sheets, she wears a matching outfit.

“It was in ‘Vanity Fair’ when (they) devoted half an issue to Palm Beach,” she said. “I’ve had the same room in eight different places now. I’m more of a gypsy that way.

room of books

The shelves in Tania Vartan's bedroom are filled with books of all kinds, mostly novels and memoirs.  January 28, 2022

The bed in the photograph is the same as that in his current bedroom; the hand painted headboard with gold leaf swans is a focal point of the space.

“I am a classically trained painter,” Vartan told the Courier Journal. “I love classic images like this. It’s ornamental; it’s beautiful, and it’s always harmonious in a contemporary setting. It works with everything because all the elements of classic art are included in the art It is only an abstraction.

In addition to the headboard, Vartan’s brush touched the bedside table as well as the inverted glass paintings. Other pieces in space, including lampshades from Italy, an iris majolica jug from Paris, and a box from Kyoto, reflect his decades of travel around the world. Perhaps the most important items in the room, however, are Vartan’s books – she estimates the shelves in her house hold hundreds of them.

Tania Vartan's Louisville condominium bedroom features a hand-painted headboard with gold leaf swans that is a focal point in the space.  January 28, 2022

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“I love the look of a library and I love sleeping in a library,” she said. “I’m a big reader, (and) I collect a lot of books.”

The shelves in her room are filled with books of all kinds, mostly novels and memoirs. Art books, Vartan explains, are stored mostly on the shelves of his home studio.

“When I moved (here) six months ago from a big house,” she added, “I had to reduce my inventory of books, which was tragic. I (also) gave away a lot of furniture and sold a lot of things, but it feels good to reduce everything I have. I don’t miss anything.”

Do you know a house that would make a great house of the week? Email Editor Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected]

nuts and bolts

Owner: Tania Vartan, artist, designer and manufacturer of wallpapers and fabrics for the interior decoration trades.

Homepage: This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,500 square foot condominium in Glenview that was built in the 1970s.

Distinctive elements: All wallpapers, fabrics and futures were designed by the owner. Almost all of the paintings were painted by the owner. A large portrait by painter and artist Carlos Gamez De Francisco depicts Vartan wearing a colorful blouse.

Applause! Applause!Steve Nealy & Son, wallpaper; Paul Magee, carpentry; Charles Francois, painting; Willis & Klein, fittings; Spindletop Draperies, Inc.; Carpet specialists.

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