Space of the Week: Where Paula Hayes Waters Her Artwork

Artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes has organically carved a special place in the art and design world for her plant-based art”handblown terrariums and silicone planters, as well as full-scape landscape design. She’s even begun selling her live-plant installations, at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Store. But it was a recent visit to the Boerum Hill home, which she shares with her husband and collaborator, Teo Camporeale, that allowed me to fully grasp the spectrum of her work. Here, their Zen living room is centered by a small worktable set on a flokati rug. “Teo and I find that sitting cross-legged, or on yoga blocks, strengthens your core, increases flexibility, and helps knee health,” she told me. The hanging glass lamp is by Artemide, and the large photograph of trees is by Kirsten Mosher. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Paula’s creativity extends to cooking, as well. Clad in a Maria Cornejo dress, she prepared a snack of her organic honey-wheat bread when I visited. The hanging sculpture in the foreground is by Melinda Kiefer, and there is a sand-blown branch from the desert on the far wall. The African baskets in the foreground are made of grass and plastic twine. Photo: Wendy Goodman

One of the first things you see when entering the house is Paula’s “Cabinet of Currency” (2010), which is made of cast acrylic and contains assorted “power objects.” Paula is having an exhibition in East Hampton at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller from June 30 to July 30, co-curated by Stephanie Hodor and Jeremy Sanders. She will be showing drawings from the mid-nineties along with special objects and a sound piece she created with Teo. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Paula has been tending this terrarium of succulents since she created it in 2006. Paula is intent on stressing the relationship between owners and their living art, whether it be a planted garden or a glass-encased terrarium: Life nurtures life, and any type of garden needs ongoing love, care, and attention. She is so committed to the caring of her living creations that she asks her clients to sign an “agreement for a living artwork.” She further details this philosophy in her self-titled book, Paula Hayes, published by Monacelli Press (2012). Photo: Wendy Goodman

Paula also designs a tabletop collection, which includes these handblown amber and red water glasses, along with a blue wineglass. She served me a snack with her handmade ceramic teacup, soup-and-serving bowl (which she filled with organic blueberries), hand-ladled glass dining plate, and hand silk-screened dinner napkin. It only made the bread taste better! Photo: Wendy Goodman

Paula and Teo’s backyard contains a traditional twelve-foot diameter Sioux dwelling that Paula found online at A path of native flagstone and pebbles weaves through a Japanese maple planted in Paula’s silicone planter along with shiso plants, Japanese forest grass, ilex crenata, ilex opaca, and peony. You can see the neighbor’s black bamboo in the background that, Paula says, “I passively let come into the garden.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

“Looking up at the ancient and very precise layout of the poles, up at the 250-year-old oak tree, is one of my favorite things to look at! It is so comforting!,” says Paula. “I also must sit on the earth regularly to recharge my soul battery.” The white metal perforated lantern is from ABC Carpet. “The tipi itself becomes a lantern in the garden! It is especially gorgeous swaddled in snow.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Paula furnished the interior with a Moroccan Berber rug and satin roll pillow from India that Paula found at Layla in Brooklyn. “The little cloth at the door is so the cats don’t leave paw prints,” she says. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: Where Paula Hayes Waters Her Artwork