Saving Spaces

How one full-service, COLORADO ART CONSULTING FIRM is transforming residences, hospitals, corporations and more, one piece of art at a time.


JUST LIKE MUSIC AND FOOD, the right visual art can practically have medicinal properties. Just ask Nancy Noyes, founder and president of Noyes Art Designs—which has been making art magic since 1978. “We’re a full-service art consulting firm, and we specialize in what we call the ‘constructive healing cycle’ as our process of design,” she says. “I long ago made up my mind that art has to be more than décor.

It has to be part of healing, whether that’s in healthcare, or in the corporate world, or in a residence.” The goal, Noyes says, is “to create the same harmony in your home or your facility that’s found in nature in its most balanced state,” says Noyes. The firm’s recent projects have included everything from residential art curation and placement to creating curated art pieces and even Denver-inspired signage (like imagery of the Denver Botanic Garden) at the new Denver Health Outpatient Medical Center. Some of her favorite Colorado artists? Carol Ann Waugh, who “does beautiful fiber art and it’s just fabulous,” and an encaustic artist named Victoria Eubanks. “She does really wonderful work with wax, and so her work really becomes soft even though it’s very contemporary.”

Curating art pieces in therapeutic ways is vital work, and especially important in today’s harried world. But it wasn’t always easy to explain in the pre-self-care era. “I’ve been doing this for 43 years,” she says. “In the earlier days you really couldn’t mention feng shui to heads of hospitals or corporations, because they’d justglaze over, thinking you’re a total ‘lala.’”

How times have changed, for the benefit of all. “Right now, the whole emphasis on biophilic design—which means bringing the outside in for comfort and protection—has really made everything we’ve been doing for years come alive,” Noyes says. “And so when I say we design with intent, that means that there’s all the outside elements of the constructive healing cycle, which is our coined phrase, is water, wood, fire, earth and metal. And so each one of those elements has a meaning, a shape, a color, and a material… If I need a water piece, I could use the color black or blue as the color. The shape is sort of wavy, the meaning is flexibility and flow, and the material is glass, water, anything that would emulate the water.”

The final effect is inexplicably fabulous. “Nobody has to understand it, actually, but they will feel it,” says Noyes. “Whether you’re going into a corporate setting, or a healthcare setting, or somebody’s home, it really makes a difference to create that harmony.” Noyes’ staff of 10 is equally invested and includes her son (and business partner) and a designer and head of the art division who previously managed a gallery in Sweden. “We do all of our projects from start to finish, from proposal to installation, in-house.”

In private homes, Noyes begins by asking clients what it is they want to achieve. If the answer is ‘a warm home,’ they may retain elements of their existing art collection “and create a flow so that we can create that constructive healing,” she says. “Every piece of art in your home, you should love, in my opinion.” And keeping things within a certain color palette isn’t pertinent when it comes to connecting with your soul. “If you find a piece of art that you absolutely love, we’ll find a way to make that integrate into your design,” she says. “It’s our desire to make people really feel comfortable in their environment and feel a harmony within it.”

Only one art bugaboo bothers Noyes: “People generally hang their art too high. They think that if their husband is six foot two, that they need to hang their art high. The ideal midpoint of a piece of art should be 60 inches [from the floor,] and then it works for everybody.”