I’ve had a lot of unique clients over the years. People in the surf and skate industry, musicians, a folk art collector, an automotive bigwig, corporate executive and his wife, athlete with a wife and kids, even a fashion designer … I design to my client’s wishes, personalities and moods. Every once in a while I will think up an “imaginary client,” like I did when I saw this picture.
Vogue, February 2013
Let me introduce my Bowery Couple, referencing the neighborhood in New York where artists, actors and musicians have been living since the early 20th century. A few buildings in the area go back 300+ years so my clients would live in a rustic apartment, like the one pictured below. I love the look of this space, old wood beams and posts, white plaster walls.
|Living etc. February 2013|
But I wouldn't want everything in the flat to look ratty tatty. I like to mix things up and add a level of sophistication to the furnishings. His velvet jacket points up the look I'm after, and this tufted velvet rolled back chair from George Smith nails it.
This is the living room I would create for the Bowery Couple. It speaks to the contrast of taking a refined piece of furniture and putting it in a deconstructed urban environment. It's a European thing.
From "New Paris Style" by Richard Powers
The velvet St. Germaine sofas, designed by Florence Baudoux, are a lot like my Chelsea sofa, below.
I like layering a variety of textures in an interior, and I think the juxtaposition of this red lacquer cocktail table (below) by British designer John Reeves against the beaten and distressed background of a centuries-old flat would be amazing. This table also would look great with the Chelsea sofa.
Sketch cocktail table by John Reeves at ABC Buttercup
The March 2013 issue of Elle Decor seemed to have the right sort of furniture, lighting and accessories for my Bowery Couple. The earthy shades of these 3 Heavy pendant fixtures by Benjamin Hubert would go nicely with the "bowery chic" aesthetic. But I also love the light bulb by Lee Broom for Cafe Culture (bottom). It's cool because it combines contemporary urban design with traditional cut glass. I could see it hanging above an island.
This chair is wild. Bowery Couple would want to have a pair somewhere in the flat.
Dreyfuss chair by David Weeks for Ralph Pucci International
The myriad textures in this table, between the cerused walnut top and base and hammered cast bronze pedestal, would make it a perfect candidate as a dining table for the Bowery Couple. I spotted a chair on ElleDecor.com from Soane in London that might be a good accompaniment. These hand-blown cut-crystal glasses from Varga are the epitome of "bowery chic."
|Balzac dining table by Robert Marinelli|
featured in Elle Decor, March 2013
|Opera Chair from Soane, London|
|Imperial Collection from Varga|
I wasn't thinking about a rug for the imaginary flat for my imaginary Bowery Couple clients, but the Hummingbird came to mind and it is so perfect for the living room. Look at the purple, lilac, red and gold against the dark ground. While many designers create a room around a rug, in this case the rug came after I designed the room in my mind. It's kind of like the chicken, or in this case, bird and egg. Which comes first? It doesn't matter, as long as the result is exceptional.
Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen at The Rug Company