Designer Vision Showcase ~ Jamie Drake & Carlos Aparicio

Jamie Drake's was channeling Josephine Baker's fictional granddaughter when designing the exuberant  Art Deco inspired apartment.   A contemporary woman of today who would have conveyed modernist ideas, while embodying characteristics of Josephine's.   She was described as a woman who was "breaking barriers in a provocative and glitzy fashion" while still  retaining a sensuousness and exotic forward thinking ideal.  I would say Jamie's interpretation exhibited those same traits, not an easy feat! There were nods to the past , the appropriate vintage pieces and some forward thinking design on Jamie's part as well.   The paler jewel tones were a great counterpoint to the black and gray that found its way into each room and balanced the contemporary art. 

Jamie is known for his masterful use of color, and he did not disappoint.  The coral walls in the great room were a multi-layered process.  Benjamin Moore's opal, along with green, blue, and gold minerals (the kind that eye shadow is made out of) were applied to the walls, then sealed with polyurethane.  It spoke of the colors of the bricks we saw outside the windows.  It was luminous!  I would have loved to have seen those walls at night.  I'm sure they positively glowed.

The bronze, wood and lacquered lipstick console from Hudson furniture makes quite the statement, as do "Jamie's girls" and his lighting for Boyd Lighting

I always look to show houses for great "take aways." Jamie seems to create "moments in art."  This installation you could create for yourself should you choose.  The simplicity of the arrangement of books in the nooks flanking the contemporary mirror are made artful by their arrangement and the mere fact that they face out, showing the pages, rather than in, showing their spine.  It takes on a geometric neutralness.

The "puttin on the ritz" vibe of the roaring 20's was felt the moment you walked thru the front door.   The Clarence House wallpaper, Hudson console table, vintage Murano sconces, and the Robert Kuo vases painted a pretty riotous picture.  You always know you are in for a surprise in one of Jamie's interiors.

I am always enchanted by Black Crow Studio and their custom watercolor canvases.  Being enveloped in the dreamy hues makes you feel like you are part of the painting, not just an observer of it.  The high gloss blue in the closet doors and console behind the bed say drama, but the addition of soft neutrals dampen it enough to still keep it restful.

via Curbed

Jamie created this ingenious custom lighting fixture by Modulightor to fit in the soffits of the ceiling.  Asymmetrical uplighting dancing off the ceiling is as beautiful as it is functional.

Jamie Drake along with House Beautiful are a perfect pair because of their obsession with color.  It is taken to an art form and that is certainly on display in the daughter's room.  So is artist Brenda Gurand's  sculpture or contemporary "canopy" made from steel, paper, silk, and fiber.  With her strong visual aesthetic, she speaks a similar language.

The goodies filling each closet did not go unnoticed.  Roberto Cavalli and Brunello Cucinelli's latest collections were highlighted in the closets of my dreams.

Carlos Aparicio for Veranda had someone like himself in mind when designing the apartment in Walker Tower.  Within the walls of the serene, light filled environment, everything painted a matte gray, a gentleman collector could cultivate and curate a museum worthy art collection.

Aparicio integrates a diverse melange of periods as well as playfulness to his carefully curated selections.  Decorative Arts move easily around the apartment enabling him to tell different stories.

I liked the inlaid wooded screen hiding the utilitarian (but quite beautiful) kitchen.  I wonder if this art collector cooks?

Take note, the stairway is a perfect blank slate for a display of some kind.

The 1950's iron daybed by Mathieu Matégot, the parchment André Arbus daybed in the living room, arts and crafts masterpieces, the Royère's, and Frank's tell a decorative arts story with a masculine/feminine side that is always evolving and shifting.  Carlos explained that the pieces resonate more the longer you occupy the space.

                                               I'd be happy occupying any of these spaces!

Ph: CLI along with

For House Beautiful:
Reprinted by permission from House Beautiful, copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Jonny Valiant, photographer.

Reprinted by permission from VERANDA, copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Max Kim-Bee, photographer. 

Designer Vision Showcase: Alessandra Branca

For the seventh year Hearst Magazine launched its Designer Vision Showcase.  The Walker Tower is being brought back to its former glory as a preeminent luxury condominium residence with its Art Deco roots intact.  Built by Ralph Thomas Walker, called by Frank Lloyd Wright, "The only other honest architect in America," he helped shape the NY skyline in the roaring 20's.

Even though it is in the midst of the renovation ~ you know it's going to be something special!

Alessandra Branca infuses her apartment for Elle Decor with the wit, elegance, and juxtaposition of styles and time periods that create a deeply layered, personal environment.  She draws upon her Roman roots and her love of art history and European classicism.  Using her line of fabrics for Schumacher, heirlooms, and pieces from favorite resources that are quintessentially Alessandra sit side by side, comfortably creating many moments.  The design is energetic in visual appeal, but remains practical and livable for her sophisticated Upper East Side client, yearning for a downtown vibe.  Her signature red is there, but pink reigns supreme along with a mixture of hot house and primary colors.

The upholstered walls in the master bedroom were a wow!  If you throw a zebra rug on the floor, you've got my attention, always!

I seriously loved "the mix".  She had faux bois and western accessories with sea fans and turtle shells.  There were high and low, organic and antique.  Timeless damasks in fresh colors and bold geometics helped hip it all up.  It worked, and worked beautifully.  This is a perfect lesson in the importance of layering and personalizing.  For more on Alessandra's lines and to shop them, check out her website Branca and Bergdorf Goodman.

All photos CLI, except Elle Decor by Douglas Freidman

*For those of you that inquired, thank you, this was the story I lost