15 Aug A New York City apartment full of art and Mid-Century eclecticism
Mid Century design is arguably the single biggest trend in recent years with the vintage furniture market absolutely blowing up. Neither of these developments went unnoticed by me. Personally I find a great deal of admiration both for the testament that good design lasts and the dedication the collectors have to keeping these designs and artists relevant.
Many prominent designers have fully embraced the trend with stunning projects popping all over the world and today I would like to show one such project.
Located in New York’s Greenwich Village, this revamped apartment is a carefully crafted marriage of elegant vintage furniture and a vibrant collection of art. A stylistic match made in heaven further complemented by warm tone and natural materials. The understated yet richly textured interior came about from the mutual appreciation of mid-century design by the apartments owner, an art collecting professional young woman who moved to New York during the pandemic and the designer Sandra Weingort.
Before the renovation, various grey tones made the two-bedroom apartment feel dim and cold and the lackluster lighting didn’t offer much help – so Weingort replaced all the light fixtures with vintage pieces and repainted all the spaces in warm, creamy tones. Complemented by the period plasterwork, hardwood floors and generous windows, the revamped rooms were transformed into a paradigm of elegance and understatement which became the perfect backdrop for the owner’s extraordinary art collection.
Curated by art advisor Alex Glauber from AWG Art Advisory, the artworks on display share an affinity for bold colours and graphic abstraction despite hailing from artists of different generations and disciplines. From the abstract, colourful paintings of Ellsworth Kelly and Josef Albers to the Pop Art playfulness of John Wesley and Ed Ruscha. Younger artists like British painter Cecily Brown and American artist Mark Grotjahn whose Butterfly series are also part of the collection.
As a designer Weingort has an artist’s eye for form, texture and materiality, orchestrating unexpected combinations of mid-century pieces by French, Brazilian and Scandinavian designers, harmoniously interweaved with contemporary designs, including her own custom designs. Despite the diversity of cultural backgrounds and periods, the assortment of furniture comes together through a preference for humble materials, natural finishes and the imperfection of hand-craftsmanship.
In the open-plan living and dining room, a sofa with a side cut-out between the arms and backrest designed by Martin Eisler & Carlo Hauner for Brazilian furniture company Forma. The sofa is complemented by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret’s Kangaroo lounge chairs, a sideboard by Danish designer Ib Kofod-Larsen, and a three-arm wall lamp by French designer Serge Mouille as well as a contemporary coffee table by Belgian interior designer Axel Vervoordt. Another side table was handcrafted from a solid piece of oak by young Belgian designer Kaspar Hamacher with a second side table custom designed by Weingort. Weingort also designed the custom dining table which she paired with dining chairs by mid-century Brazilian designer Joaquim Tenreiro and a vintage pendant light by Danish architect and Sydney opera designer Jørn Utzon.
In the study, Weingort has conjured a quartet of mid-century French designers by bringing together a glass desk by René-Jean Caillette, which features a “floating” lacquered wood drawer unit, a desk chair by Étienne Fermigier, Pierre Paulin’s Mushroom lounge chair and footstool, an ash and Formica cabinet also by Caillette, and a floor lamp by Joseph-André Motte. All in all, the apartment’s mindfully composed rooms are a paradigm of understated sophistication evoking, in Weingort’s words, “feelings of calm, peace and ease”.