Posts Tagged ‘Erin Ryder’
Up-in-coming interior designer Ryan Korban recently launched a website showcasing a selection of his projects to date which span from commercial to residential and other various interiors in between. Clients including downtown designer Alexander Wang, actor James Franco, model Natasha Poly and the stylish daughter’s of Danielle Steel–Victoria & Vanessa Traina, in addition to shopping go-to’s Barneys and Opening Ceremony, have all turned to the young designer for a classy, curated space that incorporates traditional English design elements fused with ornate and rich modern pieces. Creating an upscale yet functional space that is both polished and un-stuffy is the designer’s specialty, and his unique approach is one we’re excited to watch evolve.
LoftLife: As a traditionally untrained designer, what led you to this field?
Ryan Korban: I have always been drawn to the arts whether it was fashion, theater, or fine arts. My desire for creating environments was something that I was born with. Whether it was doing the table scape for my mother’s dinner parties or coming up with a concept for the Christmas tree every year. My desire to actually be an interior designer didn’t develop until I was older, but my passion for atmosphere was always there. Once I entered university at the New School, I had realized that creating full environments was what I wanted to do. Even at that point I didn’t want to go to school for it. I was more interested in having an academic degree. For me design is not about drafting living rooms in a classroom, but learning about the past. A perfected yet untrained eye has always been what inspires me. I studied European history and art and my liberal arts degree taught me more about how to create an alluring environment than studying floor plans would have.
In my senior year of school I was ready to exercise my skills so I designed my first commercial space while I was in school.This was a store I opened with a friend. What better way to start than having the challenge of creating a store? It had to be such an alluring space that people would want to buy something in it. Edon Manor really was a collection of everything I had studied and learned, from the rare book collection to the china collections, it supported my ideas of creating an academic space. Also my informal training lent itself as I was able to create a residential design for a commercial space. I hate how stuck America design is. In Europe the lines between commercial and residential are totally blurred and I am so drawn to that. So Edon Manor really was my first ever project.
LL: What finally led you to launch a website?
RK: I work with a very specific group of people and this is very important to me in order to create a body of work that feels different than what we have seen before. I really felt that the interior world was making little effort to try new things and as I saw the publications dropping (Domino, House and Garden, Metropolitan Home, Vogue Living) I realized that there lack of change and risk was really hurting the industry. This is why I am so drawn to the fashion world and the people in it. There is something new and relevant going on all the time. I feel a huge disconnect when I look at a lot of the interior publications. I work with CFDA winners, actors who have been in Academy Award nominated movies, and models who have been in couture shows and they don’t even live like the people do in Architectural Digest. I think the interior world is so fixed on square footage, I am more concerned with creating something fresh and sexy. I don’t feel any sex appeal in the interior world. So I thought it was time to publish my small, but precise body of work under my own name which is now the website.
LL: You have a strong fashion following, in addition to co-owning/designing Tribeca’s Edon Manor. How do you see fashion tastes crossing over with interior style?
RK: Working within the fashion world is so inspiring. It’s young, it’s fresh and it’s glamorous. All the things I look to achieve when I create a space. I love working with designers and watching them grow into lifestyle brands and helping them do that. The connection is so there and so underutilized that it makes me angry. My fashion clients know so much about what kind of mood they want and how they want to feel in a space its amazing. They know about silhouettes and fabrics. They have such a new approach to the treatment of fabrics and furs because of clothing. The way they develop fabrics is so advanced compared to the interior industry. Even the older, experienced, and respected people in fashion still look to be sexy and of the time. This is what really draws me to their world and pushes me to create spaces that feel sexy and sophisticated.
LL: Good design should be accessible. As a young designer, with a young clientele, how do you see a new generation’s attitude toward working with an interior designer on their home and not just doing it on their own?
RK: For me it’s so easy. I love working in small spaces — it’s my passion. Anyone with money can buy an Upper East Side condo or a mansion in the Hamptons and make it look amazing. I am more interested in what you do with a 600-square-foot studio in SoHo or the East Village. My work is based on taste not size and I think that is the new approach to interiors and my clients share this approach. Young people, even young rich people want to live the way they dress. Not everything needs to be polished and precise. Working with young people makes my jog so exciting and challenging. It forces me to really focus on what we should invest in. I work with a lot of renters so it’s important that I give them furniture they will have for the rest of their lives. When I work with someone it is usually their first time to hire a designer; I’m always flattered that they come to me and its exciting to take their virginity.
LL: That said, what are your favorite spots for shopping on a budget?
RK: I love shopping at Flair, of course they have very expensive pieces, but you can also go in and get the best accessories for the home. You can get stunning crystal ashtrays for $150. I love flea markets and I am addicted to Housing Works online auctions.
LL: What design elements do you begin a project with?
RK: I always start with a mood, it could be a color, a scent, or a flower. I like to develop the feeling my clients want and the world that they want to live in. That is more important than any tangible element of design. I never feel confident choosing furniture until I know the exact mood they want to achieve. Working with the senses is how I always start.
LL: Traditional English design is a big influence in your aesthetic. What began your obsession?
RK: I’m drawn to an old world dark romance that is so hard to find these days. I think my obsession started with Sweeney Todd, Eliza Doolittle, and Oliver Twist as a kid. From there it expanded into Princess Diana, The Clash, Amy Winehouse, and Kate Moss. My partner (Davinia Wang) at Edon Manor is from London as well and we have spent so much time in Oxford and
Holland Park. The idea of tradition is so alive there and the idea of rock is also still so alive. The enormous gap between Brink Lane and Buckingham Palace is so fascinating to me. To have such highs and lows creates so much romance in so many different ways that I cant help but be inspired. Plus I have a large obsession with the Elizabethan era to think England has had women ruling for so many years and are such a strong and wealthy country is amazing. Especially when we think we are the progressive ones.
LL: What kinds of projects do you hope to work on down the line?
RK: I hope to just keep doing what I do now. I hope that I can help bring life to the interior world and most of all I hope we can start to see exciting things happen. I love the projects that I do whether its a store, showroom, home or even a baby shower for the future I just hope I can keep getting interesting work with inspiring people. A hotel wouldn’t hurt either. If I don’t learn something or find something new working with a client then I’ll know it wasn’t a success.
LL: Describe your ideal home, and where? Is there a city or neighborhood, decorating theme, etc.
RK: My ideal home wouldn’t reflect a time period or a design aesthetic, not even a neighborhood, but instead a complete fantasy. The design world is so obsessed with dates, times and eras I’m obsessed with the idea of walking into a space and feeling like you are in a whole other world that has never existed until that very moment. That’s my ideal home, it’s a bit of a fairy tale.
Last Thursday German luxury brand Rosenthal hosted their concept store launch at The Plaza, featuring images from their EGO photography campaign shot by Karl Lagerfeld which showcases the brands innovative and design-driven tabletop culture.
According to Lagerfeld, “On one hand, I love this brand… on the other, I am also interested in the work as a link between beauty and functionality.” Rosenthal USA President Glenn de Stefano feels it’s “an opportunity to express Rosenthal’s artistry and make it accessible and available to those who understand and appreciate it” along with other esteemed stores within the Grand Concourse walls at the The Plaza.
With contemporary porcelain, stemware, tabletop, and homeware accessories that combine traditional design with avant-garde style, the 130-year old design house has collaborated on pieces showcasing an extensive list of architects and artists including Walter Gropius, Timo Sarpaneva, Raymond Loewy, Salvador Dalì, Jasper Morrison, Paul Wunderlich and Patricia Urquiola.
Photography by Patrick McMullan Company
With the end of summertime quickly approaching, it’s hard not to have vacation on the brain. The Brown/Saide Residence in the Hamptons is a perfect mix of modern set in the country. The lofty residence was designed by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz in collaboration with architect Brian E. Boyle and was built in the ’80s. The 6,700 sq. ft. residence is both private and perfect for entertaining when the owner’s feel lead. The exterior of the house is almost camouflaged by the lush, natural landscaping, creating an organic aesthetic that you would think might continue indoors. However, step inside and you will find the space is anything but. Rather, the interior features a clean, white palette, highlighted with bits of color and sleek furnishings. The striking contrast works, proving modern can be done in any context.
Around the corner from the LoftLife offices, and one of our favorite bookstores in town is Dashwood Books. Opened to the public in 2005, the store is the city’s largest independent book store devoted entirely to contemporary photography. Featuring both new, used and the occasional signed copy as well as rare and out-of-print titles, the store carries an awe-inspiring selection of publications from around the world.
A quick search of architecture and interiors turned up the following:
The Transparent City by Michael Wolf
Interiors 1973 – 1974 by Robert Adams
Domestic Landscapes; A Portrait of Europeans at Home by Bert Teunissen
Home is Where the Heart Is by Bruce Webber
Dashwood Books is located at 33 Bond Street, between Bowery and Lafayette.
After speaking with Chateau Marmont designer Campion Platt we were inspired to check out Andre Balazs’s latest property. West coast destination staple, The Standard, has opened shop in New York after establishing itself as a design mecca to Hollywood and Downtown LA travelers.
The 18-story glass and concrete tower was designed by Todd Schliemann, partner with Polshek Partnership Archicects, and sits in the heart of the Meatpacking District atop the High Line, housing 337 guest rooms decorated by Roman and Williams.
Also home to the Living Room bar and The Standard Grill, the hotel is a design destination which includes several public spaces for visitors to enjoy as well. The grand total would be two restaurants and five bars, including a roof deck with a and beer garden on the ground level.
Featuring the best in modern architecture and decor, rooms start at a recession-freindly $199 per night–virtually unheard of for a boutique hotel stay in New York.
Photos via Design Therapy.
Posted by Erin Ryder
Q & A by Erin Ryder
Portrait by Tom Ackerman
Interior Photography by Susan Gilmore
LOFTLIFE: We loved your space at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Tell us about the vision you had, to keep it cohesive. Were you trying to keep the flow between the other designers in the house or did you have your own singular vision?
ANDREW FLESHER: I just had my own vision. That’s one of the great things about a show house. It’s similar to doing your own house in that you just don’t have any limitations. Nobody’s going to say, “You can’t do that.” When I designed the space for Kips Bay, the His master bathroom, the way I thought about it was: How would I like that space for myself. And basically that’s what I did; I created a bathroom that I would like.
LL: Your firm, Gunkelman Flesher, now has offices in New York and Minneapolis. Do you see a change in the taste of your clients from city to city?
ANDREW: Yeah, I think that people in Minneapolis are more conservative than people in New York. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do some work in New York, because I felt creatively I needed a change, I needed to push myself a little further. And I didn’t feel like I was doing that so much in Minneapolis.
LL: How long ago was that?
ANDREW: That was just a year ago.
LL: Have you done any commercial spaces in New York yet?
ANDREW: I’ve been mostly residential. And you know, I would say probably 95% of my business is residential . I’d love to do restaurants, or a hotel!
LL: As you know, your gorgeous white loft back in Minneapolis got a lot of attention when we first posted pictures of it on our website. What was your thought process?
ANDREW: Well, I love white. I always wanted to do a place that had white floors, like a gallery space that shows objects really well. I was living in a conversion loft: brick walls, raw. There was a building going up down the street, so I checked it out. I found the floor plan really great, with 60 feet of glass across the front, floor to ceiling. I found the challenge of dividing the space and creating something in a glass cube very interesting. It was also part of my love of architecture, Mies’ Farnsworth House, Philip Johnson’s Glass House, that kind of thing. I always wanted to try it. So I did.
LL: Aside from the idea of mirroring a gallery space, tell us more about why white is your palette of choice.
ANDREW: It’s so pure. It’s a place for your eye to rest, I think. Your eye doesn’t have to break anything apart in a white space, it gives you this great backdrop to put pieces in that act as sculpture. Furniture in a white space is almost like art and that was my concept. I wanted a place to showcase the things I had collected over the years.
LL: Besides the obvious space challenge in New York, how was your experience transitioning to your home in Tribeca?
ANDREW: I think the great thing about New York is that there’s such a vast supply of resources—there’s really no reason why your place has to look like anybody else’s place! You can personalize your home so easily because there’s so much available.
LL: How did you get into interior design?
ANDREW: When I was a kid I always thought I would be an architect. I used to love to study house plans, and I’d always ask my mom and dad to buy me magazines. Then, I got into college and studied architecture for three years: It was more engineering, calculus, and physics . So, I switched; I just felt like interior design was much more for me, more creative and less about science and just more about creativity.
LL: What are the biggest challenges with keeping to a minimalist aesthetic, while also keeping a space functional for years to come?
ANDREW: Two things: You have to listen to your clients and observe how they live. I think sometimes clients don’t realize they need something to function. When I meet with clients, I like to ask them, “how do you live?” Rather than, “how tall do you want this vanity to be?” Or “How much storage space do you need in your kitchen?” Instead I ask, “How do you want your house to feel?” (They can generally) explain how they want it to feel, but they don’t know how they want it to look and that’s why they’ve hired me. So, you know, you want to be practical. You want to listen to how they use their house and how they live.
I always like to challenge my clients a little bit, but not beyond their comfort level. Because at the end of the day, it’s really my client’s house. It’s not mine; I’m not going to live there. But I want to really guide them to make the right decisions, so, that they are pleased with how it looks and how it functions when we’re done.
LL: Who, what, or where are your greatest sources of inspiration?
ANDREW: The way I design is I put a collection of pieces together. I love individual pieces for their own beauty, things that are classic and stand on their own. And then I love the combination of things so that there’s some surprise, some tension, some juxtaposition between materials, styles, and level of formality. I think it’s so important to know what’s happened in the past, to take that, and then use it in a new way. So it’s not that you want to copy anything or that you want to recreate something that’s done before, but you can’t really go forward unless you know what’s happened in the past. And I do think that all design, and all new design, is really an evolution of what’s happened in the past.
LL: Generally speaking, have you found that design sensibility is changing during this difficult financial environment?
ANDREW: I think that people are wanting good pieces that are going to last. The state of the world today is really influencing everybody. I think that people are just more thoughtful consumers then they used to be because (of this). One of the things that is interesting, I think, is what happened in the financial world last year, it has taken the pressure off of people to have to have the latest, the newest object.
LL: With the growth of LEED-certified buildings, and the quickly growing sustainable products (from fabric to paint) available to consumers, do you feel the need to incorporate more “green”?
ANDREW: Yes. People are definitely interested in it and in fact, we just won an award for a Gold LEED certified building that we did in Minneapolis. It was actually a beautiful, classical building, originally built as a library, and turned into a family foundation office. My thought about the whole “green” movement and the need to be thoughtful of the environment is very important to me. Yet, there’s also a balance between the environment being green and it also being beautiful, because I don’t believe in throwing away good design just at the cost of, or just for the sake of, being “green.” I’m looking forward to the future when we have really great products that we can use without compromising.
LL: So, let’s run through some of you “favorites” of the moment. How about color?
ANDREW: Always white.
ANDREW: I think I have to say Duane Antiques. They have a great eye, I think.
ANDREW: You know, I love white peonies, not pink, but white peonies.
ANDREW: I love American Clay’s color I used in the room at the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. Their sugarloaf white that was used on the walls has a really nice warm color, and it has such nice depth and dimension. I’m going to say that’s probably my new favorite. I am going to use it in a 12,000-sq-ft ski in/ski out project I’m doing in Deer Valley, Utah. We’re going to use it everywhere.
ANDREW: I love our stationary that we have for Gunkelmen Flescher because it’s very classic. It’s white, it’s embossed, and it has a shiny silver foil on the edge. Very clean. I use it all the time.
ANDREW: Wallpaper. I’m using a lot of grass cloths. I like grass cloths like Donghia. They make the most beautiful paper with back linens that’s very coarse. And I use it all the time. When you use it in your house, it’s almost like being in a gallery. And it makes a perfect backdrop for art and everything else.
LL: Accent piece?
ANDREW: An accent piece, how about a table I designed? It’s a little chrome, glass, and linen-wrapped drinks table that I use a lot with my clients.
ANDREW: Oh Mark Rothko is my all-time favorite. Mark Rothko and Joseph Albert.
LL: Is there any other news or projects you’d like to update us on?
ANDREW: I’ve been working on a furniture line that I’d like to shop around to see if somebody would like to manufacture it. So that’s sort of in the front of my head a lot. I think I’d like to get into some product design.
Interior designer and architect Campion Platt is widely known for pioneering the boutique hotel concept, serving as co-developer of Los Angeles’s Chateau Marmont Hotel, and spearheading a benchmark project in New York of the Mercer Hotel and Merc Bar. An equally impressive celebrity client roster includes Al Pacino, Meg Ryan, Roger Waters, Conan O’Brien, Jay McInerney, and socialite Anne Hearst. He consistently incorporates fine craftsmanship and contemporary styling as well as eco-sensitive design to achieve the clean, cohesive, yet personalized spaces his firm is respected for.
LoftLife: You’re on the forefront of sustainable architecture and green design. What are the easiest elements to bring in, from both an architectural and design standpoint?
Campion Platt: The easiest elements are switching out commonly used things like plywood for a sustainable version, lighting alternates that use less energy. From a design standpoint, consider buying second hand and giving something a new life.
LL: With hotel design credits including Chateau Marmont, Mercer Hotel and MercBar, as well as Boston’s Bulfinch Hotel do you find your residential clients like to bring a boutique hotel feeling into their homes and design an upscale atmosphere suited for entertaining?
CP: I think the greatest feature is actually employing the dictum “less is more” hotel environments tend to be paired down, essential and an eye to comfort, luxury and whimsy.
LL: Where are your favorite places to travel and draw inspiration at the moment?
CP: My wife, Tatiana, and I love to travel to Morocco, especially Marrakech. There is a wealth of design inspiration at every turn and a number of great craftspeople reinventing methods that fit our sense of design.
LL: LoftLife launched in Atlanta last year, and has since expanded nationally. We saw you recently worked on the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Buckhead, incorporating the historic Southern aesthetic with modern details. How did you combine the two styles, and what were your favorite elements?
CP: The idea in Atlanta was to create a real sense of place in a modern high-rise. I studied the city and culture and drew upon the rich and layered history of both design and icons. Combining the styles was more of an editing process to identify the key features that would blend well together. My favorite element was the cypress we used in the lobby. A traditional southern wood, but a used in a modern way.
LL: A 4,000 square-foot Soho duplex loft is the type of home our readers (and we) dream about, though designing a cohesive space can be an enormous challenge. It looks open, intimate, luxurious and comfortable. What was your original vision and where did it begin?
CP: It began with my wife saying “I want a white loft in the sky!” From there, all decisions were based upon modulating the rooms; space and scale to both accentuate the great height and verticality while maintaining a sense of intimacy and casual comfort one finds in small spaces.
LL: Tell us more about your custom furniture line and the types of pieces you have created or hope to include at some point.
CP: I am working on a few new custom lines now. We are designing a contemporary and more urban collection for McGuire Furniture, an industry leader in luxury exterior furnishings. In addition, we are also working on capsule collection for George Smith, the English based purveyor of fine upholstered furniture based upon early American examples of popular furniture.
LL: How have you seen your clients taste and/or need change over the twenty years you’ve been a designer?
CP: I believe most of the client needs have remained the same except for the newer notion of a great room and/or incorporating a kitchen/dining room experience into a project. A wonderful change has also been, in general, the level of sophistication among the clients, both residential and commercial. The internet has informed us all in a more specialized way based upon our interests. Clients bring this information to the table and really help the design process.
Posted by Erin Ryder
Photography by Scott Frances
6/8/09 Following ten years of advocacy, urban planning, and five years of construction, the High Line is set to open tomorrow, June 9th. Section 1, the first to open, runs from Gansevoort to 20th Street. Section 2, the remainder, runs to 30th Street is still under construction and projected to open in 2010, additionally pending development approval of the West Side Rail Yards.
Originally built in the 1930’s as part of a massive public-private infrastructure called the West Side Improvement, the elevated railway was abandoned in 1980 and otherwise faced demolition. The City of New York committed $50 million to revamp the structure à la the Promenade Plantée in Paris, with 720 teams from 36 countries submitting design plans to preserve the historic space. The High Line design team is led by landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations.
Visitors can enter from Gansevoort Street, and the High Line will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. On June 15th, Friends of the High Line will celebrate with First Party on the High Line.
Photography by Jesse Chehak and Paul Schlacter; courtesy of the High Line and flickr.
Posted by Erin Ryder
Join us this Friday to kickoff the Modern Atlanta “Design Is Human” Home Tour. Starting today, May 12th and running through Sunday, May17th, a series of tours and events will be held around Atlanta showcasing the finest in modern design.
When: Friday, May 15th
Where: White Provision
Address: 1168 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta
When: 7:00 – 9:30 PM
When we heard established fashion designer Angel Sanchez would be collaborating with his partner, noted designer Christopher Coleman, we knew the results would not be your run-of-the-mill interior styling. Debuting with a game room at this year’s Kips Bay Decorators Show House, the duo has been working on a series spaces together. In addition to the showroom, there was a table with DIFFA’s Dining by Design event, as well as a Flat Iron District restaurant, not to mention their shared Williamsburg loft-condo in the works.
Equally complimentary of one another, Coleman says, “A collaboration is a wonderful exchange of ideas. But becomes even more intense when passion and creativity meet. Our loft lounge for Kips Bay show house is a fusion of our two talents; design and fashion, refined… edited. But a space with style, personality and playfulness, which is a big part of ‘us’.”
As for Sanchez, “Working with Chris is like to play a fun ping pong game of ideas…..where in the end it is so satisfying to see the results. We get in a place where he or I won’t get there by ourselves… it shows us a new version of our own individual taste. I enjoy seeing the balance between his colorful version of a space and my clean architectural vision… that is the reason we want now to explore it outside our personal living projects.”
LoftLife: Based on both of your respective backgrounds in design, what was the hardest part of combining Angel’s architectural knowledge with elements of fashion and Chris’s understanding of space and of interior design?
AS + CC: The hardest part is having patience with each other, and understanding scale takes time to learn.
LL: The Kip’s Bay loft-lounge space is for the “stay at home recessionista to work, relax, and play.” Is there currently a market for a $65,000 steel ping pong table? We’d love to know.
AS + CC: Yes there is a market – we have received a dozen calls for the steel ping pong table.
LL: You worked together on Angel’s showroom. His line includes elegant evening wear as well as bridal, and clients include celebrities. What was the vision for the showroom, and how was it kept functional as a workspace?
AS + CC: The vision was to make it sexier and sleeker than his previous showroom which was all celadon walls, carpet and curtains, lots of curtains. So the new showroom is all black and white, very graphic and bolo! It flows well as a workspace, it’s open and well planned out.
LL: Tell us about the restaurant you’re working on in the Flatiron District. What type of Latin influence can diners expect?
AS + CC: Nuella is the restaurant we are working on together, it’s a very large space, so we are trying to make it intimate by defining various areas. Colors are hot yellow and firey red with black. Interesting materials.
LL: We hear you’re finishing up your home in Williamsburg. Was it hard to not bring work into your home?
AS + CC: Our Williamsburg space, we live and breathe design, so it’s just a continuation of everyday, the nice part about home, is it is a laboratory to try things.
LL: What do you find is the most important, or first thing clients ask for when designing a space?
AS + CC: Most important thing when designing a space is who is occupying the space, what is their use of the space, then it continues from there. What do client’s ask for? That varies from client to client. Someone asked where will we put our dirty clothes, they have to be separated, so we made a bench at the foot of the bed with three flip tops for darks, whites and dry-cleaning.
LL: These days most of us cannot afford a top to bottom luxury overhaul of our homes, but are spending more time there than ever. What are the simplest decorating changes you can make to make a more comfortable and luxurious atmosphere, perfect for both nesting and entertaining.
AS + CC: Simple home decorating changes in hard times:
1) Paint is the easiest, you can do a feature wall, meaning painting only one wall in a room-say-the TV wall.
2) For entertaining, buy a few ottomans for extra seating in 3 different colors. Adds a big punch to a room.
Posted by Erin Ryder