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Design Liberation

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There is no such thing as “school of” anymore. Home design’s evolution away from strictures, tradition, and everything-has-to-match dogma has eliminated that pigeonholing. Such a relief! Particularly since the most exciting work is being done by people who have liberated themselves from old orthodoxies, with a looser, wildly eclectic, inspiring, and vastly less costly aesthetic. (It’s also, often, pretty fun.) What label could possibly encompass the Future Perfect owner David Alhadeff’s bright-pink, treasure-filled Williamsburg apartment? (That color, Baker-Miller pink, was developed for use in detention centers; it’s meant to calm inhabitants.) Or the varied collection of creative director Richard Christiansen, who’s put down roots in a one-bedroom at the Bowery Hotel? The loft of Nicola Vassell, a director at Deitch Projects, could be an installation called Seventies Artist Space, except for the Obama “Hope” jacket hanging from one of the pegs that functions as her coat closet. And Maximilian Sinsteden, a college senior whose tiny dorm room is as precisely detailed as a Ralph Lauren showroom, is simply a fascinating talent in the making, a whirlwind who’s redecorated three times since we took his picture. Here you’ll see their interior spaces and others (and what all of them see from their windows).

The common thread isn’t how the people we selected decorate, but the freedom they feel about decoration. Delight, yes. Comfort, yes. Function, yes. Rules, no.


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