If Stephen Knoll’s apartment looks a little like a grand old European hotel suite, there’s a good reason for that. “I love the feeling of old hotels in Paris and Rome,” says Knoll, a hairstylist and owner of the Stephen Knoll Salon, whose clients include Cindy Crawford and Maria Shriver. “I wanted to channel that kind of serenity and elegance.” In his previous digs, a one-bedroom prewar on the Upper West Side, things tended to get in the way of serenity. Like the need to turn off all the lights in order to turn on the toaster. But when Knoll was shown a raw floor in an old factory in the meatpacking district, he knew he had found “enough space to create my own oasis.” At a time when a seventies aesthetic is thumping through Knoll’s neighborhood (the Boom Boom Room, for example), his loft references an entirely different history. He’s a fan of old movies, and what he has created recalls the decades he loves most: the thirties and the forties. There’s a lush but formal Deco vibe to the place.
Stephen Knoll on his apartment’s influences:
One of my biggest inspirations was all my time spent at the Paris flea market looking at the beautiful antiques.
I wanted a large-enough space where I could offer each antique its own place of appreciation.
I have always loved the work of André Arbus [a French Art Deco furniture designer and sculptor].
I was also looking for the combination of Park Avenue refinement and grace with a downtown loft’s edge and freeness.