This week in Design Hunting: an artist's cottage that could be in Maine (except for the Chrysler Building in the distance), Anthropologie's spring collection (wit and humor for your home), the elegant new 211 Elizabeth building from Roman and Williams, and the financial district gets a zippy new hotel (the bar comes to you, not the other way around).
I've been dying to visit this incredible new project from Roman and Williams in Nolita. I took a tour with the designers themselves, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch. I first met them out in Los Angeles when, believe it or not, I was visiting Robert Evans (you've all seen The Kid Stays in the Picture), as he asked me to give him advice on who should rebuild his burned-down poolhouse.
The Main Entrance
They've had many projects (the Standard and Ace hotels) and clients (Ben Stiller liked their sets for Duplex and Zoolander so much, he hired them to design his house), but this is their first from-the-ground-up project. Here's the entrance; they bought doors upstate and painted the glass black.
And the Apartment We Would All Like
Here's the flawless model apartment, which shows Robin and Stephen's eye for understated and really elegant design.
Bring On the Marshmallows!
Every one of the fifteen apartments has a functional, wood-burning fireplace.
It Already Looks Good in the Apartment
These gorgeous chairs are just one example of Roman and Williams's impeccable eye.
Would You Ever Want to Leave?
The sensibility here is of a prewar, uptown elegance that's unusual for Nolita, which has mostly smaller buildings.
It Could Be Prewar. But It’s Not.
There's a subdued grandeur. And note the AMAZING parquet floor. The details here are really beautifully thought out.
Plenty of Resting Places
Here's Robin sitting on the windowsill, which is nice and deep.
Speaking of Restful ...
Here's the bedroom, with wonderful reading lamps and the most comfortable-looking bed.
That Picture Was Just ... a Bit ... Off.
Here is Stephen, adjusting a piece of art hanging between two closets.
The Most Gorgeous Kitchen
They fought not to have the expected stainless steel; instead, the kitchens are trimmed in walnut with black cabinetry, which really contributes to the old New York feeling. The great thing about this building is that it looks like it has always been in this neighborhood.
Anthropologie's Spring 2010 Collection
I love visiting the Anthropologie showroom, always bursting with ideas and fantastic design. The walls were decked with plastic-bottle art that will be used as installations in the stores.
More Happiness for the Home
A selection of new ceramic planters and vases that will make your plants feel good.
Not As Easy As It Looks
This is not going to be for sale; the brilliant design team at Anthropologie used recycled materials to create a chandelier, and similar chandeliers will be hanging in the stores in spring. It looks so DIY, but just try it ...
The Jungle Comes to You
The papier-mâché taxidermy heads are so much happier hanging on your wall than the real thing would be.
A Place Mat That Makes It Clear
This place mat could be for a kid, but we could all use a little cheer (and maybe some brushing up on our table manners). That's why I like Anthropologie; it's about cheer and wit.
A Cottage in the Woods ... of Queens
I went out to Long Island City to visit the artist Edward Butler, whom I met through my friend the incredibly elegant dandy Patrick McDonald (who is now in the Bravo show Launch My Line). We hopped on the subway, went under the river, and at the other side was the magical studio of the enchanting, debonair Edward Butler.
Where the Artist Works
Once inside, the studio is brimming with Mr. Butler's fantastic art; still life, portraits, and landscapes.
Here, the artist and the design impresario together, looking at Butler's latest work.
Speaking of Dandies ...
This is a portrait of Mr. Butler's son.
Your Neighborhood Is Your Subject
Here, Mr. Butler is holding up a landscape of his neighborhood.
Doesn't This Feel Like a Village?
This is Mr. Butler's mode of transportation in the nabe.
A Village With a Skyline, Though
And outside his front door, looking toward the city, it looks like the road to Oz, minus the yellow bricks.
In Case You Forget Where You Are
Patrick and I walked to the end of the pier where we found this sign, which could not be any clearer, could it?
And in the Distance ... Gotham
Before we went back to the subway, we took one last look at Manhattan from another perspective.
That Is Some Staircase
I ran over to the Andaz Wall Street, which opened recently in the financial district. I'd hoped to see David Rockwell, who designed it — but of course, he was already in Hollywood, working on the Academy Awards.
The Bar Comes to You!
The Andaz is all about movement! This is called Bar Seven. The novel idea here is that mixologists will travel the room with carts, coming over to your station where you can be standing or sitting, for a more "fluid" experience; in other words, what's been eliminated is the traditional bar.
So Does the Reception Desk
Check-in is also a mobile experience; there's no reception desk per se, just staff holding mini-PCs who can take care of all your details.
And the Room Performs!
Many rooms have a rather unique design feature; a cube that you can turn, depending on what you NEED from the cube. Perhaps it's a bathrobe? Or ... ? The cube offers many things.
Here's the Spinning Closet
One of the wonderful Andaz staff members gave the cube a spin for me.
And the Mirror/TV Combo
The TV also spins; there's a mirror on the other side, so it can be used as a vanity.
Speaking of Open
Last but not least — the kitchen in the restaurant is completely open. I felt I could go take a cooking class from the chefs. It's all very jazzy, and Wall Street could use some Rockwell magic right now.
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