When Your Client Is Yourself

At work, design experts deploy their taste in the service of others, whether they’re making a baby bottle or a concert hall or picking the right wall treatment for Bungalow 8. But how do they express themselves at home, where the only compromises they have to make are with themselves (and the people they live with)? We went into the houses of some of New York’s most influential tastemakers and explored their interior lives. Retail visionary Murray Moss—who revolutionized the marketing of high-end design—explained how he uses his apartment as a lab. And why he stopped speaking to his oldest friend over a controversial souvenir. Philippe Starck, the grand philosophe of the design world, showed off his bathtub—and unveiled the latest plans for his global style tribe: “We shall invent the elegance of intelligence.” Decorator Elaine Griffin used her railroad flat to demonstrate which styles play well with others. Art-world impresario Yvonne Force Villareal gave a tour of her personal collection and offered advice about how to get your 13-month-old son (that is, hers) to keep his paws off the art. Architectural superstar Rafael Viñoly gave us the easiest counsel on how to design a loft—enlist a decorator (in his case, that’s his wife). And developer Paul Stallings, the Ian Schrager of the Lower East Side, led us through his pied-à-terre atop his new glass-walled hotel—offering his hope that the entire project “isn’t just a vanity thing.” Sometimes tastemakers are their own most difficult customers.

Design Scientist
Even retail guru Murray Moss—who uses his apartment as product lab—has learned to embrace a little tackiness.

The Scavenger
For her clients, decorator Elaine Griffin buys antiques. For herself, she opts for burlap drapes and the Salvation Army./nymetro/shopping/homedesign/features/9980

A Museum Of Her Own
Art-world impresario Yvonne Force Villareal curates her family’s Tribeca apartment.

His Piano, Her Apartment
In Rafael and Diana Viñoly’s new loft, the architect was more than happy to leave almost everything up to his wife, the decorator.

The Rivington Saga
Paul Stallings had developed only humble brick rentals when he decided to build a gleaming high-rise hotel on the Lower East Side (complete with an aerie for his family of eight). Four years later, it’s finally about to open.

When Your Client Is Yourself