A tiny Trump box gets the tropical treatment
an invigorating coat of orange.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOSHUA MCHUGH
Interior designer Matthew White knew there
was a simple way to ease the Miami-New York transition for his old
friend Jorge Vargas: Just add orange. White drenched Vargas's 300-square-foot
Trump Place rental a Tropicana hue, earning it the nickname "the
Papaya." "People are intimidated by strong color in small spaces,"
White says. "But you only have one shot to say something. If you're
going to paint it white, you've given up your shot." Vargas, the
makeup supervisor of Broadway's Aida, got the apartment painted
between shows, while Los Angeles-based White hit the local fleas,
searching for furniture with Pop Art flavor to complement the cartoon
color. He struck gold with a Saarinen-esque but unpedigreed ball
chair, lining the interior in chic lime velvet. A notions shop provided
strings of iridescent beads, which White cut into a Ziegfeld-worthy
window curtain. Xeroxes of classical columns gave the brand-new
apartment some architectural detail. Vargas asked for only one thing:
"I told Matthew I need a touch of animal somewhere." White picked
a synthetic white tiger rug "very Siegfried & Roy"
soft enough for an afternoon nap. "As you walk up to his building
when everyone's lights are on, you can see this glowing orange room,"
says White, who now wishes his own Manhattan pied-à-terre was a
little more à l'orange. "I keep thinking, The poor neighbors
they don't know what they're missing."