INTERIOR DESIGNER ON TOUR: NEW YORK

“London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.”
― Dorothy Parker

My husbands son lives in Toronto so a few weeks ago we went to see him and stopped over in New York to visit some suppliers and find inspiration for my interior design projects along the way. My last visit was over 10 years ago and then, it was my first trip there as an adult. I was blown away by the energy and excitement.

This time the brashness of Times Square no longer felt fun. Instead it felt scarily out of touch. It’s a high temple to consumerism, feeding mindless appetites, a bit like Oxford Street on speed.

THE HIGH LINE

A complete antidote is the Highline. If you haven’t already been, it’s really worth a visit. Formerly known as the West Side Elevated Line. The freight route brought millions of tons of food into Manhattan.

The line was closed in the 80s & after decades of disuse it was going to be demolished, but Joshua David and Robert Hammond (who founded Friends of the High Line) had a vision to make this unique place into a public space. It’s now one, continuous, 1.45-mile-long greenway featuring 500+ species of plants and trees. It’s free and open to all.

You can recognise the hand of the Piet Oudolf in the planting designs. The soft drifts of grasses and perennials are such a contrast to the hard lines of the distant skyscrapers.

Simone Leigh Brick House

Photo by Timothy Schenck

  • highline
  • The Highline

SIMONE LEIGH

The High Line is also home to world-class artwork. Simone Leigh’s sculptures (left) often use materials and techniques associated with African art as she explores black female subjectivity. Brick House is a monumental bronze sculpture of a black woman. She towers over 10th Avenue, an empowered resilient figure. She makes you reflect on the values and priorities of the city that surrounds her.

Simone Leigh’s powerful work was also on show at the Guggenheim along with a fascinating exhibition where 6 artists were asked to select art from the collection. It was wonderful to see some lesser known pieces through the curatorial eyes of the artists. 

Louise Nevelson Luminous Zag 1971

Louise Nevelson Luminous Zag 1971

Herbert Ferber Game no.2 1950

Herbert Ferber Game no.2 1950

Yutaka Ohashi Stone Garden 1955

Yutaka Ohashi Stone Garden 1955

INSPIRATIONAL STYLISTS

ABC Home was beyond inspirational for my interior design projects! The store buyers and stylists are so creative in their displays. I loved their combinations of repurposed old linens alongside exquisite salt glazed ceramics. Their collections of rugs, bedlinens and kitchenware are so diverse, beautiful and quite different from collections I’ve seen elsewhere. If you love eclectic interiors (which I do) you will love it here. I made a fleeting trip to Restoration Hardware in Chelsea. If you like smart, glamorous, international interiors then this is the place for you. I found it a bit “meh!” – too preppy and bland.

ABC homes
ABC homes
ABC homes

THE CHRYSLER BUILDING

We stayed near the Chrysler building so I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of it and a neighbour.

Chrysler building
Chrysler building
Chrysler building

BLUE HILL

One of the highlights of the trip was dining at Blue Hill. It’s a beautifully designed interior but it’s the food that makes the experience exceptional. All their produce comes from local farms (including their own). We tasted exceptional summer vegetables, the tastiest home made yoghurt and fascinating flavour combinations like radicchio and cherry. All served by cheery, unpretentious staff, passionate about their subject.

Blue Hill Farm Restaurant

9/11 MEMORIAL

This was my first visit to the 9/11 memorial (below). What a poignant tribute. I stood alongside the inscription “RAHMA SALIE AND HER UNBORN CHILD” and dwelt on that tiny life so cruelly ripped away.

9/11 memorial

KNOTTED GUN

In these turbulent times, the iconic sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (below) seemed especially poignant. Known as the “knotted gun” it stands outside of the United Nations. The calm, art filled headquarters felt like an optimistic way to end our trip.

The Knotted Gun by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

WANT TO EXPLORE OUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS?

If you are ready to start your interior design journey then why not get in touch for an informal chat.

We offer an Interior Design Service that can take care of every aspect of your interiors project. If you’re considering a new build or home renovation and think we could help, we would love to hear from you!

Call us on 01386 258007 or email us at info@helenbainbridge.co.uk to discuss your project.