Interior Design

Get Lost in Artist Andrés Reisinger’s Maze of 1stdibs 50–Worthy Rooms

The high-spirited November gathering of some of the world’s most talented interior designers at 1stdibs’ Chelsea Gallery celebrated a profession that, in its conjuring of domestic beauty, seems to be inching ever closer to high art. The 1stdibs 50 list for 2019 — the third edition of the annual roster — includes illustrious established names as well as emerging talents. All have devised exemplary rooms distinguished by curatorial prowess — the unerring ability to zero in on extraordinary furnishings, art and objects and juxtapose them in a way that elevates a room to the sublime.

1stdibs 50 2019 book
This year’s 1stdibs 50 honorees were recognized at the 1stdibs Gallery, where Andrés Reisinger created an installation showcasing their work. The piece included an interactive maze intended, the artist says, “to express the designers’ creative process — the euphoria of brainstorming, the dizziness of progress, the satisfaction of the final result.”

At the recent event, honorees gamely posed for portraits against swaths of pink drapery and mingled with a chic crowd sipping maple-rosemary sours chilled by artisanal ice cubes. The occasion also marked the debut of a witty installation by Barcelona-based multidisciplinary designer Andrés Reisinger, which will remain on view at the 44,000-square-foot Gallery through the end of the year.

1stdibs 50 Opening Reception
Draped in billowy white fabric, this tunnel-like space is hung with photos, printed on fabric, of rooms by designers like Sara Story, Charlotte Barnes and S.R. Gambrel.

Reisinger, who recently joined the 1stdibs maker/seller community, offering his own floral-inspired Hortensia chair and other objects, suspended hundreds of yards of pink and white fabric from railings along the ceiling to create an undulating wall, a cathedral-like tunnel and an interactive maze that is intended, the designer says, “to express the designers’ creative process — the euphoria of brainstorming, the dizziness of progress, the satisfaction of the final result.”

Displayed throughout are enlarged photos of the 1stdibs 50’s distinctive spaces, including such fantasias as Redd Kaihoi’s screening room for a Los Angeles residence, teeming with luxuriant pattern and detail. “The rest of the house is bright and modernist,” says David Kaihoi, a partner in the firm with Miles Redd. “This room is a foil to it. We wanted it to feel like an Ottoman den.” The scheme began with the walls, which were soundproofed and upholstered with linen in a complex Persian pattern by Iksel, followed by green velvet tufted sofas and an elaborate Venetian gilded mirror. “Anything with a rich palette or luxe quality seemed to find a place in this room,” Kaihoi says.

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Andrés Reisinger

A new seller on 1stdibs, Barcelona-based multidisciplinary designer Andrés Reisinger dreamed up the witty installation honoring the 1stdibs 50.

Monique Gibson

Monique Gibson designed a Tribeca loft for clients who wanted “no color” in their new home. “At first glance, the interior may feel simple, but the relationship between the colors, textures and materials is layered, rich and highly sensual,” she says.

David Scott

David Scott collaborated with his clients in choosing bold and mid-century items for their Hamptons beach house, including an Osvaldo Borsani Canada chair and a pair of 1960s Italian armchairs from Amy Zook via 1stdibs.

Melissa Morgan

“My client is not afraid of color, and it shows,” says Melissa Morgan, of M Interiors, describing her 1stdibs 50 space. The guest bedroom of a home in San Antonio, Texas, features Manuel Canovas fabrics, plus a Louis XV–style bench by Maison Jansen, English giltwood mirrors and a crystal chandelier.

Neal Beckstedt

“I am a modernist, but I love craftsmanship from all periods, so the antique marble fireplace from London is one of my favorite items,” says Neal Beckstedt, referring to the decor of the elegant Gramercy Park salon he designed, which features a grand piano and a Vladimir Kagan sofa.

Fawn Galli created a “modern sensual” vibe in an apartment in New York’s Financial District, furnishing it with pieces like Yves Klein’s Monogold table from Artware Editions, Gabriella Crespi’s rattan lamp from Maison Gerard and a Dimore side table and Eric Roinestad’s sculptural standing lamp from The Future Perfect.

Clive Lonstein

Clive Lonstein, seen here with his colleague Rachael Lawe, says of a living room he designed on the Upper East Side: “The interesting juxtaposition is the dark shell of the room with light contents — in essence, a room that is derived from a monochromatic scheme but doesn’t appear monochromatic at all.”

Sara Story

“I love mixing the contemporary elements with the vintage ones,” says Sara Story, who combined a 1960s Swedish carpet and a custom chandelier by Mathieu Lehanneur in a Central Park West dining room. “Together they are so impactful.”

Wesley Moon

Designing a massive home in New Jersey, Wesley Moon adorned the Italianate dining room with a wall mural and silk draperies, along with such envelope-pushing art as Stephanie Patton’s soft sculpture Keep, from Voltz Clarke Contemporary.

In another photo tucked into the maze, a chair made of stuffed bunny rabbits belonging to designer Fawn Galli’s clients sets the tone for an unconventional narrative in a bright Manhattan living room. Contemporary pieces like BDDW’s minimalist sling chairs and a midnight-blue velvet sofa are paired with a 1950s Ico Parisi side table; Yves Klein’s Monogold coffee table, a reissued 1963 design made of gold leaf, plexiglass, wood and steel; and a Michelle James chandelier incorporating antique glass fixtures. An infinity mirror by Ivan Navarro hung above the marble mantelpiece “brings depth and mystery to the space,” says Galli. “When you’re mixing styles to that extent, it’s about finding balance. If you have a bunny chair, you need simple Roman shades.”

1stdibs 50 rooms
An undulating wall features photos of rooms by Thad Hayes and Sasha Adler.

On view inside the tunnel is Sara Story’s moody dining room in a Central Park West apartment, where the absence of art on deep blue walls makes furnishings and objects stand out in high relief. The scheme began with a 1960s Swedish carpet, whose blocks of mellow color were, the designer says, “the jumping-off point for all the other elements in the room, feeding into the aubergine velvet chairs, the blue paper walls and, eventually, the big punch of white” in a looping custom chandelier by Mathieu Lehanneur. The space works a subtle charm on its occupants, the result of Story’s cunning manipulations. “I felt strongly that the room’s nuances needed to unfold the longer you were in the space and make you never want to leave.”

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For a screening room in L.A.’s Trousdale Estates, David Kaihoi and Miles Redd, of Redd Kaihoi, chose patterned linen-covered walls by Iksel and quieter pieces like Christopher Spitzmiller lamps in lapis and a pair of Jean-Michel Frank slipper chairs.

Sasha Adler

Sasha Adler outfitted a study in Chicago’s landmarked Palmolive building with a tortoise lamp from 1stdibs, a custom desk of brass and cerused oak, a leather desk chair from Soane and a Peter Beard photo of a lioness, creating a room that she calls “collected, sophisticated, layered.”

Bryan O'Sullivan

In a glorious 1924 Paris residence that Bryan O’Sullivan brought back to life, he furnished the grand salon with pieces like chairs by Stephane Parmentier and Faye Toogood and Pierre Paulin Canapé Alpha sofas.

William Sofield and Emma O'Neill

William Sofield, seen here with Studio Sofield vice president Emma O’Neill, calls his 1stdibs 50 entry, his own New York bedroom, “a place of respite.” It includes a pair of Billy Haines floor lamps, as well as a bed and side tables from his first collection for Baker Furniture.

Charlotte Barnes

“It’s timeless,” Charlotte Barnes says of the guest bedroom she designed in a Connecticut Federal-style house. She notes that the space, which includes a 1940s bedside table, a pair of Italian neoclassical stools and a Swedish painted chest topped with silver accessories, fits her favorite hashtag: #traditionalbutnot.

Ray Booth

Ray Booth, of McAlpine, was one of this year’s 1stdibs 50 honorees. The firm’s featured space is the dining room of principal Bobby McAlpine, whose Atlanta home is decorated in a romantic classicism-meets-contemporary style, with Klismos dining chairs surrounding a cage-based pedestal table.

Amanda Jesse is a partner with Whitney Parris-Lamb in the Brooklyn firm Jesse Parris-Lamb. The duo designed a soulful Hamptons getaway with a neutral palette and finds like vintage Erik Buch dining chairs.

Designing an apartment in Chicago’s Palmolive Building, Summer Thornton covered the walls with Pierre Frey’s Le Grand Corail paper and combined the client’s collection of American design with pieces like an eight-arm chandelier from Windsor House Antiques.

Timothy Godbold

Timothy Godbold describes his design for the Marin County dining room featured in the 1stdibs 50 installation as “fluid — to me, the room is like liquid inside a Lucite box.” The space features S-shaped leather chairs from Jayson Home and a custom sideboard and handmade carpet from Rosemary Hallgarten.

Wesley Moon’s work is represented by a colossal New Jersey dining room, displayed on the exterior of the maze, that is curated with envelope-pushing art and a suite of delicate Victorian bamboo chairs. The prevailing custom of mixing antique treasures with recently minted ones is “really nothing new,” the designer says. “What is English country house style but families that owned a house for centuries and never threw anything away?” What we’re seeing now, in Moon’s view, are “contemporary interpretations of a home collected over time,” a practice happily facilitated by the existence of 1stdibs. “It’s the future of interior design in a nutshell, a one-stop shop and an arbiter of taste.”

1stdibs 50 designers
This celebration of the third annual roster of distinctive spaces is also the first time that the honorees were showcased at the 1stdibs Gallery, which opened in February.

Even at the recent gallery event, Australian born and Hamptons-based Timothy Godbold kept a keen curatorial eye open. “I just now saw a sofa I like,” the designer, who was recognized for his impeccably kitted-out Marin County dining room, said between sips of a drink and while gesturing toward a booth just beyond the exhibition. “I can’t stop shopping!”

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