April 25, 2016Designer Sasha Bikoff lounges in the bedroom of a Manhattan apartment that exemplifies her signature mix of French antiques and mid-century style. Top: A Milo Baughman sectional, velvet-upholstered Dorothy Draper chairs and an ice-cream cone painting by Donald Baechler create a fanciful feeling in the silk-lined living room. All photos by Patrick Cline, unless otherwise noted
When Sasha Bikoff touched down in Paris for a year of study abroad during college, she was ready to live the dream of every art history student, taking part in enviable internships at both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. And yet she found herself transfixed by the Paris design and decorative arts scene instead.
The New York native spent much of her time outside class browsing the antiques stores of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and every weekend at the city’s famous Marché aux Puces. And she made pilgrimages to Italy to see examples of Memphis Milano furniture and Murano glass. But she wasn’t just shopping. The ever-inquisitive student was photographing everything that caught her eye and reading up on her favorite designers, periods and styles. “I became obsessed with Pierre Cardin and Pierre Paulin and this whole space age style from the sixties and seventies,” she says. When she returned home to New York, she carried with her a passion for interiors as well as several binders filled with pictures.
Although it would be several years before Bikoff turned her full attention to decorating, it’s clear to anyone who sets foot in her recently opened Tribeca showroom or one of her myriad interiors projects that her enthusiasm for French antiques hasn’t faded. Meanwhile, she has trained her dealer’s eye on numerous other over-the-top design moments throughout history.
French Empire stools and mid-century mushroom lamps stand beside Louis XVI armchairs upholstered in Hermès silk scarves and Lucite seating by Charles Hollis Jones. It’s a flamboyant mix that careens wildly between eras, styles and even — intentionally — taste levels. “I’m bringing something that didn’t really exist into the New York design world,” Bikoff says. “My antiques are not your grandmother’s antiques, and my design doesn’t rely on minimalism in order to be chic. It’s colorful, it’s fun, it’s whimsical, and it’s relevant.”
A moody bedroom sheathed in navy grass cloth features matching built-in bookcases and a custom headboard in a J. Mendel fabric.
The Marché aux Puces, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Paris apartment, Jacques Grange and Dorothy Draper
The opportunity to do an apartment in the Dakota for the best client in the world, my mom
Nature, Studio 54 and anything French
Rihanna and Chopin
Ed Ruscha, Cecily Brown and Édouard Manet
Favorite Design Eras:
1960s space age, 1970s glam and 1980s Memphis Milano
One Item You Put in Every Project:
A striped rug from Roberta Freymann, a vintage bicycle and a diverse collection of artworks animate the home’s entryway.
Glossy red cabinetry from Restoration Hardware and Ralph Lauren Home industrial lights accent a bachelor’s apartment on Manhattan’s Astor Place.
In the same residence, the living area is furnished with a Timothy Oulton coffee table made from antique Indonesian railway ties and a velvet sofa from Wolf Home.
For this year’s DIFFA Dining by Design charity event, Bikoff hung a mid-century Murano glass chandelier from a canopy of tropical flora. The walls are lined in de Gournay‘s Le Eden wallpaper, and the furnishings are by Christian Liaigre. Photo by Pablo Enriquez
Designers You Most Admire:
Jacques Grange, Peter Marino, Alex Papachristidis, Iris Apfel, Madeleine Castaing and Dorothy Draper
Favorite Summer Getaway Spot:
The French Riviera
Drink of Choice:
Don Julio 1942 on the rocks
Manhattan Watering Holes:
Happy Ending and Up and Down
Go-To Dinner Places in New York:
Red Farm and Bar Pitti
On the Nightstand:
A picture of my mom pregnant with my twin brother and me, a Mother Goose vintage lamp, my glasses, some white roses and a bottle of Smartwater
Sasha Bikoff’s Quick Picks on 1stdibs
Louis XVI-style armchairs, ca. 1890, in vintage Hermès silk and Oscar de la Renta cashmere, offered by Sasha Bikoff
“I am a lover of anything French. The seats and arms of these Rococo-inspired chairs are upholstered in Hermès scarves from the ’80s, and the seat backs are a canary-yellow cashmere. It’s a fresh, new take on the old.”
Johanna Grawunder Vu Vanity, 2007, offered by Ammann Gallery
“A dream item. It’s pink and illuminated — enough said!”
Pierre Paulin Groovy chairs and ottomans in Oscar de la Renta cashmere, ca. 1970, offered by Sasha Bikoff
“These chairs are very ’70s French modernist. They were redone with Oscar de la Renta remnant cashmere and inspired by a Damien Hirst pink-and-blue butterfly diptych.”
Glass commodes, 2015, offered by Immortalis
“I love Italian mid-century glass furniture. The colors on these are so fun and definitely make a statement.”
Croissant sofa in pink velvet, ca. 1980, offered by Sasha Bikoff
“This sofa in the shape of a croissant is fun and sexy in a J. Mendel hot-pink silk-velvet remnant fabric.”
Pair of Pierre Colleu for Starform Mickey Mouse chests of drawers, ca. 1980, offered by Galerie André Hayat
“I saw these in the Marché in Paris, and I thought they were adorable for a kid’s room. They’re really special and rare.”
Chanel silk scarf pillow with velvet backing, 2015, offered by Sasha Bikoff
“I love this Chanel chain pillow I made. It’s very Rihanna.”