Were you as captivated as I was by Nick Olsen's work in the latest issue of Veranda? There's something about his aesthetic that's complex, and yet, so effortless. Nick has a voice and he's not afraid to see his vision through.
The setting is a Pre-War Beaux Arts building in New York City, which doesn't hurt things, since there were (most likely) abundant architectural details already in place. Olsen masterfully updated the space with fresh colors, an engaging mix of styles, and a smattering of the unexpected.
What I love most about the design is that it's rooted in traditional design. There are antiques, silk taffeta curtains, velvet sofas, bullion fringe, canopy beds (although freshened up with white paint), Persian rugs and floral (deGournay) wallpaper. Olsen layered in some modern elements as well, but it didn't feel trendy or overplayed, as in chesterfield/barcelona/chevron/ikat/suzani/geometric - rinse and repeat. (And please don't misunderstand, the aforementioned design elements are lovely and I don't hesitate to use any of them myself, I just don't think they're a requirement for every space.)
I also love that it''s "pretty" .There's color! There's pattern! There's trim! There are flowers!
Oh, and one last/important thing . The apartment doesn't feel overly "coordinated". Olsen pulled from a wide range of colors, textures and design styles. The curtains don't match the pillows which pick up a color from the rug, etc.etc. Of course there was an overall color concept and mood for the space, but then some of the pieces were chosen intuitively; just because they felt right in the space, and not because they matched. This maneuver is tough to pull off, and the results are never middle of the road. It's either a home run or a swing and a miss .
And so (for me), this apartment by Nick Olsen is what great design is all about. It starts with a base of tried and true classic pieces, layers in some modern elements to represent where we are today, and tops it all off with a bit of the quirky and unexpected. It's the art of the carefully chosen mix at its best.
What did you love (or not love) about it?
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