Chelsea Loft

This loft in Chelsea, owned by Glenn Gissler, was a place of design ferment and experiment, an arena for working out long-held design convictions and exploring completely fresh modes of decorative expression. Deep wall colors create a rich, shadowy atmosphere in the main living room, yet other spaces are equally notable for bursts of natural light, a chiaroscuro that informs all of Glenn’s work.

Collections of photographs and contemporary works on paper abound, along with piles of art and design books. We see certain Gissler signatures– Rietveld’s Zig-Zag chair; Christopher Dresser’s metalwork and green-glazed pottery–but there are new artistic elements as well. A Frank Stella black print from the 1970s vies with a plethora of stark, moody near-abstract black and white photographs. The loft represents a tension between the stability of well-loved furniture and objects and the restless desire for new knowledge which is the lot of every true collector and connoisseur.

Amidst experiment, Glenn did not stint on comfort, which is, as much as his devotion to art, a Gissler hallmark. Velvety tufted sectional sofas invite the guest to take in and assimilate the wealth of art and objets which fill this space.

A favorite striped sofa is ensconced among a huge green urn and brass candlesticks, both by Christopher Dresser. On the wall, vintage and contemporary photographs invite closer scrutiny.

A broader view of the living room reveals subtly lacquered surfaces. The asymmetrical coffee table is the color of snap peas; the walls are a bitter chocolate reminiscent of that used by Billy Baldwin in his own famous apartment. Rope seated Klismos chairs by Robsjohn-Gibbings are muscular, yet sinuously feminine in outline.

On a 1950s biomorphic etagere, a print from Frank Stella’s black period is displayed on a modern stand; assorted green pottery completes the tableau.

A massive Arts and Crafts oak dining table is surrounded by chairs with distinctive X splats. White-washed brick walls create a light space.

Kitchen cabinets are lacquered elegant blue-black, displaying a collection of creamy white wares by Russel Wright.

In the kitchen, an improvised bar beckons. Silver bowl is by Wiener Werkstatte designer Josef Hoffmann.

In the bedroom, a light palette, of white and apple green.

Natural wooden blinds, the color of chopsticks, emphasize the lightness of the bedroom, along with Rietveld’s Zig-Zag chair.

An impossibly slender Tiffany candlestick and two ancient fragments of Buddhas, along with a spiky bit of a shark’s jaw create an ambiguous yet contemplative shrine.

A chair by artist Donald Judd lacquered in dark red is juxtaposed with a selection of contemporary art.

A medley of browns: the whole-wheat color and texture of an upholstered chair; the chocolate of the wall-color; and a striped pillow in shades of golden brown.

In the bathroom Glenn used a vivid cobalt blue worthy of Mondrian as a backdrop for a photographs.