#TBT – New York Times HOME Section 1989

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Last Thursday was the last day of the HOME Section of the New York Times; there are many of us who lament this change, remembering when the section was a very important source of news about the world of design.

I look back with great appreciation for the countless things I learned from this section, never mind that my first real media exposure was in the HOME section in February of 1989 – just two years after I opened Glenn Gissler Design.

I was introduced to the most important and the most influential HOME section writer, Suzanne Slesin, at an opening at Furniture of the Twentieth Century. I contacted her a few days later with hopes of showing her a few recently completed projects.

Suzi came to see three projects, and literally days later  “A Designer Test His Wings; Maximal Style for Minimalist Tastes” appeared on the front page of the HOME Section! Including the jump page the story covered five square feet (!) of New York Times ‘real estate’ including seven photographs, three of which included me.

I nearly died!

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Glenn Gissler - Blog - 2015 - 600-dpi-page-2-NY-Times-2

The HOME Section has been a mere shadow of itself for many years; there are few people who would argue that.  Some even see this change as a death knoll for design coverage in the New York Times.

At least for the moment I am looking at the glass as ‘half-full’, and I am hopeful that the nay-sayers will be proven wrong.


#TBT – Living Room – circa 1990


The seating arrangement on one side of the living room balance a baby grand piano and an antique French daybed on the other side of the room. The tailored furniture is upholstered in golden hues, deep purple, and vibrant leafy green has the room feel luxurious yet inviting.


I designed this Living Room 25 years ago, but this photos is from a year ago. After visiting my friends and former clients a couple of years ago I found that the project had held up, literally and figuratively, so I went in and shot new photos of an old project.

The ‘story’ here is in some ways about the importance of making thoughtful decisions in the design process in the interest of providing enduring value.

Anchoring the room are two custom Carr sofas from Jonas upholstered in Gretchen Bellinger ‘Applause”cotton velvet – and yes, it is the original upholstery.

A Pyrex glass cylinder ‘Saladino Lamp’, designed by John Saladino in 1971, sits on a table behind one of the sofas

The Barcelona Table designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929 is from Knoll, and was a piece of furniture that we reused from the previous incarnation of the home. The accessories are American Arts & Crafts purchased in the early days of David Rago Auctions.

The table sits on a wonderfully washed out Antique Garden Tabriz area rug that provides understated classical richness to the room, subtly contrasting with the wool sisal carpet below.

A print by Joan Miro circa 1970 hangs over the custom limestone fireplace surround inspired by Carlo Scarpa.

In the foreground area are a pair of T-stools designed by Pierre Chareau in 1927 – iconic Modernist objects that provide additional seating.

In the right corner is a Klismos chair designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.


#TBT – East Coast Rooms – 2000

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It may be wishful thinking, however as an antidote to the Winter blues here’s an optimistic look back at images of a house designed for Summer enjoyment that might be a welcome respite for us all.

Glenn Gissler - Blog - 2015 - East Coast Rooms
In 2000, author Anna Kasabian came out with her book East Coast Rooms: Contemporary Portfolios from 40 North American Interior Designers 

Kasabian is a freelance writer, journalist and the author of 14 books. Her writings on interior design and architecture, art, food and cooking, luxury and historic real estate, garden design, home and garden preservation projects and New England have been published in regional and national magazines.


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An antique English Art & Crafts table and vintage American lamp add a level of ‘architectural’ interest to this modest Entry Hall.

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Sea Grass and linen slip-covers and unlined linen curtains on stained wood rods evoke easy breezy Summer days. The graphic silhouettes of an eclectic mix of antiques – Aesthetic Movement, English Arts & Crafts, French and American – balance the heavier fully-upholstered pieces in the room.

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A pair of vintage steel chandeliers hang over the custom table, surrounded by a set of caned circle-back chairs with arms from Robert Lighton.



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The iron bed and plaid cotton area rug recalls simple old-school summer houses. The shutters are applied to the wall beneath the windows to ‘correct’ their awkward shape and placement on the wall, while adding more visual cues reminiscent of days gone by.

#TBT – Town & Country 2003

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Caroline Hirsch is a woman with great personal style – a style that includes an enviable lifestyle. I have had the pleasure of creating two homes for her.

She takes meticulous care of her homes, so much so that I jest that with five minutes notice I could arrive with cameras, lights and a few flowers and start shooting photographs immediately.

Shelter magazines are in the business of creating seductive images of rooms we want to be in, and lifestyles we want to have.  I love to create images that seduce, but truth be told, not all homes are as beautiful, or as well-styled as we see in print.

I can however tell you, with great confidence, that more than a decade later this home looks as good now as it did then…


#TBT – Michael Kors – Seventh on Sale – 1990

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I designed this temporary Michael Kors booth for the first ‘Seventh on Sale’, an initiative  to raise money for HIV and AIDS created by VOGUE and the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).

The large photo, an ‘abstracted’ Christy Turlington, was part of their advertising campaign.

Michael’s concept for the opening of the sale was that everything in the space be shades of silver, grey, white & black; although it appears otherwise, this is a full color image!