One of my very first friends in NYC was a distinctive, sometimes kinda normal, but often offbeat guy named Jeff Fazio. Jeff was affable, fun, carefree and seemingly “knew everyone” after a decade of working in a variety of upscale designed focus retail stores.
At the time of this project, Jeff was a buyer at Barney’s, working directly with the remarkable Phyllis Pressman – creator and curator of the Chelsea Passage department at the ORIGINAL Barney’s on 17th Street & Seventh Avenue; it was another era…
Jeff’s personality and ‘joi de vivre’ informed every decision for the project. He was not really ‘normal’ so neither was the design for his apartment.
A revealing example of Jeff’s unique approach to life was his unique rotating system for ‘selecting’ his clothes for the day. He would take the first shirt, first pants and first tie in line – no matter what the combination – and put them together: Dada Dressing! Rest assured he did NOT bother with white shirts and dark ties – rather he had plaids, checks, stripes, florals; and lots of color!
Jeff’s infectious sense of humor carried him and those around him through the day, and through this project.
The budget for renovating and furnishing his Chelsea one bedroom apartment was modest; together we took a minimalist object-oriented, dramatic approach to designing his home.
Since New York Magazine showed only two views of the apartment I have taken the liberty here to show additional views of this off-beat project: I don’t want to leave key elements just to the imagination!
No sleep sofa here! Jeff was very clear – “They are sleeping with me, or they aren’t staying over!” – so with his adventuresome spirit we purchased a biomorphic sofa from the visionary offerings at Michael Steinberg’s ‘Furniture of the 20th Century’ covering it in a fire engine red Scalamandre damask – the one and only time I have used damask.
The dining table – also from ‘Furniture of the 20th Century’ was designed by the then very new rockstar of design Philippe Starck. We juxtaposed the three-legged frosted glass and chrome table with a set of early 20th century gild chairs with richly embroidered upholstery.
Double doors were installed between the Living Room and Bedroom – ‘stock doors’ from Dyke’s Lumber made very tall with their standard square window openings – a design intended for the front door of mid-century modern homes.
A curious view in the Foyer looking into a shaped mirror a offers a good view of an ‘early’ unique chair made by English designer Tom Dixon using scrap metal.
Looking into the bedroom the rich purple bedcover and over-sized headboard contrasts with the acidic green area rug and a painting by a Czechoslovakian art collaborative.
This project is most definitely from another era. My design work has developed since this experimental project, however looking at it again I can see glimmers of the some conceptual strategies that inform my design work today – albeit in a different more sophisitcated guise.