When Josh Greene moved into his Chelsea one bedroom co-op two and a half years ago it was a boring, boxy space that lacked architecture, complete with green shag carpeting compliments of the little old lady who lived there before him. Thank goodness Josh has a great sense of style and knows a thing or two about decorating! As decorative project manager for Ralph Lauren, Josh oversees interior design for Ralph Lauren boutiques around the world and scours the globe for fabulous treasures for both his job and his home. With his refined eye and sophisticated sensibility, Josh transformed his once lackluster apartment into an elegant space filled with carefully chosen furnishings and accessories and a moody yet soothing color palette throughout. Josh’s chic apartment is the epitome of a well dressed home. Here’s a tour…
The Living Room
The first time I walked into Josh’s living room I immediately felt visual sensory overload. There were so many beautiful things to take in! The dark stained hardwood floors, striking artwork and the variety of textural elements like the plush tufted velvet sofa, the rich chevron patterned fabric covering the pair of club chairs and the grasscloth covered walls. I also admired the moldings which were added after Josh moved in to lend a bit of architecture to the space.
Josh’s sofa is vintage and the painting above was found at an antiques shop in Brooklyn is by Ira Davidoff. The wall covering is Anya Larkin, the Chinese altar tables were an antique find, the vintage club chairs are covered in Classic Cloth’s Sierra Madre from Dessin Fournir, the drapery fabric shown in the top photo is Spice Market from Donghia and the coffee table is a custom piece.
Across from the main seating area in the living room is this incredible neoclassic style breakfront china cabinet which Josh picked up during an antiquing trip in Stamford, CT – one of his favorite places to shop for antiques. He had it restored and painted and now the cabinet inconspicuously conceals his television which seems to disappear behind the glass doors.
Here’s a closer look at Josh’s books and other collected objects that are stylishly arranged on the cabinet’s shelves. I asked Josh what his three favorite things in his home are and he didn’t hesitate to name this beautiful cabinet as one of them. I think it’s my favorite piece in his home too!
Another one of Josh’s three favorite pieces is the painting above of a reclining nude by Clarisse Loxton Peacock. The painting below was left to Josh by his apartment’s previous owner which he simply had it re-framed.
The Dining Area
Just off the living room is the perfect little dining alcove. The wall color is Ralph Lauren’s Hopsack, the table was found at a vintage shop in downtown Manhattan and the chairs were antique finds from a shop in Stamford. The abstract artwork on the wall is a NYC flea market find while the chandelier is from the Paris flea market. Josh didn’t care to bother with shipping it so he lugged it through the airport and carried it back to New York on his flight!
I thought this niche was perfectly styled and loved the mix of objects on display. The pair of Han Dynasty amphoras were a gift from his parents that were purchased from Northern California based antiques dealer Tim Jacobs. The painting of the two love birds is by Josh’s friend Amanda Brotman. (Click the photo for a closer view.)
Just beyond the dining area is Josh’s kitchen which he hopes to renovate soon so I’ll only show this little peek. Josh spruced up his simple kitchen with new stainless steel appliances and a fresh coat of bright, robins egg-ish blue paint. The color is Ralph Lauren’s Emperor and it’s divine! Josh wasn’t in love with his existing cabinetry so he simply removed the doors and gave the insides a coat of paint…he even painted the backsplash too! And don’t you just love Josh’s mix of pretty china and glassware? His pieces include classic white dinnerware, antique Limoges china and a hodgepodge of other old and new pieces all of which I adore! I especially love the Moroccan glassware and the antique cream and white china set, a gift from his mother that was once used aboard an old train.
Like the kitchen, I’ll only show you a tiny bit of Josh’s bathroom…how chic are his gold floors?! The tiles are from Ann Sacks.
Josh’s bedroom is also a work in progress but I think it already looks amazing! His sleek walnut bed is dressed up with beautiful custom made shams and a lovely ikat bedspread which is actually a sarong he purchased from Paul Smith a while back. The shams were made using the same Classic Cloth fabric that’s used on the club chairs in his living room. The sconces on either side of the bed are by visual comfort. The marble topped side table is actually his old coffee table which he purchased from a flea market. I love the calming paint color which is Sail Cloth by Janovic. (A local paint supply store here in New York that produces their own brand of paint in addition to being the city’s largest Benjamin Moore seller.)
Opposite the bed is this 1960s Danish hutch which houses what Josh describes as all of his “gentlemanly things.”
I love his choice of artwork and objects seen here on the top surface of the hutch. The photograph of a man on a horse is by Richard Phibbs, the nude sketch is by Johs’s friend, artist Fedele Spadafora. The abstract circles painting is by Amanda Brotman and on top of the frame is a treasured pair of armadillos that was givent to Josh by a friend when they were in high school. (Click the photo to enlarge.)
Along the adjacent wall Josh recently installed a new built in desk & bookshelf combo. Inside the drawers Josh used jewelry organizers to keep all of his desk supplies in order.
When I came to visit and took these photos a few months ago Josh didn’t have his window treatments installed yet but this lovely paisley linen from Brochier is the fabric he’s using for Roman shades which will cover the window in front of the desk.
Here’s a look at one of the built in bookcases that are on either side of his desk. It’s filled to the brim with books on art and design.
Now that you’ve seen a tour of his home, meet Josh Greene. Prior to working in design, Josh worked as a writer and reporter covering ready-to-wear and textiles for Women’s Wear Daily. After he grew tired of fashion reporting Josh launched his own line of men’s shirts and later completed a brief stint freelancing for the design firm MR Architecture and Decor. For a while he contemplated a career in architecture and even enrolled in a summer program at Harvard’s prestigious School of Design but quickly learned that architecture was not his calling. He joined Ralph Lauren’s interior design department four and a half years ago and hasn’t looked back! Earlier this year Josh got the itch to start writing again and also felt he needed a creative outlet so in March he started a blog! Shagreene (genius name!) is Josh’s must-visit blog which chronicles all that inspires him in the world of interior design, art and architecture. It also features well produced video interviews with notables like Elle Decor editor-in-chief Margaret Russell and fashion designers Lars Nilsson and Yeohlee. Click here to check out Shagreene and a huge thank you to Josh for opening up your home to So Haute!
Not too long ago I received an email inviting me to check out the online lifestyle boutique of world traveler and tastemaker Jennie Schmid. When I clicked to check out her shop I was immediately struck by the beautiful image on her landing page which provided a peek at the exotic assortment of decorative items for the home offered on her site. Although Jennie was born and raised in Southern California, she has spent the past 20 years traveling the world and living in such places as Latvia, Switzerland Sri Lanka, Kenya and now Morocco. Her global influence is very apparent in the mix of products offered in her eponymous online shop which also includes jewelry, clothing, accessories and other objets d’art. My top three picks are highlighted below and be sure to check out the Jennie Schmid boutique to see more stunning treasures from around the world. Jennie also recently launched a blog, which you can view here.
Handpainted ceramic bowls with metal rim. Small – $15, Med – $25, Large – $30
Geometric tea glasses. Handpainted. $95 / set of four.
Hand embroidered pouf. $250
The December 2009 cover of Metropolitan Home
Another one bites the dust…Publisher Hachette Filipacchi announced today that it will cease publication of modern shelter magazine Metropolitan Home, with the December 2009 issue as its last. Met Home joins the ranks of shelter magazines such as House & Garden, O at Home, Cottage Living and Domino – all which have folded amidst a tough economic climate. In the wake of Met Home’s closing, Hachette will focus its energy and resources on Elle Decor which just celebrated it’s 20th anniversary and is still holding it’s own in the shelter category. I personally am saddened by the news although it’s a great opportunity for Elle Decor to continue to grow its brand. Still, there are now just small handful of quality shelter magazines left and I can only wonder if they will all survive in the long run. Thankfully there are innovators like the newly launched Lonny in the online world that are beginning to fill the void that the fallen shelter mags have left behind…but Metropolitan Home will certainly be missed. You can read more about Met Home’s demise here and here.
Interior designer Ryan Korban has been on my radar since seeing his home featured on The Selby last summer. Soon after he was featured in Domino, then the New York Times, Style.com and most recently on Vogue.com and The Daily. His name keeps popping up everywhere and with all of the buzz, this 25-year-old self-taught designer is definitely one to watch. Traditional meets urban is how I would describe his style and the use of contrasting textures and reflective surfaces is a signature. Recently Korban launched his new website which boasts a portfolio as impressive as his client roster. With clients like fashion designers Alexander Wang and Charlotte Ronson, socialites Victoria & Vanessa Traina, model Natasha Poly, actor James Franco and even the late DJ AM, Ryan Korban has solidified himself as the interior design darling of the young, fashion set. I predict a bright career ahead for Korban and can’t wait to see what he’s up to next!
Photos via ryankorban.com
Charlotte Moss is an interior designer whom I have long admired. She is the epitome of style and grace and I am personally drawn to her timeless design aesthetic which embraces a sensibility of comfort, elegance and livability. I also admire the way Moss has transcend the role of interior designer and gone on to design a variety of products and run a successful business. In her career that has spanned more than 20 years, Charlotte Moss’ list of brand extensions includes carpets for Stark, fabrics for Brunschwig & Fils, home fragrances for Agraria, China for Pickard, garden planters for Seibert & Rice as well as several books on lifestyle and design including the perennial favorite - A Flair for Living – which was published last year by Assouline. She is also collaborating with Fabricut on a signature fabric line due out next Fall and was recently honored with Elle Decor’s 2009 Vision Award which pays tribute to leading women in design each year. She’s such a busy woman I can hardly keep up!
Me & Charlotte Moss at the Richard Cohen Showroom
Moss’ most recent venture is an incredibly chic line of collectible gift items for Halcyon Days called The Muse Collection which includes hand painted enamel spill vases, round trays, ring boxes handbag mirrors, atomizers and bedside clocks. The Muse collection is set in four iconic cities and pays homage to Audrey Hepburn, Elsie de Wolfe, Coco Chanel and Jackie Kennedy Onassis – four incredible women who are constant sources of inspiration for Moss. I recently joined Charlotte Moss for a breakfast to preview the new collection and I was excited to have the opportunity to meet her and see the new collection up close. I didn’t know what to expect but she was beyond gracious and so incredibly down to earth…and funny! She spoke with a southern drawl that immediately put me at ease and I really enjoyed talking with her about her new collection, design, blogging and more. Here is an excerpt from our chat.
Tell me about your new collection for Halcyon Days in your own words…
It was so great to work with a company that has such a great history of creating beautiful products that people by year after year to create collections. I love history and my references always seem to come from other women from the past who have inspired me in the design world. So I took the influences from these women in my life and the motifs and the things that inspired them and created these products to move history forward. And they really are useful objects. The travel clock, for example, is a great piece that will make any hotel room feel more elegant.
“New York” bedside clock and spill vase, inspired by Elsie de Wolfe
What was it about these these four particular women that inspired you?
These women had such rich, textured lives that I pulled inspiration from. Coco Chanel in her apartment on Rue Cambon in Paris had numerous coromandel screens and she loved Chinoiserie and pagodas as do I. We did a china pattern after Elsie de Wolfes’ Trianon palace which we translated into the product for Halcyon. We drew simplicity from Jackie Kennedy. She had a very complex life but a very simple, refined aesthetic, from her shift dresses to her Nantucket baskets and daisies, which are simple flowers but were her favorite. We took the Nantucket basket and the daisies and crafted them together to make something that was very feminine. And lastly was Audrey in the scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s when she’s standing in front of the window drinking her coffee with that big string of pearls draped around her back which I always thought was fabulous…so I took those double strands of pearls and crafted them into a product.
“Paris” round tray and atomizer, inspired by Coco Chanel
What advice would you give to women who are starting out in the design business?
The most important thing is to have confidence in your own aesthetic. It’s about understanding who are you and what you
stand for and not trying to adapt your aesthetic to the times or to whats popular at the moment. Know who you are, stick to your core and continue making it better.
So do you
think it’s about creating a brand?
You know, I really hate to use the word brand. I think it’s simply your point of view. Brand now is what point of view used to be. We’ve been able to expand on our point of view through branding because we have the opportunity to do licensing and other partnerships but I really think it’s about having a strong point of view. Clients come to us because we have a distinct point of view. The companies we partner with come to us because they like our point of view and the way we interpret things…So if you don’t have a point of view people will never know what you stand for. Every fashion designer has a very clear point of view that no one ever disputes and in interior design it should be the same.
“Hollywood” handbag mirror and ring box, inspired by Audrey Hepburn
Do you see similarities in fashion design and interior design?
We have a product that really isn’t so fashion driven. It is to an extent but it’s not really seasonal like fashion. When you’re designing homes its not about what’s new this season and what’s going to be new next season. Yes there are new things, but you don’t throw your sofa and your curtains out every season. What you buy for your home really has to have value.
“Nantucket” spill vase, inspired by Jackie Kennedy-Onassis
I’ve really been enjoying your blog, Tête å Tête. How has blogging impacted you or your business? Do you feel more connected to your fan base?
It adds another layer of quality access. It’s a great opportunity to have a voice and in between the books we write and the products we create [the blog] is that continuum that constantly reinforces our point of view.
Be sure to check out Charlotte’s blog Tête å Tête and to see more of her chic giftables for Halcyon Days, you can visit Scully & Scully in New York or the Halcyon Days Website.