PHOTO : Francoise Dischinger

It is no longer enough to answer the
question “What is your occupation?”
by the simple words “I am an
architect.”
One is forced to the
incongruous statement “I am
a modern architect.”
Think of a
lawyer saying “I am a modern lawyer,”
or a surgeon having to say
“I am a modern surgeon.”
What other kind could they be?
William Lescaze



Our focus this issue

what IS
modern?
 
THIS IS THE PROBLEM, THE QUANDRY, THE PERPLEXING QUESTION FOR A DECORATOR WHO FALLS IN LOVE WITH A HOUSE THAT WAS LITERALLY DESIGNED, BUILT, AND PHILOSOPHICALLY FOUNDED ON THE IDEA OF NO ORNAMENTATION:  What do I do with it ?!?!?!

In 2006, I fell under the spell a townhouse at 32 East 74th St designed by International Style architect William Lescaze. I spent a lot of time thinking about the right approach for this amazing house. On the one hand, it seemed to me the absolute perfect backdrop for an amazing art and furniture collection. On the other hand, Lescaze built this house with a certain intention. What was his intention? I know that it was not a decorated house! That much I knew for sure! The question I grappled with the entire time I was lucky enough to be in this house (which was so much more than a house) was: What was I at liberty to do and still honor the designer's intent?

In the end, I remained true, as much as possible, to the original vision of Lescaze. Out with the clutter, rip out the wallpaper! Then, create a clean palette in neutral shades. I rediscovered the artist's original life plan for the house. 

This leads to my point: Learning from Lescaze. To simplify, take advantage of current technology, use light and air to enhance living. Some stories in this issue reflect my experience, some are things I discovered in the renovation process. You will also find the thoughts of other amazing designers, their ideas about neutrals (8 designers in the BEDROOM) and what modern means to them (Brad Ford, Vincente Wolf and Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz in THE GUESTHOUSE). And, as always, what's important is to find YOUR way and YOUR style for your own home and your own life! I just hope that we inspire you! 

We all get stuck sometimes. Our perspective is complicated with day-to-day events, items, people, places, aspirations- our life experience. We wake up one day and realize it's time for a change. It could be a trip: hop on a plane and take an inspiring vacation where you eat, pray, and love. It could be a realization: you make it work and do what we can with kids in school and others who depend on you. Regardless, we seek the same thing: to rediscover our original intention. We peel back the layers of our lives and rediscover the moments of infinite possibility. Then, we are lighter and happier and back to ourselves...just like this amazing house's journey. So, COME ON IN!