The Client: Anthony, 39, a theatre director
Favorite Color: “Black! I have a love affair with it. It is the color of all things to do with night, from black tie dinners with caviar, to film noir, to black cats crossing my path in the moonlight. It is provocative, sexy, and soothing all at the same time.”
Inspiration: “Black and white movies: Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (filmed in Brooklyn); Woody Allen’s Manhattan; A Place in the Sun--early Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift--two dark-haired beauties rendered in stunning, saturated two-tone cinema.”
Challenge: Creating an interior that corresponds to my own taste-~ which is rather off the beaten path-- but which will still seem inviting to friends.
Favorite food: “I’m Dominican, so the answer has to be Sancocho, a meat and vegetable stew made with tropical vegetables, pork and spiked with sour orange. I like to return to Washington Heights where I was born, and eat at Oche A Te Gusto on St. Nicholas & 188th.
Favorite quote: “People have a copyright on their own life.”--Hilton Als
Favorite artist: Retna (Marquis Lewis), a graffiti artist who makes regal images, some in black and gold. He has invented his own powerful alphabet, unlike any other you see on the street.
Favorite design source: The clothes and sneakers of fashion designer Rick Owens, and especially the WSJ photographs of his Paris home.
“I share a five-story townhouse in Bed-Stuy, built in 1890, which retains much of its original Aesthetic Movement architectural detail. It is a privilege to live in such a house, and try to be a caretaker of all the history contained in its bricks, mortar and moldings. I don’t want to alter anything, but to harmonize new elements into the architectural shell. Painting paneled walls black is not new. In fact, it goes back to the decorative style of the time this house was built, when pigments were fewer than what we have today.”
“I used Sherwin Williams “Black of Night” (SW6993), a black eggshell paint rather than a glossy one. I find more depth and luster in the very faint sheen of the paint than you would in a very reflective one. The dramatic effect in the living room was immediate. Having made this rather radical decorating decision, all the other design questions were answered, as if by magic. Because I trusted my instincts and went with black, the color I truly love, everything flowed. I especially love the contrast of the huge tufted black ottoman with the long, lean gold sofa.”
“The overall style and atmosphere of this living room goes way beyond my expectations. The all black scheme, embellished with gold, has a theatrical quality which of course I love, but at the same time it is very serene, a nice place to spend time with friends.”
Tufted Round Ottoman:Roxanne Raffia, Black. Trimmed in Antique Brass Nailheads; legs are stained Espresso