Once in a while I stumble across a stylist whose work looks both inspired yet also real and livable. Marcus Hay is one such stylist.
German born, but raised in Australia, Marcus Hay has been styling for advertising, lifestyle and marketing/branding clients for almost two decades. He moved to New York City in 2005 to join Real Simple as Style Director and has since done work for Vogue Living, CB2 and *Wallpaper and countless clients worldwide.
What I love about Hay's work is that it looks gorgeous and stylish, but not overly stylized or precious. I am so tired of seeing homes profiled in magazines and websites that look contrived and self-conscious. Usually, a token pair of boots or random book or umbrella will be thrown in to make the room look "lived in." And the result is pretty but also impossibly unlivable!
Hay's rooms, on the other hand, are like the best of fashion: The outfit work because it is carefully constructed and orchestrated but looks effortless, as if the style burst forth organically not self-consciously. I can imagine living in Hay's rooms (especially the ones in his home) but am also somewhat in awe of them.
Hay is great with color and his rooms are full of lovely little vignettes, collections and floral arrangements and clusters of artwork and frames. He mixes old and new nicely and is not afraid of second-hand and vintage shopping! On the Pat Bates website, Hay lists among his design inspirations:
"Early pop icons like Grace Jones and her work with stylist Jean-Paul Goude, Coco Chanel, Andy Warhol, Eero Saarinen and the Eames', Isamu Noguchi, designer Alexander Girard, Danish ceramic artist Bjørn Wiinblad." He is quoted saying: "I miss people being adventurous and daring with interiors; there is nothing more bad taste than good taste."
Images: 1 & 2: Elle Decoration UK via Marcus Hay Fluff n' Stuff. I adore the couch in Image 2, which is from an Australia company called Norman & Quaine The bedside cabinets are vintage Danish finds. According to his blog, Hay is fond of a little shop in New Hampshire called Just L, (www.yelp.com/biz/just-l-littleton); Images 3 - 6: Marcus Hay.