Five Questions For: Nick Olsen

Five Questions For: Nick Olsen

Keehnan Konyha
Sep 17, 2008

Nick Olsen is a busy man. In addition to working as an assistant for the fabulous Miles Redd, he is a regular contributor to Domino magazine, and maintains their Deal Hunter blog at Here, we ask him about local sources, inspiration, and recent obsessions...

Where are you shopping?

Pearl River Mart is always a revelation. I could decorate an entire apartment using only that store. I finally made it out to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene -- it was a little over-curated and crafty but with some very good deals mixed in. B&J Fabrics on Seventh Avenue is my go-to spot for solid colored fabrics — silk satins, linens, wool felts. However there is such a dearth of good prints out there that I'm tempted to go into the fabric business... On the higher end I think Steven Sclaroff has a great eye and very reasonable prices.

What are you wearing?

Well, right now I really want to donate every button-down shirt in my closet and replace them with Band of Outsiders in every color and pattern. I'm probably late to the party on this one but I tried them on at Odin (11th Street) and just about died. BEST FIT EVER with no weird, tongue-in-cheek details. As far as Fashion Week inspiration, I saw a video of the Thom Browne show and while I won't be wearing any tennis-racquet-embroidered-trapeze-tutu-coats next spring I think the woven grosgrain ribbon detail was genius, and I would totally use that on upholstery, pillows and so on. Oh and all the vintage boots at Dullsville, or whatever that store on 13th St close to 3rd ave is called. Run by a woman who buys all the vintage for Ralph Lauren? No sign on the door?

Where are you eating?

One place I consistently go back to for the food AND the decoration is Barrio Chino on Broome Street. Not too pretentious, just great food and margaritas and a beautiful distressed gold tea paper wall with red Chinese lanterns casting pretty light. I'm also dying to check out Bobo (on 10th St.) but need to place my reservation now for, like, next January.

What are you reading?

Domino is my perennial fave magazine, duh! I'm serious -- I buy it on the newsstand because I can't wait for the subscriber copy. Their editors introduce me to stuff even I haven't seen at the D&D. Also, The World of Interiors is always inspiring... kind of makes me want to move to the English countryside and decorate only with ferns or something. Books terrify me because of the time commitment, but on [my boss] Miles' recommendation I read The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford and I've been giving copies to friends. LOVED 'EM!! Such a dry, crackling wit. No one writes like that anymore (not that I'd know if they did; see above). Blogs: OBSESSED with Decorno. Elaine is a hysterical, genius writer and starts major debates, especially over non-decorating issues. I spend hours just reading the comments.

What are you obsessing over?

Slipcovers! I want to slipcover everything. If I had a dog, I would slipcover it. Also, I'm obsessed with slipper chairs. This I got from Miles, too. A funny little French chauffeuse in any living room, library or bedroom throws off the scale of bulkier upholstered furniture just so. Oh and the sandwiches at Corrado Bread & Pastry. And Diet Dr. Pepper. Steve Hurley remixing Roberta Flack.The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo. Finally, if a young Tony Ward showed up at my door I wouldn't be too upset.

Pics: New York magazine,, The Peak Of Chic and

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