Name: Paul Giordano and Simon Mathis
Location: New York, New York
Size: 625 square feet
Years lived in: 15 months, rented
This extremely welcoming home in Manhattan is full of vibrant colors, natural textures, and personalized treasures. Though on the small-ish side, big windows let in a lot of light, and charming architectural features like a brick wall add tons of charm. But it's Paul and Simon's ability to mesh styles and colors that has created such a warm, eclectic home.
Inspired by the famous interior decorators of the Hollywood Glam era means the space is full of unexpected luxury. Paul and Simon believe that a home evolved over time—not bought in an afternoon—is what gives their space a feeling of authenticity and coziness.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Hollywood Regency with an East Coast flair. We believe rooms should look as though they evolved over time, yet still be visually cohesive.
Inspiration: Decorators Billy Haines and Billy Baldwin. Their styles were different, yet they both remain timeless. The mixing of periods, unexpected color choices and layering of a room are still so inspiring.
Favorite Element: This is a tough question, since we only acquire things we really love! I would say the 1960s wrought iron patio chairs Simon found in a shop in the East Village, which we had spray painted in Benjamin Moore's Turning Leaf - 384 and recovered in velvet to match. I'm also crazy for the 1950s Aldo Tura bar cart I found on eBay several years ago.
Simon's favorites include the living room rug; he loves the colors and the deco influence. The carpet is from Flor and is made up from separate tiles. Each one has a different pattern and we had great fun deciding how we wanted to lay them. It's amazingly versatile, too; when we move we can rearrange them to fit in any space and if it gets stained, we can pull a tile up and wash or replace it. In addition, Simon has a fondness for the living room chandelier, a very simple gold Murano glass, which we found together at a flea market.
Biggest Challenge: The size of the space. If we just had one more closet and an additional 150 square feet, the place would be perfect. But this is the standard complaint of most New Yorkers!
What Friends Say: Not to give ourselves accolades, but the words friends most frequently use are stunning and fabulous, "a real gown-up's apartment." Yet, they always get around to saying that the place feels welcoming and relaxed. While it looks good, they don't feel as though they are sitting in the middle of a shelter magazine photo shoot.
Biggest Embarrassment: Simon and I debated on saying this, but frankly it's managing where to place Merlin's litter box. We have switched to the pellets and pad system, which is neater and more hygienic, and we store the box in the shower and move it to the hallway when the shower is in use. So embarrassing, but there really is no other spot to place it!
Proudest DIY: We painted the entire apartment ourselves: walls, moldings, doors, ceiling, etc. A good amount of work and I admit Simon did most of it. I also found a great side table on the street, just sanded it down (it had a great pale green patina) and reconditioned the leather top. My grandmother's marble lamp sits on it and it now houses the wireless printer, hidden out of sight on the bottom shelf.
Biggest Indulgence: Fabrics. The velvet used to cover both the dining chairs, the pair of Billy Haines-style chairs, and the embroidered fern fabric covering the chaise were expensive, but worth the result.
Best Advice: Two points we always adhere to, particularly when dealing with a small space, are scale and color. Scale: Make sure furniture is the correct size and scale for the space. For example, an oversized sofa in our living room would have dominated the space. Rather, we opted for a love seat and chaise, which are more scaled down and visually interesting. Color: Don't be afraid of color, whether the space is small or large. If you place a particular color strategically around a room, it forces the eye to travel and explore and "opens" the space.
Dream Sources: eBay, Mecox Gardens, One Kings Lane, Mantiques Modern and Flor.
Explore this style:
PAINT & COLORS
Trim — Benjamin Moore — Muskoka Trail 974
Ceiling and walls (living room) — Benjamin Moore — Barely Teal 2048-70
Bedroom wall — Benjamin Moore — Tucson Teal — 2056-10
Kitchen and front door — Benjamin Moore — Jade Garden – 2056-20
Rug — Joss & Main
Sofa — West Elm
Chaise — Jonathan Adler
Fern fabric (on chaise) — Zarin Fabrics NYC
Coffee table — Mecox Gardens
Bookcase — eBay (vintage Henredon)
Bar cart — eBay (1950s vintage Aldo Tura)
Brass floor lamp — Mantiques Modern NYC
Rug — FLOR
Console — eBay
Dining table — Modway
Tufted Billy Haines chairs — eBay
Velvet fabric (on dining chairs and Billy Haines chairs) — Joe's Fabrics NYC
Coral jar and parrot pillow — DOMUS NYC
Kettle — Williams Sonoma
Stainless cart — eBay
Trash can — Simplehuman
Crockery — eBay and mom (vintage Fire-King, peach lustre)
Artwork — Followme2theSea
Duvet — One Kings Lane (Ravenna duvet in aqua from Peacock Alley)
Shearling pillow, ceramic fern boxes, glass buddha — DOMUS NYC
Torchiere side lamps — eBay
Curtis Jere wall sculpture — eBay
Tufted leather headboard — West Elm
Console — Gump's
Seagrass side tables — Joss & Main
Rug — Custom
Dragon chandelier — The Lamp Doctor, Coney Island