NY House Tour: Yolande's Off-Duty Props

NY House Tour: Yolande's Off-Duty Props

Jill Slater
Jun 4, 2008
All photos by Anastassios Mentis

Name: Yolande Gagnier

Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Size: 1000 sqft. 2-bdrm rental

Years lived in: 7 years


"I like to keep things to a minimum," says Yolande. Yolande is an incredibly talented prop stylist which may be why she prefers less adornment than more in her home. "Propping gets you overwhelmed with things," says Yolande. Simplicity is key.

All photos by Anastassios Mentis

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When Yolande moved from a studio to this two-bedroom apartment 7 years ago, she made sure to allow herself the luxury of not filling up the space immediately. She waited to feel it out, "not crowd it with furniture," and decide exactly what she would allow into her new home. She says it took her about a year to get it to a place that looks more or less like its current state.

The space is a renovated armory, so there are great architectural details and higher than average ceilings. To create a lofty feeling, Yolande thought it best to keep the walls white, and the furniture low-lying.

Some elements come and go. Yolande often finds stuff on the street, inherits items from friends or buys designer pieces on ebay, but nothing stays if it doesn't fit into the larger vision Yolande has for her home. She is conscious of being too beholden to one style for fear of eventually getting bored by it. Her mixture of styles along with a few rotating, carefully curated decorative pieces keep things simple, inspiring, and beautiful.

AT Survey:

Style: Mid-century modern mixed with ecclectic personal pieces (antiques, country, found objects, few ethnic pieces....)

Inspiration: Danish furniture, french country, contemporary, baroque interiors, minimal interiors, antique stores, prop houses. Magazine references: World of Interiors, British Elle Decor.

Favorite Element: Lounge chair Mulhauser for Plycraft and my collection of french books from the 40's.....book bindings with cool graphics by Bonet and Prassinos for NRF Gallimard.

Biggest Challenge: Kitchen...(linoleum and cabinets are not of my taste, no window and neon lighting). I have an african colorful mat to hide ugly floor and bright color palette of kitchen pots, clocks etc.

What Friends Say: People appreciate the lofty minimal feel. I think they find it peaceful and restful.

Biggest Embarrassment: Not that serious about my interior so I cant say.

Proudest DIY: Pieces I designed and have friends (set builder and sculptor) build for me. Cases to display my collection of books. Two months ago I had a friend design for me 2 coffee tables covered with felt (see slide #10). They can be used as ottomans as well as they are the perfect height. They are not totally finished yet......trays will be inserted in the felt. People really like them and we are considering making new pieces to sell.

Biggest Indulgence: Cherner pretzel chair....found on ebay.

Best Advice: Avoid clutter, total look. Modern is nice but more interesting to bring contrasting elements (personal pieces....a little bit of old pieces to give more warmth, more cultural too :) .

Dream Source: I love french art deco industrial.....Prouve, Royere, Perriand, Pierre Chareau....contemporary italian furniture ( Poltrona Frau, ....etc....) Richard Schulz Petal dining table......unfortunately I don't own any of those pieces.

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