Name: Randal Dawkins
Location: North Williamsburg — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 700 square feet (approximately 490 square feet pictured)
Years lived in: 6
We first featured the apartment that Randal coined his "miniature country house" during our Small Cool Contest. Though situated in Brooklyn, Randal is spot-on with his description. To step inside this place is to become immediately removed from the surrounding urban environment and to be transported to what feels like the lavishly-decorated home of a king.
This apartment is unlike any other I've seen before — thanks to Randal's vast and rotating antiques collection, he has covered every available surface with works of art that are personal and dear to him. From the careful layering of color and texture to the lacquered jungle blue bedroom walls, every inch of this space has been transformed by a wave of Randal's magic wand. The entire home is a reflection of his deep love for items with charm, character, and a story to tell.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: A collected, layered aesthetic using interesting and quality pieces. I love "evolved" rooms — ones that feel like they matured over time, those not indicative of one particular period or style. The typical English and European country house would be an example of this. Mixing the high (fine pieces) and low (not necessarily valuable but decorative and interesting) in interiors makes the environment more relaxed, fun, and approachable. While I obviously love and appreciate antiques, a jolt of modernism, usually through art, is always a welcome respite to energize a room.
Inspiration: I'm an unrepentant anglophile, so obviously the English country house, and my design heroes never fail to inspire: Andrea Palladio, William Kent, John Soane, Nancy Lancaster, David Hicks, Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, Robert Kime, Christopher Hodsoll, Mark Hampton, Nicky Haslam, Michael S. Smith, Jeffrey Bilhuber, the list goes on…
Favorite Element: That's a hard one, but I do especially love my high gloss bedroom
walls in Benjamin Moore's 'Deep Ocean'.
Biggest Challenge: A minimum of floor space.
What Friends Say: They love it. Every time they come over they are reminded of why I don't tend to go out that much anymore. And that I dispel the myth that all early 30-somethings are mid-century modernists.
Biggest Embarrassment: My bathroom. Not that it's terrible, it's just standard
issue rental - tiled from floor to ceiling, that not much can be done with. That's why it's not pictured.
Proudest DIY: Pretty much everything.
Biggest Indulgence: Quality professional picture-framing.
Best Advice: I don't normally like "decoration" for the sake of decoration. There should be an element of meaning and appreciation in what you surround yourself with. The most timeless (and economical) interiors are those that are filled with much loved and worthwhile things; not trendy schemes and inconsequential knickknacks. Buy the best quality you can afford and make sure you really love it. Truly loving a piece is very important as your taste can change over time, and chances are, the things you genuinely love will make the transition. Also, keep in mind one doesn't necessarily have to have an unlimited budget to beautifully furnish a space. My apartment is definitely proof of this. Do your homework and shop around to find the best price; never buy the first thing you see, unless you're sure you won't find it or something similar somewhere else. Auctions, whether they are online or at an auction house are an excellent source for one-of-a-kind items that can often be gotten for very little money. Another piece of advice for those living in the five boroughs: Keep your eyes peeled the day before trash day. Believe it or not, New Yorkers throw out amazing things!
Dream Source: A good auction or charity shop.
- Sadly, the original floors in my apartment were replaced with modern oak planks before I moved in, however they do display antique Oushak rugs nicely.
- 17th century Italian etchings: Tepper Galleries, NYC
- • English Staffordshire china
• art: Estate sales, eBay
• black and white head study chalk drawing: Randal Dawkins
• antique Chinese Export table lamp: Glen Boyd, Ridgewood, New Jersey
• Mahogany table: NYC street find
• antique Swedish painted chandelier: Irreplaceable Artifacts, NYC
- • Baker English Regency style break-front and c. 1760 English mahogany side chair: Tepper Galleries, NYC
• c. 1810 French Empire mahogany chest: NYC Craigslist
• c. 1800 French colonial painted frame mirror: Salvation Army, NYC
• English Edwardian baroque style bronze chandelier: Glen Boyd, Ridgewood, New Jersey
• c. 1760 Louis XV style fruitwood fauteuils: NYC storage sale
• Louis XIV style gilt wood backless stool: Brooklyn Salvation Army
• c. 1680 Dutch genre scene oil painting: NYC charity shop
- • antique George III mahogany chest: Litchfield County Auctions, Connecticut
• antique baroque head study oil painting: Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, Denmark
• c. 1840 English upholstered mahogany side chair: Junk, Brooklyn, New York
• antique Italian Gilt frame mirror: Salvation Army, NYC
• antique leather trimmed steamer trunk: Brooklyn street find
• c. 1770 English Gothic Chippendale mahogany armchair and c. 1750 Chinese export porcelain punch bowl: NYC charity shops
• 17th & 18th century Dutch Delft chargers: Online auctions
• Vaughan Georgian style bronze lantern: NYC charity shop
Images: Annie Werbler
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