Heart of Glass

By now most of us know the importance of good interior design for our personal happiness. So let’s take a closer look at the apartment of designer Brian Atwood.
Text Wiebke Brauer
Photo Tim Williams

A little tip before we get started: If you have a penchant for hedonism and home decor, check out the biographical miniseries Halston on Netflix based on the life of the fashion designer of the same name. Haven’t got the time or don’t feel like streaming anymore? Then check out this spacious apartment in New York. It’s found in the new Hudson Yards mega-development on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan consisting of fifteen new skyscrapers. “This new apartment just felt like a ‘grownup’ apartment,” says Brian Atwood, who had previously lived in SoHo and Milan with his husband and their two dogs. A “glass box in the sky” is what he calls his 64th-floor abode, filled with a vast collection of fashion photographs, vintage furniture and sculptural art.

The shoe designer readily admits that he likes to hoard beautiful things, describing himself as a “high-class hoarder”. Which is clear to see: The living room features a Karen Pearse sideboard with Tom Dixon tea set and a pair of tentacle candle holders on it that the two found on vacation in Capri. Another keepsake here is a tray of Polaroids the couple has taken of guests over the years.

Brian Atwood was born in Chicago and studied art and architecture at Southern Illinois University and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After graduating, he first worked as a model before being hired as a designer by Gianni Versace, later becoming chief designer of women’s accessories. Atwood launched his own brand in 2001.

Atwood readily admits that most meals are eaten in the kitchen and not at the vintage dining room table, which is stacked full of books. Though if you look closely, you’ll also discover some vintage plates here from Versace, where Atwood once worked as head of accessories.

The folding chair was commissioned by the artist Sarah Coleman, who combines vintage luxury goods with everyday items in an unusual way, as Atwood explains. The brass lamp, on the other hand, dates back to the 1970s, while the sculpture by Chinese artist Li Hongbo is made from around seven to eight thousand layers of paper – all by hand, of course.

We don’t necessarily want to imagine having to work here, but we could see ourselves standing at the window for an hour watching the sun disappear into the Hudson.

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