New York City is a fascinating, frenetic city by anyone’s account. Here at Est, we love to see cities through the eyes of designers, both local and travelling. We caught up with Lucy Marczyk, Associate Interior Designer at Nexus Designs, as she returned from her trip to complete and style a recent project in The Hamptons which has just been shortlisted in the Australian Interior Design Awards.
New York’s gravitational pull is irresistible. Once in its orbit, you can’t help but be swept up in its energy, vitality and speed. Having been sent to New York to complete a project in The Hamptons for a very cool couple, I had a few days free to immerse myself in all that New York had to offer. I made the following observations and notes along the way…
‘Google Maps’ is nothing new but in a highly dense city like Manhattan, it’s the ideal app for getting around. Drop your pins on retail, fashion, restaurants, museums and design spots before leaving home. I also colour co-ordinate for quick searches on the ground.
The Monocle Guide to New York is great too. It’s a ‘hotspot’ edited guide written by long-time residents rather than travellers. The benefits of this style of recommendation over a travel writer are pretty obvious, and some of the suggestions are fantastic, offering a real local experience.
Live Like a Local
The best way to explore a city has always been to live like a local. New York however is also known for its extravagant luxury hotels – and these I could not ignore. So I did both. I stayed in an airbnb to start. I picked a loft apartment in Soho. It was quintessentially NYC and lots of fun. Then I stayed at the Hudson Hotel which is part of The Morgan’s Group and designed by one of my favourite designers, Phillippe Stark.
I also visited some incredible new condos and apartments in Manhattan, which were fascinating. With property values pushing $50,000/sqm, you begin to see museums like MoMa and the Baccarat Hotel merging into residential towers. The lobbies are wow and are all kitted with pool clubs, health clubs and door men.
Above: The Hudson Hotel Designed by Phillippe Stark.
Above: The Baccarat Hotel & Residences.
My trip fell on New York Fashion Week. Winning! My fabulous cousin invited me to some incredible events downtown. Thanks Milo & MJ! Fashion week is very cool, with models everywhere, paparazzi on all corners and so many parties. I’m no stranger to design events but this one really has a city rocking!
Above: Fashion Week Antics.
Above: “MoMa is incredible. On a limited timeline I raced around to get a dose of my favourites.”
Above: “The Whitney is the latest must see. Designed by Renzo Piano and featuring column-free gallery spaces, it’s a replacement building of the iconic Marcel Breuer Whitney.”
I opted for some classics, such as bagels and babka at Russ & Daughters, classic samosas at Institution Balthazar, and in true Fashion Week style, cocktails for dinner and a morning run in Central Park after breakfast.
Above: Bagels at Russ & Daughters.
Hotels & Bars
After landing in JFK on Friday night a friend of mine invited me for an arrival cocktail. I dropped my bags and was out the door in 10! The address given to me read ‘The Standard Hotel, La Bain’, and as it turns out was a NYFW launch party. There were thousands of people out the front trying to get in. I walked straight in (lucky to be on the ‘list’) and entered via the elevator. There was a swimming pool inside the club, and again, paparazzi everywhere. The bar has an incredible view over downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. It was an amazing spot to watch the sun go down.
Sleep No More’ is an interactive immersive theatre show and was the most exhilarating production I’ve ever experienced. Spread over a five-level building, you experience your own unique Macbeth story while hidden behind a Venetian mask. I was pulled into a locked room for a one-on-one performance, I ran flights of stairs chasing stories of tragedy, saw a ballroom dance, and ended in the McKittrick Hotel bar for a jazz show. The set design was impressive and complex. This show was a NYC highlight!
Above: ‘Sleep No More’ at the McKittrick Hotel.
ABC Carpet & Home is a huge eclectic high-end furniture and accessories emporium, showcasing everything from a Tom Dixon dedicated zone to a complete level styled for health and wellbeing. They mix classic Glass Italia styled with fashionable Buddhas and bohemian eco-chic sartorial delights. And they even hold meditation classes at noon. This is where you go for anything interior styling.
The D&D (Decoration and Design) building on the Upper East Side is a vertical tower of showrooms spread over 17 levels. Showrooms like Baccarat, Armani Home and Kvadrat were where I spent my time. The lobbies on each level are fitted-out in their own style, from a Manhattan apartment lobby to an industrial TriBeCa warehouse or Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme.
Above: ABC Carpet and Home
Maharam’s Headquarter is in NYC and is where their design team work from. The beautiful fit out by Fernlund + Logan features some archive pieces, upholstered furniture pieces and impressive boardrooms. The office is immaculate.
Above: Maharam HQ
It was evident that art is much cherished in this area from seeing large exterior sculptures on the lawns. The arts community in the Hamptons has history back to the 19th century well before it was a popular summer destination. I find it interesting that artists and artist communities often dictate location trends.
Panama hats and cable knit jumpers are staples here, and I learnt how to make a ‘dark and stormy’ cocktail, the drink of choice for locals. Fresh hydrangeas are not bought from the store but are hand-picked from the community flower garden… It’s divine.
I look forward to future missions to this great and irresistible city.
Above: Shelter Island House in NYC by Nexus Designs. Photography: Johnny Valiant.