Alex P White took his cue from NYC in early 80’s when designing model apartment in Manhattan
Alex P White, a furniture and interior designer based in New York and Los Angeles, has recently completed an extraordinary model residence in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
“Like many, I romanticize New York in the late 70’s / early 80’s. It was such a hotbed of creativity and the cross fertilization between communities was infectious. Uptown and downtown were mingling in ways New York had never seen before and it was explosive and quite glamorous, the stories are legendary. Thankfully there are so many amazing images that survived the party too. It’s not surprising the era still has a such a stronghold on contemporary culture so it seemed like an obvious reference for 196 Orchard. The strongest architectural elements of this project are the unfinished concrete ceilings and the amazing terrace with the gilded bronze bricks. I wanted to feature both with my design so I decided to bring the ceiling finish down to the walls, wrapping all the rooms in the same textural drama. This makes the spaces feel cozy and epic at the same time while the moody palette really emphasizes the views to the terrace. I went with an “unfurnished” concept, opting for custom, carpeted built-ins and throw pillows instead. This nod to the “high-tech” vibe of the late 70s extends the architecture and provides function without the visual clutter and it makes sense for the smaller spaces you find in New York too. I used a few iconic vintage pieces mixed with a selection of contemporary ones that have an interesting dialog. Contributing to this historical narrative was fun. Whatever the inspiration might be, there are some design solutions that always ring true for me: The right light playing over textural and seductive materials will always elevate; Well selected art and design objects should do more than simply decorate, they should add narrative; and The unexpected occasional piece can coexist with the functional without sacrificing liveability and comfort. For me a memorable experience of a great interior is always about setting the mood and getting the mix just right,” says Alex P White