A telling clue to the Swedish mindset is the popular word lagom, which roughly translates to “everything in moderation,” meaning anything flashy or boastful doesn’t fly. Most Swedes would be appalled not only at the American McMansion, but even at the very notion of ensuite bedrooms and baths. For Kristina and Tommy Lindhe, the owners of the home accessories and fashion firm Lexington Company, their house in Bromma, an attractive suburb of Stockholm, might be modest in size, but it’s vastly rich in family history and importance.
When you descend from a family whose name has been identified with luxury Venetian silks, velvets, and damasks for five generations, where else would you live but in one of the exotic floating city’s most venerable palazzi? And so it is with Andrea Rubelli, who resides with his wife, Sandrina, and their son, Leonardo, in a building near the Grand Canal that was old before Columbus arrived in the Americas.
Tucked into a hillside with sweeping vistas of Lake Zürich and the Alps of Lucerne, this secluded residence in the tiny village of Erlenbach, Switzerland, literally opens up to the lush outdoors and is a water lover’s paradise. It makes sense, then, that its owner, an international executive whom everyone calls E. T., grew up near Europe’s biggest waterfall, Rhine Falls, about an hour’s drive away. “Once you’ve lived close to water and overlooked a lake, it’s very difficult to move away from it,” E. T. says. “It has a very calming effect.”
"When it came to designing the interiors," writes Jeff Lincoln of his Southampton cottage, "I decided to embrace the cottage-y style of my house, rather than try to make it into something it’s not. While I am very decisive about what’s best for my clients, I am less so when it comes to my own place. It’s a fairly common conundrum for interior decorators: Confronted with so much choice for themselves, they often don’t do much in the end.
It’s hard to believe it was almost a teardown. “Boscobel, an early architectural treasure in the Hudson River Valley, is ready for the scrap heap,” read a May 12, 1955, article in The New York Times. The Federal-era jewel had been languishing since 1923, when Westchester County bought the circa-1805 house and land, in the riverside hamlet of Montrose, with the intention of creating a park. But it remained vacant and began to slide into decay, and in 1941, the county’s parks department decided to raze it.
For Alice Netter, walking into her new Hamptons beach house in 1977 required vision—as well as a tool belt. “It was pretty bad,” she says. “There was a turquoise floor and metal valances with pompons. For the first two months, I walked around with a screwdriver in my pocket, taking everything down.”
It’s said that word of mouth is the best advertising for any business—whether you’re looking for an attorney or a designer. But for decorator Robert Couturier and his lawyer, David Berger, referrals weren’t even necessary when it came to doing business together. Berger had been looking to upgrade the decor in his four-story Cobble Hill townhouse, so he knew exactly the man to call. “David has been my attorney for a long time, and we are quite close,” says Couturier. “The entire design process was a wonderful experience."
What do you get when you take 22 design firms and set them loose on the 55th and 56th floors of the luxury Residences at W New York – Downtown? A showhouse to end all showhouses, full of brilliant decor, amazing ideas, and breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan’s Financial District. NYC&G was proud to sponsor the project, which raised funds for the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex in Greenwich Village and set the bar even higher for great design in New York.
Several times a day at our home in Fire Island Pines, the same scene plays out. Visitors, in knots of twos or threes, stand unannounced in our entryway, craning their necks to get a glimpse of the suspended staircase dangling like sculpture above the 18-foot-high living room. “Excuse me, but we’ve known this house since we were little, and we’ve been watching it change the past few years, and well . . . .” At this point, my partner, Doug Harris, and I usually invite them in.
It’s a long way from Down Under to downtown New York—literally and figuratively—but for New Zealand–born fashion designer Rebecca Taylor, the trip has really paid off. After studying her craft at a polytechnic university in the Kiwi capital of Wellington, she decamped for Manhattan in 1992 and never looked back.