“History is clean! Place that on a T-shirt!”
Michael Tomei was beaming when he logged on for our job interview from his condominium in New York Metropolis. His genius for infusing fashionable interiors with furnishings with abundant patina is apparent in his meticulously-intended, 2,100-square-foot, two-bedroom loft that he shares with his lover, Peter, and a rescue pet dog named Huxley.
Intestine renovating the house in a century-previous warehouse developing in Manhattan’s NoHo district signaled a key equipment-change for Tomei, who employed to conceptualize store shows and vogue shows for manufacturers like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Opening Michael Vincent Design and style in 2019 allowed him to dedicate his power to rescuing old buildings and time-worn furnishings, and—not to mention—binge-look at BBC interval movies for inspiration. “If they have a powdered experience and a wig on, or if the men are prettier than gals, I’m in,” he jokes.
Tomei’s obsession for curiosities from a bygone period is tempered with an attentiveness to modern concerns—including how to tastefully add a lot more closet area. Each individual nook in the loft displays his intuitive aptitude for seamless juxtapositions amongst aged and new objects: In the eating space, a heirloom mahogany desk from the 1920s is flanked by Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs. His grandmother’s chinoiserie cabinet shares the exact same space as a Jean Prouvé lamp and a pair of handsome bean-formed sofas from Studio Walrus. Just one exception is the 1990s minimalist reverie in the main lavatory. “It’s my John Pawson moment,” Tomei claims. “It reminds me of the Calvin Klein retail store he built on Madison Avenue in the nineties.”
Getting a blank canvas to perform with was liberating, Tomei suggests. “Moving from a conservative co-op setting up into this loft was a breath of contemporary air in phrases of allowing and limitation course of action,” he says. “In my final co-op it took 8 months just to get the permit to begin my design. In this new condo I closed on a Friday and started off demolition on Saturday!”
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Doing the job on the apartment also fixed Tomei of the itch to constantly redecorate, as he did with every single fashion cycle in his previous job. “It’s type of monumental for me,” he points out. “It’s the initial place that I’ve designed for myself that I’m entirely information with.” His dwelling doubles as a studio and dwelling showroom for prospective shoppers to encounter his structure sensibility in the flesh.
The expertise of designing an complete area emboldened Tomei to choose on rescuing unloved households in Very long Island. He devoted a great deal of the pandemic year to renovating numerous qualities in Bellport, New York, including an aged captain’s property from the 1870s, an 1840s cottage, and a midcentury ranch. “Compared to a new build, restoring a little something necessitates a lot far more care, effort and study, but I’m all about it,” he suggests.