“History is new! Set 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 modern day interiors with furnishings with wealthy patina is obvious in his meticulously-created, 2,100-sq.-foot, two-bedroom loft that he shares with his companion, Peter, and a rescue doggy named Huxley.
Intestine renovating the room in a century-previous warehouse building in Manhattan’s NoHo district signaled a major equipment-shift for Tomei, who employed to conceptualize shop shows and trend reveals for manufacturers like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Opening Michael Vincent Design and style in 2019 authorized him to devote his energy to rescuing old properties and time-worn furniture, and—not to mention—binge-view BBC period movies for inspiration. “If they have a powdered face and a wig on, or if the men are prettier than girls, I’m in,” he jokes.
Tomei’s obsession for curiosities from a bygone era is tempered with an attentiveness to present-day concerns—including how to tastefully incorporate much more closet place. Just about every nook in the loft reflects his intuitive aptitude for seamless juxtapositions between old and new objects: In the eating place, 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-shaped sofas from Studio Walrus. 1 exception is the 1990s minimalist reverie in the principal toilet. “It’s my John Pawson minute,” Tomei states. “It reminds me of the Calvin Klein store he intended on Madison Avenue in the nineties.”
Owning a blank canvas to operate with was releasing, Tomei states. “Moving from a conservative co-op building into this loft was a breath of clean air in phrases of permitting and limitation system,” he suggests. “In my final co-op it took 8 months just to get the allow to start out my construction. In this new rental I shut on a Friday and begun demolition on Saturday!”
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Performing on the condominium also healed Tomei of the itch to regularly redecorate, as he did with each individual style cycle in his former profession. “It’s kind of monumental for me,” he describes. “It’s the initially space that I have designed for myself that I’m totally material with.” His dwelling doubles as a studio and living showroom for possible customers to working experience his design sensibility in the flesh.
The experience of building an full space emboldened Tomei to get on rescuing unloved houses in Very long Island. He devoted considerably of the pandemic year to renovating quite a few attributes in Bellport, New York, which include an outdated captain’s dwelling from the 1870s, an 1840s cottage, and a midcentury ranch. “Compared to a new establish, restoring something calls for a good deal much more treatment, effort and hard work and analysis, but I’m all about it,” he suggests.