The Top Design pix
Heather Hodson -- Interior Design, 4/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Jonathan Adler's ceramic Sgraffito birdhouse makes an appearance at the Trina Turk boutique in New York.
A mannequin in a spring 2007 cotton-sateen dress by Turk, a vintage necklace, and a straw hat by Lola stands in front of a 1960's door installed on a wall for purely decorative purposes.
Custom elements include the cash-wrap counter's glazed ceramic tiles, display tables in spalted maple and acrylic, and a wool rug.
A 1970's wall sculpture by Curtis Jere hangs behind the cash-wrap counter; on it sits Adler's Dimbwood lamp, which has a base of African hardwood.
At the entry, a vignette features a 1970's chrome seat by Dunn & Hartwell, a custom wool shag rug, and a macramé hanging by Malcolm Hill.
Ceramic cats from Adler's Menagerie collection sit on a glass shelf trimmed in antiqued steel.
Adler's reproduction Love chair sits in a dressing room anchored by a sheepskin rug and sea-grass carpet.
Edward Wormley inspired the custom tête-à-tête sofa.
In the back room, a burlap-wrapped banquette with wool-covered cushions encircles Hill's sculpture of wood scraps.
Nearby, Adler's ceramic tiles surround a working fireplace.
A Los Angeles fashion designer famous for her eye-popping prints, Trina Turk first noticed Jonathan Adler in 2004, when he revamped the Parker Palm Springs in California. "I just loved it being so eclectic, uninhibited, and spontaneous-looking," she says of the hotel, which embodies Adler's unique brand of exuberant mod-chic. When T.T., as Adler calls her, found a New York location for her third store—her first on the East Coast—she contacted the potter turned interiors guru. It couldn't have been a more perfect fit. As Adler says, "Her clothes are about what my work is about."
If Turk's West Coast boutiques by Kelly Wearstler of KWID play off mid-century modern, Adler's location takes its cues from the organic side of 1960's and '70's California. "Her vision was very Big Sur, very optimistic, a casual, rustic, happy place," he continues. The question was how to accomplish that with 1,600 square feet in a narrow 1880's landmark—on a $700,000 budget. Working with MR Architecture + Decor, the duo stripped the space down to its existing brick walls and pine floorboards, then painted them white. This simple envelope is enlivened by nature motifs, rich textures, and, of course, color.
Wood plays a major part. Newly installed pine ceiling beams create a barnlike feeling. The four dressing rooms were built out with panels of pecky cypress arranged in chevrons to complement the grain of the wood, beloved for its nooks and crannies. The spalted-maple tops of clear acrylic drum tables display clutches and handbags. A pair of wall-mounted Aztec-style carved doors from the '60's flank the steps up to the rear of the shop—or the "aerie" as Adler refers to it.
Adler and Turk's mutual love of all things bold could have meant overkill. "Jonathan loves color, and I love color. He loves graphic patterns, and I love graphic patterns," she proclaims. The answer was to stick to five carefully harmonized colors: coral, yellow, chocolate brown, celadon, and teal. "That doesn't appear neutral at first, but ultimately it is," Adler says.
That palette governed his choice of the custom-dyed silk that covers 6-by-9-foot wall panels backing the racks of sprightly separates and sundresses. "The panels create order," he notes. Strips of those five colors reappear in the wool rug running nearly the full length of the shop's main level. In fact, Turk is so taken with the combination that she's considering it for a summer 2008 collection.
Adler's mastery of the decorative moment is particularly evident at the entry. To set a tone of Big Sur earthiness he sees as both "feminine and cool," he assembled an almost domestic vignette. A 1970's chrome hanging seat and a sort of openwork macramé tapestry are suspended from the middle of the ceiling, above a round rug with a trippy spin-art pattern.
The artist commissioned for the macramé piece is Malcolm Hill, who also contributed the wooden tree sculpture that rises toward the skylight in the rear "aerie," like something living. Circling its trunk is a banquette with teal cushions on a burlap-wrapped base. More trademark Adler: One of the tree's branches supports a striped ceramic birdhouse.
His mass-produced accessories pop up everywhere. (A gourd-shape lamp, a cat menagerie, ceramic vases.) "The key to the optimism is not being afraid of insouciance and sweetness," he says. And he gestures toward one of his clay bull figurines, replete with gold nose ring—standing next to a beaded raffia clutch.