This inviting apartment is proof that compact does not have to mean cluttered, even if the rooms are packed to the rafters with collections. The antique bell jar on top of a vintage Cuban chest of drawers may seem an improbable showcase for a silk scarf, but not for the owner. ‘I love to surprise people,’ he says. Another passion is antique globes, one of which he found in London’s Portobello Road.
As an inveterate collector who lives in a compact space, the owner has had to find economical ways to exhibit his favourite objects. ‘I wanted to create a mini museum of the things I love,’ he says. True to his word, the apartment abounds with subtle, whimsical and very personal touches.
The living room is decorated with selective groupings of photographs and stacked displays in glass bell jars, which can easily be updated with new finds. The jars serve two purposes: to draw attention to the owner’s prized treasures and, perhaps more importantly, to act as a means of controlling the displays.
Riviera Maison at Concept East Coast
Wandering around the apartment today, it is hard to believe that when the owner first saw it 15 years ago, it was a dated, tea-stained nightmare. ‘Absolutely everything was brown,’ he says. Within a month of moving in, he had stripped away the drab colours and created the New England-inspired home that he craved – despite the fact that the apartment lies on the tenth floor of a 1970s tower block.
With just one bedroom and so many treasures, the apartment could very easily have appeared cluttered, but instead it exudes the air of a breezy American east coast beach house. ‘The painting was the biggest challenge because there is so much woodwork,’ says the owner. ‘But it was worth it. By the time I had finished, the apartment looked crisp, white and new.’