“History is fresh! Put that on a T-shirt!”
Michael Tomei was beaming when he logged on for our job interview from his apartment in New York Metropolis. His genius for infusing present day interiors with furnishings with wealthy patina is evident in his meticulously-created, 2,100-sq.-foot, two-bed room loft that he shares with his companion, Peter, and a rescue dog named Huxley.
Intestine renovating the space in a century-outdated warehouse building in Manhattan’s NoHo district signaled a main equipment-shift for Tomei, who used to conceptualize shop shows and style demonstrates for brand names like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Opening Michael Vincent Design in 2019 allowed him to commit his strength to rescuing previous properties and time-worn household furniture, and—not to mention—binge-view BBC period movies for inspiration. “If they have a powdered facial area and a wig on, or if the guys are prettier than gals, I’m in,” he jokes.
Tomei’s obsession for curiosities from a bygone era is tempered with an attentiveness to up to date concerns—including how to tastefully include more closet room. Just about every nook in the loft demonstrates his intuitive aptitude for seamless juxtapositions between outdated and new objects: In the dining area, a heirloom mahogany desk from the 1920s is flanked by Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs. His grandmother’s chinoiserie cupboard shares the similar room as a Jean Prouvé lamp and a pair of handsome bean-formed sofas from Studio Walrus. One particular exception is the 1990s minimalist reverie in the major lavatory. “It’s my John Pawson minute,” Tomei states. “It reminds me of the Calvin Klein keep he built on Madison Avenue in the nineties.”
Acquiring a blank canvas to work with was freeing, Tomei says. “Moving from a conservative co-op making into this loft was a breath of fresh new air in terms of permitting and limitation system,” he states. “In my very last co-op it took eight months just to get the allow to start out my construction. In this new rental I closed on a Friday and begun demolition on Saturday!”
Acquire now for unlimited access and all of the positive aspects that only members get to expertise.
Doing the job on the apartment also treated Tomei of the itch to constantly redecorate, as he did with every single trend cycle in his previous vocation. “It’s form of monumental for me,” he describes. “It’s the initially room that I have intended for myself that I’m totally information with.” His dwelling doubles as a studio and living showroom for potential purchasers to encounter his layout sensibility in the flesh.
The encounter of building an complete house emboldened Tomei to choose on rescuing unloved households in Long Island. He devoted significantly of the pandemic year to renovating several homes in Bellport, New York, which includes an previous captain’s house from the 1870s, an 1840s cottage, and a midcentury ranch. “Compared to a new establish, restoring something demands a lot additional care, work and study, but I’m all about it,” he suggests.