Susan Clark, founder of online retailer Radnor, believes that being surrounded by beautiful, well-made objects can significantly improve your quality of life—and after seeing the shoppable home the company designed in a New York City condo, it’s hard to disagree. Working in collaboration with Workstead, Radnor designed a two-bedroom apartment in The Bryant, a new building designed by David Chipperfield Architects in midtown Manhattan, and we have to say, our lives would certainly improve if we could have even a single piece featured in the space.
From now until the end of June, the shoppable home will function as a showroom for Radnor’s first in-house furniture line, Radnor Made, featuring pieces by Bunn Studio and Adam Rogers. Work by other Radnor-represented designers, like Julianne Ahn, Marie Eklund, OYYO Studio, Loïc Bard, and Egg Collective, as well as Workstead, is also on display.
Called ‘Material Interiors,’ the installation wants you to focus on craftsmanship in addition to the unique designs, and The Bryant’s terrazzo-clad walls and herringbone floors served as the perfect backdrop, as well as color inspiration. “The interior architectural finishes were essential to us—we felt they were the element to accentuate and celebrate in the space,” says Clark. As the primary focus was making sure the physical parameters of the actual space would have a livable quality to them, Clark made sure that each distinct installation in the apartment would have its own personality, yet still create a cohesive aesthetic.
As a result, the designers Radnor partnered with were chosen because of one very common feature in their work: honesty. “They have a true understanding for the process of making, and the value of the given material to the core design of their work,” says Clark. “It is this core value, expressed so clearly in the form and materiality of the work, which inherently makes it all come together so well.”
The Living Room
“The pieces are highly sculptural, and yet, in their bone-like curves beg to be touched and lived with,” explains Clark. “In addition, the site-specific rugs are characterized by subtle directional shifts that echo and complement their surroundings. The result is a complex rectilinear geometry emphasized by the exaggerated lines of the rug’s raw cording.”
The Dining Room
Darker pieces accentuate the dining room, with curved shapes and mod lighting lending some elegance to the space. Loïc Bard designed the Bone Dining Table specifically for this project (seen in the living room above as well). “We wanted the tactility of his blackened maple forms expressed in a much larger scale,” says Clark.
A display of serving spoons by Swedish designer Marie Eklund further emphasizes the handmade. Clark notes that her objects “embody a pure expression of the art of carving. Eklund works with minimal tools, using nothing but her axe and carving knife to create impossibly refined surfaces. She seeks to create objects that are deeply connected to their state of origin, and mobilizes natural processes and materials to create patinas that evoke the rich colors of the earth.”
The bedroom evokes an organic feel through neutrals and rattan detailing. The lights from Workstead, part of the Tower Series, were added to emphasize the height of the walls, and complement the style of the bed. “They were created with the knowledge of the Mae Bed materiality, and as a reaction to the height and views from the show residence,” explains Clarke.
The Mae Bed is also unique in the way it uses caning in the headboard. “Coming from the south, it is something that has a deep nostalgia for me,” says Clark. “Caning is such a traditional process, nodding back to early American and handmade furniture. It was an obvious choice for us in creating the softness we were seeking to evoke from the experience with the piece.”
The most colorful room in the home comes about through the study area—the two-toned Mae Desk from Radnor Made, made with bleached maple and leather, adds interest to a space that’s usually much more serious in tone. Curved shapes and edges allow for comfort, while natural, opening shelving works as both a stylish design element and a convenient storage space.
“When working on curating a collection for that particular space (the second bedroom), we wanted to change the context to an office to offer a more diverse product curation. As Radnor’s goal is to address and promote work that blends the lines of craft and design, this was the perfect context to drive the creation of multiple new pieces,” says Clark. “The selected and created works elevate, while simultaneously celebrating the process of their making in the essence of the design. Their materiality and texture are a core value in the design and its expression.” For instance, raw linen can be seen in the wall covering behind as well, created in partnership with OYYO, who work with an India-based workshop to find these stunning materials.
The multitude of plants throughout the space is thanks to Tula House—think tree-like fixtures in the living room, more shelf-friendly options for the study, and softer floral arrangements in the dining area. “[Tula House] has an incredibly unique collection and a company we have been a fan of for years,” says Clark. “Plants are something I find essential to my mental health when living in this city.”
“As a creative, community is essential,” says Clark of the collaboration. “I want to always be surrounded by different perspectives, aesthetics, and thought processes. I believe these variations in viewpoint push us to think beyond ourselves, and often generate even better work because of it.”
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