Designer Challenge

Designers Sam Allen, Charlotte Barnes and Amy Aidinis Hirsch take on an empty space with a new fall collection of furniture and accessories.

 

What happens when you take three talented designers and set them loose on an empty space with a new fall collection of furniture and accessories? We found out recently at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Greenwich showroom, where Sam Allen, Charlotte Barnes and Amy Aidinis Hirsch proved that they were up to the challenge.


Photographs by Randy O’Rourke (vignettes); Chris J. Rivera (Portraits)

What was the texture, shape or piece that inspired your choices for this elegant living room? The sofa was my initial inspiration for the room: Its sleek, simple lines are chic but not distracting, and allow the “empty nesters” to surround themselves with a mélange of antiques, art and accessories.

How did you decide to use the black-and-white photographs of Mick Jagger and Jack Nicholson? I would say that was a pretty easy decision. Aren’t they fabulous? I grew up with the Rolling Stones, and I would say everyone I know has a crush on Mick Jagger and Jack Nicholson.

I love the glamour of the Vega coffee table and the scale of the Lasalle bar. Why did you choose those? I adore the mixture of everything, but the Lasalle bar was a particular favorite…. I love its color and the nod to 1950s style. The size and height of the bar are perfect for mixing a drink, it sits well with traditional or contemporary pieces, and it is incredible with the modern coffee table. That room has real personality.


Photographs by Randy O’Rourke (vignettes); Chris J. Rivera (Portraits)

What was the texture, shape or piece that inspired your choices for this vignette? I think it was the Petra driftwood lamps with the metallic silver-leaf finish. I am very drawn right now to all the different organic textures and the juxtaposition of them with other more traditional materials.

What about this room says “Fresh and Young Glamour” to you? Using a mix of styles of furniture and as many curiosities as possible makes the room stand out as a bit younger than would normally be expected. I think being younger gives me an advantage to look a little fresher because I don’t really have any bias against making sure I “NEVER” do this or that.

What prompted your use of darker colors in your upholstery selections? I think that darker neutrals are more modern, which made me think of it for a young couple.

What is your personal favorite piece in the vignette? My favorite piece is the Duncan ottoman. It has a great look to it, is sized perfectly for a lot of different seating arrangements, and is firm enough to use as a table, which is not always the case. Sometimes ottomans are truly meant to sit on, and this one would be great for seating or as a table.

Photographs by Randy O’Rourke (vignettes); Chris J. Rivera (Portraits)

What inspired your choices for this dining room? I was looking for a more urban, casual approach. The dining-table edge undulates, allowing a softness to the large scale of the table. It adds an element of sculpture. The chairs are very simple and tailored adding structure compared to the artisanship of the surrounding pieces. Even the vases provide contrast on the tabletop.

How do you define “Backcountry Greenwich”? I am not sure there is an exact definition. What I do know is that it is about style, luxury, confidence, a sense of gathering and being together. All of these elements are consistent with the pieces I selected.

The Otto Tibetan fur cocktail bench is so unexpected. What was your thinking behind the various textures and shapes? When I design, I love the ability to layer a room and add texture where I can. These shapes can be used together, especially given they are made up of different materials—the metal of the art vs. the wool blend of the rug.

What is your favorite piece in the vignette? The Circle Art: It has such presence, high impact. And the sheen of the metal is very reflective of light. I love how versatile the piece is and how it can be deconstructed to create another image.