A stylish conversation with Garrow Kedigian, Interior Designer, New York
Dear readers, interior design and fashion goes hand in hand, one can always find the elements which a fashion design used in their fashion collection, they will somehow appear in their home collection as well, vice versa, sometimes one can find some of the interior design work that literally derived from the fashion world, or, at the very least, inspired by certain fashion elements, then through a pair of tasteful eyes and execution by the interior designer, which turns an ordinary space into a sumptuous, stylish and habitable one. I certainly got this feeling when I came across the impressive interior design work by New York based interior designer, Mr. Garrow Kedigian, his work has been featured in countless top interior magazine from Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and beyond, his sumptuous New York apartment in The Carlyle House, which was designed and furnished by the designer himself, is literally a showstopper, his signature aesthetic, ‘streamlined classic’ (as the designer called it) is pretty much retaining the elegance of the traditional classicism, yet, with the innovative and audacious use of color and pattern, which makes Garrow’s interior design work such eye-catching and intriguing! The clean, classic and harmonious ambient, juxtaposes with the contrasting wall color, artful and uplifting upholstery and even objet d’Art, the work by Garrow somehow makes me think of those fashionable gathering by Café society people where they will be entertained, and having an artful and stylish evening with their fellow guests. Today, I am delight to invite this impressive interior designer with me to talk about his work, his passion about interior design, art of living and style, and here we go:
My Modern Darcy: Hi Garrow, such a thrill to have you with us today! Firstly, I’d like start with your beautiful New York apartment in The Carlyle House, can you tell us what intrigues you about this apartment? And how does it reflect your aesthetic and taste?
Garrow Kedigian: Ever since I moved to New York I have been beguiled by the legendary Carlyle tower, which really stands as Beacon of upper East side, so when this opportunity came up to own this charming little apartment with outdoor space there, I just couldn’t resist the temptation – I just had to have it!!! It is an absolutely charming apartment and I completely fell in love with it right at the onset. The apartment is Sunfield throughout and I have really incredible exposure facing east and south, the main rooms of the apartment have windows on two sides which really takes advantage of that; and the best part was having outdoor space! Not just one, but two terraces. Who knew that having outdoor space in New York City would be such a game changer? Honestly, I thought I would have a few potted plants and call it a day, it has really changed the way I live and even entertain in Manhattan - I find myself sipping my morning coffee every day outside - and wine and cheese serves perfectly for guests even on this poky terrace - and believe it or not, I’ve been able to keep most of these plants alive all summer ... most !! Haha
One of the main reasons why I purchased the apartment was actually for this amazing corner living room, filled with light and with its own pair of French doors and a smaller terrace space - which was originally the primary bedroom of the apartment… But if you’re like me, and recovering from the events of these past two years you know how important it is to have a comfortable home office/work environment…, so I decided this would be my new library.
MMD: As you are from Montreal, what makes you decide to establish your own design practice in New York?
GK: As a child I always dreamed of going to London actually, and it was only by chance that I ended up in New York. In my last year of architecture school at McGill University in Montreal, I pulled an ‘all-nighter’ to finish up my thesis project , and took a break in the student lounge to find an Architectural Digest magazine on the lounge table - I flipped through the glossy pages and discovered the work of William Hodgins, a designer in Boston and I was hooked! I moved to Boston right out of school where I worked for Mr. Hodgins for 6 years- then the last 2 years all our projects were in New York, and as much as I loved Boston, I felt like New York was really where I needed to be, so in 2000 I took a bite out of the big apple and I’ve been here ever since.
MMD: I had a glimpse of your interior work such as Chelsea Place in Montreal and 5th Avenue Duplex New York, which are elegant and classic yet having certain ‘boldness’ and vitality there, can you tell us more what are your inspirations behind?
GK: My work is ‘streamlined classic’ - always deeply rooted in the classical language I like using a lot of wall paneling, moldings and supporting interior architecture in all my work - but the underlying classicism is always interpreted in a contemporary way- I use bold colors and lots of high gloss paint, coupled with modern selections on fabrics and artwork to create a layered and timeless effect.
MMD: Throughout your interior design journey, can you tell us what challenges that you have encountered? And how did you overcome them?
GK: The biggest challenge in design is getting your client to trust you and for them to see your vision - I have developed a hand drawing tradition which I use successfully to make presentations to my clients and inspire them about their projects; getting a client to see and understand your vision is key to getting the success of any project.
MMD: Can you tell us what makes a great interior space?
GK: The best interiors to me are effortless and ones which are clearly beautiful but not apparent that the designer was just there - timeless and layered is what I see to achieve and for me they are a reflection of the client’s personality, while at the same time, pushing the envelope- mismatched elements made to work together beautifully is the highest achievement in design.
MMD: Let’s talk about yourself, can you tell us your personal style when it comes to your wardrobe? And how are they related to your interior design work or even inspiration?
GK: My wardrobe is like my interiors, they are classic with a modern twist -effortless and seemingly unmatched, you’ll never catch me in jeans - I’m always wearing dress pants and almost always have a jacket or blazer - I’m a fan of being dapper and am fastidious about always being out together wherever I go.
MMD: How do you define ‘style’?
GK: ‘Style’ for me is a natural thing - anyone and everything has their own style and I can appreciate many different kinds of looks, but for me true style is originality in whatever one does, unaffected and minimally influenced by surroundings, never trendy.
MMD: If you have to pick 3 items in your home that means a lot to you, what are they and why?
GK: My sofa - designed to be beautiful but comfortable and inviting for anyone to come sit on;
My desk- where I spend most of my time- I always like an organized work environment and my drawing tools and laptop computer at my fingertips; &
My entrance console table purchased in the Paris flea market- it really sets the tone for my home - it’s traditional and modern art at the same time - a perfect blend and represents me and my style perfectly.
MMD: Besides dressing well and living in a beautifully furnished home, can you tell us what other qualities that a modern-day gentleman should have?
GK: I think it’s important to travel and be inspired by different places and different people, eating well (I am a total foodie) and entertaining at home are important qualities to being a well-rounded modern designer.
MMD: if someone comes to you one day and ask you how to become a great interior designer, what is your advice for him/her?
GK: I think being a designer is about being true to your passion- find that thing that most resonates with you about design and use that as your vehicle to express yourself and your work as originally as you can - being true to your underlying spirit is key!
Special thanks to Mr. Garrow Kedigian
Image courtesy of Garrow Kedigian Interior Design, New York