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MDS INTERVIEWS
NICK OLSEN
Part 1

MDS- How would you define your style?

NO- That’s difficult! I appreciate so many styles that I tend to define my own by what I don’t like, for instance: Victorian furniture. But then I see Tom Scheerer or the late Albert Hadley use a Victorian sofa so beautifully and realize there are no absolutes. “Elegant, amped-up traditional with a sense of humor” sounds appropriate but corny ….

A Nick Olsen Family Room in Veranda

The Living Room

 

MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?

NO- Pensacola, Florida. It’s a historic city with white sand beaches and some kooky characters. I grew up in a neighborhood with homes ranging from 1840s Greek Revival to a 1960s modernist ranch by Paul Rudolph, all on smallish lots … that sort of unpretentious eclecticism definitely influences how I decorate.

Pensacola Spaceship House (1966), designed by Matti Suuronen

Pensacola Beach

A Paul Rudolph house

 

MDS- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

NO- Interning for Jimmy Buffett or Karl Lagerfeld.

Karl Lagerfeld

 

MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?

NO- I saw a Vuillard exhibit at the Jewish Museum here in New York — his interiors are so lush. Also my friend and former mentor Miles Redd recently came out with The Big Book Big of Chic … it is BEYOND. I still can’t believe I’ve seen so many of these places in person. 

Edouard Vuillard, Interior (Sitting Room with Three Lamps, Saint-Florentin Street)

The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd

 

MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?

NO- I love my tiny living room because it’s a mix of everything I love: painted floors, glossy tulip red walls, modern artwork, French chairs and my slouchy, armless corner sofa — the luckiest auction purchase ever because it fits so perfectly.

Nick’s Living Room

 

MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?

NO- Right now? Those silver Revere bowls with colored enamel inside. They’re not expensive but look so great on a coffee table … I use a giant one I bought at the Brimfield flea market to hold my spare change and another for my mail.

Revere Bowl

 

 

MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____________ .”

NO- Books on art, decorating or design.

The Great American House by Gil Schafer III

 

 

MDS- If you could decorate anyone’s house- who’s would it be and why?

NO- My sister’s. She works for a non-profit and could really use my help! It will happen eventually.

“Scorpio is my sister’s sign.” Scorpio, by Salvador Dali.

 

MDS- What do you want to be known for?

NO- Long term, I guess a commitment to quality and to my making my clients feel at home.

A detail from a table at George N. Antiques

 

MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

NO- The chicest people I know work incredibly hard to make their lives look effortless. That level of commitment is exhausting and inspiring at the same time.

Kate Moss at Cannes.

 

“NICK OLSEN” - One Comment

  1. I must have spent hours pouring over Nick’s VeRanda spread. I was in awe.

    It was great to get to know nick Better here. Thanks for the interview.

    Reply

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