i don’t quite remember how this came about, but one of my favorite young designers, nick olsen, posted a picture of this really chic apartment filled with gilded antiques, blue and white stripes, cobalt walls, all the things i love. i made a comment, he sent me an email with a little back ground on the space, then he was so kind to send me more images of the apartment- he coined the look “baroque minimalism”, and i have to say i love it!

the apartment of joan and lewis lapham was shot way back in 1988 for house & garden (please- someone bring this magazine back!). the editorial was by none other than andré leon talley. i love these images, especially the one of the little boy skateboarding around all the treasures.

most homes with a lot of gilt are too way over the top- most likely there are fancy silk fabrics, lot’s of trims, bursts of fussy color, and loads of ruffles mixed in. i love a gilt console and of course i love a gilt mirror, i usually like two, at the most three pieces mixed into a room, but have never subscribed to a lot of it until i saw this place- wow!

why is works is the clean white walls, unadorned floors, the adjacency of things, there is a sparsity, yet an abundance of beauty. it just works, of course it does, it’s “baroque minimalism”, and i love it!

thanks nick!






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  1. Very chic indeed. reminds me of pauline de rothschilds incredible spaces. This represents a great example of restraint and how extraorinary antiques can be when they are given breathing room and your able to appreciate the beauty of their SILHOUETTES and craftsmanship.


  2. Very chic, almost brutal, spaces. The “white” walls keep it feeling modern-any other backdrop would have made it feel fussy. The Francis Bacon painting is truly alarming and fierce…

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