“History is contemporary! Set that on a T-shirt!”
Michael Tomei was beaming when he logged on for our interview from his apartment in New York City. His genius for infusing modern interiors with furnishings with wealthy patina is evident in his meticulously-developed, 2,100-sq.-foot, two-bed room loft that he shares with his husband or wife, Peter, and a rescue pet dog named Huxley.
Gut renovating the room in a century-aged warehouse constructing in Manhattan’s NoHo district signaled a main equipment-change for Tomei, who utilized to conceptualize shop displays and style reveals for makes like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Opening Michael Vincent Design in 2019 allowed him to commit his electricity to rescuing aged buildings and time-worn furniture, and—not to mention—binge-observe BBC time period movies for inspiration. “If they have a powdered face and a wig on, or if the gentlemen are prettier than females, I’m in,” he jokes.
Tomei’s obsession for curiosities from a bygone period is tempered with an attentiveness to modern day concerns—including how to tastefully include additional closet space. Each and every nook in the loft reflects his intuitive aptitude for seamless juxtapositions amongst previous and new objects: In the dining location, a heirloom mahogany desk from the 1920s is flanked by Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs. His grandmother’s chinoiserie cupboard shares the very same place as a Jean Prouvé lamp and a pair of handsome bean-formed sofas from Studio Walrus. A single exception is the 1990s minimalist reverie in the major bathroom. “It’s my John Pawson instant,” Tomei claims. “It reminds me of the Calvin Klein store he designed on Madison Avenue in the nineties.”
Getting a blank canvas to function with was releasing, Tomei states. “Moving from a conservative co-op developing into this loft was a breath of refreshing air in phrases of permitting and limitation procedure,” he says. “In my very last co-op it took 8 months just to get the permit to start my building. In this new apartment I closed on a Friday and started demolition on Saturday!”
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Functioning on the apartment also fixed Tomei of the itch to frequently redecorate, as he did with each and every fashion cycle in his former career. “It’s form of monumental for me,” he points out. “It’s the initially house that I’ve designed for myself that I’m entirely articles with.” His property doubles as a studio and living showroom for opportunity customers to expertise his layout sensibility in the flesh.
The practical experience of coming up with an whole room emboldened Tomei to acquire on rescuing unloved houses in Extensive Island. He devoted significantly of the pandemic yr to renovating a number of qualities in Bellport, New York, which includes an outdated captain’s residence from the 1870s, an 1840s cottage, and a midcentury ranch. “Compared to a new make, restoring some thing demands a large amount far more care, exertion and investigate, but I’m all about it,” he states.