Long known for a daring sense of luxe, Geoffrey Bradfield, joined by partner Roric Tobin, is defining a new contemporary global style that resonates with an international roster of A-listers, mega-moguls, and celebrities.
Haute Residence: What’s trending among your top New York and overseas clients?
Geoffrey Bradfield: There is an amusing quote by Karl Lagerfeld: “Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” We don’t deliberately follow trends. Rather, we like to think we are in the vanguard, influencing creative ideas. My work becomes increasingly reductive with a persistent desire to distill luxury. There is no question that contemporary rules at present. Asia, in particular China, is becoming more aware of its art and artists. It is gratifying to see the country embrace its modern cultural identity with more confidence.
HR: Is there a New York style?
GB: The movie industry of the ’40s established an indelible image of Manhattan style for all time, the ultimate statement in sophistication. But the city has never been kind to the past; there’s a tireless hunger for the “new.” Today’s palaces might just as frequently take the form of sprawling, high-rise penthouses surrounded by a moat of security: The gatekeeper is the concierge; surveillance cameras are the new sentries.
HR: What distinguishes your design?
GB: Our company shares a vision of what it means to design for the 21st century. I have a fondness for texture contrasts, rich exotic woods, burnished metals, and lush textiles. We exploit these contrasts as a foil, highlighting the elements of one design from many centuries. As much of our portfolio is predicated on the use of contemporary art, our clients tend to be major art collectors and seek our professional hand in this regard.
HR: Do your international clients want to decorate their properties in New York differently from their residences abroad?
GB: We find our international clients, with few exceptions, want to adopt a Western lifestyle while in New York. They are inclined to opt for a contemporary interior that embraces the skyline.
HR: The design rules you like to break:
GB: I am not slavish about scale. I love the drama of over-scaled elements in a room, particularly art.
HR: Favorite color palettes:
GB: We are drawn to the cool or neutral palettes, which serve as great backdrops. However, we are not afraid of vibrant colors––a brilliant orange, a punchy red, or a deep blue––but more often than not, as accents.
HR: Favorite room to design:
GB: Nothing stimulates my creative instincts more than designing a room around great art. Art can introduce pure theater.
HR: Favorite room in your New York home:
GB: I have always loved a library.
Portrait by Kim Sargent / interior image by H. Durston Saylor