Haute Design: The Tastemakers Take On a New York Home Library

PHOTO: GRADE Holiday House 2011 showroom. Custom mill-work, velvet sofa and marble coffee-table by GRADE

Take just a moment for yourself. I challenge you to silence your cell (no, vibrate doesn’t count) and minimize your yahoo finance page. Ignore a barrage of BBM messages coming your way and hide your inbox if you dare. Go ahead. Live dangerously.

I know your blackberry’s flashing red and you just can’t help yourself. Your thumbs may be throbbing, but the emails keep coming and you won’t stop. You’ve got your finger on the pulse. This is NYC.

PHOTO: Picasso print. Ralph Lauren wool wall paper.

By day, we busy ourselves in our offices, tethered to a plethora of technological devices intended to keep us logged in to the virtual pulse of productivity we New Yorkers pride ourselves in.  The office may very well represent the ultimate NY work space, but as masters of duality, New Yorkers understand that for every WiFi-hotspot outpost, there need be an equal and opposite space where one can relish the calm of solitude and reflection.

PHOTO: (L) Julian Opie painting entitled Suzanne with Suspenders. 2005. (R) Custom-made Peter Tunney silk screen painting . David Weeks steal light fixture

There is perhaps no better space to cap off a day’s work than the NY Private Library, part luxury, part necessity, but quintessentially NYC. It is the night to our day, a temple of independence in the duality of our busy lives, whose very existence celebrates our successes and accomplishments. It is a space signifying freedom from every day worries, where one can enjoy introspection without social obligations or work responsibilities.

Now through December 11th, GRADE celebrates Independence by showcasing a private library designed specifically for the 4th annual Designer Showhouse, Holiday House 2011, benefiting the Greater New York City Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

PHOTO: Custom-made painting by Robert Greene entitled Noriko

A room void of television, phones, and computers, this private library was designed to serve as a mental sanctuary where one can relish in the luxury of “personal time.”   It is a textured room of velvets, cashmeres, silks, and leather, outfitted with lavish materials like a round, sheep-skin area rug and wool wall paper.  It also incorporates hard elements like steel, ebonized oak, polished nickel and marble. The combination of these hard and soft elements exudes confidence, success, and excellence, while simultaneously representing the duality of our lives. The room is filled with provocative artwork by Robert Greene, Peter Tunney, and Julian Opie.  Thought-provoking literature and beautiful objects have been situated around the room, intended to evoke feelings of calm and reflection throughout the space.

So leave your gadgets at the door and kick off your shoes. Give your eyes a rest and read something (gasp) that may not be digital.  Pour a glass of your favorite red, sit back, relax, and celebrate the independent you.

Thomas Hickey (Left) and Edward Yedid (Right) of GRADE Architecture + Interior Design.

About GRADE:

For GRADE, design is more than the arrangement of formal elements—it’s the realization of a uniquely articulated experience.

Founded in 2001 by Thomas Hickey with Edward Yedid, the full service, New York-based architecture and interior design firm defines itself through a high standard of quality and the delivery of a final product characterized by clarity and luxurious style.

Partners Hickey and Yedid bring extensive experience and a fresh eye to every project, marrying a traditional approach with a modern sensibility. Their practice is informed not just by complementary skills but a deep appreciation and knowledge of art, history, and world culture. Specializing in residential, retail, hospitality, and commercial work, GRADE’s diverse portfolio includes an array of project types, from a historic Manhattan building transformed into a family-friendly loft, to a ground-up weekend home steeped in comfort and simplicity, to boutiques for Tiffany & Co. that sparkle with sumptuous surfaces and textures.

An agile studio of twelve designers, GRADE often develops the individual client vision beyond expectations, refining and materializing ideas with sharp, tasteful interpretations of context, light, and materials. This high bar for achievement is made possible by drawing upon a strong network of suppliers to render custom furnishings or achieve the perfect finish—ultimately pushing a design concept to precise, exquisite execution.