He might have burst onto the fashion scene with the perfect t-shirt (ADAM + EVE, anyone?), but casual is not a word to describe Adam Lippes’ own home. Layered, rich and sophisticated,his NYC apartment houses some true design gems.
How would you describe the style of each one of your spaces: the Brooklyn apartment, the Berkshires house and your Manhattan office?
Brooklyn and the Berkshires have a similar feeling, eclectic and layered. I had a friend once say “your homes look like the homes I wish my grandmother had.” I guess that pretty much sums it up. The office is much cleaner as I want the clothes to take center stage. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great pieces scattered about, from Biedermeier to Mid-Century.
What prompted you to list your items? Are you currently redesigning?
I am always redesigning. Like a garden, I am a firm believer that an interior is never done. I may see something that inspires me, a piece of furniture or room layout, and suddenly it hits me that one of my rooms must change.
How did you discover Sotheby’s Home as a way to consign your furniture?
I am an avid furniture shopper and looker. It is a hobby of mine. From small antique shops, to online dealers and major auctions houses, I am always looking both in-person and online. So since its launch, Sotheby’s Home has been a daily stop.
You once said you like things that have something weird about them. With that in mind, can you pick 3?5 items you love from your consignment with a short statement about them?
Yes, true. I tend to be attracted to pieces that are beautifully made but have a bit of a twist. For example, this incredible pair of Willy Daro lamps with mounted hematite stone. They are in perfect condition and you don’t usually find these lamps with hematite. The roughness of the stone against the sheen of the brass gives it that twist. I bought them in Paris from the man who had them since they were new.
The Swedish Gustavian oval table is also very unique. Firstly, it’s oval. And its construction is genius. The wood that secures the table legs is pieced in the most beautiful way, and hidden in the apron of the table are triangular drawers. Just so different.
And the German cabinet is a perfect representation of that twist I like. You find these cabinets, which used to sit on grand tables, but this one has the most modern inlay. And it is hundreds of years old.
When designing your residences, how have your own design sensibilities changed?
I have always loved furniture with some age (my room, growing up, was filled with antiques), but as I have gotten older and exposed to more of the great designers and great rooms, I’ve learned the importance of both layering and the mix.
How do you and your partner navigate different design preferences when designing at home?
I think Alexander appreciates the spaces I create, so he mostly leaves me to it. If he really does not like something, he certainly tells me. I am a big proponent of giving rooms “time to settle,” whether it be a new piece, a new layout, wall color, whatever…Sometimes the best rooms need to grow on you. But after the “settle” period, if he still is not a fan, it will be changed.
You once mentioned you have more passion for furniture than fashion. What made you decide to be in fashion and not interior design?
I like to say, “I love designing spaces. My spaces.”
How do you decide what to buy? Is it ever an impulse, or do you always have a plan for what you buy?
I am sometimes on the hunt for something specific I may need or want, but more often, I stumble upon it and then figure out how to use it in my life. The constant looking is also an educational process, and so I tend to fall in love with pieces I’ve never seen before.
What is the biggest design faux pas someone can commit?
Trying too hard.
What was your favorite room in your home, growing up?
I grew up in an old house and it had a sunroom, painted yellow, with floor to ceiling lead glass windows and a tile floor of deep blue and yellow. The floor had a large and intricate iron drain in the center for the plants. I wish I had that now.
What room in your home(s) makes you feel:
Living room in Brooklyn Heights
Just walking into the Berkshires.
What we call the “opium den” in Brooklyn, a tented room with walls, ceiling and furniture all in an inky bird print.
Ready for the day:
If your NYC apartment were a movie, a painting or a book, which one would it be?
I dream of it being The Handmaiden.
Please tell us what rooms your pets spend the most time in, and why.
I have three dogs, Kiko, Alto and Bessie. They love three spots: in Brooklyn, on the sofas in the tented room, and in the Berkshires, on the sofa near the fireplace and on the bed in the living room. They just want to be comfortable.