“History is fresh! Set that on a T-shirt!”
Michael Tomei was beaming when he logged on for our job interview from his condominium in New York Town. His genius for infusing present day interiors with furnishings with loaded patina is evident in his meticulously-intended, 2,100-square-foot, two-bedroom loft that he shares with his partner, Peter, and a rescue puppy named Huxley.
Gut renovating the space in a century-outdated warehouse setting up in Manhattan’s NoHo district signaled a important gear-shift for Tomei, who employed to conceptualize retailer shows and fashion exhibits for brand names like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Opening Michael Vincent Layout in 2019 authorized him to devote his vitality to rescuing outdated buildings and time-worn household furniture, and—not to mention—binge-observe BBC time period movies for inspiration. “If they have a powdered deal with and a wig on, or if the guys are prettier than women of all ages, I’m in,” he jokes.
Tomei’s obsession for curiosities from a bygone period is tempered with an attentiveness to present-day concerns—including how to tastefully include additional closet room. Each individual nook in the loft reflects his intuitive aptitude for seamless juxtapositions among outdated and new objects: In the eating area, a heirloom mahogany table from the 1920s is flanked by Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs. His grandmother’s chinoiserie cupboard shares the similar house as a Jean Prouvé lamp and a pair of handsome bean-formed sofas from Studio Walrus. One particular exception is the 1990s minimalist reverie in the principal lavatory. “It’s my John Pawson second,” Tomei says. “It reminds me of the Calvin Klein retail store he designed on Madison Avenue in the nineties.”
Owning a blank canvas to get the job done with was freeing, Tomei states. “Moving from a conservative co-op developing into this loft was a breath of new air in conditions of allowing and limitation system,” he says. “In my last co-op it took eight months just to get the allow to start out my development. In this new condo I closed on a Friday and began demolition on Saturday!”
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Doing the job on the apartment also fixed Tomei of the itch to regularly redecorate, as he did with each and every vogue cycle in his former job. “It’s form of monumental for me,” he describes. “It’s the initially area that I’ve made for myself that I’m absolutely written content with.” His property doubles as a studio and living showroom for probable consumers to encounter his style and design sensibility in the flesh.
The expertise of planning an entire place emboldened Tomei to acquire on rescuing unloved residences in Extended Island. He devoted a lot of the pandemic 12 months to renovating quite a few qualities in Bellport, New York, together with an outdated captain’s house from the 1870s, an 1840s cottage, and a midcentury ranch. “Compared to a new build, restoring some thing involves a good deal a lot more treatment, work and analysis, but I’m all about it,” he claims.