This month Architectural Digest is featuring the Upper East Side apartment of legendary fashion editor and US Project Runway judge Nina Garcia.
Which I was very much expecting to like as I enjoy her personal style very much (check out Sirs T and Lo’s ‘Judging the Judges’ columns for some examples).
And at first I thought I did. The light airiness of the apartment itself is lovely and the colour scheme seemed refreshing and unusual.
But oh, Nina, Nina. The more I looked at it I realised that I didn’t really like it at all. The colour story is only interesting because the stylist brought in some hot pink flowers and green leaves. Look more closely and you’ll see that it’s a rather bland combination of white, grey, terracotta and camel, with some powder blue accents.
It also all seems rather uptight and uncomfortable – I think due to the lack of personal items beyond busts and artwork, and the spiky, brittle, skinny, fashion model legs on nearly every single piece of furniture. These are chairs and sofas made for perching, not for cosy snuggling.
The stone bust, vase and fireplace surround also seem rather hard and unfriendly, while the hideous carpet in the dining room, which admittedly is one of the few things with any personality in the entire apartment, looks like some fiendishly complicated children’s board game.
This is apparently the apartment that Nina shares with her young family, and though I’m a great believer in keeping some spaces free of kid stuff, the fact that there is no trace of them in any of the rooms on show – no photos, kid art, toys, clothes or kid-friendly furniture - seems a little sad. Or perhaps they’re occasionally permitted to play on the dining room carpet when their mother isn’t looking.
All in all the whole ambience just seems too controlled and impersonal, with any hint of quirkiness, personality, warmth, exuberance or life, expertly stifled by layer upon layer of expensive ‘good taste’. But heck what do I know.
The closet, on the other hand, is completely and utterly to die for.
What do you chaps think?