Friday, July 23, 2010

Geoffrey Bradfield's Jewel Box

BUYERS: Geoffrey Bradfield
PRICE: $1,100,000
SIZE: 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While cobblers often need a new pair of shoes, nice, gay decorators rarely do. As a breed they are deeply and highly sensitive to their surroundings and would rather saw off a limb than reside in rooms that do not reflect their personal vision. A not yet successful decorator may live in a dump, but hunnies, it's a dump decorated and done over to within an inch of its life.

The homes of decorators and designers are not only laboratories for testing their decorative ideas in the most thorough and pure manner, but they are also calling cards. One decorating eminence well known to work over his personal spaces as a direct reflection of his decorating psyche is the wildly successful and much acclaimed Geoffrey Bradfield who recently placed a done, done, done 1 bedroom and 1.5 pooper Park Avenue pied a terre on the market with an asking price of $1,100,000.

The upright but sassy Mister Bradfield, who typically plies his talents for international high society types with nothing so boring or bothersome as a budget to get in the way of a well decorated home, is a clever chap who was once asked what it would take for a home to look like a million bucks. His pithy response was, "To spend two million bucks," which may not be funny to everyone but ought to provide a wee window into the uppity world in which Mister Bradfield floats.

Mister Bradfield, who scoots around town in a $200,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur with a driver named Carlos, is well known among the hoitiest of the toitiest for creating sumptuous, opulent, somewhat outre, and–natch–remarkably expensive rooms. A Geoffrey Bradfield designed space will typically be done with a severely restricted background palette–often white or the most soo-blime shade of grey–and punched up with piquant and forceful pops of vibrant color. He achieves his vision of elegance and restrained glamour by fearlessly concocting a carefully balanced but rule breaking decorative marinade of various styles and eras. He takes high-minded often abstract contemporary art and a dizzying number of mirrored walls that he bravely mixes, matches and mismatches with a Baroque this, a Neopolitan that, a Louis the something or other here and a Gustavian gewgaw over there. The idea behind Mister Bradfield's stew like day-core, as far as Your Mama can tell, is that good design is good design no matter what century it hails from and well designed things, regardless of when they were designed, fit together like a top and a bottom. Mister Bradfield's creations drip with an urbane sophistication that might seem fussy to the point of precious by some, but for a certain segment of the high faluttin' folks who own homes in posh places like Palm Beach, St. Moritz, and the Sherry damn Netherland Hotel in New York City, he's a freakin' genius.

Property records show that Mister Bradfield has owned a number of properties in New York City–more on that later–and that he picked up his 8th floor pied a terre at The Beekman in April of 2006 for $585,000. Since Mister Bradfield has owned an E. 61st Street townhouse since May of 2004, it's unclear for what purpose(s) he purchased or maintained this Park Avenue apartment. The Beekman was built in 1927 in the Italian Renaissance style and offers white glove services to residents that include 24/7 doorman and concierge, and hotel style amenities such as valet, 5-day per week maid service and fitness center. Those services, plus the private storage room, account for the the unusually high $2,530 per month maintenance charge.

The 3-room apartment–4 if you count the picayune kitchen–has a standard and unexciting layout with a front door that opens into an entrance gallery that Mister Bradfield transformed into an intime jewel box of a dining room with a wall of paneled mirrored doors that extend up to the ceiling and attempt to give the low ceilings a more dramatic sense of scale. The square dining table has a crisp white tablecloth surrounded a quartet of painted Rococo style chairs with intensely detailed carved backs. A large, monochromatic abstract painting takes up most of the wall opposite the mirrored doors and pushed up into the corner of the room near the mirrored doors that open into the hallway leading to the bedroom a stone carving of a man's torso wrapped toga-like in an elaborately draped fabric sits atop a pedestal that due to it's design allows the torso to be lit from underneath. Listen chickens, Your Mama certainly understands the importance of antiquities and the decorative benefits to bringing some genuine patina into a well dressed room but we always find these kind of male (semi) nude things to be a bit silly and–dare we say with all due respect to Mister Bradfield–desperate when placed in the private quarters of a middle aged man.

Behind the entrance gallery/dining room is a typically teeny-tiny and windowless New York City kitchen that's barely more then 5 feet wide but includes what listing information calls "top gourmet appliances" and " floor to ceiling bookcases." While Mister Bradfield like to entertain, he hardly seems like the type to get sweaty in the kitchen so Your Mama imagines the wee kitchen is nothing more than a expensive room to store the champagne magnums and fois gras until the hired help comes over to pour and dish it all out.

Several of the walls of the shoebox shaped living room are fitted with Mister Bradfield's signature giant mirrored panels comprised of smaller frameless mirrors set end to end. The room's all important contemporary art component consists primarily of a somewhat disturbing and gigantic portrait of an unknown redhead with a bad hair do. Quilted curtain panels with exquisitely hidden hardware puddle generously on the ground, and a couple of clean lined slipper chairs are swaddled in the same delicate lavender colored fabric as the Louis the XVI (or something) settee with silver leafed wooden accents and a gently undulating back.

In front of the dainty but elegant settee a thick, masculine slab of glass balances beautifully on a tangle of twigs cast from some sort of metal and finished with a silver material, possibly nickel or silver plating. Whatever those twigs are covered in we'd bet our long bodied bitches that that coffee table cost more than the Dr. Cooter's big white BMW. The children will note that one of the many ways Mister Bradfield achieves balance in this room is with lighting sconces affixed to the center of the wall mirrors that stylistically reflect the the twiggy tangle of the coffee table legs.

Although storage space is often at a minimum in New York City apartments, Mister Bradfield managed to squeeze in a total of 11 closets into the 1-bedroom apartment that by our rudimentary and unscientific calculations measures somewhere between 700 and 800 square feet. Seven of the closets are located in the lone bedroom where Mister Bradford smartly lined one entire wall with mirror-fronted closets.

The mirrored closets reflect the massive mirror on the opposite wall that reaches up to the ceiling and acts as the backboard for the bed. The mirrors reflecting the mirrors reflecting the mirrors reflecting the mirrors ad infinitum would be enough to make Your Mama need a damn nerve pill. Plus and quite frankly, chickens, we do not want or need to see every contour and bulge of our body reflected an infinite number of times at the very moment in the morning that we wake up and step out of bed all bleary and boozy eyed. Anyhoo, the portions of the walls not slathered in mirrors are covered in a canvas that depicts a dozen or more gentlemen in pre-revolutionary garb who may (or may not) be the founding fathers or just some pre-Revolutionary chicken for Mister Bradfield and/or his guests to check out while drifting off to slumber.

Mister Bradfield maintains homes in both New York and Palm Beach, natch. His former real estate holdings include a 5th floor apartment at 610 Park Avenue that records show he purchased in October of 1998 and sold in November of 2003 for $1,200,000. That same month he picked up a 1 bedroom and 2 pooper Palm Beach condo for $375,000 and a month later sold a Palm Beach home for $1,800,000. In December of 2005, Mister Bradfield sold a small apartment in the same E. 62nd street townhouse building where Joan Rivers lives in a doo-plex penthouse pad she recently had on the market for $25,000,000.

In May of 2004, property records show that Mister Bradfield paid $4,150,000 for an East 61st Street townhouse built in 1869 by the same Irish bloke who built the entire block. Sometime in 2009 Mister Bradfield took the peeps at LXTV on a fascinating video tour of the townhouse that includes a white, Lucite, and mirrored reception room with a few hot pink bits and pieces, a library done mostly in a most gorgeous gray with electric bursts Yves Klein blue, and a mostly black and white top floor office suite wrapped in black and white wallpaper depicting hand sketched clusters of New York City buildings.


Village said...

I think I like it, but I can't figure out if it reminds me more of the '80s with all the mirrors, or Versailles.

I wish I had the ovaries to do my bedroom like that. I am hanging only one artist in my bedroom, and I think I'm the cat's meow.

Don't have a bad a hair day in that apartment.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if a link exists here for keanu reeves? i always wondered if he was still living in d hotels.

Anonymous said...

No comment on all those mirrors LOL!

Jeannified said...

Love. It. !!!

Anonymous said...

The wallpaper of the men in garb covers up more closets.

I remember Miz Kelly Hoppen said that beige hates bluish grey, and for once, I believe her. He needs to remaint the beige in the bedroom white.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing sprinkled in Fairy dust.

lil' gay boy said...

" together like a top and a bottom."

I... just... oh, my... Mama!

An absolutely lovely mise en scene, but I cannot picture it as being truly comfortable as a daily residence; it seems to be decorated more as a pied-a-terre that a primary home. In that light, it's quite a successful composition, from the stepped cove ceilings & the bijou dining area, to the glass, mirrors & the subtly monochromatic palette.

As for the torso Mama, I respectfully disagree ––– it's the undraped ones with their missing genitalia that come across as desperate; this particular one is much the exception, but I know whereof you speak.

I must say that, top or bottom, I would think one would have a hard time gettin' down to bizness in that bedroom ––– a tad spooky & much too reminiscent of a royal marriage bed, with all the vassals gathered to witness the "consummation".


Anonymous said...

Where on earth would you flop down and relax in this place? Perhaps you are not supposed to. I mistrust mirrors over beds. If for any reason they shatter you might be guillotined. On the whole, just too too chichi.

Anonymous said...

When Mr. Bradfield's townhouse was featured in the Architectual Digest, it mentioned in the article that since the townhouse is used for business, Mr. Bradfield maintained a small place in the city just as a place to get away.

Babe Parish said...

"I must say that, top or bottom, I would think one would have a hard time gettin' down to bizness in that bedroom ––– a tad spooky & much too reminiscent of a royal marriage bed, with all the vassals gathered to witness the "consummation"."

LGB, that's exactly what I would have said had I been born male, gay and fabulous. You nailed that f* pun intended...


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the ceiling detail in the living room (or is it a living closet?) scream suburban builder chic from the '80s.

That's just not proper molding.

CdnGayGuy420 said...

That condo is soooooooo gay.

Anonymous said...

I. love. it.

xoxo LaLu

angie said...

Ha. This could ONLY be the home of a very sterile someone with no pets, kids, or beyond. I can appreciate the upper-crusty appeal, a possession among many such adornments. It is a pretty jewel box, but in every day practical terms, his talent and skills are better suited to the fitting rooms and waiting areas of say a Bergdorf Goodman's.

Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...

Does this apartment's owner have a pet, ever come home and plop on the couch, ever eat in bed? With all that white I would be nervous if I or my guests even walked around the place in street shoes. I hate this type of decorating: cold, pretentious, fru-fru. Who would buy this apartment? Maybe a person who has a germ phobia would like it.

angie said...

I was still squinty eyed and a scant 3 sips into my first cup of coffee when I wrote that. What I meant to say is that I get a staged, high end commercial boutique vibe from Mr. Bradfield's designs. Maybe it's the heavy reliance upon mirrors. It's not that I don't like it, because I do find his color palette very appealing. It's one of those homes I'd always enjoy visiting because it's done so distinctly different from what I'd choose for myself.

Mark Ellis said...

Hey, I was just watching the movie Wall Street the other night with my wife and I couldn't help but notice how ugly the interior decorators were in that movie. Darryl Hannah played the part of an interior decorator and her designs really sucked. Anyway, I like the ones I see on your blog.

God Bless,
Mark Ellis

organbrett said...

Anonymous 5:25, Mr. Bradfield is always seen with his Yorkie. When you are as rich as he is you don't worry about things like that! Besides this apt. is probably for the little tete à tete (without the dog, bien sûr!) Although I agree with LGB about gettin' it on in that room!

Mama, I can't believe you'd think these were the founding fathers unless they all were gathered in Venice for a FF Convention. Look at those things you moor the gondola to (found all over the Grand Canal)!

davidsl said...

speaking as a gay decorator, that place is way to fay...unless it's for a very girly girl. but for an adult male of any sexuality, just plain wrong.

Anonymous said...

I just couldn't resist sharing the verification word, "fooffir." Say's it all about the place, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

What a very silly, pretentious apt. For an even sillier, even more pretentious, extremely insecure is so obvious that he is trying too hard.