x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Designer Living: Eclectic colours and textures from Alex Papachristidis

The New York-based designer uses layered palettes and bold accessories to brighten a space.

Vintage Beatles posters hang above an 18th century French desk to create a small, vibrant study area. Roger Davies / The Interior Archive
Vintage Beatles posters hang above an 18th century French desk to create a small, vibrant study area. Roger Davies / The Interior Archive

Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

I was born, raised and have lived most of my life in Manhattan's beautiful Upper East Side. I still live in the neighbourhood and am currently gutting and renovating a new apartment. I plan to move there when it's ready.

What made you choose the property?

Convenience, space and light are the three factors that always dictate my choice of where to live.

What does your home say about you?

The things a person surrounds themself with always say a great deal about them and my home is no different. It houses my collections of books, furniture and artwork, which are very personal and dear to me. It also shows my particular taste for a mix of patterns and prints. Lastly, it is a warm, welcoming, lush environment designed for entertaining - one of my great loves.

Is there anything you would change about it, or anything you wish you had done differently?

I see my upcoming move as an update rather than a change. I'm bringing in new fabrics and updating the style, while bringing all my things along.

What is the key to creating a happy home?

In my case, it's friends, family and our Yorkshire terrier, Teddy. I think that a happy home is well stocked and properly maintained with every convenience - not only beautiful to look at but comfortable to be in.

Which items would no home of yours be without?

No question, my personal collections and comfortable surroundings. My home is a place where I enjoy spending time, surrounded by things that inspire me and bring me joy.

Where do you like to shop for pieces for your home?

John Rosselli, HM Luther, Louis Bofferding, Liz O'Brien, Christie's, Sotheby's, Parisian antiques dealers and the Chinese Porcelain Company.

Do you incorporate elements of your work into your home, or do you like to keep your domestic environment separate?

Absolutely. My home is like a laboratory, where my creativity can run wild.

Are there any particular projects or products of which you are especially proud?

I am proud of all my projects - that's like asking a parent if they have a favourite child. I love them all in different ways, as you will see in my upcoming book published by Rizzoli next fall.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently finishing a grand Georgian manor in Southampton with a continuous mix of luxe and boho grandeur. I'm working on a sophisticated country manor in Millbrook with an exciting layered palette of English and French styles, a suite of rooms for a spectacular home in Connecticut, a beautiful duplex on a Fifth Avenue maisonette for a classic New York couple, and a town house for a young family on the Upper East Side in a classical, modern style.

Other projects include a combining of multiple apartments in a West Side pre-war 1912 building, where we're creating our interpretation of an arts and crafts interior. Outside New York, I have two projects: a commercial building in Aspen with a penthouse apartment for a young client to live in and enjoy, and a stone home in New Hampshire in a private club with an American flair for casual living.

What inspires your work?

I get a lot of inspiration from art, fashion, museums and, of course, travelling. These are the areas where I can see how people create and appreciate beauty across time and space.

Who are your favourite designers?

Renzo Mongiardino, Henri Samuel, Geoffrey Bennison, Syrie Maugham, Elsie de Wolfe, Mario Buatta and Sister Parish.

How would you describe your interior style?

Grand, classic decorating with a modern sensibility.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

I would love to live in Paris, a magical, beautiful city.

How do you like to relax?

New York is a fast city and I wouldn't have it any other way, but sometimes there's no greater indulgence than staying home and watching old, classic movies and TV on demand. I also love playing cards with family and friends.

What is the best way to simply and instantly update a room?

Re-accessorise. Bring in fresh flowers and plants, new pillows, lampshades and area rugs.