“I’m drawn to a lot of colors and textures, and I love objects and art,” says Joey Laurenti, CEO of fashion label Sies Marjan. “Mixing those things together is important to me, because it feels intuitive. It’s not dictated by anything other than what I like.” When Joey moved into this address in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood four years ago, everything had worked out for the best. He was searching for a prewar apartment in this specific area to share with his boyfriend, Shane, a doctor, and this one checked that coveted box with two bedrooms and bathrooms. It had the bones and it had the space, but when it came to Joey’s discerning eye, it certainly didn’t have the style.
“Actually, when we moved in, I was stressed out,” he says. “It was our first apartment together, and so we decided to start over. We left all of our old furnishings from our previous apartments behind, and we wanted to make this a new home. But I knew how long that was going to take.” Joey isn’t the type of person who buys furnishings from a short list of recognizable brands, only to fill a room up quickly in a mad dash to settle in. Instead, he takes his time. He collects from a trusted group of antique dealers and follows a curated group of artists. He holds on to beloved pieces from his youth, and grabs an extra something for himself if he’s out shopping for a friend.
Whether he’s scrolling or strolling, he’s always—consciously or not—looking out for pieces that catch his attention. They’re often kaleidoscopic, and mimic the same attention to scale and detail as the designs of Sies Marjan. But unlike those clothing collections, which skew minimalist, Joey’s interior designs are firmly maximalist. “I can’t really stop,” he says, with a laugh. “I’m constantly bringing something home.”
He began transforming the apartment by painting the living room ceiling and its curved details a playful green to match the garden peeking through the window outside. “I wanted to highlight the architecture of the room without putting too much color on the walls, because I knew the art and furnishings would have color,” he says. A plush pink velvet sofa came next, followed by a trip to a fabric supplier to reupholster other pieces that eventually made it into the room: a second couch, a blue fringed ottoman, and bright yellow and leather chairs.
Joey scattered art across the walls and along ledges, placing blown glass he initially found as a gift (he bought one for himself) on the mantel and vintage rugs across the floor. The burgundy and blue fabric in one—which is from Russia or Kazakhstan, he can’t be sure—complements the indigo shades of the Moroccan rug in the master bedroom. The colors are intentionally more subdued in this room and the adjoining den, where a plaid sofa offsets the vibrant prints that tie all three spaces together. The most meaningful artwork, though, may be the one hanging in the compact dining space. It’s a piece Joey did as a senior in high school, based off the work of artist Alice Neel. “I’ve lived with that painting ever since,” he says. “It’s something that I love, which works with the rest of the eclectic collection that I’ve made over time.”
It took years for the apartment to come together, although perhaps it will never be entirely finished. As long as Joey stays open to another texture and color, or object and artwork, there’s always the possibility for improvement. “Usually, if I feel like the proportion or the color of something feels right where it is, then I leave it where it is,” he says. “But if a new object comes in, then there’s a sort of forced rearrangement.”
💡 Do It Yourself
Use paint to help accent architectural details. “I painted the ceiling in my living room to highlight the soffits, molding, and beams,” Joey says.
Layer patterns and color. Like putting together an outfit, combine printed and colorful textiles for a vivid effect. “I like mixing things together to give texture to a room,” he continues.
The more furniture, the better. Sometimes packing a room with furniture and decor gives a small space a cozy vibe. “I love a crowded room,” he jokes.
🛍 Shop It Out
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Akari 30A light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, $200, shop.noguchi.org
Edward Wormley for Dunbar credenza, $6,000, chairish.com
PH 3½–3 pendant light by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, $953, ylighting.com
Heart Dining Set by Hans Wegner for Fritz Hansen, $8,314, 1stdibs.com
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest