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A Peek Behind the Curtain: Steven’s Morningside Home

living room morningside home

Before we take a tour of Steven’s Morningside Home & his showroom selects…

House shopping wasn’t what I wanted to do that day but I relented. Our realtor drove us around the 100-year-old neighborhood of Morningside “just to see,” and as fate would have it, the very last house caught my eye. The original floor plan was simple: four rooms down, three rooms up, a sun porch on the side, and a sad cinder block addition off the back. The simplicity made sense to me.  Was this the one? Walking the perimeter of the house, I studied the foundation looking for any disruptions in the brick. I walked it twice desperate for any excuse to abort. No drops in the line.  No cracks in the mortar. The foundation was strong and so, with trepidation and a vision for what could be, we made an offer. 

It turned out the house rested on a better foundation than my relationship. In January of 2020, a month before closing, we decided it would be best for me to purchase the house than be upside down on the “designer” upgrades I insisted on. The first few nights of March were restless. Resentful of a mortgage I anticipated to split with a partner and room after room of empty house weighed heavy on me. However, none of it compared to what was coming as a mystery virus gripped us all. School closures followed. Then work closures. And finally, mandatory lockdowns.  

Restless nights quickly turned to sleepless nights.   

The first few months of the pandemic were scary, but I was lucky.  The interiors were far from comfortable, but those yellow brick walls now painted white protected me during those months. This newly renovated 1920’s house quickly became my office, my gym, my bar, my theater, and most fortunately of all, an incubator for a new and great love.  

My luck continued as our industry thrived during the pandemic. Over the next two years and with the support of so many vendors, I pieced together a slice of heaven for myself. Rooms stitched together in deep autumnal hues of burnt cinnamon and rust. Walls covered in cherished pieces of art each one worthy yet most worthless. And windows draped in yards and yards of fabric. Slowly we went back to work, back to the gym, back to the bars. Bit by bit, my tiny little house in Morningside became what it was always meant to be – a home.  

It’s been five years since I first laid eyes on this house. Personally, these pictures have captured the saddest, strangest, scariest, yet most fulfilling parts of my life until now. Professionally, they will forever memorialize the successes of our small business. I will forever be grateful to our wonderful clients who have supported us and to every one of our vendors who continue to believe in our vision of what a multiline showroom could and should be. And above all, I am grateful to my business partner and best friend, Ryan Hughes. Thank you for including me in your dream to build this beautiful life for ourselves. 2024 starts a new chapter as we set out to open our second location in New York City. And with that, I hope to see you all on Lexington very soon!

Neighborly Love: Satellite Mirror from Ainsworth Noah // Showroom Select: Oasis Sofa from Coup Studio

Gallery Crush: John Serl Painting from Mason Fine Art // Showroom Select: Casino Table from Coup Studio

kitchen morningside home

kitchen favorites morningside home

Showroom Select: Muriel Brandolini Drapery from Holland and Sherry // Neighborly Love: Easton from Waterworks

dining room morningside home

dining room favorites morningside home

Showroom Select: Trapeze : 4 Surface from APPARATUS // Gallery Crush: Bastiaan Woudt photography from Jackson Fine Art

sunroom morningside home

Showroom Selet: Bishop Table from Coup Studio // Neighborly Love: Wicker Pedestal & Urn from Pierre Frey

main bedroom favorites morningside home

Showroom Select: Tidal Chandelier from John Pomp // Neighborly Love: Vintage Mirror from Jim Thompson

main bathroom morningside home

main bathroom morningside home

Showroom Select: Glacon Tall Sconce from Jonathan Browning // Product Feature: Pullman Soap Dish from Urban Archaeology

hallway decor morningside home

Gallery Crush: Thornton Dial Painting from Townhouse by Robert Brown // Showroom Select: Series 02 Sconce from Adam Otlewski

den favorites part 2 morningside home

Showroom Select: Custom Galleria Ottoman from Natasha Baradaran // Showroom Select: Sling Chair from Coup Studio 

den favorites morningside home

Gallery Crush: Vintage Art from Robin Rains Antiques // Showroom Select: Sea Urchin Pendant from Coup Studio

office morningside home

Designer Crush: Custom Desk from Casey McCafferty // Showroom Select: Albert’s Cross Wallcovering – Malibu from Holland and Sherry

guest suite morningside home

guest suite favorites

Neighborly Love: Murano Lamps from Foxglove // Showroom Select: Globeaus from Natasha Baradaran

 

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APPARATUS + Business of Home: 5 PART PLAY

“Since its founding in 2012, APPARATUS has exploded. The brand has two dedicated showrooms in the U.S., with another forthcoming in London; more than 30 stockists internationally; and more than 100 employees. The company is that rare beast: both a financial and an artistic success story. It’s a result, says Gabriel Hendifar, of a design vision based around emotional resonance more than any one aesthetic.”

In an episode from early October 2022, Business of Home podcast host and NY School of Interior Design Dennis Scully interviewed APPARATUS founder and Artistic Director Gabriel Hendifar to understand the nexus of the brand’s creativity – its past, its present, and its future. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Scully and Hendifar take the listener through a five part play, revealing glimpses into the brand’s hero journey. As the audience, we know the magic is partly in awaiting the collections – also known as ACTS – that APPARATUS launches with baited breadth, knowing the curtain is about to lift upon the most enveloping story that unfolds through various channels.

“What good is the set if you don’t actually have the play to watch? Those moments of communal joy and celebration and seduction and excitement and intrigue—that’s the whole point,” Hendifar shares.

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Betsy Berry’s Modern Approach to Decorative Lighting

APPARATUS Lariat Sconce

Highlighting the ever-evolving advances where technology and design intersect, ADAC is hosting Digital Day to keep the industry in the know of digital advancements & their respective impact on the spaces we live in. Knowing that these changes can be difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to lighting & illuminating designs, we have partnered with ADAC to host “A Modern Approach to Decorative Lighting” – a conversation between Russel Feldman, Owner of Simply Wired PRO, Betsy Berry, Principal Designer of B. Berry Interiors, & Nick Grinder, Vice President of Sales at APPARATUS.

Ahead of this conversation on Wednesday, March 9th, we caught up with Betsy Berry to get her take on the importance of lighting selections in a project & what her favorite pieces are to use.

RH: Betsy, you are educated and trained in New York City. How did moving back to the South in 2013 influence your aesthetic? 

BB: I was actually born and raised in South Carolina, so I always had a southern aesthetic per se. I think my education and work in New York really taught me to refine my design on all fronts. Southern design has had a huge influence on me. Be it my home growing up or my grandmother’s home, the layers and the warmth with elegance throughout isn’t something you forget. It’s a feeling you keep coming back to.

RH: When planning decorative lighting for your projects, where do you begin? A specific room, specific finish, or specific vibe?

BB: I always start with the architecture and bones of the house. I think it dictates the true story of the space. Lighting for me is always so exciting to select – it is one of the most critical choices in the process. I love the juxtaposition of a traditional backdrop of a historic home combined with a modern light fixture. I always strive to keep things timeless yet sexy.

RH: We’d use the phrase “timeless, yet sexy” to describe APPARATUS lighting, and we see you often sourcing their pieces. What about APPARATUS draws you to their designs? Are there any design challenges their offering has helped you solve?

BB: I simply love their products. I think APPARATUS is a go-to for me because it is all of the things I appreciate in design – simplicity yet the highest quality, the ability to live beyond trends and timestamps and the balance of feminine and masculine. Their lighting is easy to love and therefore easy to specify – it helps me solve the problem of finding the perfect piece.

RH: The recently released ACT IV incorporates several new finishes including molded glass, new suede colors and wool satins. Which of these finishes are you most drawn to and which are you most excited to use in an upcoming project? Do you have a favorite piece or pieces from ACT IV?

BB: I love the Starlet sconce from ACT IV specifically – I can’t wait to use it in our upcoming project in Mexico. The combination of the aged brass, bronze suede and satin is to die for…

Outside of that collection, the Lariat pendant has always been one of my favorites – it is the perfect piece among so many backdrops and the alabaster combined with the antique brass is simply gorgeous.