In celebration of the highly anticipated exhibit “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at MoMA. Architectural Digest sat down with Stephen Sills and chat about his introduction to Matisse and how the artist’s work had influenced his own work.
“AD100 interior designer Stephen Sills also worked with original Matisses for a project on Long Island’s North Shore (shown). “The first time I really realized the genius of Matisse was when I was in college and saw a reproduction of The Red Studio,” he says. “That’s when I was really getting immersed in interior design, and that entire canvas is divided into planes of rooms, furniture, and objects. It’s obviously a beautiful masterpiece but was for me just the beginning of the work I would soon discover from this truly amazing and inspiring artist.”
Click HERE to read the full article. The exhibit runs through February 8, 2015.
David Netto from the T Magazine sits down with Stephen to chat over the evolution of him as a designer, and as an artist.
“…Sills, now 63, recently completed redecorating the space, the third reimagining of this environment since he moved here in 1988. As happens when you meet certain movie stars, the first thing that surprises about the place is its diminutive size. Inside, the apartment’s new palette is nearly all white: The surfaces have been bleached, limed and whitewashed, creating a ghosted-over version of its former self. The one exception is a chic new dressing room, which has been veneered entirely in dyed-green satinwood paneling that suggests the first-class compartment of some mysterious European train. “I just can’t live with color anymore,” the designer says, and while he means it in a general sense, he doesn’t mean it the way Richard Meier or John Pawson would. Sills’s love of color runs deeply through his work, as the green room attests. He uses color for its potential to introduce an element of the exotic to rooms — a feeling of otherworldliness, not unlike what Wes Anderson does with his movie sets. The new apartment, with its bleached parquet floor made in Poland, monumental Hellenistic lion sculpture and daybed by Jean-Michel Frank — improbable as these contents may make it seem — is about the future. “I want it to be very Cubistic,” Sills explains enigmatically, possibly referring to the angular 1930s French armchairs posed in the living room. In the compact entrance hall, he disguised a potential disadvantage by lining the walls in a continuous gray velvet curtain, which implies that there is limitless space behind it. “Being a good decorator, you just have to know what illusion is about,” Sills says….”
To read the full article and watch the house tour video, click HERE.
Stephen talks to the New York Post about the booming UWS and the new project he’s working on with GTIS Partners.
“…And at 101 W. 78th St., GTIS Partners is planning a 16-unit conversion (which will be done in stages) going on the market this fall.
For many of these projects, the idea is simple — spruce up a classic and combine units: 498 West End Ave., for example, is a Neville & Bagge building erected in 1910. “We’re going to be taking the whole thing and preserving the exterior — including putting on things like the missing cornices — and bringing her back to all her former glory,” says Louise Phillips Forbes of Halstead, who is handling sales. In addition to the apartments, CetraRuddy is adding a new lobby, fitness room and playroom.
“It’s very interesting to see how people lived when [these buildings] were first built,” says Stephen Sills, the designer on 101 W. 78th St., which was originally built in 1901. “There was so much natural light in these apartments [and the original builders] didn’t take advantage of the space.”…”
The library in the Baccarat Residences model unit.
Standing in the three-bedroom model apartment on the 36th floor of the Baccarat Residences, just off Fifth Avenue on 53rd Street, one has the sense of being inside a large and elaborate music box.
Like the Skidmore Owings & Merrill-conceived building’s other 59 units, the apartment owes its interior design to Tony Ingrao. The model’s furnishing—a tribute to the spirit of the 250-year-old French crystal brand—comes courtesy of decorator Stephen Sills.
Signature chandeliers small and large in deep blue and clear glass hang overhead, made, naturally, from Baccarat’s very own wares. Illuminated below are walls papered in dark bronze, and a matching modernist bench wearing textured white linen. The living room holds Louis the XV chairs and walls that shimmer gold. Those unmoved by frippery will be drawn first to floor-to-ceiling windows to look northwest, out over the Park and the Upper West Side, all the way to the George Washington Bridge.
The kitchen continues a funhouse parade of reflective surfaces that appear in every apartment: glass, brushed and polished nickel, iceberg granite slab. White Lido marble on a grand scale in the master bath creates, in combination with the room’s natural light, a blinding, frosted brilliance suggesting the lair of a very fortunate Eskimo queen.
But aside from flashes of Baccarat crystal in chandeliers, wall sconces and doorknobs, the condos, with their marble and six-inch white oak flooring, rain jet showers and stainless steel finishes hue fairly close to the script for modern luxe ground-up development. The Residences are New York’s first condo and hotel project from the French crystal company, which was acquired by Starwood in 2005. Due for completion in August, the condos are already more than 60 percent sold, to a group one sales rep said included “a surprising number of domestic buyers.” (A recent story in New York on wealthy foreigners’ increasing use of New York real estate as an investment vehicle noted the Baccarat’s aggressive overseas marketing campaign.) But New Yorkers who take their Sunday brunch with sparklers, techno and champagne can still get a place like the model unit for between $9.5 and $10.5 million—or a penthouse duplex, for $60 million.