Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson’s hyperbolic use of saturated hues has been at the crux of an interior design style that has garnered clients like Madonna and Michael Bloomberg, and primo commissions like Gracie Mansion. But it wasn’t their reputation as colorists that attracted a family readying to occupy a Tribeca condo with unfettered views of the Hudson River in a building designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern. “People don’t always come to us for color,” Drake insists. “These clients were looking for muted and serene, and we can work in variety of palettes.”
And while an elliptical rug featuring an explosion of blue water lilies and a fuchsia leather banquette might suggest otherwise, the duo makes a convincing argument for the residence’s more neutral bent. “The space is largely white,” Drake says, pointing to the Venetian plaster living and dining room walls and the tufted sectional. “There are pops of intensity in the kitchen, but overall, it’s rather quiet.” In the entry, Anderson notes white tones in the parchment-wrapped console, eggshell lacquer-framed mirror and plaster walls. Finally, in the master suite, Drake likens the room’s shell tones to a creamy parfait.
After living in a dark maisonette, the owners were highly motivated to move to a sunnier locale and start anew. Regarding their overall goals, the wife shares, “We wanted to create a family-friendly home. Caleb and Jamie took our vision seriously and came up with creative ideas to make it all work while pushing us to take some risks.”
In terms of mood, Anderson adds, “The owners wanted their home to feel bright and happy, and they were drawn to our work because they sought a sense of playfulness and the unexpected.” Gracing the main living area, a Peter Lane sculptural vase with spherical accents bubbling up on a glazed surface, and a Lindsey Adelman chandelier with gold chains that drip like Spanish moss, hit both marks. Meanwhile, the homeowners collaborated with the designers on the selection of hand-blown glass discs that make up the cheekily named “exploding confetti” chandelier in the breakfast nook, and in the master suite, notes Drake, “The giant, round double chaise is playful and sexy in a subdued way.”
Come nightfall, the city hosts a mesmerizing light show below, so the designers made sure the apartment offered plenty of sparkle of its own. A series of metallic elements keep the eye moving, from the sofa’s polished bronze base, to the satin brass floor lamps, to the subtle bronze band on the dining room table and back up to the golden chandelier. “Metals can really elevate a place in interest and complexity,” says Anderson, to which Drake adds, “Their previous apartment was dark, so reflecting and amplifying light was important. Here, even at night, there’s atmospheric illumination in these rooms.”
Along with the carefully-orchestrated yin yang of an antique bergère chair sharing space with a contemporary dark walnut coffee table, and a bit of Drake/Anderson color wizardry in the library where a deep Prussian blue envelops almost every surface, each detail is part of a layered scheme that guarantees coming home will be a singular experience for years to come. “Mixing is part of our design vocabulary,” Anderson says.
The home’s spirited mix spills out to the terrace, where a dining-meets-ping-pong table is just one reason to head outside. The other is to gaze at Lady Liberty and enjoy the outdoor living spaces landscape architect Janice Parker crafted to preserve the water views and maximize privacy. “It’s a challenge to find the true character of garden in an urban setting, but I think of New York terraces as bird nests looking over our imperial city,” says Parker, whose selection of native river birches and low shrubs coupled with a simple white and green flower palette strike a harmonic chord. “The inside is phenomenal, and when you step outside, it’s magic,” she notes. “The views and mother nature did so much of the work.”