July 11, 2016

A Glimpse into Rio Hamilton's SoHo Apartment

Brand Strategist and PR Consultant, Rio Hamilton, offers us a glimpse into his SoHo apartment.

by Nicole Haddad

Rio Hamilton's Apartment
Design by Rio Hamilton. Photo by Peter Kubilis.
Photo by Peter Kubilis
Photo by Peter Kubilis.

It's not often you get to step into the space of a design personality, much less one whose presence automatically establishes life in any party. Rio Hamilton, a designer in his own right, and now, Brand Strategist and PR Consultant, opened his doors and his mind to our inquisitive eyes. His three-bedroom, SoHo home, which he has lived in for about 18 years, reflects an ease of eye and a well-traveled life. While he is constantly shifting furniture, many of the main pieces remain the same. "I want my apartment to exude comfort and style mixed together," says Hamilton. "I love the way people walk in, and the majority take a moment to 'ooh and ahh.'"

And rightly so! When you walk into Hamilton's apartment you are immediately drawn into the sanctuary that is his living room. A Niedermaier coffee table, designed by Judy Niedermaier herself, sits over a complementary rug that is soft to the touch. It is fitting that that should be the first item one might focus on—Hamilton's job at Niedermaier was his first after moving to New York City from Los Angeles, and where he stayed put for well over a decade. Sentiment and taste pervade his space, from the Mondrian throw perched over the sofa that he brought back from a trip to Greece, to the black-and-white Leger print that sits on the wall to the right of the living room.

Photo by Peter Kubilis
Photo by Peter Kubilis.

In the dining room, a Niedermaier dining table in macassar wood with a tripod base sits over a silk-and-wool rug from Rug Art. A sculpture in the shape of a sphere by Brooklyn-based MAY Furniture Co. keeps company with a Sun Dial Hamilton brought back from a trip to Puerto Rico. Diamond shaped mirrors found at the 26th Street Flea Market reflect the Mies van der Rohe chairs from Knoll and add an element of the unexpected.

In an eye-catching vignette, Hamilton paired a stone-topped fretwork console from Niedermaier with a triangular decorative box from India and a patent leather pouf. On the facing wall of the living room, Hamilton installed and designed the Art Deco-inspired façade of the fireplace. Above it, a signed Warhol print that was originally done for the cover of Interview magazine steals the show. As for that Art Nouveau Austrian Chest sitting pretty between the living and dining areas? Hamilton arranged for it to be shipped rather than wait for the next container to arrive in the U.S. "It came first class, honey," he laughs. All in all, the apartment reflects Hamilton's global aesthetic and a life of adventure and travel.

To follow Rio Hamilton's blog, visit Mon Oncle.

Photo by Peter Kubilis
Photo by Peter Kubilis. A mirror reflects a collage of magazine cut-outs Hamilton chose for their fashionable or inspirational nature. In a comic twist, the majority of the photos appear to showcase people looking directly at the viewer.

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