April 8, 2016

Caleb Anderson Blends Old and New in a Modern Setting

Caleb Anderson gives a client with a serious penchant for antiques a newfound appreciation for blending old and new in a modern setting

by Nicole Haddad interior designer Caleb Anderson photographer Lauren Silberman


Great designers have an innate sense of how to turn an idea into reality. So when interior designer Caleb Anderson—who recently merged firms with fellow designer Jamie Drake—was approached to renovate a three-bedroom apartment in the contemporary Baccarat Residences, he had a good idea of what to expect. Or so he thought. The client, it turns out, was not a big fan of modern spaces. "Everything he has owned in the past and gravitates to is architecturally detailed and from another time period," explains Anderson.

While the client had misgivings, he picked the perfect designer. "He had no way of making sense of how he could use some of the antiques in his possession and make them relevant in a contemporary building," says Anderson. "But I like to mix different periods. I find it especially interesting that you can create a space that feels modern and appropriate when in fact there are 17th and 18th century antiques spread throughout." And so he set to work. The floor plan delineated the master bedroom and shared living/dining space to the left of the entry gallery, a bedroom-turned-study directly in front facing east, and kitchen and another guest bedroom to the right.

On the eastern end of the living space, Anderson created a focal point with a vibrant, large-scale abstract painting by German artist Friedel Dzubas set over a deep charcoal, velvet even-back sofa. An antique chandelier the designer found at a fair in Italy adds a dramatic flair and offsets the pair of modern sculptural coffee tables. On the facing wall, geometric mirrors reflect a 19th-century French chandelier over a brass dining table Anderson had custom made in Italy. English Regency armchairs from the client's own collection add an element of interest.

An antique candelabra adds interest to the marble vanity.
An antique candelabra adds interest to the marble vanity.

To keep the architectural shell very clean and allow for the art and the more opulent antiques to stand out, the designer painted all the walls white throughout. Dark wood floors anchor the space. A gilded bronze chandelier and marble-topped gold side tables set a stately tone in the master bedroom. Meanwhile, warm tones from an antique rug, a William IV period sofa, and a textural print bring a cozy intimacy to the study. To play up the light and airy feel of the guest bedroom, Anderson kept the design simple, adding an architectural canopy bed and bringing the vernacular of the rest of the apartment into the room with an ornate antique chair.

In the end, Anderson achieved a sophisticated look that shows it's the art of the mix that counts. "There are really strong juxtapositions that prove that edited choices can bring an appreciation for combining old and new" he says. As for the client? He completely agreed.

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