March 4, 2015

John Douglas Eason Creates a Sophisticated Nest Above Hell's Kitchen

Interior designer John Douglas Eason relocates his home and office to a compact, ultra-modern apartment high above Hell's Kitchen, creating a comfortable and efficient nest for himself and his husband

by Stephen Treffinger interior designer John Douglas Eason Interior Design photographer Jody Kivort


When interior designer John Eason moved into a high-rise four years ago, he arrived with little more than a mattress, two dogs, and some photos. "The buyers of my last apartment wanted everything, including the furnishings," he says. This 750-square-foot one-bedroom space also serves as his office, so it needed to be cozy yet carefully thought out. His recent marriage to vintage glass dealer Damon Crain fueled a penchant for shopping at auctions-plus the need for more storage space.

"I'd lived in pre-war buildings for years and was ready to start with a clean slate," he says of the brand-new building. "While I don't particularly prescribe to the architectural aesthetic," he adds, "there's something about having a washing machine and dryer in the apartment!" He wanted to take full advantage of the spectacular views, and also be able to put everything "business" away at the end of the day.

Eason says that his husband, who owns the gallery Culture Object, "not only changed my life romantically, but also helped to shape my design vision through teaching me to shop on places like Etsy and eBay." Throughout the apartment are new furniture pieces beside those found at auction, plus artwork given to him by friends and family.

The living area provides its luxury views from a deep couch of Eason's design. Colors and textures are warm and earthy, a foil for the clean white box that holds them. The vintage Lucite side table that belonged to his mother rests comfortably near a contemporary floor lamp. "I like for things to feel like they don't all belong together."

For a hide-a-way work station, he tucked his Crate&Barrel desk inside one of a pair of custom cabinets, with cerused and lacquered doors and concealed lighting. A nearby credenza holds printer paper and other office supplies; the ottoman opens to reveal files. Even his mattress lifts up to reveal additional storage beneath the custom bed, its headboard and frame covered in an alpaca herringbone fabric from Maharam.

In the kitchen, he had a clear acrylic counter built, which avoids the clutter of a formal dining room, yet provides a perch for drinks and hors d'oeuvres when entertaining.

There's still work to be done finding room for everything, and Eason intends to relocate his business. When I ask what's in a string of Ikea cabinets in the hallway, he laughs. "It's more office stuff, which I need to clear out so Damon can fully move in!"