October 28, 2017

Hazel Collins Partners with Dorothée Mathieux of Maison Gerard to Outfit a Greenwich Village Home

Pressed for time with a baby on the way, a couple and their designer turn to a renowned gallery two blocks away to outfit their home.

by Jorge S. Arango interior designer Dorothée Mathieux & Hazel Collins /Maison Gerard photographer Jean-Francois Jaussaud

dorothee of maison gerard
Maison Gerard proved a treasure trove when it came to furnishing the apartment. The living-dining area netted a red lacquer, cabinet, two armchairs and rugs by Leleu (all circa 1957), a 1950 Maison Ramsay sofa, contemporary Lotus nesting tables by Franck Evennou, and a 1980 horse sculpture by Dominique Pouchain. The photo, from Staley-Wise Gallery, is by Jean-François Jaussaud.


Often, renovation timelines are little more than wishful thinking. But when they involve a landmarked 7,500-square-foot Greenwich Village townhouse, they seem predestined for overruns. Case in point: this 19th-century townhouse's rear addition, relocation of a staircase and other alternations pushed the project past its finish date. When the time came to decorate, the clients—a thirtysomething couple in the wellness products field with one toddler and another baby on the way—didn't have the luxury of time.

Matthew Mahler’s painting brings an explosion of color to a central hall appointed with a rare 1979 Fred Brouard table and a Carol Egan console topped with Ayala Serfaty’s The Rest at Dawn table lamp and Danish ceramics by Aage Birck.

Buying "off the rack" would be necessary, but their desire to build a collection of important furnishings disallowed using commercial retail stores. "I have always loved Maison Gerard, and it was right around the corner," says designer Hazel Collins, who had worked on various projects for the wife's family. So she partnered with Dorothée Mathieux, the gallery's design director of five years. "Dorothée is a great designer," says Collins. "And since I was based in London, it was perfect having her there."

The kitchen’s unattributed wrought iron barstools and Guillerme et Chambron coffee table and chairs add a nice sculptural element.

"It's very different from other galleries in terms of choice," says Mathieux, noting that Maison Gerard's range extends from French Art Deco through contemporary design. "I know the inventory so well. And as soon as I saw the townhouse I knew right away specific pieces would be perfect for certain places." A dining area, for example, practically ached for a red lacquer Leleu cabinet, Mathieux recalls thinking.

maison gerard
Left and right: Under Hervé van der Straeten’s pendant is a Leleu table and chairs. Nearby is a Danish midcentury clock by Arne Hovmand-Olsen. A living room vignette gathers Alexander Zhikulin’s Homage à Jean-Michel Frank table between two 1949 Jean Pascaud chairs, a 1972 Fred Brouard sculpture, Jacques Blin pottery and a William P. Sullivan mirror.

For her part, says Collins, "I love Ayala Serfaty and the work of Hervé van der Straeten." Et voila: Serfaty's table lamp landed on a Carol Egan console in the center hall, while a van der Straeten mirror now hangs over the bedroom fireplace and one of his pendants hovers above the dining table.

maison gerard
Left and right: The bedroom peddles a more glamorous demeanor with an Hervé van der Straeten mirror and Achille Salvagni’s suave Silk Gold cabinet, above which hang woven sculptures by Marinette Cueco. Robert Levin’s Andy Warhol portrait dominates the family room, where a Paolo Buffa table pairs with his contemporary counterpart Achille Salvagni’s cabinet. Sculptures by Eric Astoul (stoneware) and Yongin Han (wood).

Despite the sophistication and prodigious provenance of many pieces, says Mathieux, "They didn't want a showcase that looked like no one lived there." Occasionally, contemporary furnishings like a Moroso sectional trumped vintage specimens (in this case, a Leleu settee and chairs originally designated for the family room). "For anything we upholstered," adds Collins, "we picked fabrics that could be wiped down or had a color that wouldn't show stains."

Maison Gerard
Left and right: The couple’s desire for an earthy midcentury aesthetic comes through in the breakfast area’s Jean Touret 1950s-’60s benches and table (painting by Dan Rees and sculptures by Frank Evennou); A 1970s FontanaArte pendant bought at auction illuminates the tub, and a Haas Brothers stool from R & Co. and sculptures by Yongin Han from Maison Gerard.

Collins also notes that "We did a simple backdrop so we could introduce color in the materials and finishes of the furniture." And also, as it turned out, in the artworks the couple acquired with consultant Roxanne Cohen. "They're just starting out," concludes Collins of their clients. "It's a house they can live with as it is, add to
and change."

Maison Gerard
In the library, Billy Baldwin slipper chairs in original Bill Blass tweed, a Pablo Avilla wire tree and a collection of early 20th-century globes from England.
In the bedroom, a Mark Bankowsky bench, Salvagni chair and Leleu side table. Louise Bourgeois photo by Jean-François Jaussaud
In the bedroom, a Mark Bankowsky bench, Salvagni chair and Leleu side table. Louise Bourgeois photo by Jean-François Jaussaud

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