March 3, 2016
Interiors by Carrier and Company
Redefining Chic: The interiors of Carrier and Company create a thoughtfully relaxed refinement that appears deceptively effortless.
by Jorge S. Arango interior designer Carrier and Company
Is any word more abused in design circles than "chic?" (Okay, maybe "eclectic" or "curated.") Some consider it synonymous with glamour; others deploy it to refer to stylish interiors that embody an ever-shifting zeitgeist. Jesse Carrier, who with wife and business partner Mara Miller has just released Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors (Vendome), doesn't pretend to have nailed down a precise meaning. But, he says, "Two things come through that define chic for us: Bold, confident spaces that are reflections of the clients but are also livable, approachable, not off-putting."
Oddly, when describing their work, many focus on the "bold" rather than the "livable." "We get coined as the darlings of the fashion world just because we work with Anna Wintour, Jason Wu and Jay Fielden," he admits. "But our interiors aren't fashion-driven at all. We are largely rooted in tradition. As Mara writes in our book, if you're an art student, you take the life drawing classes before you become a Pollock." Indeed, Miller's Westchester childhood was filled with visits to historic homes like Boscobel and Philipsburg Manor. And Carrier's upbringing near Syracuse, "was more rural and more about the vernacular."
Carrier and Company's rooms harmonize the recherché and the rustic, the polished and the prosaic (the décor equivalent of a femme Parisienne fluently pairing a mink and pearls with jeans and flats). So a Hamptons living room, for instance, will include recessed paneling finished with a glossy candy-shell lacquer, sophisticated Venetian glass lamps, and a sofa upholstered in luxurious mohair. But Carrier and Miller also ground these pieces with a rustic painted trunk doubling as a coffee table and a hooked rug that exudes a plainspoken American utility.
Which is not to say they can't do flashy (their 2014 Kips Bay Show House room's gold marbleized wallpaper) or minimal (spare furniture profiles and monochromic palette in a glass-box New Canaan home). But, observes Carrier, "There's a lightness to our work. It's never heavy handed. There's clarity—both spatially and through the way we combine materials and finishes. We hope to deliver timeless spaces that age."
And what, after all, is more chic than timelessness?
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