Dream pied-à-terre in New York City
Although Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal run a successful design firm Les Ensembliers, side by side, day in day out, the couple were in total disagreement when they commenced the search for their dream pied-à-terre in New York City.
The duo decided on a second floor flat in an 1840s townhouse located in Chelsea, graced with original moldings, parquet floors, and airy 12-foot high ceilings. The approach was to create an atelier that would nurture their creativity.
They split up the apartment's single open living space into a lounge area, an entryway, a library, and a dining nook. Nothing matches yet somehow everything works together.
"It was really about collection: the art pieces, the meaningful urns and pillows, the things that we love."
“Trays are fantastic for displaying it all, and in lacquer or shagreen, they make a great base that really pops. It’s just like a beautiful library bookshelf: It helps draw the eye to your most soulful possessions, the things that make you feel at home.”
The bedroom is purposefully bare in comparison to the main living area. "There are no lamps in the room, we use it only to sleep," says Ouellette.
A pair of Chinoiserie-style chairs found at an auction, which have been painted and re-painted many times by the couple, act as bedside tables.
Not a single piece of artwork is hung up in the space. Rather, paintings, photos, and drawings rest nonchalantly against each other. "It’s more of an atelier approach; it feels like you’re a painter, you’re living in your space, you’re artistic," Ouellette says. Vandal adds, "It’s a bit of an understatement. Instead of putting something of value proudly on the wall, it’s a humble way to display your art."
Incollect - Les Ensembliers Richard Ouellette on the crucial nexus point