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Collected Chelsea

Collected Chelsea

New York
New York 2017
Manhattan Diaries

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.

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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.

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"It was really about collection: the art pieces, the meaningful urns and pillows, the things that we love."
— Richard Ouellette
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“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.”

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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."

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MANHATTAN DIARIES