Karim Rashid, wife Ivana and daughter Kiva
Hell's Kitchen, New York City
"Make do with less. And be sure you really want what you're buying. Buy only what you need or what you absolutely love and use my principle of addition by subtraction. For everything you add to your home you must remove something, then you will always have equilibrium."
Stepping into Karim Rashid's home in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, one may be taken aback by the kaleidoscope of bold eccentric colours and psychedelic prints across the rooms. Then again, it should be expected as it is this very design aesthetic that propelled the product designer and architect to become one of the most iconic designers of our time.
In his usual flamboyant manner, Rashid has included liberal splashes of baby pink throughout his home. From the furnishings to the walls, the delicately feminine hue is mixed with all the colours under the rainbow.
It may initially seem like a random selection of colours, but the designer has proven the placement of each piece of furniture is deliberate and by no means child's play. In fact, each particular shade and hue used in the home was intentional and serves another purpose besides adding a pop of vibrancy to the space. "You must experience colour like you experience space," he says enigmatically.
"I have always believed in creating large white spaces with accents of strong positive colour," Rashid says, adding that every colour evokes different emotions and can determine the ambience of a room. Of the pastel pink he has so lovingly canvassed many of the rooms in, he says: "Certain hues of pink create a sense of well-being, energy and positive spirit. Pink is my super-optimistic version of white. It is energetic, engaging and a moxie to the masculine world that dominates our built landscape. Pink is romantic, sensual, exotic, erotic and raises [our spirit].
"Lime, meanwhile, is one of the most conducive colours to dining." In his kitchen, a reflective lime-green accent wall highlights his point. In tune with his vibrant aesthetic, the kitchen also features a colourful range of objects. Forgoing classic kitchenware, the designer allows his utensils to double as art. A funky Otto pepper mill by Gaia & Gino sits alongside a tongue-in-cheek wine-opener from Alessi - Rashid's signature playful touch is obvious throughout the space.
The same playfulness is continued in the living room, where a painting by Ryan McGinness takes centre stage against a white canvas.
Equally eye-catching is a custom rug designed by Rashid made by Egyptian Oriental Weavers, which sits between two Valdichienti Kivas couches designed by Rashid for the brand. Atop a BoConcept sideboard, which is yet another brainchild of the designer, sits a charming array of colourful knick knacks. Perhaps the reason everything fits together so harmoniously, despite the fact that each piece can be a statement piece in itself, is the designer's special touch. From the space itself to the individual pieces he chose to fill the home, Rashid estimates that 95 per cent of the house is designed by him.
Yet, while Rashid's aesthetics resonate in each and every room, he admits it was not an easy project for him. Having previously lived in a loft with his wife, the designer grew accustomed to a large space which gave him flexibility to create spaces and rooms as he pleased. At his new Hell's Kitchen home, he admits it took him some time to get used to the more regulated spaces.
"The spaces are large, but still smaller than what I'm used to," he says. "I have to be much more conventional about the way I place my furniture [in a house]."
That said, the iconic designer likes to keep his family on their toes. "I love the sense of constant newness," he says. "I rearrange my home frequently and tend to change most objects constantly."
The avant-garde designer is keen to include more smart technology in his home. He has already incorporated LED technology in the living room with a phone application which allows him to take a photo, select a colour and change the living room lighting. But he's not looking to stop any time soon.
Rashid is looking to design more interesting technological objects for his home.
"I will invent a self-diagnostic machine. It will give constant updates on our health and will offer advice on vitamins and herbs. It will also give biofeedback of your vital signs," he says.
"I will [also] have a smart floor and mirror in my bathroom that would give me health and beauty diagnostics."
Fun yet practical - we wouldn't expect anything less from Rashid.