Tory Burch has never shied away from colour. Fans of the American designer's eponymous fashion label will certainly be familiar with the vibrant hues in her collections, but unless they're lucky enough to have stepped foot inside her New York home, they probably won't know that her fearless use of colour applies to her personal living space as well.
"I worked on the apartment with my friend Daniel Romualdez, an architect and interior designer," Burch says. "He knows what I like, and he is a master at taking people's taste and making it better."
One look at her home in Upper East Side, New York, is enough to confirm this - the space is best described as the interior design equivalent to the Tory Burch fashion collections. The signature vermillion and cyan hues so often seen in her spring/summer lines are very much in evidence here - from the warm orange accents in the library and dining room to the ocean blue flooring in the kitchen. The décor in the living room is yet another nod to the designer's bohemian chic style, featuring cool olive walls and pistachio curtains offset by striped cream furniture and a stunning coffee table in gold.
Burch says that the surrounding neighbourhood also provided much of the inspiration when it came to decorating her home. "Our apartment looks out over Central Park, one of my favourite places in the city," she says. "We saw the [living] space for the first time in the fall, when the leaves on the trees were changing. The colours were extraordinary. They inspired the design of our library."
The spacious library, with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, soft furnishings and abundance of natural light, is Burch's favourite room in the apartment, not just for its décor but also for the welcoming sense of cosiness it imparts.
"We live in the library. It's where we read, watch movies, play board games, hang out. It's a happy, cosy room, and it's great for entertaining. The design team and I watch inspiration movies here, and company brainstorming meetings have taken place around the coffee table," she says. "People feel they can come in and put their feet up. I love that." Just like her clothing, which is designed to feel as good as it looks, comfort was key to when it came to Burch's ideas for her home.
"I wanted a real family apartment - I didn't want any rooms that my children couldn't go into. I love to entertain so I wanted to design a gathering place for family and friends," she says.
Her home is the perfect blend of lived-in cosiness and stylish chic, and even though she has lived in the apartment for 15 years, she's never bored, and for good reason. "The décor is constantly evolving," she says, adding that that her interest in interior design makes the process a fun one rather than a tedious challenge. "I'm always searching for interesting pieces when I travel, from flea markets, antique fairs or bazaars."
Just as a well-placed motif can make or break an outfit, these exotic additions lend just the right touch to the home. With zigzag patterns here and exotic skins there, with animal-themed embroidery, quirky accessories and everything in between, the dizzying array of styles should be overwhelming, but instead they give the apartment its distinct style and character.
"I kept coming back to rooms that David Hicks had designed - geometric prints and bold colours mixed with pieces from his travels to places like Morocco," Burch says, pointing out the home's many charming pieces from the Mexican Talavera pottery and Chinese porcelain to the Louis Seize chairs and Japanese armour. "Our home is filled with an eclectic mix of antique and vintage finds. I love the mix of eras and styles."
With pieces from her parents' home and presents from friends showcased alongside her own travel collections, her apartment is clearly an ongoing project, a deeply personal curation of Burch's life and memories. It's no surprise that the designer loves her home so much.
"Every room started with ideas that represent different times and places in my life," she says, admitting that she's hard-pressed to identify a favourite space or feature in the apartment.
"[It would have to be] all of the memories. I moved to New York immediately after college and I have lived in the same neighbourhood since. It is home."
RESIDENTS Fashion designer Tory Burch and her three sons
LOCATION New York’s Upper East Side, near Central Park
SPECIAL FEATURE Colour blocking is Burch’s speciality, and she puts it to stunning use in this colourful apartment. To achieve this bold look in your own home, aim for a dominant colour in each space and pair it with softer, complementary hues in the furnishings and accessories.
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