Gaussen Hamner - New York interior designs in Cheshire
PUBLISHED: 00:04 18 December 2013
Fancy a taste of NYC living? Now you can thanks to the arrival of a new interior design company with an American aesthetic
Cheshire homes in need of a different kind of makeover can now call on the services of New York City interior design firm 30 West Design
The company, renowned in Manhattan for its warm, sophisticated interiors with an edge has just opened in Cheshire and is set to spark an American revolution - at least in home improvements!
But how do you apply an American aesthetic to interior design in the U.K.?
Fortunately for Julie Cooper, an American expat residing near Tarporley, she was able to turn to her best friend, Gaussen Hamner, the owner and designer for 30 West Design.
And in a unique collaboration, they have imported their stylistic ideals while sourcing products both locally and from the U.S.
Julie moved to Cheshire when she got a job at Unilever, following a postgraduate course at Cambridge but it was bringing the US design mood to her new home near Tarporley that sparked the new business.
‘Being an American I am used to that sort of aesthetic,’ says Julie.
‘And lucky for me my friend Gaussen just happens to be an interior designer so I was able to have it over here too.’
The result was that English friends couldn’t get enough of the fresh new transatlantic look and wanted it in their own homes too so it seemed the only thing to do was bring it to them.
Says Julie: ‘The company designs cool apartments in NYC, large houses in New York suburbs, and even beach houses in the Hamptons and in Florida. And now this expertise is available for Manchester apartments, English country cottages, 1960’s semis, rural barn conversions, and other projects. In the UK 30 West Design offers full interior design services and product sourcing, where the right piece is simply everything, to create inviting, functional and beautiful rooms tailored to clients’ personal visions.’
The company will try to source as many pieces as possible in the UK for their clients she says.
‘We’ve already found some fantastic local suppliers - and some which are not so fantastic but quite a lot of our business is about sourcing things internationally and with Gaussen in the US and me in the UK we are ideally placed to do this.
‘We know that getting the right piece can make or break a room.’
Gaussen has a long history in design. After moving to New York City in 1996 for a career in fashion, she was introduced to the interior design world by way of Thomas O’Brien’s atelier Aero Studios. Twelve years in sales, buying, product development and managing a high-end showroom at the D&D for Michael Taylor Designs gave her the experience to branch out into her own interior design projects, and thus 30 West Design was born.
Explains Julie: ‘She partnered with Kent Pruzan in 2009 and the design projects have gotten bigger, better, and more beautiful. Now in 2013, she is building on her interior design success and her expertise in furniture design and production to go international.’
So what characterises NYC style?
Says Gaussen: ‘I think it’s more like New York Aesthetic.... American Aesthetic has evolved into a more modern, functional mix of eclectic combinations - traditional forms pared down to the bare bones lines with modern finishes. In today’s homes we use comfortable upholstery with high performance fabrics. Pared down cabinetry with traditional details like nailhead trim or leather fronts. Less fuss and more function but with hints to the past or the future depending on the client. Technology in every room whether it’s the bathroom or the library.’
Julie adds: ‘Of course we know that there are some things that just wouldn’t work over here. When I moved into my house I had a while carpet all through the house and up the stairs. In the US people park their car in their garage and rarely walk outside so dirty shoes aren’t such an issue. I learned quite quickly that white carpets throughout the house aren’t exactly practical!’
Three ways to get NYC style
Conjures up images of Aertex and gloss painted ceilings of student bedsits. Not so. This is high end shine in a contrast colour to the walls and never, ever gloss white.
Dark wood treated with a cerused finish gives a contemporary look
The hot colours in the US/NY now are : Grey, Silver, Yves Klein Blue. Always black for pop. Mixing metals now... silver walls with brass accessories. Oiled Walnut for wood instead of really dark shiny polished mahogany or wenge.