Jamie Drake’s Apartment: West Chelsea
Jamie Drake is one of the brightest lights in the world of interior design today. The New York-based superstar designer believes that the best décor expresses personality and place. He has created some of the country’s most glamorous interiors and has garnered the industry’s highest accolades. With his fresh, inventive style and his attention to detail, the designer creates luxurious interiors that are inviting and livable. For our design inspiration today, we look to Jamie Drake’s apartment in West Chelsea of New York.
Since launching his firm, Drake Design Associates in 1978, he has completed interiors for an impressive roster of high profile individuals. Notable clients include the iconic Queen of Pop- Madonna, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Drake designs a range of products for some of the world’s most renowned manufacturers including home furniture, fabrics, rugs, faucets, and fixtures. His latest move saw him forming Drake/Anderson, a successful partnership with Caleb Anderson.
Today we tour his personal 3,000-square-foot Manhattan apartment. The two-bedroom corner unit, with a large open living space, perfectly suits the designer. Located within an unprecedented, stainless steel residential tower, it represents the best in downtown chic. Designed by Selldorf Architects in the heart of the gallery district with unobstructed views of the Hudson River. The tower was first to offer an En-Suite-Sky-Garage allowing each owner to park on their floor. An elevator, programmed to recognize your car, takes you up to your private garage.
The sophisticated interiors of Jamie Drake’s apartment include 16-foot ceilings, and full height Wausau windows that completely mute all street noise. The spacious open living area arranges around a central six-and-a-half-foot-square custom cabinet bespoke designed by Drake. The cube divides the space creating two seating zones.
One side of the cabinet holds a television. On this side, a 13-foot-long Jamie Drake sofa upholstered in Schumacher silk pairs with a Milo Baughman lounge chair upholstered in Christopher Hyland Mohair. Thomas Ruff’s Substrat 24 I hangs above the sofa. A pair of club chairs, and a Madame X ottoman, both covered in Rubelli velvet all gather around a marble and granite coffee table by the designer on the Haldis I rug from the Alpha Workshops Collection by Edward Fields.
On the opposite side, the cabinet houses floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. This side is for cocktails and conversation. Drake designed the L-shaped sectional sofa and cocktail table which gather with a 1960’s Hand Chair by Pedro Friedeberg. For fun, the designer mounted a faux antelope head with bondage-style black leather mask by Michael Combs. Gold leafed floor lamps by the Alpha Workshops illuminate the space. Stacked vibrant photo art by Alexandra Penny bridge the two seating spaces.
Jamie Drake loves to have guests over for cocktails and often entertains large crowds. A generous space to the side of this seating area remains intentionally open. One needs a place for dancing when entertaining a crowd. The area opens out to the loggia, which holds even more guests. Venetian-plaster in a sidewalk gray completes the walls of the living room, with ebonized teak on the floors. Window drapery panels of lamb’s wool satin by Clarence House frame the floor to ceiling views.
A custom two-tiered island, comprising a 22k gold-leafed cabinet that runs parallel to a dark-gray-lacquer appliance wall, and a 17-foot-long white Corian counter with inlaid-gold-leaf-designs, that overlaps it at an angle defines the open kitchen. A pair of pendant lights in hand-blown amber glass and steel frames suspends from above. The second pic shows the view one sees upon entering the apartment. The large, framed portrait is by Chuck Close.
Alpha Workshops, a non-profit organization, completed many of the design details throughout Jamie Drake’s apartment such as the gold-leafing, the plaster finish on the walls, and even various items of furniture. The organization provides training and employment in the decorative arts to people with HIV/AIDS. Drake serves as chairman of the organization’s board.
Leather bar stools from the Bright Group gather around the end of the Corian counter creating an eat-in area. The home does not include a formal dining area or dining table. Drake does not cook and doesn’t entertain that way. The idea behind the kitchen design has it serve more like a glamorous wet bar versus an ordinary utilitarian kitchen. Drake designed the home to reflect himself and his urbane lifestyle. The open living space functions a bit like a chic cocktail lounge.
I must say, concerning the kitchen- this is exactly how I feel as well. I never cook and only use the refrigerator and microwave in my kitchen. Before marriage and my now shared home, I always placed a silver tea set on my range to mask it. My husband does cook and use the kitchen though (a lot). I still rarely go in there except to get something to drink. Anytime he is gone for any length of time, I edit the counters and put everything away. My ideal kitchen is an unused kitchen with nothing at all on the counters except an occasional decorative item. We compromise on this detail. I totally understand and appreciate Jamie Drake’s apartment kitchen design here.
The master bedroom is the designer’s sexy interpretation of the gentrified neighborhood’s once gritty streets made glamorous. He lacquered the walls a high gloss gray. Drake had the custom bed upholstered in vibrant coral color, crocodile patterned, hair-on-hide, with coordinating coral color, lacquered nightstands. High above the bed, recessed into a coffer, the ceiling is mirrored. The room includes a custom colored abstract rug from the Archive Collection by Edward Fields, and plum Linen Cellophane Boucle drapes.
The designer finished the bathroom walls in Perky Peach Venetian plaster. He ebonized the drawer fronts of the vanity. The fixtures are by Boffi. A granite soaking tub completes the bathroom.
And here we have the signature en-suite garage. In Manhattan, a designated parking space is a super luxury. Having one right outside your high floor apartment was unheard of and the news of it created in this building had the city buzzing. Drake decorated the double height space, installing an aluminum slatted ceiling at an angle. He suspended from it a sculptural chandelier designed by Ted Abramczyk for Ralph Pucci. One can’t park their Rolls Royce just anywhere. When the designer hosts big parties, he parks his car elsewhere and the space serves as a lounge for more guest. Drake entertains 30 to 50 guests several times each month and as many as 250-300 and more on several occasions. Jamie Drake’s apartment suits his entertaining style perfectly.
And last for our tour, the furnished loggia-terrace. The apartment also has another bedroom with en-suite bath and a guest powder room. A Crestron system fully automates the residence with everything at the touch of a button. The place is brilliant and so personal. The residence fully embraces all that modern design offers and is perfectly gracious and inviting with a style that is witty and engaging.
To see some more interior designer’s personal homes, be sure to check out:
Park Avenue Contemporary Classic– New York designer Garrow Kedigian’s apartment
Notting Hill Townhouse: Peter Mikic– London designer Peter Mikic’s residence
Jamie Drake’s Apartment Tour Conclusion
I hope you enjoyed today’s inspiring interior design! What do you think of Jamie Drake’s apartment? Let me hear from you in the comments.
Photos and info courtesy of and with very special thanks to Jamie Drake (and Whitney) @ Drake Design Associates- New York.
Drake Design Associates, now Drake/Anderson
Photography by Marco Ricca
Additional: Architectural Digest
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