Mary Foley and Michael Cox of New York City interior design firm foley&cox had the challenging task of designing the lounge for the Architectural Digest Home Show in March. Masterfully transforming a vast, stark industrial space into a cozy oasis, the team created a retreat where busy trade show attendees could relax and discuss. We caught up with the team to learn more about their philosophy and inspiration.
How would you describe your design philosophy, and how did the AD lounge reflect it?
foley&cox: Our approach to design is based on our concept of “appropriateness” as it is specifically defined for each project by the individual elements of geographic location, architectural style, and client personality and preferences. For an amazing opportunity like the salon at the AD show, we simply imagined what we, as visitors to a large industry event, would most appreciate in a lounge space. By attending furniture shows from Paris to Brussels to Milan, we’ve come to appreciate that nothing is more important than a cozy spot to recharge and reflect on all the wonderful inspirations being presented.
What were some unique challenges with the space?
f&c: The vastness of the Piers and the industrial tone of the ceiling height forced us to incorporate several visual tricks to draw the eye downward in order to create the welcoming mood of a residential space. Subdividing the 75 foot expanse of space into 3 zones, each with multiple seating arrangements, also contributed a unique intimacy within the context of the Pier.
How did the rugs fit in to the space, or, why these particular rugs?
f&c: The Merida rugs were literally the foundation to achieving three distinct “living room” spaces. Then, the layering of the wool blend qualities on top of the commercial grade, stain resistant sisals created the soft, inviting mood of home. The rugs were the most important horizontal building block to help us achieve the “human scale” we wanted since the space had only one backdrop wall to define the area.
We customized the colors from the poms supplied by Merida. We wanted to add the natural colors with a bit of blue and cream to blend in with the colors we had chosen for the furniture. We all had a very long dreary winter and we wanted the space to feel like spring and a happy place to be in.
Do you find that your sources of inspiration change based on the seasons?
f&c: Again appropriateness as defined by geographic location often guides our selections of color palettes and fabric qualities (loden, suede, and shearling in a ski chalet but linens, cottons, and seagrass in a beach house) But for the AD lounge, the long, hard winter we’d just endured definitely inspired us to embrace the optimistic shades of an about-to-blossom spring and we loved the shades of soft, pale blues and greens of the Holland & Sherry fabrics!
Do you have a favorite summer project you’ve done in the past?
f&c: We’ve had a lot of fun doing projects on two different islands in the Bahamas – though staying focused and in “work mode” is a real challenge when surrounded by such breathtaking beaches and turquoise ocean!
Is there something upcoming you are excited about?
f&c: In July we’ll install our first project in Hawaii and we’re so looking forward to being back in the charming, relaxed environment of the town of Paia!
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