I recently attended a party hosted by Chiu-Ti Jansen of China Happenings at 1 Seaport, a luxury condominium located in the heart of Manhattan’s Seaport district, where she interviewed internationally acclaimed interior designer, Geoffrey Bradfield, who has been named one of the Top Ten Designers in the World by Robb Report. Geoffrey has also been dubbed the billionaire’s designer. Although I’m a bit far away from that lifestyle, it was still interesting to hear about Geoffrey’s design philosophy and also how he incorporates fengshui into interiors.
The 60 story all-glass residential tower is comprised of an exclusive offering of 80 condominium homes, including seven penthouses. 1 Seaport also offers residents the first ever luxury yacht amenity at any residential building in Manhattan through access to a private yacht from Barton & Gray (memberships usually range between $20,000 and $50,000). Highlight from the event included a raffle where my friend Joanna won a private yacht cruise around Manhattan from Barton & Gray!
Interview By Chiu-Ti Jansen
When completed, 1 Seaport will boast an alluring glasshouse structure with a 360-degree view. How would you envision decorating a home whose primary asset is the astonishing view? What are the dos and don’ts?
Naturally, one cannot ignore location and a 360 degree view is spectacular – a floating sanctuary! One is enveloped within an ethereal cloud kingdom like those in Japanese ukiyo-e paintings. There is no greater artist than Mother Nature. My recommendation for the colors of the interiors would be a fairly monochromatic scheme, using bold accents to add a dramatic touch, and low scale furnishings, allowing the focus to remain on the view.
You have been known for integrating artworks with the interiors in your designs. Could you share the secret of selecting the type of artworks that would work with a living room with a great view?
It is something of a conceit but I enjoy using the large Jean-Francois Rauzier works.
Obviously, not my only choice, but this artist is famed for emphasizing perspective and adds a sense of infinity. I like incorporating whimsical art into the collective symphony of materials and composition.
You have worked with multiple billionaires all over the world. For a one-bedroom or a pied-à-terre, what are the tricks to make it look luxurious?
Here, I think the principal of Quality First applies. Any finishes or furnishings should bespeak the finest one can afford. Texture contrasts – suedes, silks, marbles, exotic woods, metals – help accentuate a luxe interior.
In your experiences with the Chinese clients, what are the special considerations you have identified that are different from clients of different cultural backgrounds? Did you get to apply your knowledge about fengshui?
In 2000, I attended the Nanjing University and received a Fengshui Diploma. I have found this invaluable, especially working with clients in Asia. The 6,000 year-old practice is essentially about Harmony. The particular layouts of furniture and object placement are edited to achieve serenity and balance. Who wouldn’t want to avoid anxiety and live in a calm environment.