design hunting

Tour an Interior Designer’s ‘Interwar Technicolor Dream House’

A view of the library and kitchen.

“Rooms need a little meat to keep them from floating away,” interior designer Brock Forsblom says of his new West Village rental, which he shares with his partner, Jeremy Heimans. Most millennials gravitate toward mid-century minimalism, yet 31-year-old Forsblom has gone full-on maximalist. “I call the aesthetic ‘interwar Technicolor dream house,’ ” he says. The couple’s new apartment, in a 1950s building, feels very different from their previous, cobbled-together living space in a brownstone.

It’s one of Forsblom’s first decorating projects since going out on his own after working for high-end decorator Tony Ingrao, and Forsblom enlisted his artist friends to help: Sophie Larrimore, who painted the Fauve-style curtains in the living room and the dining-room niche, and Stefan Kaniecki, who did the living-room wall mural inspired by Boutet de Monvel’s portrait of the Maharajah of Indore from 1934. Forsblom has paired these artist touches with out-of-favor furniture, like a clunky oak cabinet, which he put smack-dab in the middle of one living-room wall. (“I know case pieces aren’t always in vogue these days, but they do make a room say ‘Hello.’ Can you imagine if it were just some skinny console?”) And he opted for boiled-wool fabric for his sofa and a pair of 1950s bentwood chairs, which he upholstered in Clarence House silk tiger velour. Of the chairs, he explains: “It’s my deep, beloved concession to uptown-lady decorating.”

*A version of this article appears in the April 3, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Library/Kitchen

The walls and ceiling are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green and Yellowcake. The shelving is Elfa from the Container Store. The Pace Collection desk has a pietra-dura top from Stephanie Odegard. The area above the cabinets in the kitchen is covered by custom-made 18.5-inch twist fringe with pom-poms made by Samuel & Sons. “It’s so silly but so useful — hiding all that extra kitchen stuff I have to store up on the cabinets,” says Forsblom.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Entry Hall/The Living Room

The living room is sectioned off via the curtains painted by Sophie Larrimore.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Living Room/Dining Room

Another view of the Sophie Larrimore curtain/room divider.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Dining Area

René Lalique’s Salmonides vase sits on the table, surrounded by 1950s French dining chairs that Forsblom bought at auction; the contrasting gold fabric on the seat backs is the reverse side of vintage lampas fabric that Forsblom found in Paris. The vase and pedestal are from Maison Gerard. The marble table was designed by Forsblom and fabricated by Precision Stone.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Bedroom

The upholstered bed wall and curtains are in the same fabric by Voutsa; the Blu Dot bed is reupholstered in cashmere windowpane fabric from Mood; the bedside lamps are musical monkeys by Mathieu Lustrerie from the Prelle Showroom. Of the André Sornay armoire that he got at Magen H, Forsblom says, “It’s like a giant mahogany refrigerator for the room.”

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Bathroom

The wall and ceiling were painted by Ross Alexander based on the giant Keith Haring skirt the late artist did for Grace Jones. Forsblom replaced all the original door hardware throughout the apartment. Here, the octagonal brushed-brass knob is from Emtek.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Living Room

The 1940s French oak sofa is by Charles Dudouyt. Forsblom upholstered it in pink boiled wool from Mood Fabrics. The wall mural by Stefan Kaniecki was inspired by Boutet de Monvel’s 1934 portrait of the Maharajah of Indore. “There is nothing that says, ‘I live here’ like wall sconces!” Forsblom says. These are from Magen H, with finials taken from old Tony Duquette sconces.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Curtain Separating the Living and Dining Areas

Brock Forsblom, pictured here with the Sophie Larrimore–painted curtain.

Photo: Annie Schlechter

The Living Room

The console is by Charles Dudouyt, and the 1950s bentwood chairs were refinished in dark green and upholstered in Clarence House silk tiger velvet.

Tour a Designer’s ‘Interwar Technicolor Dream House’