Last year, the artist George Venson, of decorative design label Voutsa, held a lush pop-up on the Lower East Side. This year he one-upped himself with a one-day design takeover of developer Joseph Merrill’s Soho loft, where Venson showed his new line of fabrics and wall coverings.
What’s better than a pop-up? A home takeover, if you’re lucky enough to snag one like the airy Soho loft belonging to well-known developer Joseph Merrill. A few weeks ago the City & Stone CEO invited George Venson of Voutsa to douse his loft in Voutsa’s lush fabrics and wall-coverings. In this shot, grasscloth chinoiserie panels from the Tahitia collection, in pink and in Shadows, cover the wall behind a couch clad in vintage suzani fabrics, which was found at David Cafiero’s shop. Voutsa’s Chinese Boy Stretch Bull Cotton covers the round table, and is overlaid with the Earrings Pink Silk fabric.
Merrill moved in to his Wooster Street loft about one year ago, and did few renovations beyond staining the floors of the 1,200-square-feet space. His loft has all the trappings of an original Soho cast iron building: 14-feet-high ceilings and 11-foot windows that still sport the old wavy glass panes. Here, the entrance before Venson commandeered his Voutsa takeover. The blue tufted couch is from Restoration Hardware.
The Voutsa loft takeover came about from a meeting between Venson and Merrill. The artist had been talking to the developer about designing either a showroom or another pop-up for his latest collection. But when they met at Merrill’s loft, Venson realized the space could be the perfect venue for a fantastical installation, and Merrill was game. City & Stone has done a build-out for DIFFA Dining by Design, and has worked with designers on installations at Kips Bay Designer Show house. The wall panels behind the table are Voutsa and Federico de Francesco designs. The tabletop pink glassware is from Coming Soon, one of Venson’s favorite stores.
Here, another view of the loft before the installation. The long, narrow space morphs from a hybrid living-dining room into a kitchen and then a bedroom zone, just beyond the clothing rack to the right. The Barcelona chairs are vintage. The hanging lamp is from CB2.
Here, the same view of the apartment, but after the takeover and with Voutsa curtains that add a dash of romance. The string wing chair was found on the street. “I actually found it in the trash,” Merrill says. “I believe Mecox Gardens and others sell it. If you notice in the photos there is a pile of magazines holding one leg.” The Italian handmade wooden trunks — in front of the window — are lined in silk, covered in cotton canvas Voutsa prints, and trimmed in leather.
“The loft is 50 percent glass and 50 percent brick,” Merrill says. His sleeping area features a bed from TRNK NYC.
Venson layered a suzani — a Central Asian embroidered textile — from David Cafiero over the bed and placed Voutsa throw pillows against the wall. His Voutsa trunks add some whimsy near the foot of the bed.
“Joseph was the most charming and generous host,” Venson says of the daylong event at Merrill’s loft. Here, his wooden handmade trunks are covered in Voutsa Grecian Urn print.