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Jayne Design Studio has designed rooms, for the past 30 years, that reflect a strong connection to history and place. He draws upon their past for inspiration, seeking details that will deepen and enhance their decoration. In this article, we will talk about the best home lighting design from Jayne Design Studio!
Jayne’s academic training greatly influenced his design philosophy. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, he studied with the noted architectural historian Marian Card Donnelly. Trained in American material culture and the decorative arts at Winterthur, Jayne earned his master’s degree from the University of Delaware and pursued advanced fellowships at the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Historic Deerfield, and the J. Paul Getty Museum before moving on to a position at Christie’s estates and appraisal department. His interest in architecture and the decorative arts eventually lead him to pursue a career in interior design.
Thomas Jayne reflects: “I have always been attracted to history and to objects linked with it. I find their connections and evolution fascinating.” The emphasis in his work has always been to discover relationships and associations that add texture, richness, and depth; the elements that give a room its spirit and character. While this is the cornerstone of his philosophy, it is filtered through a clear-eyed view of present-day expectations. In practice, this means translating engaging ideas into tailored, comfortable houses or apartments that suit the current needs of the client, whether they be young families or advanced collectors.
When this couple approached Jayne Design Studio to decorate their Upper East Side apartment, there was an instant meeting of minds. The pair, who are devoted contemporary art collectors, wanted to integrate their art into rooms with colour, instead of the more typical all-white backgrounds used with modern art. One of them is an art curator who has amassed a collection of works by artists ranging from Warhol to Hockney and wanted that art to speak to their surroundings. In the end, Jayne Design Studio provided the perfect backdrop to set up their pictures, allowing them to eschew conventions like the typical large piece of art over the sofa in favour of smaller works placed in a casual but balanced way. The quality of the apartment is the works of art, or as Thomas Jayne noted, “In this case, the decoration is subservient to the art.”
Jayne Design Studio painted the walls a sunny yellow and arranged miscellaneous furniture for function and sculptural effect. With the help of architect Ben Olson, space gained definition: the kitchen was remodelled, the dining room became a sitting room, and the living room became a place to entertain and dine. The warm, comfortable decor skews contemporary but still has some of the stricter idioms of the mid-20th century.
Jayne Design Studio client inherited this pied-à-Terre apartment on Beekman Place, along with an important collection of fine art and furniture. The apartment is located in an elegant riverfront building developed in 1930 by the Rockefeller family and designed by Sloan & Robertson, with Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, the firm that was also building Rockefeller Center. Completed just as the Great Depression descended on the city, the suites were graciously planned yet not ostentatious, and the architectural detailing is spare, reflecting the Art Deco movement and perhaps the economic climate as well.
Throughout the apartment, the subtle but noteworthy play of pattern unifies the space, creating enough decorative support to complete the interiors without competing with the works of art. Pierre Finklestein’s strié paintwork in the principal rooms played an important part in this, the texture so fine that they are imperceptible until closely examined. This infusion of colour also firmly establishes that this is a private home rather than an art gallery. The living room features pieces from the clients’ important collection of art, including the large Rothko seen over the console. The decorative arts have equal weight with pieces such as the large Swedish urns by Ivar Johnsson serving as side tables and an important waterfall coffee table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne.
Fisher Island, the famous retreat a short ferry ride from Miami, features a private beach, bird sanctuary, and homes that have fantastic views of the ocean and the city’s skyline. This project was no exception, and Jayne Design Studio designed it with the intention to frame these views and also to display their longstanding client’s unique collection of art and love of birds. The home is a resort-like sanctuary – a second home with all of the comforts of their full-time home, with a bit of tropicality, soft coastal timelessness and cosy glamour.
The colours in this room are their take on the popular palette typically associated with coastal living: blue and green with white and beach-like beige. Jayne Design Studio was inspired by, simply, the key factors of a good room – comfortable places to sit and visit, surfaces to put a drink, attractive things to look at, and ideally, a view. A custom low table with an off-white Moroccan tile top is the heart and centre of this space framed by a set of four custom club chairs based on a design by Milo Baughman and upholstered with an embroidered fabric by Maharam.
These grand rooms are located in the first luxury apartment building on Fifth Avenue and one of the first on the Upper East Side. Designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1910, the building—which was quickly colonized by New York society—galvanized the city’s elite to begin moving into apartments.
On one side of the music room is an elegant seating group framed by a collection of 20th- century engravings and a large Jasper Johns painting above the sofa. The cocktail table is based upon a Maison Jansen model once owned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
This apartment overlooking Central Park has a rich inheritance. Donald Oenslager, the clients’ uncle, first decorated the rooms in the early 1960s. A Tony Award-winning set designer is known for his famous designs for Anything Goes, A Majority of One, and Major Barbara, among other productions, he guided the decor of this apartment’s public rooms with rich colour schemes and arrangements. Later on, these brilliantly highlighted the family’s eclectic collection of American paintings and antiques as well as the remarkable hooked rugs made by the patriarch of the household, a hobby that he developed as an aid to quitting smoking while he watched football games on television.
At the first meeting for this project, Thomas Jayne offered the concept that within this relatively small two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, each room would have a distinct theme and personality, much like the rooms found in grand historic houses. He suggested that the living room feature boldly painted walls based on a pattern for 18th-century English dress silk, the second bedroom is turned into a library in the Egyptian Revival taste, and the bedroom is hung with Chinese wallpaper with views of villages. The dining room would be draped to resemble a tent, and the two connecting halls would be covered in aubergine silk.
All of this, of course, ran counter to the accepted wisdom that in smaller spaces it is best to keep things neutral and free of large patterns, but the client was game. Now, this apartment has been enriched to the point that it looks much larger than it is, suggesting that painting everything neutral colours and eliminating patterns might, in fact, make places look smaller.
Town & Country magazine asked Jayne Design Studio to decorate an entire house near Savannah, Georgia, a series of new houses at Henry Ford’s historic winter retreat, for an editorial feature in the magazine. In conceiving the decoration, the studio conjured a fictional scenario to guide it. Here, the narrative became that of a young family: a mother, father, and two children, a boy and a girl. This family was attracted to farm living with all its rural activities and charms of the country—especially the waterside, where the house is sited. They would be traditionalists with a modern bent; for example, they preferred a living room that could be set for dining rather than two separate rooms. They were attracted to artistic things and collected antiques—but not at the price of personal discomfort.
The centre of the house is the large shared living and dining room space. The living room space is furnished with comfortable seating covered in red and blue fabrics on a simple sisal carpet. The green curtains are sumptuously embroidered with a scroll-and-flower motif that adds an element of luxury to an otherwise informal room.
Brownstones, an American variant of a townhouse, proliferated in East Coast cities in the late 19th century. Many, like this one designed by A. B. Ogden in 1889, were divided into rental apartments during the middle of the last century and lost much of the cohesion of their original design. Its new owners, a young family, commissioned architect Basil Walter to unify its interiors and return the building to single-family use.
The palette of this room is drawn from the 19th-century Persian Sultanabad carpet. Decorative artist Pierre Finkelstein created a glazed strié finish on the walls and grained the woodwork to resemble walnut. The room features a collection of English and Continental furniture that Jayne Design Studio clients assembled when they lived in London.
Set on 120,000 acres in the arid lands of northeastern New Mexico, Diamond A Ranch is a working sheep ranch with a long history and a series of owners who each added to its expansive plan. The goal was to artistically relate this diverse collection of rooms, reflecting the region’s heritage without falling into clichés of Southwestern decoration. Historically, houses in New Mexico were furnished with a combination of locally made furniture, often in the Hispanic tradition, decorative arts from Europe and Asia and, after the establishment of railroads to the eastern United States, furniture manufactured there. The furnishings for Diamond A Ranch followed in this vein.
During Jayne Design Studio first meeting, the client asked them to evoke the spirit of the great Hudson River houses in the design of her new home being built near Millbrook, New York. The firm, working together with Peter Pennoyer Architects, helped to create sophisticated architecture and decoration that not only reflected important houses in the area like Montgomery Place by A. J. Davis and the Mills Mansion by McKim, Mead & White, but also drew inspiration from their prototypes—the tradition of British country houses shaped by architects and designers such as Robert and James Adam, Henry Holland, and Sir John Soane.
One of Jayne Design Studio earliest clients, a New York-based couple, had their first apartment decorated by Thomas Jayne in the 1990s and looked again to his firm to help make a transition to their new dream apartment near Central Park. Working with architect Peter Pennoyer, he created a stylish new setting to present some of their earlier collections, along with new acquisitions that reflected their personal and family histories and interests.
The dining room is painted an uplifting shade of blue and features a set of painted wheel-back armchairs by Gillows of Lancaster that gives the room its special character. A unique contemporary chandelier by Bob Russell was originally commissioned for the client’s first apartment and becomes the focus of their new dining room.
Once an important and bustling whaling community, Nantucket is rich in architecture and charm. This house—known locally as one of the Three Bricks—reflects that tradition. The challenge for Jayne Design Studio firm was to bridge the beautiful Federal-style architecture and the client’s collection of American paintings and antiques into a fresh, viable family home for nowadays.
Each of the formal front parlours has a glass chandelier and English chairs that simulate bamboo. The painting by Jane Peterson depicts a New England landscape. The ceramics are part of the clients’ collection of Wedgwood and Whieldon ware.
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