When Atlanta native Chassie Post, first saw the Manhattan loft where she and her family now live she totally dismissed it. Who would have known! Thanks partly to the genius of her über talented friend, decorator Miles Redd, and visionary renovations by architect-duo Meyer Davis, the spacious loft now has the look of a very chic aviary. Chassie, like a beautiful bird of paradise, now resides among butterflies and sparkly guitars with her musician husband Phil Costello and their 8-year-old son.
“When we moved back in after the renovation I had everything in boxes and artwork all over the floor. Seeing the repeating pattern, Miles (Redd) called me up and said that he would be arriving the next day and that every painting in the loft was going up on the walls. Arranging a disparate group of contemporary and traditional art around a giant gilded mirror, he completely transformed the space,” muses Post. Chassie bought the mirror ages ago in Georgia and the French armchair was scored on Ebay.
“We bought this loft after we got married and moved to Chelsea from the East Village. It was Phil who could see the potential and talked me into it. It had an enormous faux river rock wall in the middle of the space with a pentagram shaped mirror and stipple plaster that looked like Baked Alaska on the ceilings,” recalls Post. Yikes! Despite their disparate provenance (the giant butterfly was found on the street and the sideboard was inherited from Post’s grandmother) the furnishings feel unified thanks to Chassie’s decision to paint the ceilings and floors robin’s egg blue while keeping most of the upholstered pieces slipcovered in white
“The Staffordshire dog was given to me by my mother. That old dog broke after I lugged it to a Today Show segment to use as prop. We just slapped some blue painters tape on it and I thought it looked hot!” she exclaimed with typical Post cheekiness.
As Post could never get used to a kitchen being in the middle of everything they first wanted to cover it up entirely with sliding doors. “In Georgia you didn't live in your kitchen!” Chassie exclaims. Instead Post and Costello designed the kitchen cabinets taking full advantage of the ceiling height to create maximum storage space. Their architects, Meyer and Davis, suggested putting in a rolling library ladder to access the top row but they felt it might ruin the impact of the artsy grid. Now they wish they had obliged!
Regarding the art around the loft Post says ”In my former life I owned a gallery of contemporary emerging artists so I have quite a bit of art,” explains Post. Favorites include work by artists she once represented like Carolyn Carr, Sharon Shapiro, Sean Mellyn, Tony Hernandez, Michael Holman and Daniel Soder mixed with other more traditional works by Claude Garache, along with sentimental pieces including an oil portrait of her grandmother.”
Juxtaposition of a traditional sideboard against modern art is one of the loft subtle decorating strength. The painting, entitled “Now I'm Gonna Take a Vacation" by Rita Ackerman, was scooped up after Chassie visited a show of her work at Andrea Rosen Gallery. “I started getting into her when she illustrated the cover of a Sonic Youth album. I really wanted this huge painting she had done on denim but it sold so I bought this one and I do love it,” says Post. The sideboard is a hand-me-down from her sister (though Chassie gave it her own spin with a swath of greyish-green paint). It turns out the loft’s unique style is just a reflection of Post’s own likings and history. “I am crazy for art, music and fashion,” she declares. These days Post is regular face on TV shows ranging from The Today Show to Access Hollywood.
“I love birds and butterflies and fell in love with this mad wallpaper from Schumacher, designed in the 60's. It reminded me of a campy version of a Gracie paper and I envisioned a technicolor aviary. I also wanted the loft to feel like an eccentrically fab grandmother had lived there, left all of her belongings around and we just moved in with some modern furniture and art.” she admits. At the time I thought it would read a lot brighter but once we wallpapered almost every square inches of this loft, it turned out fairly monochromatic. In fact, it’s far more elegant and mature than what I was originally going for!” recalls Post.
A big white lacquer dining table sitting in the middle of the loft is another hand-me-down from Miles Redd, sent over following a charity dinner he’d used it for. The lengthy table now floats in the middle of the room like a slick canoe, surrounded by a series of white stacking chairs. Two are from West Elm and four are molded plastic “Selene” chairs by Vico Magistretti from Artemide (care of Billie’s own Lili Diallo!)
In the bedroom Post went big on pattern to add dimension the space was lacking. “This room is SMALL so we wanted it to feel like a little jewel box,” she says. Channeling a bit of her mother’s traditional Southern charm, she opted for Quadrille’s Paradise Background wallpaper. “My mother, who is a very talented decorator, first took me to the showroom and I loved their toile silhouette fabrics. They had started making wallcoverings and made this for me in my beloved turquoise,” she muses. Also from her mother are the hot pink bedside lamps and the giant neo-Rococo mirror (“awesomely garish!”) along with the Matouk linens. “So, I guess you could say I am channeling a bit of my Mother in there!” is what she says.