Decorator Dorm...that's what some people call the building in which I live. It makes sense as we have many designers, showroom owners, antiques dealers, a lighting expert, and a few design bloggers who call Plaza Towers home. I guess you could say safety in numbers. This isn't a recent phenomenon, either. Designers have long gravitated to Plaza Towers because of the location (so convenient to ADAC) and the "blank canvas" appeal of the apartments. You can make them contemporary, midcentury modern, traditional, or, to use a term that I'm not crazy about, transitional.
The apartment that I'm showing here is what we non-New Yorkers might call a "New York apartment." That's a compliment that many of us bestow upon chic apartments that have that Manhattan look to them. You know, a sophisticated apartment that comes to life at night thanks to a clever use of mirror, reflective finishes, and luxe objects. This particular apartment was the home of the late, well-known Atlanta decorator T. Gordon Little, a man known for his great style. Like so many designers of his era, he had a very fine collection of antique furniture and porcelain and artwork. But what gives his home snap is the way in which he mixed in contemporary pieces like a glass and chrome cocktail table and a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona stool. While most of the furniture and accessories might be deemed traditional, there was a sophistication to everything that made his home seem quite cosmopolitan rather than stuffy.
Keep in mind that these photos are over thirty years old (they appeared in the first issue of Southern Accents in 1977), so the colors might seem a little drab. Still, I think the photos prove that traditional antiques don't have to be as old-fashioned looking as some people might think.
One more thing- I couldn't resist including Little's thoughts on "eclectic", a look that many of today's designers strive for and a term for which Little did not care. He said, "I believe that the truly eclectic interior contains pieces that seem unrelated yet, in fact, are related, either intentionally through scale or connotation (historic, literary, romantic or intellectual) or simply by the personality and idiosyncrasies of the person who assembled them. I feel that so many rooms professing to be eclectic are merely a mishmash of totally unrelated objects thrown together cavalierly in the hope that, by some miracle, or just because they are unrelated and therefore fashionable, they will look wonderful." Just some food for thought.
A very good antique Chippendale card table stood amongst a mirrored wall and bookshelves in the home's entryway.
A daytime view of the living room, a space in which Little managed to include a fair amount of furniture. Thank goodness for these photos because furniture placement in my living room has, at times, given me fits.
And the living room at night.
A William Kent console holds an antique terracotta figure, porcelain cachepots, and antique French candelabra.
A glass top dining table was supported by an old stripped pine Corinthian capital. The chairs were Irish Chippendale. I think that my favorite part of the dining room was Little's porcelain collection displayed amongst the bookshelves.
Remember, it was 1977, so the Mylar paper on the kitchen walls was quite chic at the time. My kitchen still has the original lights like that seen here.
The chocolate brown study was the most modern looking room of the apartment. The closet's louvered doors were covered in panel wallpaper (new at the time), making the doors look like a screen. Now that was clever.
Photography by Sutlive/Warren.