Alex Papachristidis is known for his divine details, elegant antiques, and eclectic pairings. While his decorated interiors can be found all over the world, we have an exclusive collection of his antique treasures right here! Take a look at the styles below and get shopping… before they’re gone. PHOTOS BY Tria Giovan
Your assortment of consigned pieces for Viyet is a testament to your fantastic eye for antiques. What has guided or inspired you as a collector over the years?
History, travel, museums and exhibits, the Wrightsman galleries at the Met, books, and shopping at a variety of markets and antiques stores, both high and low.
Can you tell us a bit about the sofa that was originally featured in your 2016 Kips Bay dining room? The space you created was a tour de force of elegance, and we would love to hear about the customization process of that piece.
I wanted a sofa that felt timeless and incredibly elegant and glamorous, that worked within the surroundings. I carried over the fresh clean feeling of the room into the design. Instead of adding a trim on every cushion, I added only to the bottom of the sofa skirt. The result is that it looks quite clean, but still has a level of elaborateness. It’s very important that a sofa be inviting and comfortable, and I feel I accomplished everything in this piece, upholstered in a beautiful Jack Larsen Cowtan + Tout fabric.
In what kind of setting do you see this sofa in its next life?
It would look beautiful in both modern and traditional rooms, ideally in an interior with a light color palette. I hope wherever it ends up, it will be loved and enjoyed! I could see it in a living room, large gallery, or elegant family room.
Which of the consigned pieces do you feel most represent your personal style?
I love the lacquer table, and the feel of 20th Century Jansen furniture. This one is particularly layered with detail, which I love. The sofa is also very personal because I custom made and designed it.
A couple pieces (the Satin Bronze Desk) have more of a streamlined look than the other more ornate pieces in the collection. What struck you about these particular pieces? How would you integrate them into an interior?
I love the juxtaposition of styles. I would place the satin bronze together with 18th century pieces, mixing streamlined with baroque. Blending elements of different time periods has been done throughout history. It gives an interior a feeling of being collected, and mixing different pieces in unique ways is highly stylish.
We also notice quite a bit of warm brass/gold touches in your collection. Why do you think you gravitate more towards golds rather than cool silver finishes?
I’m such a lover of history, and I find there to be more gold used throughout the history of decorative arts. There are scatterings of silver elements as well, but gold is more prevalent. I think it also has to do with me being Greek – the Greeks loved gold.
When did you first become interested in design?
I spent my childhood traveling with my family, shopping for antiques, and buying beautiful things. My mother had a great sense of style and taste. As a child, I had a whole private little world of Steiff figures and miniature furniture. Decorating really never crossed my mind until years later. I was 23, and one of my best friends (and a great client for years) came to my apartment and said, “Alex you should be a decorator.” It was an absolute epiphany – I ran off to Parsons and never looked back.
Who were some early influences on your sense of style, not only in décor, but fashion, entertaining, etc?
Hubert de Givenchy, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Pauline de Rothschild. As I mentioned before, my mother was a great influence. Also, Yves Saint Laurent, Halston, Diana Vreeland, and many of my friends.
Do you have a favorite period or style?
My heart is really in 18th century France, but I adore 18th century shapes pared down and made more contemporary. Being Greek, Classicism is also very important to my sensibility.
Have you ever had a change of heart about an object or a style?
Early in my career, I loved zebra skin and horn furniture. Today, I have a hard time with any form of taxidermy.
How would you describe your approach to creating interiors?
Extremely hands-on. I like to get to know and understand my clients and how they live in order to give them something that they couldn’t have imagined, but which still reflects their sensibility.
Can you share any do’s or don’ts of decorating that you live by?
Don’t ever force anything on a client, and remember it’s their home, not yours. Don’t waste too much on storage. Look at each project with a fresh eye. Don’t repeat a print. And most importantly, love what you do. Decorating should be fun, so make the process enjoyable for everybody involved.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
A fresh approach to classic interiors.
Your exuberant style suggests that you love what you do. What aspect of your work inspires
you and makes you happiest?
Creating interiors that make people happy.
You’re known for using pattern and color. How do you integrate bold elements into a
Through shape and form, use of metal, richness of texture and detail. Use of forms pared down to their essential elements.
How do you integrate clients’ art collections into their homes?
Very carefully! I have some wonderful clients with amazing art collections, and have learned a lot about art through them. I find that contemporary art looks great with antique furniture, and I love the juxtaposition of 18th to 19th century furniture with something modern. I try to add contemporary art to all of my projects.
What are the three essential accessories every home needs?
Tissue necessaires, divine wastebaskets, and beautiful cachepots.
What makes a piece of furniture great in your opinion?
Quality, shape, and finish; I love something gilded or lacquered or a painted finish. Also, the mix of shapes and how a piece plays off of its surroundings.
What is your advice for someone looking to buy an investment piece?
Furniture goes through fashions and phases, and values go up and down. The best investment is something that you really love and never tire of.
Can you tell us about some upcoming projects?
I’m designing a collection of hand-painted wallpapers with Gracie, new designs for my carpet line with Langhorne, and a new line of custom tableware products for an online retailer. A favorite hobby of mine is creating beautiful table settings. I am working on putting together shoppable tabletop collections with my partner and dear friend, Lisa McCarthy, for our new online business, Everyday Elegance Collection.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I would love to have designed a Paris apartment for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I love their sense of whimsy and color. They had such beautiful things and incredible taste.
What is your favorite room in your home and why?
Great question. My favorite room in my home would be my living room – it’s always been a dream of mine to have Chinese wallpaper, and the room is filled with so many things that I love. It’s a space that I share when entertaining, and also where I sit and have my coffee in the morning. It’s opulent and exciting, and also a very peaceful and spiritual place for me.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
A hammer and nails to hang a picture, and pliers to tighten the washers on lamps to keep lampshades straight.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Chic from Chicville.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love to be able to shop, and it gives people a curated experience that sets it apart from other online retailers.