A taxidermy African nyala head from upstate sets the offbeat tone

A taxidermy African nyala head from upstate sets the offbeat tone

West Village Apartment Remodel

A taxidermy African nyala head from upstate sets the offbeat tone in the living room by looking askew rather than forward. Next to a Gustavian settee from Lars Bolander, a 1915 bust of a Swedish boy purchased from Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter looks out to the garden below. A Swedish grandfather clock presides across the room with stately grandeur. Each object, whether handmade, found in the woods, or purchased at an antiques shop, is carefully considered to fit in while standing out.

“Their attention to detail, texture, and color just floors me,” says their friend John Derian, the artist, designer, and cult shopkeeper. “You see a passion in everything they do.”

The antiquarian Jill Dienst admires the couple’s elegant restraint. “Every object and arrangement of space is a conscious decision, yet the rooms never really appear that way,” she observes. “That’s the key to their almost Nordic aesthetic magic.”

Another key is the integration of highly personal pieces. In the dining room, for instance, where an 18th-­ century Swedish lantern hangs over a vintage handblown bell jar from John Derian set atop a custom table designed by Pike, there’s an antique portrait of an almost menacing 19th-century politician and lawyer—Daniel Webster, an ancestor of Pike’s. It was passed down to him through his family. “Nobody wanted it,” he says. “But I like it because it reminds me of my childhood.”
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