Thursday, January 1, 2009

NEW YEAR, NEW FEATURE! JANUARY Primed4Design{er} of the Month-Xavier's Loft

Happy New Year Everyone! We have a resolution, and it's to bring you more fabulous features here @ P4D. The first of each month in this New Year we are bringing you an insider's look into homes around the DC area and beyond-Starting off with Xavier's loft-style apartment in Washington, D.C. We will let Xavier do the talking about the ideas behind the unique style of his space:

"I grew up bouncing around from one home to the other because my parents somehow managed to flip a house every 2 to 3 years and move (they were not fleeing the law, they were just really smart and always looking for new opportunities, no ties too strong for them). So, we started in Mallorca, Spain, then Barcelona, Bilbao, Ohio, New York City, and then on my own to Boston, back to Barcelona, NYC again, two summers in Montauk, NY, and now for past 5 years, Washington DC. Within each of these places, we averaged about 2-3 different homes per location. When you move that much and so quickly, you tend to live with very little to no furniture or decoration while you wait for the movers, and sometimes we moved with next to nothing. So, from early on we made do with whatever we had to make the place civil. For example, if all you have is suitcases and cardboards boxes, make tables and stools with them, they'll prop up a plate at minimum and seat as many suitcases as you got per person. Got candles? put them near the window on a small plate and steal a flower from the neighbor's yard to put next to it. Find a random skateboard deck on the street? hang it up as art on the wall. Cool poster of whatever in a bar or wherever, rip it off, roll it up, take it home, frame it or don't, and so on. With the smallest detail, so long as it is relatively unique, you can fill an empty space. Eventually, this became a minimalist style I got used to and preferred."

"Along the way, some of the temporary decoration I picked up became sentimental or worth keeping and so I did. Hence, the surfboard from Montauk, with stickers from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Outerbanks, Portugal, and South Africa. The Zoo York skateboard deck I got from NYC on the street from an unattended homeless-man's cart (and which I thereafter painted). The Greenwich Village Subway Sign I couldn't resist. On the walls, I have framed music and political posters I found on the streets, cafes, and bars of all the cities I named before, some also bought online now that street posters are harder to come by and placarding glue is better than it used to be. The walls are slathered in white because they remind me of Mallorca and the Mediterranean--part of the purchase agreement I negotiated was that the seller paint over the orange and yellow with all white paint."

"The curtains are anti-aircraft netting used for hiding that kind military equipment in the snow, bought online and very cheap (they don't remind me of any place in particular, but when I move they will remind me of DC)."

"The balcony is my DC space - because it is my observation that DC has a peculiar balcony culture that is unique, unlike most cities in the US. However, because I travel so much all my plants kept dying and now I have plastic plants that stay green year round."

"The bar was co-designed by myself and my friend Matt Brown, a local DC Designer, but Matt gets the credit for the final look, the materials chosen, and the custom built--I highly recommend Matt, he is the best. The espresso colored furniture, tv stand and couch, recall Montauk and the Hamptons for me, but sometimes also NYC.

In sum, I like coming to my apartment from work and having the slightest accidental glance at any of these details remind me that while I may not have one particular city, state, or country that I can call home (the way most people do), I do have all the unique details from all of the places I've passed through that always helped make each place home then and now. Everywhere and here is home, that's how I designed my place."

For a beautiful slideshow of all of Xavier's Loft photos (much larger than you see above), please click on our flickr slideshow here. Thank-you so much Xavier for sharing your home with us!


Anonymous said...

Really cool, love this new feature!

Gabrielle said...

Xavier has a great place! Cool new feature, I'm looking forward to next months.