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Decked out in bold colors, rich textures and unpredictable patterns, the Manhattan apartment of Lindsey Harper is the embodiment of fearlessness. It’s not only engaging; it’s also a clue as to much of this designer’s success. But if you look closely, you’ll see evidence of her Georgia roots, too.
“Everyone thinks it’s so comfortable, like you’re not in New York at all,” says the Cartersville native. “Southerners really live in their houses; they love to entertain.”
That’s the feeling she likes to create for clients, as well. So Harper leads by example. In this 405-square-foot studio, the living and sleeping areas seamlessly combine, creating one cohesive whole. “I’ve had dinner for eight and cocktail parties for 20,” the designer says, “and there’s never the feeling that you’re entertaining in the bedroom.”
That’s due in large part to the eye-catching color that guides the eye throughout the space, from the sapphire blue sofa to the red-and-white awning stripe drapery to the chocolate brown upholstered headboard. In fact, she credits much of her color aplomb to Richard Keith Langham, whom she worked for before striking out on her own in 2007. “He’s Mr. Color, and that’s something I brought with me to my own practice,” says Harper. “The first time he had me spec the color for a whole house I was petrified. But he trusted me, and that gave me a great boost of confidence.”
It’s more than color, however, that defines Harper’s signature style. “I’d say it’s traditional with a twist,” she explains. “I like color, but I like to mix things up, too, with little unexpected details, by combining old and new.”
That’s evident in the entry, where a vintage lamp and Foo dogs are right at home together, set against an eye-catching zigzag wall covering. “I love small spaces; you can make them fun because they are small,” the designer says. Likewise, in the living area, the blue velvet sofa (a thrift store find originally in a “terrible marigold”) is flanked by a pair of vintage chrome-and-brass faux bamboo étagères and fronted by a Ming cocktail table from her own furniture line, Lamshop. Even her sleeping spot mixes it up. A chocolate satin headboard gets a feminine touch from aqua blue piping and mother-of-pearl buttons while an antique Suzani textile at the foot of the bed offers further proof that, with this designer, you can always expect the unexpected.
So what’s next for Harper? “I want to expand the furniture line, and maybe do a wallpaper line, a trim collection, a boutique hotel, a book,” she surmises. “My wheels are constantly turning. And I feel like I’m just getting started.”
Red-and-white curtain fabric Pindler & Pindler Entry wallpaper China Seas through Quadrille Vintage lamps Lamshop Vintage chrome-and-brass faux bamboo étagères C. Bell, West Palm Beach Sofa fabric Stroheim & Romann cotton velvet Pillow fabrics Muriel Brandolini Chevron pillow fabric David Hicks through Lee Jofa Ming cocktail table Lamshop Bed linens Matouk and Julia B. Linens Prussian blue lamp (NEXT TO YELLOW PAINTING) Christopher Spitzmiller Custom lampshades Blanche P. Field, NYC