DESIGN AFFAIR: A Formal Yet Functional, Art Deco Inspired Home by Carlyle Designs
Jordan Carlyle entered the realm of luxury design by way of visual art. Although an artist first, it was a natural and organic transition into interior design. His first break in the architectural design industry happened when Crate & Barrel retailed his artwork — Pop Art reminiscent of Andy Warhol. A successful line of home goods and furniture followed until eventually he created Carlyle Designs — an all-encompassing interior design firm for both residential and commercial properties.
Jordan’s style is modern and clean, yet he retains an element of functionality, which sets him apart. His ability to achieve the modern elegance that he’s so known for is his love for both the old and the new. Pulling from his background in antiques, he has a sublime way of integrating sleek, modern aesthetics with rustic and natural elements to add a breadth of dimension, tone, and texture to his designs. He looks for unexpected beauty in every project, but you won’t have to try too hard to see the beauty that flows from his designs, seemingly with little effort.
One of his latest residential projects in New Jersey is no exception. It is a stunning 9,000 square foot, bottom-up build. Commissioned for a young family of six, the space needed to be tailored to their active and prominent role in society. Jordan and his team designed the entire space around his client’s needs to raise a family, entertain, and grow with the home. The result was a luxurious space that blended transitional and modern themes flawlessly.
Love Happens had the chance to speak with Jordan about this latest project, his businesses, and his vision for the future.
Love Happens: Tell us about how you got started in design. How did the years you spent working with an antique collector and dealer influence your design career?
Jordan Carlyle: After graduating from high school, I moved to Miami, Florida where I began working for an antique collector and dealer. At the time, I really had no idea how much this chapter in my life would go on to influence my career as an interior designer. His appreciation, love, and knowledge behind the world of collecting has played an important role in influencing my design aesthetic and passion for quality and great craftsmanship. It helped me develop an eye and understanding for quality, which is very important in our industry. In 2002 I moved to Los Angeles, where I began to study interior architecture. I realized very early on that I wanted to create my own business. This meant I needed to get my name out there and turn it into a brand. It was during that time I begin creating and selling my artwork. Art for me is an extension of my design creativity as a designer.
Lh: Your career has been about reinventing how you use your natural talent for design, you have gone from art, to interior design, and now Carlyle Collective your furniture brand. What is the concept for this brand and who are you designing and curating for?
JC: Thankfully I am in a profession that has allowed me to pursue my passions in this multifaceted creative world. Anyone who really knows me understands that I am always looking ahead at the next step. Life to me is about evolving and taking risk. I have always welcomed growth and challenges as well as even a few failures. As George R. Zalucki once so eloquently said, “Without Failure There Can Be No Success!” The evolution of Carlyle Collective has been an exciting venture. The concept for the company really stemmed from the desire to create pieces that were bespoke and unique to our clients. In 2013, I formed Carlyle Collective, what started as solely my own designs, has now evolved to include select pieces from some of my favorite designers like Christopher Boots and Lara Bohinc.
Lh: Your name is on your design business and your product collection, what do you see as the biggest differences between these two businesses? Which one gives you more design pleasure and which more design pain?
JC: Juggling two business ventures can definitely be challenging. I have learned the key to both businesses is customer service and attention to detail. I find that interior design projects require much more of my time and energy. We have some design projects that we have been working on for over 3 years. The relationships you build with a client during a project can be very personal and often turn into friendships. I find each business extremely rewarding in its own way.
Lh: We love this residence you designed in New Jersey, can you tell us a bit about the project? What was the client like? Did they have a vision or did they give you full reign to work your magic?
JC: This project was ground up construction. The husband is a developer so he had a great sense of what he envisioned his dream home looking like in the end. The couple loved the look of traditional architectural details mixed with more modern furnishings. Their main goal was to create a home that their family could grow into comfortably, and yet be able to maintain their aesthetic which was more formal. We were in charge of selecting lighting, designing custom furnishings, and bedding. We also did a small portion of renovation work as we focused heavily on the master bedroom which featured a private office space, a custom antiqued mirrored cladded fireplace, and a gorgeous headboard wall trimmed with antique brass and lacquered panels.
Lh: What drove the overall design aesthetic of the project? What inspired the sleek grey palette?
JC: We wanted to create spaces that were sophisticated and could easily transition into entertainment areas for when the clients hosted their weekly gatherings with their large family and friends. The client wanted a palette that was timeless and elegant. Since we often gravitate toward tone on tone interiors we felt introducing a grey palette would perfectly achieve this look.
WE WANTED TO CREATE SPACES THAT WERE SOPHISTICATED AND COULD EASILY TRANSITION INTO ENTERTAINMENT AREAS FOR WHEN THE CLIENTS HOSTED THEIR WEEKLY GATHERINGS WITH THEIR LARGE FAMILY AND FRIENDS. THE CLIENT WANTED A PALETTE THAT WAS TIMELESS AND ELEGANT.
Lh: Your love for finishes and talent for layering them is highly visible throughout this project in the way your masterfully combined both lustrous and raw finishes. Can you tell us about your approach to brining this perfectly balanced mix to life?
JC: I definitely believe successful design needs a balanced mix of finishes and materials. Finding the perfect balance definitely takes time. I believe that as designers we have to be extreme editors. Design is ultimately the result of an infinite number of choices made. The ability to edit is what I ultimately believe defines one’s aesthetic.
Lh: Did you create custom pieces for this project? If yes, tell us a little bit about them! Why was bespoke the right solution and what was your process for designing and manufacturing the piece(s)?
JC: I’d say about 80% of the furnishings for this project were bespoke. Our client specifically requested furnishings that were unique to their home and we were happy to accommodate as we feel bespoke pieces are a great way to personalize a space. We have learned that custom does not always mean easier, but sometime quite the opposite as there are so many details that go into creating these unique pieces. Thankfully, we have great manufactures that we have been working with for many years who help make the process run smoothly.
THE ABILITY TO EDIT IS WHAT I ULTIMATELY BELIEVE DEFINES ONE’S AESTHETIC.
Lh: What’s next for Jordan Carlyle and the Carlyle brand?
JC: We are currently working on a wide range of challenging design projects from apartments and townhouses in the city to larger homes spread out from Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Naples, Florida. In addition, we are creating new prototypes for furnishings and experimenting with an exciting new direction for my artwork!
Intro & Interview by Anna Bimba
Article Originally Appeared in Love Happens Volume 2, 2018
Be inspired by more articles in LOVE HAPPENS VOL 2!