We are delighted to share Bennett Leifer as our next Designer Spotlight. He is a perfect fit for our series as he has a background in Art History and understands how art and design of different cultures and periods can work together harmoniously. It is no surprise that Bennett has been named House Beautiful Magazine’s ‘Next Wave’ Designer in 2015, Traditional Home Magazine’s ‘Rising Stars of Design’ in 2015, and most recently Elle Décor’s ‘A-List’ designer in 2018.
One of Bennett’s most recent projects is one of his most impressive to date. He helped transform William Randolph Hearst’s former penthouse apartment in New York’s Upper West Side into an artistic haven. Above is the dining room with midcentury furniture combined with a group of antique Chinese vases framed on either side by a pair of sleek Greek amphora lamps. The historic Tiffany glass window panel serves as a fantastic backdrop for the mix of international styles.
Another view of the same impressive penthouse emphasises once again how modern pieces work with antique objects. The modern console table displays a wonderful collection of Canton porcelain, including chargers and a coffee pot.
Bennett’s design for this Gramercy Park foyer features a Charles X style French gueridon with bold ebonized and gilded details. In front of the window, a Louis XVI style painted armchair is framed by stained glass panels above. The mix of these traditional French designs works well with the bold modern painting hung on the wall.
Colour reigns king in this Gramery Park library. The George III style mahogany wing chair is a classic piece of furniture you would expect to see in any English country house library: here it is updated to match the interiors with the monochrome green textile that complements the wall colour and the curtains. And did you spot the Chesterfield sofa? Learn the history of this specific style of sofa and the origin of the name here, in our previous post.
For Bennett’s own New York apartment, he incorporates a great deal of patterns, materials, and styles to create a fantastic impression. The de Gournay screen with its bold palm print stands out as a focal point, but it is hard to miss the Damien Hirst print next to it and the Chinese terracotta horse on the modern centre table.
For this drawing room, Bennett once again incorporates classic shapes with modern design. The neoclassical console table on the back wall with its rich mahogany and gilt detail contrasts well with the modern spoon-back occasional chairs.
We will finish with another look at Bennett’s own New York apartment. The nod to French style is immediately apparent with the Louis XVI style open armchairs and bust of Napoleon on the coffee table. The traditional fireplace and mantel serve as a place to display an eclectic collection of art and sculpture along with an elegant simple giltwood mirror.
To see more of Bennett’s work, have a look at his portfolio on his website and his Instagram, which is updated often with behind the scenes photos of his upcoming projects and fantastic images of design inspiration.