In the Brooklyn workspace of Home Studios, stacks of thick books and enormous pin boards speak to the process of founder and creative director Oliver Haslegrave. Culling inspiration from travel, art, literature, and film, the designer develops a rich palette for each interiors project. He spins marbles, metals, and woods into cozy bars and restaurants that populate New York City and beyond (his latest include Bibo Ergo Sum in Los Angeles, Fausto and Elsa in Brooklyn, and the Spaniard and the Loyal in Manhattan). The studio’s emphasis on using custom products resulted in Homework, a furniture and lighting outfit that launched in 2017. Noting the increased breadth of the practice and continued popularity of its hospitality projects, WantedDesign and Bernhardt Design have named Haslegrave the recipient of the American Design Honors, for which he will present an installation at WantedDesign Manhattan from May 19-22.
Interior Design: You formalized your work in lighting and furniture design by launching the Homework division. What’s it been like to focus on product?
Oliver Haslegrave: It’s somewhat familiar in that we make a lot of custom decor for our interiors. But also new in that they’re made with no set context—they’re more like mixtapes in between or as a counterpoint to the interiors.
ID: What are you planning for your installation at WantedDesign?
OH: 5 new pieces: a clothing rack, two lamps, a standing mirror, and a bench. And maybe a few surprises.
ID: You have many projects in New York, but you’re ramping up in other places around the country (with upcoming projects in Memphis, San Diego, and Philadelphia). How does it feel to work elsewhere?
OH: Diversity is at the core of our work, and visiting many different cities is really increasing our horizon and vocabulary.
ID: You mentioned that your studio does regular film nights.
OH: Every 4 or 5 weeks we watch a film and focus on the production design. Film is a big reference for us (I was a film major), and production design is a strong parallel to what we do. We started this year. We’re watching Bottle Rocket, the Graduate, In the Mood for Love, Chinatown, Band of Outsiders, There Will Be Blood—about 10 in all.
ID: Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your work?
OH: In Connecticut, near Rhode Island. My dad’s an architect, so I grew up working on job sites, which definitely shaped my work ethic.
ID: Latest design obsession?
OH: Villa Borsani in Milan. I took a tour during Salone del Mobile and it was incredible. I liked pretty much everything: the use of space and material, Borsani’s own Tecno pieces, the curation of art by Lucio Fontana and others, and the thought and intent put into every decision.
ID: Latest interiors pet peeve?
OH: The current rents in New York for small bars and restaurants are a drag!
ID: A secret source you’re willing to share?
OH: The Strand. My favorite place.
ID: An item you couldn’t live without?
OH: Good headphones—the big noise-cancelling kind. I’m always listening to music and really care about sound quality. New York also can be quite loud, and they help balance that out.
ID: Dream commission?
OH: A hotel in Paris.
In 2016, Anna Hernandez succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Hernandez, the distinguished founder of Luna Textiles and wife of Interior Design Hall of Fame member Michael Vanderbyl, actively sought to make a difference in the commercial design community, even serving on the IIDA International Board of Directors as Vice President of Industry Relations in 2007-2008. The industry has since worked tirelessly to keep Hernandez’s legacy alive. Shortly after her death, the IIDA partnered with Hernandez’s family and Luna Textiles to establish the Anna Hernandez-Luna Textiles Education Fund, which helps advance the education and empowerment of women in design.
To benefit the fund, the 30th edition of ICFF will host a silent auction of furnishings, kitchen & bath products, and other artful objects. The initiative invites over 900 exhibiting companies to donate their latest products to a 1,600-square-foot pavilion where attendees can bid on items during the fair. The first $5,000 raised will match the Anna Hernandez-Luna Textiles Education Fund Award, totaling a $10,000 grant from the IIDA Foundation and ICFF. Remaining proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, a leading voluntary health organization supporting Alzheimer’s care and research.
“When we were asked to host the Anna Hernandez-Luna Textiles Education Award, we felt there was a great opportunity to do more,” says Kevin O’Keefe, senior vice president of Emerald Expositions. “How wonderful it is that ICFF together with the architect and designer community can give back and help cure this crippling disease that touches everyone in our society.”
“We’re proud to honor Anna’s memory by presenting her industry peers with the opportunity to foster the continued education and growth of women in design, while also recognizing their incredible accomplishments,” says IIDA executive vice president and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, an Interior Design Hall of Fame member. “The silent auction sponsored by our partners at ICFF provides a much-appreciated layer of support by matching the IIDA Foundation grant, but also demonstrates a strong sense of unity and empowerment within the design community at large.”
The Anna Hernandez-Luna Textiles Education Fund Award will be presented by the IIDA Foundation on Wednesday, May 23, at 3:00 PM, followed by a gala reception and ceremony for the ICFF auction winners. Be a part of the ceremony reception and register today.
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