Patricia Herrera Lansing, with interior designer Patrick McGrath, brings classic prewar elegance to a loft in a storied Little Italy building.
At first, Patricia undertook the decorating duties herself, working with architect David Bae on the various expansion projects. For the third, and what she deems final, renovation she sought out rising young interior designer Patrick McGrath to help polish it off. The two had met at a birthday celebration for Alexi Ashe Meyers in Turks and Caicos.
Patrick McGrath’s life partner is Reinaldo Leandro, one half of the AD100 firm Ashe Leandro; the other half, Ariel Ashe, is Meyers’s sister. Recalls Patricia: “I said to Ariel, ‘I love your world and wish I lived in it, but I don’t. And I need some help with my world.’ ” Hers would be a landscape of colour, pattern, and what she calls artfully layered “clutter.” Patrick McGrath, who started at the office of acclaimed designer Frank de Biasi and led visuals for Giorgio Armani North America before going out on his own three years ago, shares a similar aesthetic philosophy.
Where some decorators might baulk at the idea of repurposing existing furnishings, he was energized by the concept. “To collaborate with a client who has such incredible taste is a dream,” he says. “If you’re already working with good pieces, why start from scratch?”
The contemporary living room, which had formerly encompassed the dining area, was divided into four quadrants. A pair of red velvet sofas—one dating to Patricia’s first bachelorette pad and another custom-made to mirror it—anchor the space, while a burl-wood centre table Patrick McGrath found at an auction separates two of the seating areas. As such, it feels both intimate and vast, a perfect space for entertaining, like when Patricia hosted a cocktail party for 150 guests last spring to welcome new Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon.