Michael Dawkins: Warm and Minimal

When designer Michael Dawkins couldn’t find the kinds of minimalist products he wanted in New York, he began to make and collect them on his own.

“To find all the right elements from so many resources is a challenge,” he says. “I was shocked that a city like New York didn’t offer what I wanted.”

So he’s put together a refined and elegant collection that he says he’d want to use in a design project. “If you want modern, you have to go to a modern manufacturer or showroom, or if you want antiques, you have to go to antique shops,” he says. “I’ve put together a cohesive whole here.”

He’s displaying it all in a series of 10 vignettes spread out over 10,000 square feet of space at 232 East 59th Street in Manhattan. It’s two floors of showroom and studio space next door to the Decoration and Design Building, tucked into the “Designers Way” corridor.

“It’s like a house, with10 distinct areas,” he says. “It all works together. I put walls up to separate the different spaces.”

He’s pulled together his own line of upholstery, accessories, hard goods, and furniture  and placed them alongside private label products and collectible art that’s hand-selected from artisans and artists in Italy, Belgium, Paris and Provence.

“I’m a minimalist at heart, and I’ve tried to live that way but it just doesn’t work for me,” he says. “I need texture and warmth. Even if its antique, it has to be pared down to its most simplistic form. It’s a modern approach, but with a lot of warmth – it’s eclectic with a modern eye.”

The new venue, similar to his first in the Miami Design District, is both a working design studio for private clients and a destination retail showroom.

Michael Dawkins Home opens this month, with a series of invitation-only tours, the first of which will be held tomorrow, Dec. 17.

For more information, go to www.michaeldawkinshome.com

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