Add Some Dramatic Furniture Into Your Home
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Add Some Dramatic Furniture Into Your Home

New York design studio Apparatus debuts an imaginative collection.

Fri, Oct 1, 2021 4:36pmGrey Clock 2 min

Even as a startup, the Manhattan-based design studio Apparatus cultivated a very specific mood in its Chelsea gallery. Flowers, incense, a meandering circuit of rooms that wove in and out of dimly lit factory spaces, a killer sound system: They cued a certain sensuality and shopping-as–cocktail party atmosphere, stoking a desire for the company’s adventurous collections of furniture, lighting and objects.

The enforced solitude of the past 18 months pressed pause on the party—though not on sales, which have boomed. During that time, Apparatus has delved deeper into its creative sourcebook to design its biggest collection to date, nearly a decade after the studio first opened. Gabriel Hendifar, artistic director and co-founder, calls the 40-piece offering Act IV. Launching in October, it lives up to its theatrical billing in ways that past Apparatus collections only hinted at.

Hendifar’s visual interests have always been sweeping, from Wiener Werkstätte textiles to Persian marquetry. For Act IV, he drew on the optimism of mid-century modernism and the ethereal, attenuated lines of Near Eastern craft. Among the standout pieces are chairs with skinny upholstered backs; globe lights suspended in suede harnesses, like trapeze artists; and geometric carpets with brass “seams.”

Though Hendifar hadn’t tried his hand at designing seating or carpets before, he pushed himself to take on both. “Making anything, I think, tells you about making everything else,” says the L.A.-born Hendifar, 40, a former fashion designer. “Ultimately it’s about, What does this thing make me feel? I mean, both literally, How does it feel? And then, What does it make you feel emotionally? For me, those are the two guiding questions.”

A few months ago, Apparatus rented a Brooklyn soundstage and mounted a full-blown performance of Act IV, the collection. Films and images were produced to live online, with costumes courtesy of American couturier Ralph Rucci, a supporting cast of pieces from Naga Antiques and a star turn by model Debra Shaw. Participating in spirit, though not in person, was Apparatus co-founder Jeremy Anderson, who has left the day-to-day business to focus full time on his ceramic practice.

Like the rest of Apparatus’s offerings, Act IV is being produced globally and finished in its New York studio, which expanded this past summer to a 45,000-square-foot site in Red Hook, Brooklyn. And in the Chelsea gallery, a refresh is underway—one that might someday soon give Act IV a proper opening night. All Apparatus Act IV items: prices upon request,


Reprinted by permission of WSJ. Magazine. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: September 29, 2021


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3. Abigail Ahern Masterclass

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Some design books are beautiful to look at, and that’s it. This is not one of those books. A master of colour and pattern, UK designer Ahern offers a practical foundational guide to beautiful interiors, mixing form with function in her latest book, Masterclass. Find the inspiration you need to create a gorgeous home. HarperCollins, $65  

4. Interiors Now!

Looking for a visual crash course in international design trends with longevity? This is the book for you. Featuring homes across the globe, from New York to Auckland via Avignon, the biggest dilemma for readers is settling on a style. Many of the projects are owned by designers and creatives, lending a dynamic edge to this tome, now in its 40th year. Taschen, $50

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