When I used to live in San Francisco many years ago I would drive over to Sacramento Street and peer through the window of an antique store called March (March is still around, but is now called March Pantry, a super chic table top and home store). I just loved the curated collection of things…in many ways these visits shaped what I have grown to love.
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The clean and simple store had seagrass covered floors and dark taupe walls. A very large Japanese paper lantern always hung in the middle of the store, dimly lit. All the antiques, art and accessories were curated and placed strategically around like sculpture. The upholstery was covered in ivory or flax linen, the furniture had the richest and purest patinas. I always loved the punches of black – the mix was always eclectic, always perfect.
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One distinct memory that has never left me was this magnificent coromandel screen that was in the shop for many years. It moved around over time, from one corner to another. There seemed to always be a perfect chair in ivory linen next to it, an old rustic belgian table adjacent, a great piece of abstract art leaning on it, a perfect object surrounded by it, and that Japanese lantern shining on it. It was always a perfect mix of things and how these vignettes were presented has never escaped me.
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Over time I found out the store was owned by
Mark Cunningham. Since then, Mark, based in NYC, has taken the design world by storm. I have become quite a fan of Mark’s work. His eye is perfection…that perfect mix of old and new, modern and traditional, high and low, light and dark.
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His design work always graces my blog posts whether I’m talking about a neutral territory, a rustic ranch, a modern loft, or a countdown of my favorite rooms. His talent is always represented. Like I said, in many ways those frequent visits to March have shaped what I have grown to love.
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How would you define your style? My approach to each project depends on the client and the space. I like to focus on having a balance between the person, style of home and the surroundings. Overall, I like to think that my style is considered, calm, and comfortable.
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Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work? I grew up in Arizona and Nevada. The scale and vastness of the desert have always appealed to me. That being said, I believe it was more how I grew up rather than where. While we did live in a rural setting, my mother and I would travel to San Francisco frequently. I was lucky enough to have been exposed to different lifestyles.
Beyond this I found early inspiration in the work of San Francisco designers Michael Taylor and John Dickinson.
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If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? It’s hard to imagine doing anything else since I’ve been rearranging furniture since I can remember. I’d love to say a honkey tonk piano player, but maybe an editor is more realistic.
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Who or what is inspiring you right now? On the lower east side of New York City I go to the Miguel Abreu Gallery, he has a great eye.
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What is the favorite room in your home? It’s all about the light. From early morning to the end of the day light floods my living room in the city. I am also really excited about my new house in Bellport.
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Is there anything you obsessively collect? Books!
Click here to read the rest of the
interview with Mark Cunningham.