Custom Bulletin Board

[My NYC apartment, 1998]

I’ve always loved the idea of the turn of the century artist studio. My tearsheet collection over the years has become filled with images of large-scale workspaces and artist lofts. In 2004, these images became conceptual touchstones for the design of the Aero Store and Studios when we moved to our current location on Broome Street. Here is a recent image of the store, showing the massive scale of the doors leading into the conference room:

In my mind, the tall doors at Aero and the bulletin board at my apartment are not dissimilar. In fact, the idea for doing the bulletin board grew out of my design ideas for the new Aero space, which focused on both the scale and sprit of an artist studio. Here are a few examples of how we use bulletin boards in the office:

As I began spending more time at The Academy, my home in Long Island, the living room in the apartment stopped being my main place to relax or entertain. I was going through a major phase of collecting, and boxes from eBay began to pile up and fill the room until I realized that the space was barely being used. I knew I wanted to make use of that wonderful, big room, so I decided to convert the living room into a true pied-à-terre, something a little more connected to the Aero store and studio. The first idea for the conversion was, why not make the living room into the bedroom? In the spirit of an artist studio, the bed was treated as a daybed and the walls were treated as open gallery space. I knew I was going to embrace hanging art all over the walls, but I also wanted a gigantic bulletin board to do pin-up material in a more evolving manner. So I began sketching out details, worked out how it could be panelized for installation, and eventually had it painted the same Pratt & Lambert “Timidity” color that I love so much on the walls:

My first cell phone pics:

I initially used the Modern Circle Rug from my Vintage Modern collection at Target. This how the apartment appeared in the July / August 2006 issue of Elle Decor [download article here].

The apartment continued to evolve, and as my collections grew the layout of the room changed. The second version appeared in the November 2007 issue of House & Garden [download here] and is seen in my book, American Modern. The room became a way to process the comings and goings of all the kinds of objects that were coming into my life. Sometimes it can seem like a bit of chaos and so much stuff, but I actually feel really comfortable with all of the art and all of the inspiration that it gives. There is a level of casualness to the bulletin board that separates it from the other walls hung with framed art, allowing it to evolve and change and allowing me to continuously compose different ideas.

[photo credits, top to bottom: Michelle Arcila - intro photograph, #2, #4, #7. Laura Resen - #1, #19, #20.
All others by Thomas O'Brien or Eugene Corless.]