interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: ellen lupton and abbott miller

by Grace Bonney

today’s sneak peek belongs to two design veterans: ellen lupton and abbott miller. my lovely new intern/writer anne suggested we contact them about the column and to my surprise and delight, they accepted! based in baltimore, ellen and abbott have contributed so much to the design community it’s tough to know where to start. ellen is a writer, curator, and graphic designer who currently servers as the director of the graphic design mfa program at MICA, the director of the center for design thinking, and as a curator or contemporary design at the cooper-hewitt national design museum. she’s written numerous books on the subject of design, including the popular “diy: design it yourself“: one of my favorites on our bookshelf at home. ellen’s husband, abbott miller, is a designer, writer, and partner in the nyc office of the international design firm pentagram. abbott leads a team designing books, magazines, catalogs, identities, exhibitions, and creating editorial projects for pentagram (including a book on the work of matthew barney). together they make for an incredible design duo and their home is a wonderful expression of their love for design. i hope you’ll enjoy this sneak peek into their lovely baltimore home. thank you to anne for finding this sneak peek and thank you to ellen and abbott for sharing their home with us. as always, you can click here to see full-sized (and extra) versions of ellen and abbott’s home.

[Image above: Our dining room is an extension of the front living room, and it is also our library. The painting on the wall is mine, and the plastic ice cubes in the fireplace are props from a photo shoot]

[In our sunny bedroom, the walls are gray and the sheets are white, but we’ve added color with art, rugs, furniture, and pillows. Over the mantel is a huge silkscreened film poster from the 60s for the film Blow Up. The ceiling fixture is by Jasper Morrison, and that’s a hot pink Panton chair in the corner.]

[The headboard is a big wooden frame salvaged from an exhibition design. It’s upholstered with fabric designed by Hella Jongerius for Maharam.]
[The wallpaper was designed by Abbott Miller for Knoll; it is a dense texture made from the typeface Helvetica. The print is by Kara Walker, and the lamp is, of course, by Jasper Morrison.]

[We live in a large townhouse in the Bolton Hill area of Baltimore. The house was built in the 1880s, and it has an intrinsic urban formality. We’ve preserved that character, while furnishing the place with modern pieces and contemporary art. (Our art collection includes work by friends, students at MICA, and our own stuff, and you may notice that some of it moves around in the pictures, as we are always rearranging and these pictures were shot over the course of two years.) The painting here is by Andrew Mockler, an artist in New York. The lamp is by Jasper Morrison. The curtains are from IKEA. We love them so much, we used them in every room in the house; they cast a beautiful shadow.]

[There’s a second parlor at the back of the house. Here, it’s shown furnished with a pair of vinyl club chairs that we bought at a junk shop for $35. They are among the most comfortable chairs on the planet. The photograph is by Corinne Botz, a MICA alum now working in NYC.]

[We’ve had many of the radiators taken out, stripped down, and painted this brilliant ruby red. Rather than hide the heating system inside dorky radiator covers, we prefer to celebrate the radiators as industrial sculpture. The painting is by Dane Nester, a graduate of MICA.]

[The marble floors add an edge of luxe to the bathroom, while the dark gray subway tiles are a subtle twist on standard bathroom surfaces. The wall color is called “dark salmon,” and it’s close to the red used by Le Corbusier. It’s a very intense color, but warm and livable in an intimate space. The poster in the bathroom is by Baltimore artist/designer Nolen Strals (dinos getting it on).]

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