Ever wonder what happens after you win Top Design? I certainly do, so I reached out to Nathan Thomas to see what he’s been up to and he was sweet enough to give us a sneak peek into his latest job. Oh and shhh he just finished filming the first episode of his new show…uh-huh more Nathan TV!!!
Project: Deluxe Salon, Brooklyn NY
What was your concept for this
Because of the lofty and industrial feeling in the space, I really
wanted to create something that was light-filled, artistic and
representative of the neighborhood, client and clientele.
Where did you get your inspiration
from? How did you come up with your concept? How do you usually come
up with your concepts/designs?
I draw inspiration from my day to day as many designers and artists
do. My immediate surroundings, books, films, magazines, people, and
especially fashion really drive my enthusiasm and inspiration.
Classical architecture and interiors are wonderful vehicles to draw
from. Music is often a propellant in my work as well. When I
started working on the space, it was very dark, lonely and pretty much
void of personality. I wanted to bring a sort of city chic vibe to
the space while still maintaining a sense of the owner’s identity and
character. It needed to look young, hip and approachable while not
looking like a typical salon. The wall art/mural truly came from a
fascination with the beauty of urban graffiti but with a twist to it.
It reads more sensitive and approachable vs a lot of street art I have
seen that has become so popular in interiors as of late. To me a
concept is born through conversation, feeling, and trial & error.
Concepts are amorphic to me – something that grows and manifests
itself into new dimensions and ideas along the way. Very similar to a
hypothesis and then a conclusion. The end result may not always be
what your original vision was. I find that beautiful.
Custom wall mural by Michael Polintan , Orange and Green lacquer side tables by India Madhavi for PUCCI, Custom sofa by Nathan Thomas Studios for E&J Interiors, Fabric on sofa from Janus et Cie, Platner side table, vintage from WYETH, Bronze candlesticks from WYETH, Jascobsen EGG chair, vintage from Lost City Arts, original upholstery, Oversize iron wrench from WYETH, Blue lacquer side table by India Madhavi for PUCCI, Serge Mouille floor lamp, vintage from Lost City Arts
What direction were you given if any
by the clients? Were they asking for anything specific during the
To be totally honest, I was asked to create a solution for a space
that wasn’t working. My client was very receptive to my ideas and
vision and let me run with it. We worked on a fairly limited budget
but the end result was a success. I was very fortunate to work with
someone who was so trusting and willing to let me bring my vision to
life. Of course with any project, there were speed bumps along the
way, but this industry would be a bit boring without the drama
involved now wouldn’t it!
How long did this project take from
start to finish?
In my opinion, its hard to say the project is finished. Because the
renovations were taking place while the business was running, it was
difficult to really do an overall installation. There were a lot of
long nights with contractors and electricians and many a Sunday spent
overseeing progress. But to answer the question with a date, I would
have to say the process was approximately 8-9 months.
If you were given an extra 50K for
this project, what three things would you have done differently
Well……. I would have dropped the ceiling at least 12″ and
installed better lighting and designed the layout in a more artistic
manner. We added additional lighting that really helped the space but
aesthetically it is not the most pleasing to me…. but it works. I
would have also loved to introduce some sort of interactive media
based art that could somehow showcase the work of the salon and its
stylists while not looking like a promo tape. Does that make sense?
Custom wall mural by Michael Polintan, Fabric on all washbasin and styling chairs by Maharam – Wafer 465330/16, Blue lacquer side table by India Madhavi
for PUCCI, Vintage Swedish vase by Rorstrand, Designer’s own, Vintage Danish silver objet by Cohr, Designer’s own
What’s next for you?
My collection of rugs is launching with SACCO in about a month. I am
super excited with the designs and the strike-offs look fantastic. I
am also launching a line of custom finished and upholstered chairs in
a few weeks, one of which was presented recently at the Cooper Hewitt
National Design Museum during a lecture I was part of based on
wallpaper. Currently I am working on a four floor Italianate
Brownstone for a young and hip family as well as a private residence
for a groovy guy that overlooks the Hi-Line Canal here in Manhattan.
Both projects have a very sexy edge while holding on to a certain
elegance and refinement. Harper’s BAZAAR Korea has listed me on their
Top Ten Emerging Designer’s List, and yes – more television is in my
future. Yesterday I filmed the first episode of a new show for LOGO
called Design by Love. Its going to be a fun and energetic show.
Unfortunately I cant reveal too many details about the show…. you
will have to tune in and see what happens.
Upholstered armchair by Nanna Ditzel, Danish 50′s from WYETH, original upholstery from Jack Lenor Larsen, Oversize iron wrench from WYETH, Lucite side table from CB2, Vase (mentioned above), Horn, Designer’s own