Master of the House

My office is located at 1133 Broadway, the St. James Building, designed by Bruce Price in 1896. The building has become an epicenter of design. There are currently 50 design firms in the building. I was recently interviewed for the Kew Management Company website.

Barry Goralnick – A Master Class of His Own

Tuesday July 25, 2017
Gottridge Apatment NYC gorlanick living room

From his 1133 Broadway office, four floors up from the sidewalks of NoMad, Barry Goralnick has a bird’s eye view of the city he says inspires him. “Have you ever looked at the façade of this this building, and the surrounding buildings?” Barry said on a recent visit to his office, “they are absolutely beautiful.” He finds inspiration everywhere, because he looks at it with a broad humanistic eye. This eye has helped in all aspects of his work – from light fixtures inspired by stairway railings to interior designs based off of vintage store finds.  The city in which he resides and the places he travels are the muse for his career.

Widely Accomplished

Goralnick is an architect, interior designer, product designer, and lecturer, and theater producer. His lengthy job description and unique ability to create timeless designs have brought him great success. He works alongside a small team to create beautiful interiors and homes, as well as products — ranging from lighting to furniture, carpet and fabrics (fabrics not official yet) — that are manufactured by some of the leading home furnishing companies in the country.   For his product designs, he has won the “Best of Year Award” and has been nominated several years running for Innovation Awards. He also has a coveted spot in Rizzoli’s highly regarded Interior Design Master Class edited by Carl Dellatore. Perhaps most impressive beyond all this is Goralnick’s welcomed ability to describe complex design theories and numerous successes in a simple, humble way.

The Influences of a Broad Education

barry goralnick

A graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor’s of Arts, with a degrees in English Literature and Fine Art before heading to Harvard University for a Master of Architecture, Goralnick strongly supports liberal arts education in schools.  “I studied literature, history, science, and I used to paint,” Goralnick said. “I encourage young people to study liberal arts first.  You need to be a deeper person and learn about as much as possible.  When I went to grad school, there were people like me and then there were people that had spent their whole life just  studying architecture.  The more you know about the world, the more you bring to your designs”

He cites the instructors he had along the way as some of his biggest influences. “I had amazing teachers,” Barry said. “When I was an undergraduate, I was the only one in my class who went to architecture school; we weren’t geared towards that.   But I had an architecture history teacher; he was just wonderful,. and he inspired me to choose my path” At Harvard I was lucky to study with Frank Gehry, Neil McKinnell, Fred Koetter and be critiqued by Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, and Harry Cobb of I. M. Pei and Partners.

Barry has not stopped learning. Today, he considers Jim Druckman, president and CEO of the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue, to be one of his greatest  influences. “He has mentored many of New York’s top designers, Barry said. The two met when Druckman hosted a design competition requiring the creation of a new furniture or lighting piece. Barry entered a table and a light fixture and both were winning designs.  He credits the beginning of his success in product design as a result of this competition twenty years ago.    

For this reason, Barry has taken it upon himself to help aspiring designers. “I try to give back by lecturing to students,” he said.  He has spoken at high profile design schools such as Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, the New School, and New York University, as well as at NEOCON in Chicago.

Barry Goralnick Lithgow Living Room

What is Blended Modern?

While he is working to secure the future of design by assisting the next generation of designers, he is also changing the way design is viewed today. The tagline of Barry Goralnick Architecture & Design  is “Blended Modern,” indicating a style which Barry describes as neither classic nor uber futuristic, but rather a look with familiarity and some 50s and 60s inspiration.  The idea came about when he discovered an ambiguity in the projects he was designing.  “Sometimes a client will say ‘I love my room,’ and a friend will ask me what style it is,” Barry said.  “It’s not really any one particular style. It is an amalgam of different eras.  It is putting together things in unexpected ways.  It is your own personal style.  It is Blended Modern.”

Barry went on to explain the importance of Blended Modern in his own career and the unique way it fits into the market. “When I started designing product I realized that there were a lot of people with a very set style. I felt that there was a place in the middle where we could design things that work well with other styles; Blended Modern came out of that.”

The Blended Modern concept becomes crystal clear to anyone stepping into Barry’s office.  No clear theme can be assigned to the room, but it flows effortlessly.  Vibrant colors pop throughout the room, from purple chairs sitting against dark wood floors to a bold orange lamp.  Chandeliers from his own line hang from the ceiling, subtly drawing together the entire room.  Past and future design projects are seen in sketches, mood boards and fabric swatches hanging from the walls. The beauty in the work is his ability to assemble these disparate pieces into a common theme, which might otherwise be invisible to others.

Along with being a showroom for the blended modern style, Barry’s office highlights his favorite thing about design work: its tangible result.  “The thing that excites me most about everything that I do is to be able to produce tangible things that spring from your imagination ,” he said. “You come up with ideas and put them on paper, and then, you have a reality. When you’re an architect or designer, you can actually walk around inside your design.That is always thrilling”

Product Design

Currently, Barry has partnerships with name brands such as Circa Lighting, Ferrell + Mittman Furniture, Stark Carpets, Vanguard Furniture, Kichler Lighting, and design a line of bespoke furniture and lighting.  “When I started doing interiors, there were always pieces I wanted that didn’t exist, so I started designing them,” Barry said.  His business shifts between the work he does designing homes and interiors and the work he does designing product lines for his partnerships. Product design, he describes, is not as easy as his friends believe it to be. “The process is finding the best companies to design for,” Goralnick explained.  “Then  there are contracts, presentations, editing the line, going back and forth approving prototypes   Then you go to Markets, and design your own showroom space.  You meet retailers and train the sales staff.  And I travel around the country meeting and lecturing to designers, editors, and the end-users.  Nobody understands the amount of work there is in product design unless they do it.”

He takes great joy in seeing others use the products he has designed. “The most exciting thing about doing this for me is seeing the way others incorporate my pieces,” he said. “I recently met this woman at a design conference who said ‘I just used your sofa in a living room’ and she sent me a picture.  It was gorgeous.

His Psychology of Design

The importance Barry places on the relationship he shares with the companies that he designs for is similar to that of his own clients. As seen in his article in Rizzoli’s Interior Design Master Class, he believes the relationship he has with is clients his more similar to that of psychiatrist to patient. “When we meet clients, it is almost like a session,” Barry said.  “You are going to be spending a year or two talking all of the time.. You are designing their bedrooms and spaces they work in.  You get to know people and their families intimately. 

He believes some of the easiest people he has designed for have been actors and actresses, because they understand the amount of training he has in his craft.  It comes as no surprise that many of his clients are stars of the theatre and film.  “Successful people who are actors are very secure and easy to work with,” he said.  “They are artists too, which is great.”

goralnick-office

What is Blended Modern?

While he is working to secure the future of design by assisting the next generation of designers, he is also changing the way design is viewed today. The tagline of Barry Goralnick Architecture & Design  is “Blended Modern,” indicating a style which Barry describes as neither classic nor uber futuristic, but rather a look with familiarity and some 50s and 60s inspiration.  The idea came about when he discovered an ambiguity in the projects he was designing.  “Sometimes a client will say ‘I love my room,’ and a friend will ask me what style it is,” Barry said.  “It’s not really any one particular style. It is an amalgam of different eras.  It is putting together things in unexpected ways.  It is your own personal style.  It is Blended Modern.”

Barry went on to explain the importance of Blended Modern in his own career and the unique way it fits into the market. “When I started designing product I realized that there were a lot of people with a very set style. I felt that there was a place in the middle where we could design things that work well with other styles; Blended Modern came out of that.”

The Blended Modern concept becomes crystal clear to anyone stepping into Barry’s office.  No clear theme can be assigned to the room, but it flows effortlessly.  Vibrant colors pop throughout the room, from purple chairs sitting against dark wood floors to a bold orange lamp.  Chandeliers from his own line hang from the ceiling, subtly drawing together the entire room.  Past and future design projects are seen in sketches, mood boards and fabric swatches hanging from the walls. The beauty in the work is his ability to assemble these disparate pieces into a common theme, which might otherwise be invisible to others.

Along with being a showroom for the blended modern style, Barry’s office highlights his favorite thing about design work: its tangible result.  “The thing that excites me most about everything that I do is to be able to produce tangible things that spring from your imagination ,” he said. “You come up with ideas and put them on paper, and then, you have a reality. When you’re an architect or designer, you can actually walk around inside your design.That is always thrilling”

Product Design

Currently, Barry has partnerships with name brands such as Circa Lighting, Ferrell + Mittman Furniture, Stark Carpets, Vanguard Furniture, Kichler Lighting, and design a line of bespoke furniture and lighting.  “When I started doing interiors, there were always pieces I wanted that didn’t exist, so I started designing them,” Barry said.  His business shifts between the work he does designing homes and interiors and the work he does designing product lines for his partnerships. Product design, he describes, is not as easy as his friends believe it to be. “The process is finding the best companies to design for,” Goralnick explained.  “Then  there are contracts, presentations, editing the line, going back and forth approving prototypes   Then you go to Markets, and design your own showroom space.  You meet retailers and train the sales staff.  And I travel around the country meeting and lecturing to designers, editors, and the end-users.  Nobody understands the amount of work there is in product design unless they do it.”

He takes great joy in seeing others use the products he has designed. “The most exciting thing about doing this for me is seeing the way others incorporate my pieces,” he said. “I recently met this woman at a design conference who said ‘I just used your sofa in a living room’ and she sent me a picture.  It was gorgeous.

His Psychology of Design

The importance Barry places on the relationship he shares with the companies that he designs for is similar to that of his own clients. As seen in his article in Rizzoli’s Interior Design Master Class, he believes the relationship he has with is clients his more similar to that of psychiatrist to patient. “When we meet clients, it is almost like a session,” Barry said.  “You are going to be spending a year or two talking all of the time.. You are designing their bedrooms and spaces they work in.  You get to know people and their families intimately. 

He believes some of the easiest people he has designed for have been actors and actresses, because they understand the amount of training he has in his craft.  It comes as no surprise that many of his clients are stars of the theatre and film.  “Successful people who are actors are very secure and easy to work with,” he said.  “They are artists too, which is great.”

Outside the Office

Barry’s love for actors goes beyond his design business. He is an avid fan of the theatre and produces plays and musicals. He is capable of recommending and reciting a summary of virtually all past and present Broadway shows to date.

Another way he fills his time outside of work is with the blog he writes for his website “at home, from six to nine o’clock in the morning.” He chronicles everything from hidden gems in the city to revolutions within the interior design industry, and occasionally, he even writes about his own upcoming work or the use of his products in other design styles.  

Between the “Blended Modern” style and his various product lines, Barry’s ideas are quickly spreading throughout the industry. His career is seemingly unstoppable and his work in molding the generations of designers to come is only furthering his influence. While the reach of his work has extended far beyond the island of Manhattan, luckily for us, the man himself can be found in his NoMad office – showing us the wonderful details of the city we might fail to see and be enriched by, through his window and his work.

Click below for the complete article:

Barry Goralnick – A Master Class of His Own

Posted in Apartment Design, Architect, Art, Barry Goralnick, Bathroom, Carl J. Dellatore, Chair, Chandelier, Circa Lighting, Cocktail Tables, Furniture, Interior Design, Interior Design Master Class, Kichler, New York Design, Rizzoli Books, Uncategorized, Visual Comfort | Leave a comment

Light Up the Hamptons

This year Linden House is the site of  the  Traditional Home 2017 Hampton Designer Showhouse. Designer Ken Gemes has featured my Choros Chandelier from Visual Comfort as the centerpiece of the Entry, Stair Hall, and Gallery.

I recently talked to Ken and asked him about the inspiration for his beautiful room.

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

Main staircase at Linden House (photo by Alan Barry)

I have always loved the light in the Hamptons, and nowhere are there more spectacular beaches. The watercolors of the sea are varied and beautiful and I wanted the Entry to reflect that. We had a diptych of blues and deep teals created by Zoe Bios, which looks like ocean colors.  The 7’-tall panels flank the Dining Room entrance and set the tone for the space.”

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

A dramatic view looking through the house (photo by Marco Ricca Studio)

“The most challenging part of the Entry was to find a chandelier that was of large scale, but not overwhelming, to draw your eye to the hallway above. Barry Goralnick‘s Choros Chandelier, with its aged iron and brass accents, was the perfect choice.”

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

Choros Chandelier seen from the upper balcony (photo by Alan Barry)

“Some of the key elements are: a round center hall table in a gloss white finish, and X-base stools in a blue/teal herringbone fabric by Highland House. A fabric from Zak & Fox in tonal blues, reminiscent of water, was used as upholstery on a tufted settee from Erinn V. The graphic geometric carpet in marine blue and ivory provides the perfect link to the Gallery hallway. Art was the thread that leads you through the house. An mix of photography, paintings, textural works, and mixed media pieces were grouped in vignettes to give each area its own personality.”

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

The evocative rendering by John Gibson

Ken Gemes started his firm in 1999, after years in the Fashion Industry. He has a less-is-more approach to design; cognizant of the daily demands of the modern family, Gemes’
design aesthetic focuses on creating environments that are at once elegant and inviting. He is well known for his sense of color, developed in his years in fashion, and commonly uses soft tones that are soothing and welcoming.

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

Photo of Ken by Chi Chi Ubina

 

interior design, gemes, barry goralnick , choros visual comfort, lighitng, chandelier, hamptons, traditional home.

7′-tall paintings flank the entry to the Dining Room (photo by Marco Rica)

Resources:

Abigail’s,
Amy Interiors
Barbara Cosgrove
Benjamin Moore
Celadon
Circa Lighting
Country Carpets
Dagmara Weinberg
Erinn V.
Fee Fi Faux, Inc.
Garnet Hill
Kohler Co.
Made Goods
Maitland Smith
Merida
New Growth Designs
Nina Campbell-
Osborne & Little
Palecek
Soicher Marin
Stanton Carpet
Trowbridge
Van Cleve Collection
Wendover Art Group
Zak & Fox
Zoe Bios Creative

Posted in Architect, Chandelier, Circa Lighting, Design, Furniture, Hamptons, Interior Design, Interview, New York Design, Residential Lighting Magazine, Traditonial Home, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Light Up the Hamptons

On A Clear Day I Can ICFF

Back Row: Carl Dellatore, Glenn Gissler, Front Row: Barry Goralnick, Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Ed Ku. Photo by Megan Swann for Editor-at-Large

Last week I was on a panel at ICFF, sponsored by the New York Metro Chapter of ASID moderated by Carl Dellatore, author of Interior Design Master Class, one of the year’s best-selling design books. The book is a collection of essays by 100 top American Designers, in which we each wrote about a topic that was meaningful to us. Five of the contributors had a lively discussion about the role of fashion and trends in the world of interior of design.

Inteiro Design Master Class. Architect, New York

Clockwise from upper left: Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Carl Dellatore, and Barry Goralnick

The question posed by Carl was, “When does one adapt to latest trend or fashion, and when is it best to adhere to a more classic approach?”  Below are some excepted thoughts from the panel:

Barry GoralnickGoralnick Architecture & Design:

Most of our group felt that the answer lies in the middle. One always hears that certain styles are being revived.  There was an Art Deco revival, Biedermeir was all the rage, there is an ongoing trend toward Mid-century Modern, and this year it’s all about the 1980’s.  But just like fashion, styles evolve.  One can use vintage pieces as accents, and to add a layer of texture and meaning, but nothing is ever revived in an exact way.  Things are filtered through a knowing eye of the present.  Proportions change, and scale changes.  In fashion, if you put on your old sport jacket from the 80’s, you’ll look like you just walked out of Goodwill.  It may require re-tailoring, or you can  just have a new one made with a larger lapels or slightly wider shoulders. The simplest solution is to find it at a good designer like Tom Ford.

In design, we all have to evolve. Over the years, I have saved a number of design magazines when they feature a certain house or a room that I love.  But when I look at them, they feel a bit stodgy or dated.  There are a few exceptions, like the great Albert Hadley, of course.  But if we only replicate them, they would look off.

All the designers on our panel are eclectic in their design. That’s a way to weave in some fashionable or trendy elements and still create a room that feels timeless that you will enjoy for years. But we all agreed that being eclectic and ‘effortlessly casual’ takes a lot of hard work and a well-trained eye.  That is why it is best to work with a good designer.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture

Living Room from Interior Design Master Class by Barry Goralnick

Carl Dellatore, Author & Editor  of Interior Design Master Class and Digital Content Strategist:

As we advance through the second decade of the 21st century, one thing has become evident to me through my communications with designers: Nesting is the trend.

Non-stop Google searches, instant messaging, social media, email, and texts: Our frenetic lives in the Information Age leave us all feeling the need for sanctuary and calm in our homes. We need an escape, and as the pace continues to accelerate, so too will our wish to be buffered from it.

Comfort; serenity; retreat; recharge: these are the buzzwords.

Barry Goralnick, Goralnick Architecture & Design Rizzoli Dellatore New York

Author Carl Dellatore and Interior Design Master Class from Rizzoli books

Ed Ku and Etienne Coffinier Coffinier and Ku Design:

Tip:  If you think something is trendy but still love it, use it on something that isn’t a primary design item or something that can be easily changed like decorative objects, pillows or paint color.

Tip #2:  Creating a design mix from different times and influences instead of designing to a theme will help keep you from falling victim to trends.

Observation #1:  Everyone can fall victim to trends because they’re new and shiny and exciting, but we designers should always strive to create something that will last and not look dated.

Observation #2:  As a panel, we were pretty consistent in trying not to follow or be overly influenced by trends, whether in fashion or other creative areas.

Observation #3:  While trying not to be overly influenced by trends, we all have to continue to find new inspirations and to grow as designers or we will be stuck in a creative rut.

Opinion #1:  The best design is timeless.

Opinion #2:  We all are going to design something that become dated or out of fashion.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture

Living Room by Coffinier and Ku from Interior Design Master Class

Glenn GisslerGlenn Gissler Design and President of ASID New York Metro

It is my view that trends are often inventions of manufacturers and journalists. Recognizing that offerings in the marketplace can influence what designers and consumers select, one should avoid novelty and ‘trends’ to make selections that are true and enduring.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture Glenn Gissler Interior Design

Glenn Gissler’s beautiful and eclectic dining room from Interior Design Master Class.

Laura BohnLaura Bohn Design

Opinion:
As a background color, everything looks good against gray.  Color, no color, white – all look good against gray.

Tip:
Be willing to try new materials.  I’m a Home Depot shopper.  I always find interesting things there.  Even if I don’t plan to specify from the store, it is a great place to see what kind of new materials and products are available.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture Laura Bohn

Laura Bohn’s kitchen project. She is known for mixing unexpected materials.

 

From left: Glenn Gissler, Barry Goralnick, Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Ed Ku, and Carl Dellatore

The invitation:

Last week I toured the ICFF in New York and thought I’d share a few of my favorite finds in Part 2, so stay tuned. . .

All photos from the event are Megan Swann for Editor-at-Large

Posted in Apartment Design, Architect, Barry Goralnick, Carl J. Dellatore, Chair, Chandelier, Cocktail Tables, Design, Ed Ku, Furniture, Interior Design, Interior Design Master Class, Lighting, New York Design, Rizzoli Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment