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The BOLD and the Beautiful: Drake/Anderson

If each home has a story to tell, imagine what the designers of those homes could reveal. That’s the idea behind BOLD, the aptly titled first book from legendary interior designers Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of renowned firm Drake/Anderson.

BOLD: The Interiors of Drake/Anderson by Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson with Judith Nasatir (Rizzoli)

The tome focuses on 11 Drake/Anderson projects, each comprising a chapter with intimate, behind-the-scenes information and multiple glossy images of the property. The never-before-seen Gotham Glamour project, a dazzling, full-floor pied-à-terre overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park, graces the cover – and invites us in with a 30-page spread of the stellar space. It’s a fitting opening for a firm that’s based in New York City and has its fingerprints on many of the city’s most prized spots, like Midtown’s skyline-obsessed One57 and 520 Park’s limestone beauty on the Upper East Side.

Manhattan apartments provide ample opportunity to gaze at the sleek, vibrant modernist designs and seductive views of water, city lights and famed parks throughout BOLD.  But the Architectural Digest’s AD100 list and Elle Decor A-List designees’ reach extends far beyond the city, so you also get divine images of an Arizona desert getaway; a cherished 1718 Queen Anne-style restoration and reinvention in London; and one of the firm’s most notable projects, a serene upstate New York estate they dubbed the “House in the Woods.”

The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury editorial team recently spoke with Drake about the inspiration for the book, the firm’s unique design philosophy, and how a Drake/Anderson design can be polished or uninhibited, minimalist or maximalist, but always remains BOLD.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How did the idea for the book come about and how did it take shape along the way?

Jamie Drake This book showcases our work after forming our partnership (in 2015) as a celebration of those past years. Having completed significant projects in this time, we started by assessing the projects we wanted to include and narrowed it down to the 11 in BOLD.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury BOLD’s description defines your style as “opulent modernist design with interiors that are as unique and expressive as they are inviting and livable.” Is that an accurate representation? What does it mean in terms of your design philosophy?

Jamie Drake Those words do capture what our work embodies. What we create in our designs are spaces that are one-of-a-kind – truly bespoke for each client – that reflect their personalities and passions. We do love lush materials and unique pieces and select those carefully and thoughtfully to entice and beguile the senses and experience.

Photographer credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Do you have any anecdotes you can share about favorite projects from the book?

Jamie Drake The last project featured, House in the Woods (in upstate New York), was bought by the clients on a whim in a split second. They were not looking for another residence; they were already blessed with many. But they fell in love with this house in isolation, as did we. We lovingly restored it and updated it, as it was sadly in quite poor condition, and honored its elegant simplicity. It is definitely on the minimal end of our design spectrum, yet has many lush and sumptuous moments, which are emblematic of our work.

Photographer credit: Brittany Ambridge

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury What are you loving right now in interior design?

Jamie Drake We rejoice in the continued growth and enthusiastic embrace of sustainable solutions. The increased use of planet-friendly choices that are beautiful and luxurious – ceramic tiles glazed with pigments solely derived from industrial metal waste, gorgeous handwoven textiles that glimmer with recycled cassette tape fiber, and IceStone recycled glass and non-toxic pigment countertop material – are favorites of Drake/Anderson and our clients. Our clients are very excited when we talk about designing for healthy living and for a healthy planet and are ready to embrace it. The selection of sustainable material is quite vast, and only requires a conscious effort to incorporate.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Do you have a favorite type of project or space to design?

Jamie Drake No, all spaces and rooms can be inspiring places to design. A small closet can be as aesthetically delightful to conceive as a vast ballroom!

Photographer credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury What is it about your partnership that makes you so sought after?

Jamie Drake Our voice of sophisticated, creative, sensitive solution creation is what draws our clients. The dazzle and drama, sometimes softly spoken, other times a louder aria, are certainly compelling characteristics.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Can you describe your creative process and how you work together? Has that evolved over the years?

Jamie Drake The creative process is a joint dialogue. We work in an open office and the structure of our team fosters and encourages dialogue during the design phase, which we lead.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury How do your designs vary depending on where you are and what type of property you’re designing?

Jamie Drake Each project starts with the client: who they are, and what their needs are. Our projects are location appropriate. It would be very odd to do a tropical, beachy themed design in the mountains of Colorado. And, as we are most excited by new challenges, by creating each time anew, through our lens, it is a pleasure to design for the geography.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury There has been much conversation around interior design becoming more casual, comfortable and livable during the COVID quarantine period, when people were spending more time at home. Have you experienced this with clients, and, if so, how has it impacted your designs?

Jamie Drake Comfort is different for everyone. Many of our clients – if not all – find a fine and polished home the greatest comfort. They want to live in a residence with great backgrounds, and polished, high-quality furnishings, pieces that are distinctive and have a voice and details and materials that are delightful and delicious. The desire to live well is as old as man.

By Jaymi Naciri

This article originally appeared in Homes & Estates

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The BOLD and the Beautiful: Drake/Anderson

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