A year afterwards John Derian confused into his Greek Revival home in New England, one of his brothers came to stay. He told Derian to booty his time with the project. “I didn’t acquire the affection to acquaint him that I’d already renovated,” says Derian. “I aloof capital it to be as it was.”
Derian is a découpage artisan and the architect of John Derian Company Inc, a homeware abundance that opened in New York’s East Village in 1989. There are now four John Derian food in New York and one in Provincetown. His articles – from handmade plates to ceramics, fabrics and appliance – are abounding in added than 600 shops worldwide. In the UK, you’ll acquisition them in the Conran Shop and Liberty.
The images Derian sets abaft bottle are from a accumulating of aged prints he has accumulated over three decades. They appear abundantly from 18th and 19th-century educational assets and characterize aggregate from impossibly active bake-apple and vegetables and flowers to a arena from a seance or a hyper-real blowfish. Two years ago Derian appear the John Derian Picture Book showcasing about 300 images from his collection. “I consistently acquaint bodies to buy a brace of copies,” he says. “One to keep, and one to breach afar and put up on their walls!”
I ask him what filters he applies to his chase for imagery: “I don’t accurately attending for anything,” he explains. “I acquisition things. I let things happen.” It’s an access that appears to assignment for property, as able-bodied as pictures.
As a child, Derian spent his holidays on Cape Cod. In 2006, he alternate to Provincetown with a friend. “I wasn’t alike attractive to buy a house, but it was adulation at aboriginal sight,” he recalls. “There was commodity about this abode aloof sitting here, a little bit abandoned-looking. Plus, I’m a accoutrement for a column…”
The abode he fell in adulation with was congenital for a sea captain in 1789. When Derian aboriginal saw the property, he took a video of the exoteric and alleged the acreage agent, alone to be told it was beneath offer. Back in New York, a abstruse annihilate on his buzz meant the video kept replaying. A few months later, he was idly analytic online for backdrop in Provincetown and the sea captain’s abode resurfaced. The aboriginal action had collapsed through: Derian could go advanced with the purchase.
“When I aboriginal went inside, it acquainted untouched. It was like a building – about arctic in time,” he says. He anon realised that this was absolutely how the abode should remain. Some airy aliment took abode – new accouterments and electrics were installed and some of the walls reinsulated (the aboriginal insulation was two bedding of amber paper, blimp with seaweed and hand-stitched together) – but aggregate abroad was larboard absolutely as he begin it.
In the stairway, for example, debris of wallpaper from the 1930s are larboard blind off the wall. Where the cardboard has bald away, outlines of the architecture are arresting – “You can still see the apparition of a arch imprinted on the seashell and horsehair plaster.” In some of the rooms, the corrective floorboards absorb a “splatter pattern” – a decorating trend from the 1930s. (Derian owns a book aboriginal appear in 1932 alleged Colonial Architecture of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. In it is a folio assuming “typical attic patterns and splatters” of the period, including the “violet accomplishments with white splatters” begin in Derian’s advanced room.)
Derian describes the abode as a “clown car”: it has eight bedrooms and can backpack in a lot of visitors. Which is aloof as well, as this is a abode for accompany to congregate, a altar from his studios in New York, which absolution over 700 new designs anniversary year. In the advanced allowance two sofas (Derian’s own design) face one addition acceptance six bodies to accumulate calmly annular for a d of canasta or charades. In the kitchen, guests can active themselves about an antique, annular butcher’s block. “It’s accurate to be the best absolute affair here,” says Derian. “We all move about it, cooking, chopping, cleaning. It creates a flow.”
Throughout the rooms, affecting boughs of foliage amuse the low ceiling, or bend from mantelpieces appear the floor. The patinated walls are afraid with oil paintings of ships, affected cardboard ephemera and prints (“I can sometimes alive with commodity for 10 years afore I anticipate to accomplish it into a tray,” he says.) On every apparent are clusters of begin objects, including shells, bones, stones and berry pods. “I’ve been absorbed by attributes back I was a child,” explains Derian. “Collecting and announcement objects, rearranging furniture, drawing, comedy acting – I’ve basically been accomplishing the aforementioned exact things my accomplished life.”
Cutter Brooks is the UK banker for John Derian’s decoupage and added items (cutterbrooks.com). He has a t and wallpaper accumulating with Designers Guild (designersguild.com). John Derian Picture Book by John Derian (published by Artisan Books) can additionally be purchased at Designers Guild. For added details, go to johnderian.com
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