Famed for his devotion to the countryside, celebrated interiors photographer Simon Upton’s new coffee table book is perhaps surprising. Here, in this extract from ‘New York Interiors’ we share images from Simon’s love letter to what he describes as “the ultimate city”
INTERIOR DESIGNER STEPHEN SILLS COUNTRY HOME IN BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK. SILLS HAS RESTORED THE 1920S COLONIAL HOUSE SINCE BUYING IT IN THE 1990S, IMBUIG IT WITH HIS SIGNATURE TIMELESS AND UNIQUE STYLE. IMAGE: SIMON UPTON, ‘NEW YORK INTERIORS’
For more than 25 years, the interiors photographer Simon Upton has captured the homes of some of the world’s most famous faces and storied families. From the late Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth to Lenny Kravitz at home in Brazil, Upton’s atmospheric photography has revealed the private spaces of these public people for titles including The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest and Vogue.
Despite being known for his love of the British countryside, Upton harbours a special affection for New York and in his first monograph New York Interiors he shares his favourite homes in the place he calls “the ultimate city.”
What is it about New York that Upton finds so very appealing? As he writes in the book’s preface, “In a reflection of the city itself, the inhabitants of New York represent a melting pot of some of the most creative, interesting, resilient, hard-working, and fun-loving characters that it has been my pleasure to get to know.” Divided in two, the book features 21 Manhattan homes in its “City” section and eight nearby country retreats in “Getaway.”
Featuring the homes of tastemakers and designers including Hamish Bowles, Nicky Hasla and Steven Gambrel, and those created by interior designers such as Julie Hillman, New York Interiors shows the city in a new light – the serene and singular light that makes Simon Upton such a celebrated photographer.
THE INTERIOR DESIGNER STEVEN GAMBREL COMPLETELY REBUILT HIS WATERFRONT HOME IN SAG HARBOR, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, REIMAGINING IT AS “ONE THAT HAD BEEN OWNED BY A SUCCESSFUL NINETEENTH-CENTURY SEA CAPTAIN.” IMAGE: SIMON UPTON: NEW YORK INTERIORS
FASHION CREATIVE DIRECTOR NIAN FISH HAS LIVED IN HIS WEST VILLAGE APARTMENT SINCE 1999. THE VIVID RED OF HIS BEDROOM WALLS WAS CREATED WITH A COMBINATION OF GLAZES – CINNABAR RUBBED WITH OCHRES AND BROWNS. “I LIVE SURROUNDED BY COLOUR IN A COLOURLESS CITY – THE PERFECT BACKDROP”, HE SAYS. IMAGE: SIMON UPTON, ‘NEW YORK INTERIORS’
THIS MAISONETTE ON FIFTH AVENUE WAS “THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME” FOR INTERIOR DESIGNER JULIE HILLMAN. LOCATED IN THE FIRST LUXURY APARTMENT BLOCK TO BE BUILT ON FIFTH AVENUE BETWEEN 1910 AND 1912, IT STILL HAD ALL ITS ORIGINAL FEATURES IN TACT WHEN HILLMAN TOOK ON THE PROJECT. HER SENSITIVE AND SOPHISTICATED RESTORATION GAVE THIS “UNIQUELY NEW YORK” HOME A NEW LEASE OF LIFE. IMAGE: SIMON UPTON, ‘NEW YORK INTERIORS’
THE HUDSON VALLEY HOME OF ARTIST CARY LEIBOWITZ AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR SIMON LINCE IRREVERENTLY COMBINES ORIGINAL EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY DETAIL WITH MODERN ART. EXTENDED AND RESTORED BY ARCHITECT ROBERT VENTURI, HE DESIGNED A HUGE GLASS EXTENSION WHICH INCLUDES A STRIKING METAL FACADE BASED ON A 1700S CHINOISERIE ETCHING. IMAGE: SIMON UPTON, ‘NEW YORK INTERIORS’
THE INTERIOR DESIGNER MILES REDD BOUGHT HIS NOLITA HOME WITH HIS SISTER IN 1998, AND UNTIL 2016 THEY LIVED THERE TOGETHER; MILES AT THE TOP OF THE HOUSE AND HIS SISTER AND HER FAMILY AT THE BOTTOM. NOW LIVING THERE ALONE, REDD TRANSFORMED THE HOUSE INTO “SOMETHING MORE FRENCH IN FEELING. AS A DESIGNER, I LIKE TO SHAKE THINGS UP, AND TO STEP AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL TASTE AND EXPECTATION.” IMAGE: SIMON UPTON, ‘NEW YORK INTERIORS’
New York Interiors by Simon Upton, Vendome Press, £60
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