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French designer C. S. Valentin’s home base is in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, but he splits his time among clients in New York, Mexico, and Los Angeles. His NYC outpost—a rental in a prewar building—is more like a test kitchen than a full-time residence. Valentin calls it a “mid-mod
wunderkammer” (cabinet of curiosities). “It’s a collage of many projects, the cities I’ve lived in, and what inspires me at the moment,” he says. After moving in two years ago, Valentin has come up with inventive solutions to tenant living: He converted the walk-in closet into a pocket-size bedroom, overlaid the kitchen countertops with cork, added a painted backsplash, and used lampshades to cover existing fixtures. Join us for a tour.
Photography by Jonathan Hokklo for Remodelista.
Above: To divide the rooms, Valentin came up with an unconventional solution: yellow strip curtains, the kind typically used in industrial food storage facilities, suspended from a hospital drop chain sourced from a medical supply website. The black metal and leather chairs are Arnold Lounge Chairs from Valentin’s company, Bogus Studio ($980 each); the jute Osted Rug is from Ikea. The light fixture is a rental hack—Ikea’s Sinnerlig Bamboo Shade—to cover up the landlord’s less appealing ceiling fixture.
Above: The sofa is a midcentury modern American daybed of unknown origin; it’s also a place of experimentation for Valentin to try out new ideas (i.e., linen upholstery paired with raffia skirting). The coffee table, too—a 1960s French piece from a Paris flea market—is where he experiments with wood dyes and waxes. The magazine rack is the Folded Vessel by Chen & Kai, the striped pillows and throw blanket are by Valentin, the plant pots are by David Haskell of DGH Studio, and the stool is the Alvar Aalto Stool 60 in yellow.
Above: A pair of Alvar Aalto 112 Shelves is mounted above a vintage black George Nelson Platform Bench (a blanket of Valentin’s own design is folded on top of the bench). To the right of the bench is a yellow Bogus Studio Arnold Bar Chair and a wall-mounted swing arm lamp from Rejuvenation (no longer available) mounted above; Valentin removed the shade so the lamp would more closely resemble the Jean Prouvé Potence Lamp.
Above: On top of the radiator, Valentin has assembled a collection of home scents (eucalyptus, a Cire Trudon candle, Astier De Villatte Awaji Incense). To the right is an Artek Alvar Aalto 611 Chair.
Above: Valentin’s home office has a vintage black desk, an Eames & Saarinen Organic Chair, a rug from Oaxaca, Mexico, and a wall sconce from Rejuvenation (no longer available). The shelves are Alvar Aalto 112 Shelves—a spray-painted one is mixed and matched with another in birch.
Above: Valentin bought the 19th-century painting of a Russian cadet at the Admiral Vernon Antique Market on Portobello Road in London. On the desk is a vintage bronze lamp, a colorful glass lamp globe repurposed as a vase, and a yellow 1960s Eclipse Lamp by Joe Colombo.