I am thrilled that my dear friend Matthew Kowles's apartment was featured in the latest issue of Lonny. I'd write about Matthew's good taste and excellent style even if I didn't know him, but I do know Matthew and I adore him.
Matthew and I met the summer after we both graduated from college. Working for the Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, we lived in cabines in a county park. That summer, we went to the beach each morning, worked at the festival in the evenings and went back to the beach each night for a bonfire with the rest of the cast and crew--it was one of the finest summers of my life.
Matthew and I were both headed back to New York City at the end of the summer, and we ended up living together in Harlem for a year. We were young, broke and living on hand-me-downs (including a hideous couch we'd been given by an acquaintance). However, we were handy and made the most of our meager décor budget. It was clear then that Matt had a serious knack for decorating.
Fast forward more than a decade: I've been writing about homes and decorating since our summer in Montauk, and Matthew has been working in the design world. Today, he is the general manager of Charlotte Moss's interior design firm. (Charlotte is one of the best-known and finest decorators in America.) Matthew is certainly my most stylish friend--and also the most charming.
Lonny quotes Matthew as saying, "Fashion is just the next thing, but style is a way of being." I think that's a very apt description for his interior style: Classic, not trendy. He mixes old and new in a way that looks incredibly fresh and smart. His studio apartment is a study in high design on a small scale. I can't wait to see what he'll do for his next project.
The wall-mounted sconces and floating bookshelves are both great examples of how Matthew has made the most of a teeny-tiny space. The Ballard Designs sofa shows Matthew's ability to find great-looking pieces at reasonable price points.
Of all the beautiful touches in Matthew's apartment, everyone seems to respond to the double desks (above and below); a glass slab on chrome sawhorses cover a vintage desk that Matthew found in his grandfather's garage. If he's having friends for dinner, he pulls the glass table out and uses it as a dining table.
I love the arrangement of objets beneath the glass, and I am dying to steal this idea for my own home.
Matthew scored this this marble-topped table for a song at a Housing Works auction. (Matthew has produced several show rooms for Design on a Dime for Charlotte Moss.)
Matthew takes the curtains in lieu of closet doors to the next level by hanging the curtains from chic, brass cabinet knobs.
Matthew's collection of clock faces in his studio's bathroom is a prime example of how he uses found objects as artwork--I love this display. Hopefully, I will get a chance to post more of Matthew's interior design work sometime soon!
All photographs by Patrick Cline for Lonny.