Aric Chen -- Interior Design, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Want a better view of what makes New York's leading residential designers tick? You could page through their portfolios, but be prepared for the occasional disclaimer. ("That Canterbury Tales mural was the client's idea, not mine.") Meanwhile, show houses are—intentionally—temporary fantasies that can neglect such important factors as, say, actual use.
Designers' own offices, however, act simultaneously as public showcases and personal statements. Paul Siskin's two small rooms feel as casual yet measured as the designer himself. The home of Mark Zeff's firm, which also specializes in branding and media, unites graphic thinking with business-mindedness. Victoria Hagan's premises reflect her flair for sumptuous restraint, while Bruce Bierman's headquarters are more overtly modern in their clarity and openness. And Jamie Drake proves himself as uninhibited as we always want him to be. Uptown or down, these five studios lie at the happy intersection of creativity and functionality.