Interior designer Jamie Drake is a man with a vision. And it is always in color. A splash of the bold and the dramatic along with beautiful classic shapes are his signature style and the preferred taste of his high-profile clients, who include Madonna and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Monica recently visited the "King of Color" at his New York City apartment where she photographed him with one of his most prized possessions: the chair of his beloved grandmother. Here, Drake shares his gracious side, his city pride, and how style is encoded in his DNA.
Tell us how you came to own this precious object.
"I inherited this chair when my father's mother died 20 years ago. I had always admired its elegant lines and delicate proportion. It will always remind me of her and my grandfather's lovely home. Though I've had it reupholstered three times and the frame refinished in a fumed metallic silver, it's still my Nana's chair!"
How do you live with your heirloom?
"Since the chair arrived in my life, it has moved with me three times. It currently resides in the living room of my temporary apartment. Before that, it was in a bedroom and earlier in a living room. The chair has not enjoyed residence in the kitchen or bath--yet!"
Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
"Certainly my mother. I grew up in a house that was beautifully decorated. She entertained often, serving what was considered at the time extremely sophisticated cuisine, which she cooked herself. For many years, she had a floral business that was 95 percent plastic or dried, which was popular during 60's and early 70's. I was especially taken with her creations that combined feathers and dried pods. She dressed with flair and had an enormous wardrobe (still does!). She encouraged my artistic style and zest for fine dining and living well."
What was the most memorable gift you've ever given or received?
"My first trip to Paris when I was 20-years-old was the best gift ever. To arrive in the city of light and explore and revel in all its beauty was a fantastic expression of affection."[Fill in the blank]
Whenever I look at ___"the New York skyline"___, I can't help but smile.
What's the best part of your day?
"I love the cocktail hour with friends. When the first drink arrives, the catching up and stories begin."
What was your last purchase that you believe (or hope) will mean something to you 10 years from now?
"My new apartment in far west Chelsea. I have yet to move in, but I know it will be fantastic
when I'm finally able to."
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