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Designing Homes - 'East Coast Style' - A New York State of Isabelle Miaja


New York….I remember being Eighteen, arriving from Paris, and being totally taken over by the city. The Empire State Building and the World Trade Centre amongst seven other thousands of skyscrapers were the tallest buildings I had ever seen, they made my head turn in disbelief. Even the movies I grew up with such as Taxi Driver, The French Connection, or Woodie Allan’s Annie Hall, could not prepare me to the sight, smell, and buzz of that incredible metropolis. I was like a moth to a light…mesmerised!

To the Parisian born, growing up amongst the old beloved buildings of the City of Lights, New York felt like a giant neon to Paris’s dimmed lamp posts. It was love at first sight!

I spent a few years working in the United States, in New York amongst other cities, designing homes. One of those apartment’s address was at the Dorchester on Central Park. You can imagine the spring in my walk as I threaded the streets, having achieved the dream of being part of the city’s life and actually contributing to what we call: The East Coast Style.

The East Coast has a reputation for elegance and sophistication. Homes here tend to be older, so naturally, they have a more traditional look and feel. To match that vibe, patterns are on the formal side - Colours are monochromatic and stripes are classic and chic.

We associate ceremony and formality with the East Coast lifestyle, and East Coast homes are a reflection of those traditions. We’re more likely to see formal living rooms used for family gatherings and special occasions.

New York throws glamourous parties in the East Side of Manhattan. recounted by Patrick Dennis in his novel “Auntie Mame” – the famous Number 3 Beekman Place was the place to be and we recall with nostalgia, my children and I, the fun afternoons watching Rosalind Russel redecorating her apartment.

In this design, we chose to show a perfectly synchronised and beautifully coordinated room. The colour palette does not stray from about three to four carefully chosen neutral tones. The details will also have similar design roots, keeping everything precise, polished, and pulled together.

New York interiors are as diverse and different as the people who live in them – from traditionally elegant brownstone buildings to Greenwich Village loft apartments; cool, classic, and chic to funky and formidable. The style reflects the city’s unique blend of cultures, ideas, and creativity as well as sophistication and, I would love to imagine Paule Marshall, New York City’s most ground-breaking author, writing her critically acclaimed novel, "Brown Girl, Brownstones sitting" at the desk and see her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards hanging on one of the walls.

New York will always have a hold on me and I finish designing this apartment, putting the final touches humming the same Billy Joel’s song I used to sing when walking the streets of Manhattan…Today, I feel I am too, in a “New York state of mind”.  Like him, I too want to “take a Greyhound on the Hudson River Line”…

Goodbye New York…ce n’est qu’un au revoir!

Isabelle Miaja

June 2020


To our Manhattan look – adding the works of Fine Art photographer David Yarrow brings in nature and movement to the space yet keeping the monochrome tonalities – By choosing “The Untouchables II” the power of the Elephant in all its majestic glory we bring back a symbolism common throughout many cultures.

In Asia, the elephant symbolizes wisdom, strength, and intelligence. In Africa, the elephant also reflects wisdom and in the Ashanti tradition, elephants were thought of as reincarnated human leaders from past times. The calmness and sheer strength of the elephant are virtues that many cultures would love to see become a part of their own identity. Elephant symbolism also represents sensitivity, wisdom, stability, loyalty, intelligence, peace, reliability, and determination, which are all seen in the animal's nature when observed in the wild.

By choosing this special artwork, a little message of wisdom and peace to permeate the room and hopefully beyond – seeing how our world needs to reflect on the upheavals we are going through - embracing the Elephant qualities would certainly help to accept what we cannot change and change what we can for the better of all.


Continuing with the East Coast concept - Introducing the works of Soonik Kwon - His modern art style of painting falls under a general label for artworks made from more than one material. Combining materials - in his case painting and graphite - is closely associated with a number of important developments in modern art. Cubist collages, Marcel Duchamp's readymades, and Dada assemblage formed key precedents for later generations working in mixed-media. Notably, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns - commonly associated with Neo-Dada - were instrumental in including different media on the painted canvas in the 1950s and '60s.

Soonik's geometry falls under Minimalism. It identifies works of art most often comprised of geometric shapes in simple arrangements and lacking any decorative or dynamic flourishes. These geometric shapes characterized the elemental or “bare bones” forms of art, which, according to critics, represented the culmination of modern art's progression toward the most simplified form of abstract art possible. His works add to the style of the apartment – continuing the monochromatism and simplicity which also confers sophistication – The layering effect of his work denotes a great sensitivity and contained emotion - the colours peep through on the edges - shyness and audacity mixed to give the viewer an extra dimension - the graphite painstaking process makes his work unique.

Soonik has gained his status as one of the leading contemporary artists in Korea and we are proud to represent him.








Side Table:


Accent Chair:


Armchairs: GINGER



Speaker: BEOLAB 18


Artwork (left):

The Untouchables II (2017) - 127 X 132

By David Yarrow

Standard Edition 4/12

Price Available Upon Request.

Artwork (left):

Pile & Rub - Chink (19-35) - 116.7 x 91cm

Mixed Media on Canvas

Price Available Upon Request.

Artwork (left):

Exclos 162 - Steel Sculpture (40 X 40 X 15cm)

Price Available Upon Request.

Original Design by Isabelle Miaja.

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For more information and artwork enquiry, please visit:

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