While the contractors diligently progress–on schedule and within budget–Michael and his support team are busy developing concepts and schemes for the interior architecture. For Michael, it’s about choosing sustainable and unique materials that set the stage and help capture “the movie in his head.”
“Life with Michael is like living on a highly varied diet. You’re a carnivore one day and a vegan
the next. Some days you’re listening to Bach and some days to Jimi Hendrix. Each Project has its own totems, its own themes. Every complete set is different.”
– Oscar Shamamian
All decisions revert back and are always related to, the original story. Layered textures of limestone, marble, quartzite, alabaster, shagreen, white oak, and bronze take center stage as a major source of inspiration and Michael is particularly focused on the exceptional beauty of straw marquetry panels. To achieve the signature patterns of this extraordinary material, pieces of straw are painstakingly split, then soaked in water, and afterward ironed to lay flat. Only the finest artisans employing the most delicate of techniques can achieve the radiant highs and lows in the marquetry, which was a favorite material of master-craftsmen like Jean-Michel Frank, Jean Royère and André Groult.
Other contemporary contenders include the stunning works by the brilliant artist Nancy Lorenz, who specializes in creating lacquered art panels inset with gold and silver leaf, gesso, clay, resin, and mother-of-pearl. Ms. Lorenz is a favorite collaborator of Michaels, and the two together have produced exquisite installations over the years and around the globe.
Combined with woven raffia wallcovering, Venetian plaster walls, and white ivory terrazzo flooring, this symphony of materials slowly begins to transform and breathe life into Mapleton’s very foundation. There are a sophisticated richness and warmth developing, and a direction that will surely set the foundation for the next stages of design development for the House on Mapleton Drive.
Photography by Romy Reiner