Designer stakes her claim to glamorous minimalism with a picture book, Jennifer Post Pure Space.
Jennifer Post’s clients want her signature look – ultra-modern interiors that are tailored and serene yet blinkingly luxurious. Homes she creates are predominately white with glass walls, limited color palettes, low-rise contemporary furniture, high ceilings, outdoor views, and carefully curated accessories. Her elegant transformations begin with reordering the interior architecture and end with accessorizing finished rooms. For some patrons this creates the opportunity to unload a lifetime of “stuff” and start fresh in a supremely calm, fully customized living space.
Now, eighteen Post projects are extensively documented in a hefty picture book Jennifer Post Pure Space (Rizzoli, $50). This collection of big, glorious images is destined to inspire coming decades of contemporary designers – her vision is that original.
Ms. Post’s practice is based on gut renovations and complete refurnishing of entire houses, a process that is aspirational for most of us, at least at this level. So the value here lies in the presentation of her design ideas we can take for ourselves. Back in February, we coincidentally featured a Jennifer Post bedroom with interior glass walls (page p.200-201 in the book) and one of our readers asked: “Do you know the manufacturer of this glass wall? My finance and I are looking for this exact piece!”
Anyone seriously interested in modern home design might want to look closely at the way Post handles certain concepts. Interior glass walls top the list. A master bedroom in a New York skyscraper shows how logical it feels to have transparent walls — a glass slider separates the bedroom from the dressing room, allowing natural light to come deep inside. When privacy is required a motorized shade can be raised or lowered with the flick of a switch. The double layer of sheer curtains provides a full range of light control for the picture window overlooking Manhattan. Less, rather than more, is true of bedroom furniture such as the white leather-upholstered bed from Poltrona Frau. Ms. Post favors Italian furniture, she told me. An area rug is set over a marble floor that runs throughout the apartment.
Spa-style bathrooms with major exterior views are another Post precept. In a sybaritic 5000-square-foot Miami penthouse, the master bath includes a wet room with a center window overlooking the ocean. The tub is placed directly against the window wall but still takes a back seat to the massive shower, set up with six heads, four hand showers and two overhead rain shower heads. (It’s hedonistic Miami and there’s also a “yoga terrace,” OK?) Dornbracht fixtures are among the shower systems Post prefers, complete with all the extra valves and levers to make fine adjustments in a bathing experience equipped with every option. The deep, floating custom trough sink, with its long towel bar and storage below, also is designed to put comfort at the owner’s fingertips.
Public rooms Post reconfigures have high ceilings and vertical lines combined with contemporary furniture that is comfortable but low and lightly scaled. In a Manhattan living room with panoramic views, the 60s-vintage furniture appears to hug the floor.
Apart from the minimalist architectural principles to which Post adheres, the book is free of statements about theory and philosophy. If you don’t get it from the photos, you won’t. However, a floor plan for each project opens every chapter – something missing from many interior design books though it is key to the work. So it’s easy to see how Post’s super-sleek, brightly lit kitchens — often white or stainless – relate to the rest of house. Like bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchens are open, with views. And while it may not be obvious at first glance, they are superbly equipped as well. This family kitchen in a legendary New York apartment house includes an eating bar and opens onto a dining space with a huge flat-screen TV set flush and centered on the wall facing the kitchen.
Interior design books are often written by a collaborator who is able to capture the designer’s voice and spirit and channel it through a confection that blends ideas, observations and facts. In this text by Anna Kasabian, accolades, flowery prose and furniture credits are all there is. It would be great to have some of Ms. Post’s own words in the brief introductions to each project. Additionally, there is a barely-there foreword by the now-retired Architectural Digest editor, Paige Rense, who uses her space to take a bow for discovering Post, “a great talent,” and one of AD’s top 100 designers in the world. Also, the common internet sin of “Carrera” instead of Carrara in reference to marble makes me wonder whether the editor went missing. Yet these are reviewer’s quibbles. The downy text makes for an easy read but the superb pictures contain all the important ideas and create the quality of the book. Jennifer Post’s minimalism is indeed elegant, as the title aptly suggests. What’s more it is — dare I say — opulent, in the best sense of the word.
The closest I have ever come to a dream house may well be this 3500-square-foot, 1960s ranch house in Los Angeles which Jennifer designed for a celebrity client. It features running water in the entry, furnishings in tones of sand and cream, ample entertaining space, a spectacular bathroom, and an 80-foot terrace with dining and sitting areas in addition to a pool. I would feel remiss if I didn’t include a tour. All photos: Roger Davies. (To view photos individually, click on the small gray squares at the top).
(Source: Images from “Jennifer Post Pure Space.” © 2012 by Jennifer Post. Text© 2012 by Anna Kasabian. Used with permission. Headshot via Architectural Digest.)
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