For Monique Gibson, design is about personality. It’s about listening to her clients and learning—and enabling them to discover—how they want to live.
Her incredible body of work and talent made it possible for her to decorate the house of stars such as Elton John, Meg Ryan and Jon Bon Jovi. Her studio is based in Manhattan since 2001. Here, with the two fireplaces going, she’ll offer up some of the Southern hospitality she learned growing up in Virginia.
Some of Monique Gibson’s most astonishing projects
The Charleston apartment had been gutted; it was a raw open space with concrete floors and steel beams and nothing else. The apartment, which has a spectacular view of Charleston Harbor, was ringed with 73 arched windows. Monique was told to keep all of them. The whimsical entrance hall off the elevator sets the upbeat tone for the whole apartment: it pays tribute to a 1939 room designed by the midcentury minimalist Jean-Michel Frank for the Institut Guerlain in Paris. The home’s color scheme is light and serene. The kitchen was a priority for Terri, since the client frequent hosts dinners and loves to invite guest chefs into her home. The room is designed for efficiency and maximum storage, which was a challenge since the corner space had two walls covered in windows that could not be blocked.
The owners of this spacious duplex loft—a writer who works at home and her filmmaker husband— envisioned a tranquil environment where they could raise their family and be creative without too much “visual noise” or distraction. In the upstairs bedroom, paint colors were matched to coral and aqua parakeet hues. The clients made a specific request for “no color” but did want their home to feel cozy and textured. The all-white space took on a new depth with the simple trick of staining the window surrounds a dark shade. Furniture and accessories in natural materials like walnut, linen, boiled wool, and cashmere made the neutral space feel grounded. Even here there were playful touches: the minimalist kitchen, where the open shelving is in live-edge reclaimed wood, got a backsplash in chalkboard slate (there is always a cup of white chalk on hand for writing or drawing on the wall).
Six weeks later, almost to the day, the house was complete. The client envisioned a house that would serve as his creative retreat—a place to write music, play guitar, and paint. Without doing anything drastic, Gibson started raising the heights of the doors in the central hall and creating a series of metal and glass doors that provide glimpses into the adjoining spaces. On one side is the movie room, where a Hollywood classic is always showing. Across the hall is the library, where we added a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. The dining table—at nearly 30 feet long, it fits the living hall to a T—holds the whole family for Thanksgiving dinner.
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