great rooms

An Elegantly DIY Williamsburg Apartment With a Vreeland-Red Wall

Taylor Angino and Kiko Sih’s place is always evolving.

The living room. Photo: Annie Schlechter
The living room. Photo: Annie Schlechter

The hardest decision to land is the color of the wall,” says Kiko Sih of the discussions that he and his fiancé, Taylor Angino, had about decorating their second apartment together, in a building in Williamsburg that once housed sweatshops. And everything follows from there. Take the red wall: Once they settled on the color, “we realized our apartment had the spirit of a Russian dacha,” Angino says. “There was nothing but the feathered, gilded round mirror. We thought, Why not make it feel even more like a dacha? Let’s cover it with plates! And so we did. Of every color and origin and corner of the planet.” Sih, the global director of communications and brand events at Marc Jacobs, adds, “We finished the collection with four plates that we bought over the summer in Maine, including a pair of Crown Derby Dagonet, a reference to one of my favorite books, Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence.

Red Wall: The collection of plates is from “a drunken pandemic-quarantine project of plates acquired online from 1stdibs and Chairish,” Sih says, and the mirror is one of two he found at a flea market in Brussels. “The other one I gifted to my sister and lives happily in her home in São Paulo.” Photo: Annie Schlechter
Living Room: Sih and Angino’s coffee table is always piled with books. Photo: Annie Schlechter

Sih was born in São Paulo, and his career has taken him to China, where he produced operas and cultural events, to Italy, where he received his M.B.A., and to France, where he worked for Givenchy under Riccardo Tisci until moving back to New York to work for Marc Jacobs. Angino grew up in California, came east for school, and majored in art and costume history at Connecticut College. He got an internship at Vogue after graduation and went on to become an associate fashion editor (working with, as it happens, my sister, Tonne Goodman) before striking out on his own. He made the painting hanging in the hall, a riff on Raphael’s ca. 1506 Portrait of Young Woman With Unicorn (not shown). “I was inspired by Renaissance portraiture, how it’s not too dissimilar from today’s Instagram culture,” he says.

Everything in the apartment tells a story. Take the sofa Sih brought back from Paris: “The color is eau de Nil,” he says. “According to my opera mentor from when I was living in Shanghai, Lady Linda Wong Davies, it was one of the most popular shades of velvet in the city during the Art Deco era.” The medieval armored glove they bought at an antiques shop in Connecticut. “I found it so romantic,” Angino says. “Twenty-four hours after I purchased this glove, I was proposed to. It was as if the universe was giving me little clues as to what was to come!” The playing cards were made for a Marc Jacobs event by Brian Stevenson. The Patricia Urquiola rocking chair was purchased “at the end of the Milan Furniture Fair for a steal” from a “tipsy” Urquiola herself, Kiko Sih adds. “This swivel chair is by the Bouroullec brothers. It’s the comfiest armchair in the world.”

The Dining Area and Library Niche: “This is from Syria via John Derian,” Sih says of the chandelier. “It makes us happy. I told my twin nephews it’s an alien cocoon that will one day spawn if they misbehave.” Over the entry to the library niche is a Kuba cloth that was found on 1stdibs and “miraculously fits that patch of wall,” Sih says. The shelves are from Ikea. Photo: Annie Schlechter
The Kitchen: “The Le Creuset pots and pans were a series of birthday and Christmas presents from Taylor,” Sih says. “The photograph above is by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, whose son lives in my parents’ building.” Photo: Annie Schlechter

“My favorite Brazilian saying translates to ‘No fear of being happy,’ ” says Sih. Adds Angino, “We have tried to incorporate that into the decorating of our apartment — to just go for it. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll take it down and try something else.”

*This article appears in the January 18, 2021, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

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