Apartment tour: Studio in the Financial District

Designer Christopher Crawford has a knack for mixing antiques with modern pieces for a totally timeless aesthetic.

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  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    For the past four years, fashion designer Christopher Crawford has rented his...

    For the past four years, fashion designer Christopher Crawford has rented his loftlike 900-square-foot studio in the swank Armani/Casa--designed condo 20 Pine the Collection (20pine.com). But it didn't take long for those around him to notice his artistic flair for interior design: Once his neighbor started doing the sales push for the building, she immediately tapped Crawford to decorate some of its model apartments. "I have a whole storage unit in the building filled with the weird stuff I pick up, and this is a good opportunity to use it," he notes. "It's either that or I become a hoarder."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    When it comes to his own living space, Crawford likes to mix old with new for a...

    When it comes to his own living space, Crawford likes to mix old with new for a modern yet timeless aesthetic. "I'd call it, 'retired grandma and grandpa from the southeast move into a luxury condo,'" he muses of his pad's decor. "Its always changing. When it's a job, it needs to be done, but when it's your own apartment, it's always evolving." He picked up the abstract painting at the West 25th Street Market and got the pair of armchairs during one of his many trips to Paris. The wall of cabinetry serves as his kitchen and conceals the refrigerator and other appliances. "It looks like you can just warm pasta, but the kitchen is actually good for cooking," he swears.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    This sectional sofa was a showroom sample from a now-closed New Jersey...

    This sectional sofa was a showroom sample from a now-closed New Jersey furniture store owned by Crawford's friend. "It's cream-colored cashmere, which I thought, when I didn't have dogs, was a good idea---but now it's their jungle gym," he sighs. "I'm in the market for a new couch." He covers up any imperfections with a throw that once belonged to his grandmother.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    A metal steamer trunk purchased in Crawford's home state of Florida ("the land...

     A metal steamer trunk purchased in Crawford's home state of Florida ("the land of amazing vintage and thrift stores") serves as a coffee table and displays various books that were gifts from friends. Perched on top of everything is a bejeweled tiger brooch Crawford found in Dallas. "I call it my Coming to America brooch because it's so big and heavy that it takes two pins just to put it on," he jokes. "The only way you can wear it is over your shoulder, otherwise it's lewd."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    In lieu of a bulky revolving spice rack, Crawford stores his herbs and...

    In lieu of a bulky revolving spice rack, Crawford stores his herbs and seasonings in this sleek one composed of clear test tubes from Dean & Deluca (locations throughout the city; visit deandeluca.com). "I gave them out as Christmas gifts one year because I think they're so pretty," he says.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Though it looks delicious, you wouldn't want to eat this glass-enclosed coconut...

    Though it looks delicious, you wouldn't want to eat this glass-enclosed coconut cake, which is a sculpture made by Crawford's artist friend LaShunda Hamner.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Crawford used house paint and fabric to create this Rorschach ink-blot--inspired...

    Crawford used house paint and fabric to create this Rorschach ink-blot--inspired piece. "I made one for a model apartment and then I liked it so much, I made one for myself," he explains.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    It took Crawford roughly a year to accumulate the glass jar's worth of loose...

    It took Crawford roughly a year to accumulate the glass jar's worth of loose change. "I don't like to carry change around and I never make it to Coinstar---it's embarrassing going there," he laughs. "Anytime someone gives me change, like at Starbucks, I give it to them as a tip. It's not real money to me." His underestimated wealth sits next to oil cans that belonged to his grandfather, who was a mechanic.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Decorative fragrance lamps from French company Lampe Berger (lampeberger.com)...

    Decorative fragrance lamps from French company Lampe Berger (lampeberger.com) jazz up the living room console. "My parents went to Paris on their honeymoon a million years ago and [brought back] one for their house," says Crawford, who now collects them himself.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Crawford's ex-boyfriend gave him this Japanese "magic box" that only unfastens...

    Crawford's ex-boyfriend gave him this Japanese "magic box" that only unfastens with a code. "I don't even know how to open it," he admits. "People use them to hide secrets."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    "Storage items are always really ugly, so I try to find things that have a...

    "Storage items are always really ugly, so I try to find things that have a storage value but are also sort of neat looking," says Crawford, who has an abundance of steamer trunks and old suitcases stacked around the apartment. Crawford picked up this trio on trips to London, Florida and Los Angeles. "Everything that closes in this apartment contains things."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Crawford bought this Eames lounge chair on eBay and discovered the crocheted...

    Crawford bought this Eames lounge chair on eBay and discovered the crocheted throw at a barn sale in Kentucky. "It's like middle America's version of a yard sale, except it's in a barn," he explains. The ashtray is a holdover from his college days.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    To separate the dining room from his bedroom, Crawford had green contractor Ed...

    To separate the dining room from his bedroom, Crawford had green contractor Ed Nugent (nugentcm.com) create this reclaimed-wood divider. "I was at Frette and they have headboards made out of this wood in the showroom," he says of his inspiration. "I thought it was so cool." As a result, this CB2 table---flanked by Kartell chairs and stools Crawford picked up at a stoop sale---has its own defined area. The patinated crystal chandelier is from a Paris flea market.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    "I always make fun of teenage girls for liking horses, but they have such...

    "I always make fun of teenage girls for liking horses, but they have such pretty faces," concedes Crawford, who adorned his dining room table with an equine figurine he picked up while teaching kindergarten in Compton, California, and a horse-head vase that currently stores even more loose change.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Various knickknacks---a porcelain wizard that a friend brought back from...

    Various knickknacks---a porcelain wizard that a friend brought back from Australia, a ceramic camel Crawford bought in Dallas, a diamond-ring paperweight that was a gift from a friend in college---adorn the top of a liquor cabinet Crawford uses to store board games. The painting was a flea-market find. "I just like her yellow dress," he offers. "She looks like a librarian."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    "When you're back here, you feel like you're in another room, but you still...

    "When you're back here, you feel like you're in another room, but you still have light," says Crawford, referring to his bedroom nook. He uses a thick wool army blanket as a comforter, and hangs his own self-portraits and a triptych from his friend Angela Deane (angeladeane.com) alongside a gallery of paintings that were all gifts. "I tend to buy artwork based on color, not content," he admits.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    A self-portrait of Crawford's artist friend Jen Kelly hangs above an opulent...

    A self-portrait of Crawford's artist friend Jen Kelly hangs above an opulent dresser, one of a pair from an auction at Tepper Galleries (110 E 25th St between Park and Lexington Aves; 212-677-5300, teppergalleries.com). "I bought these one day when I was feeling really rich," he laughs. "I was imagining my country house and my gigantic white bathroom where I'd have these two beautiful commodes."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    This taxidermied deer hoof doubles as an ashtray

    This taxidermied deer hoof doubles as an ashtray.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Crawford discovered this decorative basin at the West 25th Street Market. "It's...

    Crawford discovered this decorative basin at the West 25th Street Market. "It's only mine temporarily," he admits. "I bought it for my next-door neighbor and said, 'This is yours,' but I've never given it to her."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    A few coats of canary-yellow paint enliven a once-gold mirror from New Jersey...

    A few coats of canary-yellow paint enliven a once-gold mirror from New Jersey auction house Time and Again Antiques (timeandagainantiques.com).

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Yet another horse head pops up in Crawford's bathroom, this time in the form of...

    Yet another horse head pops up in Crawford's bathroom, this time in the form of a pedestal he purchased at a yard sale. "I'm embarrassed; I'm a teenage girl," he laughs. "I need a pink rotary phone so I can sit on that [and gab]."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Rather than use a run-of-the-mill shower caddy, Crawford displays his bath...

    Rather than use a run-of-the-mill shower caddy, Crawford displays his bath products on top of a tree stump in his shower. "Fortunately I'm not a girl, so there aren't many things that I need, like razors and such," he points out.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

    Floorplan

    Floorplan

Photograph: Imogen Brown

For the past four years, fashion designer Christopher Crawford has rented his...

For the past four years, fashion designer Christopher Crawford has rented his loftlike 900-square-foot studio in the swank Armani/Casa--designed condo 20 Pine the Collection (20pine.com). But it didn't take long for those around him to notice his artistic flair for interior design: Once his neighbor started doing the sales push for the building, she immediately tapped Crawford to decorate some of its model apartments. "I have a whole storage unit in the building filled with the weird stuff I pick up, and this is a good opportunity to use it," he notes. "It's either that or I become a hoarder."

Frette 799 Madison Ave between 67th and 68th Sts (212-988-5221, frette.com)
Crawford buys nearly all of his bedsheets and bath towels from this high-end linens shop. "The sheets always look pretty, but they're a pain because you have to iron them," he laments.

Pearl Paint 308 Canal St between Broadway and Church St (212-431-7932, pearlpaint.com)
This megastore for affordable art supplies is where Crawford picks up canvases and paint for the wall art he creates. "I go there just because it's close and they have everything," he says.

West 25th Street Market W 25th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave (hellskitchenfleamarket.com)
"It's hands-down the best if you want something that's really interesting and you don't have a huge budget," enthuses Crawford of this weekends-only bazaar. "You can spend a fortune there, too; it just depends on who's there and what they have."

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