After Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson merged their design talents seven years ago, the duo has been creating magic ever since. Their New York-based design firm Drake/Anderson combines their fearless approach to modernist style and bold design, which is celebrated in their first-ever book Bold: The Interiors of Drake/Anderson.
The book, published by Rizzoli with Judith Nasatir, showcases several impressive projects from Manhattan to London to Arizona. While they approach each project with clients’ needs and the surrounding location in mind, their hallmark is using provocative materiality, textures and rich jewel tones. The book features 11 projects, including five never-seen-before projects, that showcase a range of styles.
“Although there’s a common language in our work, we work on a range of projects and in a range of styles, so we chose projects that reflected that for the book,” Jamie Drake tells Robb Report.
The duo’s work can be defined by dynamic eclecticism, always honoring the history of a home and building upon its surroundings. A standout project from the book and one close to the designers’ hearts is the House in the Woods in upstate New York—a glass house built in 2007 in the style of Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, two pioneers of modernist architecture, that they completely restored and furnished with custom and contemporary pieces.
“Each project is such a unique experience and some of them come with exciting travel or a need to delve into research in a different way,” says Caleb Anderson. “I love the house in upstate New York because it’s so serene and has such a connection to nature, but it was a very different project for us. Every time you went there it was a different experience. When we finished installing the project, it started to snow and was like being in a snow globe. It was the most magical experience being in the house.”
Unlike other designers, Drake and Anderson aren’t afraid to play with color and advise against being timid when it comes to incorporating that in their projects. Their designs are both refined, elegant and often unexpected. For example, a Tribeca residence featured in the book has a foyer full of incredible detail. Here you’ll find a parchment-wrapped console, a mirror framed in eggshell inlay, ebonized and satin brass accents. Meanwhile, the dining room’s lacquered buffet table and hand blown bubble-esque chandelier commands gentle attention. No detail is ever left to chance.
“It does require a level of confidence, but so much of what we do is finding interesting ways to marry different ideas, forms, textures and colors, but not being afraid of contrast and putting things together or trying things you wouldn’t necessarily expect to work,” Anderson says. “So much interest in a room comes from contrasts, whether that’s with furniture styles from different historical periods and finding ways to connect those or through a line, shape or form. It doesn’t have to be rigid.”
Soulfulness is another definitive characteristic of their work, and Drake says they’re passionate about finding pieces with age and history and offsetting a space full of contemporary furnishings.
“When I think of a piece having soul, I think about the desks and writing tables—like some of the antique pieces in the book—and who might have stepped there before we did or what they wrote,” Drake says. “Maybe their presence is emanating from it. It tells a deeper story.”