Ultra-popular clothing and accessories designer Kate Valentine Spade invites us into the Upper East Side apartment she shares with her husband/business partner Andy Spade and young daughter, courtesy of People magazine. She’s managed to snatch a free moment away from her new accessories line Frances Valentine to give us a whirlwind tour of her two favorite rooms.
In a spacious entry foyer that sets the tone for life chez Spade, wall-to-wall art is a jubilant mix of high, low, fun, fancy and family; daughter Bea’s contributions appear frequently beside flea market finds and valuable pieces. Among the many personal highlights are a drawing of Jacqueline Kennedy with a young John, and another drawing of a woman who reminds Spade of her mother. The foyer was, she says, “one of the reasons I bought the apartment because I love the fact that you had some breathing space…”
Bolder colors appear in the living room of the classically elegant pre-war apartment, but Spade explains things were kept “a little neutral,” to frame rather than overwhelm.
The living room is home to more collections from a life well-lived, including a family photo table, silver cigarette boxes, stacks of coffee table tomes, African art (her husband is a fan), gifts the couple gave one another through the years and more of Bea’s creations.
The key to what makes the space so enjoyable is that none of it is taken too seriously; Spade also makes the point that the living room is really used for living–though we’ll assume there’s someone to keep all of those charming collections camera-ready and dust-free. It’s a comfortable family space, visually creative and interesting, all of which add up to interior design that works. It’s neither minimal nor aggressively decorated and clearly able to weather the whirlwind of a busy family at home.
Toward the end, Kate appears all too ready to reclaim her home sans camera crew. The burdens of a busy life are many, and the Spades, who parted ways with the Kate Spade label in 2007, are consumed with their latest endeavor–to the point where Kate officially added the family name “Valentine” to her own.
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Tags : Kate Spade
Neighborhoods : Upper East Side