1.22.2014

The Alexis Stewart Effect

I want Alexis Stewart's apartment. It's really that simple. Equally as simple is Alexis's imagined reply: "Eff off!" For all her prickles and stings, though, I've always had a soft spot for Alexis Stewart, Martha's formidable daughter: former co-host of the wildly popular Whatever! radio show. I met her very briefly when we were both guests on The Martha Stewart Show in 2010 but I never had the courage to tell her that she has actually influenced my life: superficially but significantly. Basically, Alexis has informed my sense of interior design and for that I am actually very thankful. I do not live in a sleek apartment with wall-to-wall terazzo and floor-to-ceiling windows, but because of Alexis I know how to edit; I am unaffraid to purge ''stuff'' that I no longer use or need; I crave light and spaces that are restful to the eye and I keep things organized and tidy, which has resulted in a happier me. So, thank you, Alexis!
I wanted to reflect on Alexis's apartment because I think it demonstrates that an elegant interior space does not require ornament and filagree to achieve drama. To me, her apartment is the perfect blend of formality and informality, comfort and practicality, simplicity and grandeur.
Several years ago, Alexis purchased three units in the Richard Meier building on Perry Street in Manhattan. Encompassing three floors and more than 6,000 square feet of living space, the apartment is a marvel of light and minimalism with sweeping views of the Hudson. Merging the three units into one living space was reportedly achieved with the help of architect Annabelle Selldorf who modified the floor plans to include a staircase to connect the apartments. The first floor is devoted primarily to Alexis's children, Jude and Truman, and their living spaces, including a large playroom. The apartment has a beautifully streamlined kitchen, terazzo floors throughout and windows, windows everywhere!
Unlike her former apartment in Tribeca, which was devoid of colour, Alexis allowed herself to embrace the odd pastel hue this time around. Quiet shades of coral and blue can be found mostly on the upholstery of the mid-century modern furniture she acquired for her new living space but also in some of the tile, fixtures and textiles. The addition of warm wood tones and a few hits of whimsy keep the place vital. The result is a soft, pretty home that is serenely minimalist without being cold. These photographs of Alexis's apartment were originally published in the September, 2012, issue of Martha Stewart Living. The last photograph is of Alexis's former apartment in Tribeca.


8 comments:

Janet said...

I watched with baited breath and great fascination the construction of her home via the blog Alexis once wrote. Sadly, Alexis no longer publishes to her blog so the updates and reports on her beautiful life stopped before I was ready!

Nevertheless, thank you, Andrew for bringing me up to speed and for reminding me of how stunning and calming minimal decoration can be.

Reading your post and seeing the photos again makes me want to begin my Spring clean-out NOW!

xo

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I am glad you showcased Alexis' apartment.

I looved Whatever and I keep hoping that Alexis will pop up on Sirius XM's Martha Radio, like she did for a Mother's Day show a while back. Funnily enough, this morning I popped over to alexisstewart.com in the hopes that maybe there might be a new blog post. Sadly, no.

Exactly like Martha, Alexis helpfully imparts information. I e-mailed into the Whatever show once about a camera she had and I received a reply with the make and model. I also subsequently asked about a blender and a yoga mat and I received replies for those too.

That was one aspect I truly loved about her blog posts. She will always cite and provide links to the products she has come across.

I also loved her stories about Martha and how she didn't get along with Big Martha. All of that was so relatable.

- Marc

Pru said...

I too very much miss her blog. I loved the recipes that she used and when she showed thing that hadn't fully worked out.

Her apartment is stunning - it is nothing like my home but I truly love it - the sitting room especially.

Vanessa M. said...

I loved that September LIVING issue that showcased Alexis's apartment. Thank you for this post, Andrew. I enjoyed having a second look.

Like Marc mentioned above, I too have appreciated Alexis passing along good information for products and methods to improve one's quality of life. The resources page in the back of her book "Whateverland" drew me to her blog and I return periodically for recipe information when I'm planning a menu.

Rowaida said...

Hi Andrew,
Beautiful post! I am a fan of Alexis, I love her sense of style, with the help of Kevin Sharkey, two of my favorite people. She is an amazing person and mom, she is amazing in organizing, cooking and baking. I wish and hope she will be back to blogging, I really miss her posts.

Kristina said...

I wish she would get back into blogging or better yet take an active role in the magazine.

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Kristina, Martha told the audience at the Delicious Food Show in Canada that Alexis is currently working on a new parenting website with the help of two pediatricians and a child psychologist. I can't wait to see it unveiled!

Anonymous said...

When our boys were at home, had to have minimalist decorating. I don't clean but just wonder around searching for things, nowadays. Older people w/Dementia also thrive with less clutter has been my experience so...will see what happens.