Everything starts with a sketch.
PLEASE TAKE US THROUGH YOUR PROCESS AND HOW ONE OF YOUR DESIGNS COMES TO LIFE.
Everything starts with a sketch. In the case of an interior, the floor plan sets the foundation for me, followed by material moodboards and collages of inspiration that range from the shape of a shadow to a door I photographed while traveling. Eventually it’s narrowed to something more specific. Without calculating too rigidly, there is somewhat of a ratio inherently taken into consideration. For example, an airy glass coffee table balances the weight of a skirted sofa, and the warmth of wood goes a long way in a room full of gleaming metal. I prefer to start with anchoring pieces like beds and sofas, which are often custom, and then layer over time. When designing product, the material often dictates the rest.
Design, in its essence, is about problem solving.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT NYC?
Spontaneous interaction with friends, never-ending creative stimulation and fast pace.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE POSSESSION?
I’m pretty into the latest addition to my ever-rotating apartment, a vintage Italian two-tier table in cream lacquer and brass.
Instagram. There is endless creativity to thumb through and I try to have some fun on my own page, too (@nicholas_obeid).
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED OR GIVEN?
Work for the job you want—the recognition comes later. I’d say follow your instinct and, simply put, work hard. Every little bit of effort counts. For me, every night I stayed in to be the first at the flea market Sunday morning helped me learn about vintage product and furnish my first apartment on a dime, which then led me to experiment with photography and learn about composition.
- Work in silence or with background noise: R&B music
- Soundtrack of your life: Mariah
- We’ll never catch you without: Headphones
- Guilty pleasure: Homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches
- Airport reads: GQ magazine
- Style icon: Yves Saint Laurent
- Favorite designer: Jacquemus, JW Anderson, Alexandre Mattiussi
- You’ll never get sick of: Olive green
- Favorite place to travel: Greece for the scenery, Beirut for the food
- Where you’d most like to live: New York City :-)
- On your nightstand: A task lamp I brought back from Buenos Aires and the latest issue of AD
- Your greatest extravagance: Cameras
- Most treasured possession: My dad’s gold tennis bracelet from Syria
- Talent you’d most like to have: Sleeping on command
- Your most overused word or phrase: “Yikes”
- City or country: City, dreaming of country …
- Vintage or new: A mindful mix of both. The nicest spaces feel artfully collected over time.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Select photos courtesy Nicholas Obeid.