Exploring AD100 Designer Bruce Bierman’s City Loft
Written by: Brett Williams / Photography: Axel Dupeux
A designer’s own residence affords the recherché opportunity to view their unadulterated, sans-client work. In his downtown New York City loft, Bruce Bierman created a live/work space—a perfect reflection of its inhabitants—where art and design intersect.
The Loft & Bruce
The worlds of art and design often overlap, but it’s not typically this straightforward. Interior designer Bruce Bierman, with input from his husband, art collector and author William Secord, created a polished, tailored loft that doubles as residence and gallery. “While we have owned the co-op for many years, space now had to have a private aspect as well as an office and gallery to present Secord’s extensive collection of dog and animal paintings,” says Bierman. Bruce Bierman is celebrated in the world of interior design and remembers being drawn to this craft from a very young age. “At age four, I told a neighbor I didn’t like her new living room draperies,” he amuses. Later, his double degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design greatly influenced his ardor for Deco and his modernist approach, an approach he’s perfected since starting his eponymous firm in 1984. In 2000, a spotlight was shone on Bierman’s career when he was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
The tour de force of this live/work space is an extensive 30-foot gallery which cleverly conceals a series of storage cabinets running the same length. On the walls, beautiful art is plentiful and the intricate antique frames add interest to the clean lines of the hall. A custom Parsons table and two armchairs, with gorgeous movement in their wood-grain, provide a resting point midway.
Bierman’s interiors are marked by these thoughtful and intuitive measures. “We also needed to create a sense of privacy for our residence, so each area is divided by sliding glass panels which bring a soft, diffused light into the rooms,” explains Bierman. These examples highlight a balance in his design sensibility: that equal importance is placed on both form and function. Custom-designed upholstered pieces are plush and comfortable and many of the case goods, picked up during Parisian excursions, recall the work of venerable designers like Ruhlmann and Dupre-Lafon, two of Bierman’s favorites.
The Unexpected Depth
The palette, much a symbol of his interiors, is at once subdued and complex. At quick glance, it’s a mix of textural whites, creams, and warm woods. But upon further scrutiny, a certain depth is noticed, achieved through breadth of wood finishes: dark, light, variegated, and even cerused. An expert study of contrast navigates the eye; silky white rug on near-black flooring, dark vintage dining chairs abut- ting Dakota Jackson’s Wonder Table in Parchment, black spotlight fixtures on a white ceiling, and Mystery White marble atop ribbon-striped mahogany cabinets in the kitchen and bath.
One’s home is often a reflection of personality and experiences, but perhaps this apartment represents something on a slightly deeper level; a union not only of the couple themselves but of their true passions in art and design.