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When interior designer Caleb Anderson purchased his apartment in New York City’s Sutton Place neighborhood three years ago, he knew his life was about to change. He just didn’t realize how much, or that the entire world around him would change, too. The partner in New York design firm Drake/Anderson deftly mixes old and new inside his lovingly restored prewar apartment.
Caleb Anderson, who is a partner in the firm Drake/Anderson with decorating legend Jamie Drake, acquired the 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom as part of an estate sale. Describing the apartment as “a blank canvas,” he explains that it had been in the same family since the building was completed in the 1920s and nearly everything was in its original state—a blessing and a curse. “It needed a huge renovation,” he says.
Caleb Anderson moved into the unfinished space in March 2020, just before the city went into lockdown, which prolonged the renovations by several months. He was joined in the new apartment by his partner, DeAndre DeVane, whom he met on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica in 2018. While Anderson spearheaded the furniture and decor selection, the couple shopped together for art, mostly settling on large abstract works. DeVane, an information technology specialist in the finance industry, says that living with a designer “definitely sharpens your eye to details.”
When Caleb Anderson joined forces with Drake in 2015, he complimented Drake’s well-known penchant for punchy colors with an understated flair rooted in historical design.
“Jamie is always one to push boundaries. Working with him has given me the confidence to push my own. And he’s given me a broader appreciation of design in general. It’s not about just one look or aesthetic.”says Caleb Anderson.
An essential quality that Drake and Anderson’s share is an affinity for livable luxury, and it’s evident in every square inch of Anderson’s apartment. He’s the rare thirtysomething designer who has a passion for antique gilded French chairs and ornate rococo mirrors and also possesses the sophistication to combine them with minimal, modern pieces.
“I love the mix of old and new. It all connects. It’s a reflection of my different moods, different seasons, different energy.”says Caleb Anderson , who set out to give each room a distinct identity.
“It all connects… It’s a reflection of my different moods, different energy”CALEB ANDERSON
The vibe in the neutral living room is decidedly calm and composed—“a clean, ethereal moment,” as Caleb Anderson puts it. Not that the space lacks glamour or visual interest, from the fluted plaster fireplace surround and the sculptural cocktail table in hammered brass designed by Anderson to the abstract, neo-Expressionist-style triptych by Vicky Barranguet that spans the wall behind the midcentury-like curved sofa in sumptuous gray velour.
At the entrance to the primary bedroom, artist Christina Watka created a site-specific installation of small, hand-molded ceramic circles that resemble a constellation emerging from the room’s deep blue, fabric-covered walls. Anderson used the same material on the bed and a similarly hued one with a mesmerizing moiré effect for the curtains and sidewalls.
“This apartment has taught me a lot of lessons, even about myself and about what’s actually important, I’ve been on a personal journey of wellness, and this apartment is a chapter in it.”Caleb Anderson says, explaining how the process has, among other things, mellowed his perfectionist streak.