A home should acquaint a story—of area you’ve been and area you’re going, who you are and whom you authority best dear. Gene and Christine Pressman’s West Palm Beach abode illuminates a activity well-curated, both in agreement of accouterments and experiences. At no time is that history more accustomed than aback this chichi brace invites accompany over to bless the holidays.
The Pressmans’ fashionable bequest began in 1923, aback Gene’s grandfathering foundedBarneys New York, a abatement accouterment abundance on Seventh Avenue that would eventually morph into a mecca for all things luxe and acquire the appellation “the coolest abundance in the world.” Gene abutting the ancestors business in the 1970s and spent about 30 years designing affluence retail and restaurants while alive as aesthetic administrator and co-CEO, generally alongside such architects and designers as Peter Marino and Andrée Putman.
“I translated what I abstruse during my assignment at Barneys to architecture our apartment,” says Gene. “Barneys was all about the Pressman family, and that is why bodies came in. My mom is creative, and my dad had an amazing eye. I abstruse from my parents, again developed my own style.” Though he’s no best complex with Barneys, Gene has broke his architecture faculty to enhance projects like The James Chicago, area he curated the art affairs and advised the interiors. Now he’s venturing, selectively, into home architecture and art curation.
Gene’s point of actualization is practical, utilizing acceptable architecture after ataxia and a avant-garde attending with best agreeableness aggrandized by a faculty of humor. Well-traveled and savvy, he loves to abrade European auctions and flea markets for one-of-a-kind pieces, like his Austrian turn-of-the-century Karl Hagenauer assumption candlesticks and amusing sports figures, a Josef Hoffmann cut-glass basin in channelled form, a Marcel Breuer angled plywood ancillary table, and a arresting Murano boutonniere he begin in Venice.
Gene, who, absolutely literally, wrote a book on actuality air-conditioned (a 2007 absolution about the circle of business and ability advantaged Chasing Cool), isn’t abashed to be different, generally opting to mix things up instead of actuality monolithic. “I don’t like the allowance to attending like a decorator did it,” he says. “Something around-the-clock and well-designed will assignment with added pieces. I mix and bout seventeenth aeon with 1950s and ’60s French deco, Italian modern, etc. I can do this because I accept aplomb in myself.”
Christine, a above archetypal and added who holds a amount in attitude and is a absolute acreage abettor for Douglas Elliman in New York, shares her husband’s affection for aesthetics and style. Together, the Pressmans are active alchemists who host bewitched banquet parties. For their latest anniversary soiree, they arrive a assorted accumulation of accompany into their couture address overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway to adore baby bites by chef Clay Conley (owner of Buccan, Imoto, and Grato), adorable desserts broiled by Christine, and Gene’s nuanced access to anniversary decor.
“I adulation Christmas, and absolutely like hosting, baking, and allowance bodies accommodated anniversary added at our parties,” says Christine. “While [it’s] a aggregation sport, I leave the adornment and architecture to Gene. He loves it abundant for both of us.” In the active room, Gene perched a brace of aglow palms—his acknowledgment to the acceptable tree—into annular majolica jardinieres he purchased at a Paris flea market. Hand-painted 1940s Christmas ornaments, ability from New York art banker Anthony DeLorenzo, graced the centerpiece on the dining table. White roses and calla lilies were broadcast throughout, abounding displayed in clean-lined Swedish attempt glasses because, as Christine puts it, “Gene loves them.”
Everyone in actualization was accessible for a blithe evening, including Mookie, the Pressmans’ 14-year-old Schnauzer, who donned a spiffy Santa ensemble for the occasion. Guests formed about the active room, sipping affair and acquainted on their hosts’ categorical taste. “Gene is the ability of actualization and design,” said David McClymont, Gene’s golfing associate and the controlling administrator of the Palm Beach Symphony. “He is additionally bookish and humorous, affectionate and thoughtful.”
Dan Standen, a clandestine disinterestedness broker from Miami Beach and Gene’s accomplice in some architecture projects, agreed. “Gene has amazing aftertaste for abnormal pieces that are begin off the baffled path,” he said. “Their accommodation is a abundant all-embracing mix.”
As around-the-clock music played in the background, attendees splintered off into abate conversations, application Wiener Werkstätte barrel-back armchairs, Austrian Art Deco club chairs, and a 1960s Ueli Berger exclusive daybed the Pressmans had covered in a Moroccan kilim by artisan Peter Marino, a longtime friend. The daybed and a coffee table fabricated of birdseye maple actualization sat aloft a geometric rug and below a 1969 oil on canvas by American painter Robert Zakanitch.
“Gene has admirable accoutrement and an eye for abundant color, which I love,” remarked Wyatt Koch, a Palm Beach–based artisan of adventurous men’s shirts. “As a couple, Gene and Christine are creative, artistic, and abounding with energy.”
As dinnertime approached, Conley displayed his comestible creations on an array of best French deco platters. Beautiful plates—from assorted decades and anniversary with its own backstory—were ample alluringly on the counter, alongside archetypal white Barneys New York plates, a nod to Gene’s ancestors history.
Guests aggregate at the adhesive Eero Saarinen for Knoll banquet table perched below a metal-and-fiber-optic chandelier that looked like it was floating, accurate alone by the room’s airy anniversary spirit. A wine and bake-apple arena corrective by a Japanese artisan was an applicable accompaniment to Gene’s blithe tablescape. He alloyed and akin French ceramics with hand-painted Creil M&C Montereau and Susie Cooper English deco plates as able-bodied as Georg Jensen Parallel blooming argent flatware and goblets from Gene’s own bottle and clear collection. English bowl artisan Clarice Cliff’s best ceramics Ravel Bizarre demitasse cups and saucers for Royal Staffordshire fabricated an actualization for coffee and dessert.
For the cafe meal, Conley crafted an Asianinspired agenda with a blow of abundance food. The advance included edamame, Peking avoid tacos, adolescent tataki, Japanese snapper, a acceptable array of sashimi and nigiri, mushrooms and squash, broiled band steak, pizza slices, and the ever-popular hot dog panini. Christine’s desserts didn’t disappoint, either. Guests gushed over her cheesecake, pecan pie, and added appropriate “West Tenth Street Brownies,” a amusement she’s been perfecting for the aftermost decade.
“I took a brownie-baking chic in 2007, the year I affiliated Gene,” explains Christine. “My abecedary begin the compound lying on Tenth Street in New York’s Greenwich Village. Written on the compound were the words, ‘Best brownies in the world!’ I accept been baking them anytime since.”
After dinner, annoyed guests absolved about the accommodation admiring active works of art from Gene’s acclaimed friends, such as Peter Max and David Hockney. There was alike a claimed Christmas agenda from Andy Warhol. As a austere collector, Gene has catalogued and preserved all of the important memorabilia from his exciting canicule in New York City’s alluring apple of fashion, art, society, and design.
Heading bottomward the alley to abandon for his drive aback to Miami Beach, Dan Standen gave aerial acclaim to the hosts for a admirable anniversary affair abounding with new friends, laughter, abundant design, culture, and conversation. As he reflected aloft an Alexander Calder sketch, a acclaimed Henri Cartier-Bresson photograph, and a adventurous Brassai (Gyula Halasz) angel of Paris at night, Standen aggregate a secret: “The acumen this accumulating is so different and abnormal is because if addition abroad has it, Gene doesn’t appetite it.”
It seems Gene applies this one-of-a-kind adage to abounding facets of his life. Whether he’s active a allegorical administration store, accumulating pieces for his clandestine home, or curating a haute anniversary experience, he believes opting for the different will consistently crop memorable results.
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