The Melrose Project: Interior Design Magnificence
By Marin Preske
Think of it as an interior designer (in this case, two) sharing the contents of their little black book. That’s the general idea, anyway, behind West Hollywood’s The Melrose Project, which opened across from thPacific Design Center this fall. “We’re a twist on the collective,” says creative director Tommy Clements, who founded the space with his mother, Kathleen. After years of working with top antique and furniture dealers on residences, the decorating duo decided to assemble their favorite sources under one bi-level, 9,000-square-foot roof.
For the Clements, the key is in the mix. “I wanted to pull together the best dealers, galleries and furniture designers and let them collide in a single, shared space,” says Tommy. “It’s about the juxtaposition.” The mainstays of The Melrose Project are local interior arbiters such as Ray Azoulay of Venice’s refined curio shop Obsolete and Euro-centric antiquarian Lee Stanton Antiques, as well as prominent purveyors from around the nation. Art exhibits will also be on rotation. Of course, a curator’s eye is essential for making it meld. “Every setting in the space is like a still life,” says Kathleen in reference to the vignettes created to display merchandise.
The family dynamics of the mother-son team have proven successful. The pair has spent the past five years designing in tandem under Kathleen’s namesake firm. Plus, the generational gap helps balance their sensibilities (her experience teaches him things; he pushes her out of her comfort zone). “We have total creative affinity,” says Tommy. “And we only want to kill each other some of the time.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY KARYN R. MILLET
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.