New Yorker Catherine Weinstock takes on international interior design projects for clients who dare to be different, Rachel Meek discusses her sophisticated artisanal aesthetic.
Catherine Weinstock chooses her projects carefully. She has only one assistant and is personally involved at every stage. ‘It’s a multidisciplinary practice,’ she explains when I ask how, with a background in furniture restoration and fine art, she settled upon her current profession. ‘People are paying more attention to their homes these days. There is an ever-increasing importance placed on creating a safe, cocoon-like space that is also a celebration of one’s individual taste. There is an emphasis on being able to enjoy the home and to use it in different ways—for work and for entertainment, for example. I’m fascinated by the psychology involved in tailoring this special, personal space and by how the obvious and the subtle elements interact within it. You really get a feel for who someone really is—their expectations and aspirations when you are invited to create a space to suit their personality and their life. I love having the opportunity to make a difference to people and their homes.’
A champion of the handmade, Weinstock favours brands that can be relied upon for quality products and original design. When it comes to rugs, she looks for those that can make a statement without shouting louder than the furniture and other artworks in the room. Fort Street Studio and Joseph Carini Carpets meet these criteria. In a New Jersey show apartment which went on to be sold as furnished, a Carini rug by the Brooklyn-based artist
Dain brings the blue tones of the outside in to sit beneath a warm palette of neutrals, blush and black. A circular version of the same brand’s Spin rug furnishes the study, while in the hallway, sketchy shapes on a Brushstroke runner by Fort Street Studio are both a contrast and compliment to the stark outlines of African weapons and currency adorning the walls.
For the Holiday House London designer showcase (November-December 2017), a flatweave by Doshi Levien fit the bill for Weinstock’s room. Dubbed ‘The Think Tank’, the space was intended to trigger reflection on the provenance and origin of the objects within. As such it acted more as a gallery—curated to showcase works of art—than a typical domestic setting, without forsaking a homely feel. She had initially approached the London-based design studio behind the rug on the quest for a sideboard, when Jonathan Levien directed her to their Rabari Collection of rugs for the Barcelona-based rug producer nanimarquina. These were based on his design partner Nipa Doshi’s paintings, inspired by Gujarati embroidery. In Weinstock’s interiors, sensitive layers of inspiration pile up alongside and around one another and, far removed from source, form diverse and unexpected links that create something altogether new.
‘Design is a reflection of the times and where we are as a human race,’ Weinstock states, ‘I aim to be selective and to use just a few carefully considered objects that are rich in content to invite full immersion in what is there.’ This focused, philosophical approach, paired with an exquisite taste for beautiful objects imbued with meaning, results in fresh and thoughtful interiors. ‘Everything must stand on its own and compliment everything else,’ she summarises.