Geoffrey Bradfield was born in East London, South Africa and began his interior decoration / design career in Johannesburg with iconic pioneers of the late ‘70s, such as Rae Hoffenberg, Selwyn Levy and Brian White. He moved to the United Sates in 1977 and over the past four decades has progressed to become widely regarded as one of the top ten interior designers in the world. He has been Habitat’s US correspondent for more than three decades.
His much admired style requires high quality across the board: fine antiques, original artworks of various periods, custom-made furniture, high echelon fabrics, fixtures / fittings and materials. But there is more: Bradfield enjoys whimsy and very often includes quirky accessories and signature touches within his multi-million dollar projects.
He has created a number of personal homes, most of which have been in Manhattan. This is the latest, and he explains the rationale behind its conception: ‘The symbolic dimensions of turning 70 hardly escaped me. In fact, preparations for this important phase had begun the year before through a process of divestiture and editing that saw the sale of White Hall, my townhouse on East 61st Street, in addition to a Park Avenue flat and a Palm Beach residence. The major part of my art collections acquired over decades also became acquainted with the auction gavel.
‘This simplification of my life has been tremendously therapeutic. In a sense, it is like turning back a clock, allowing a return to a less encumbered autonomy. Running various houses as a bachelor can often feel all-consuming. I loved everything about it for most of my life, but the demands of playing host to endless guests no longer appealed. I wanted for an instant to find myself free of all burdens, with nothing but space and time. I yearned to feel there was nothing scheduled. It’s a primal pilgrimage in a way, like going into the bush, simply to be one with nature and returning spiritually reborn. Primal, yes, but also a kind of poetic act.’
For the full article see Habitat #263 January / February 2018