With her zen-like, low key manner Ani Antreasyan isn't your typical decorator. But her sensibility for juxtaposing the rough hewn and repurposed with the modern; mixing historical objects together, and her love affair with ancient stone, wood and metal have made her one of the vanguard tastemakers redefining Hamptons style. It's all about bringing the beauty of outdoors in, she likes to say.
Like her style, Ani's career has progressed organically. She got the first job she ever interviewed for: at the Metropolitan Museum's retailing department, where she ultimately moved to the design department installing exhibitions. After ten years, and a graduate degree in design at SVA, Ani opened her own business importing antique marble sinks from her native Turkey. The first time she brought them to the Bridgehampton Antiques show, under the name Canyan Antiques in 1998, a Water Mill woman bought eight and hired Ani as her decorator. That home made the cover of House Beautiful
. Ani's next home made the cover of Garden Design Magazine. "Then, Elle Decor published my apartment in the city and HC&G published my cottage in East Hampton. So, it just kept rolling," Ani told us. "People see my work and they call me."
, Tony Bennett
, Mariska Hargitay
, Gabby Karan, Bryce Marden and Helen Marden have all collected the one of a kind objets d'art she brings back from flea markets in Paris and the South of France, her sources in Belgium, Italy, England, Turkey, "everywhere except Asia." She has warehouses in Manhattan and the Hamptons open to the public by appointment.
Her ancient stones lead to designing Manhattan gardens for such clients as Faith Popcorn and Jeffrey Kalinsky, of Jeffrey's department store. Other Manhattan clients brought her East to do their Hamptons homes.
Since they seek her out they share her sensibility. And, once they work with her, they wouldn't think of using anyone else for their gardens, their other homes, their flowers, or their parties.
"I do it all, really," she says. "I don't have a 'stamp'. I'm not here to change them. I want my clients to walk in and feel like it's really their home, that they have been able to be a part of the decor and the design. So, I pick a lot from what they have and fill in the rest with the same psyche. The client should be able to buy objects they get excited about to bring into the mix."
The designers Hamptons color scheme is shades of grey, white, cream, and silver blue, which she mixes herself. "It's all about bringing the outside in," Antreasyan explains. "Go to the beach and pick up two handfuls of pebbles. You can see an entire palette."
Ani continues to forge ahead, managing to be just enough ahead of the curve to make her homes 'of the moment' and exude impeccable taste. "My clients have taught me to like colors," she says. "I'm starting to work with Indian wedding hues like beautiful dark pinks and reds, the blues of the ocean. And I love throwing in an orange or purple accent."
Fifteen years before Restoration Hardware came out with their line of wrought iron lamps Ani was repurposing metal garden rails. "I had no idea it was becoming a trend," she told us. "But, I realized a few days ago when a van went by that said 'Modern Barn,' that was what I have been doing all along: putting a modern twist on ancient things."