So Courant! Upstate, Downtown, and on the Rise

·3-min read
Photo credit: Liz Clayman
Photo credit: Liz Clayman

Welcome to So Courant!, deputy editor Sean Santiago’s column spotlighting emerging makers, the newest launches, and the latest design destinations in the world of ELLE DECOR.

Piaule Makes Perfect in Upstate New York

Embedded in a blue stone quarry in the Catskills, Piaule is a 50-acre landscape hotel comprised of 24 private cabins nestled in the forest, plus a spa and restaurant. It’s the kind of upstate getaway Carrie Bradshaw might’ve glommed onto, had it existed 20 years ago, but unlike her, you surely won’t be “Suffern” here.

Photo credit: Sean Davidson
Photo credit: Sean Davidson

Rooms are equipped with organic Portuguese bed linens, heated stone floors, waterfall showers, and, of course, sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness. (And thankfully, full-width blackout shades should you not want to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning.) Piaule wishes guests a restorative stay, sweetly presuming you have some better-rested, higher-functioning state of being to which you might return. I personally found myself stuck in a New York state of mind, swatting haplessly at mosquitoes and complaining about my car rental from the covered patio. But they do make a mean cup of coffee—and everything in their covetable house product line is also available for sale.

An A-List Protégé (Slowly but Surely) Branches Out on His Own

It’s a bold move to launch a furniture business with just one table, but the 29-year-old designer Tristan Scow has done just that. Having cut his teeth working on product and furniture under ELLE DECOR A-List designer Kelly Behun, Scow’s Hiccup table is the first release under his own practice, Coinjock.

Photo credit: Sean Davidson
Photo credit: Sean Davidson

Available in ebonized, natural, or bleached solid ash, the table’s sculptural profile is achieved through the marriage of two pieces of wood with alternating grain patterns, inspired in part by two halves of a heart. “I refer to them as lobes,” says Scow. “I wanted to come up with a shape that took away the hierarchy of the dining table. We’re all comrades at this table.” (Scow should know—he was eating off of its foam prototype until just recently.) The designer (who describes his aesthetic as “engineered naturalism”) will eventually expand the collection with a dining chair, lounge chair, side table/stool, and cocktail table.

A New Wine Bar from a Woman Behind Your Favorite Restaurants

West Village wine bar Temperance, which opened last month, comes to us from James Beard Award–winning designer Amy Morris, founder of the Morris Project. Before launching her eponymous shop in 2019, Morris was half of the now-disbanded design firm MP Shift, which famously outfitted Camille Becerra’s zeitgeisty De Maria and Gerardo Gonzalez’s charming Lalito, to name a few.

But these strange times meant Temperance would have a new kind of brief: Owners Jonathan Rexroat and Devin Rochford asked Morris to “represent the energy and optimism of New York”—quite the challenge, post lockdown, but one the designer rose to with aplomb.

Photo credit: Liz Clayman
Photo credit: Liz Clayman

The strategy-minded Morris went through five different floor plans for the 55-seat space, evolving it as needed to create distinct zones: a front dining room, optimized for standing and mingling; an intimate bar; a lounge; and a private dining room that can double as a communal event space.

If De Maria was the restaurant-as-artist’s retreat, Temperance is a wine bar through the looking glass, all neon-bathed soffits gleaming onto wood veneer and winking chrome, creating a space as conducive to date nights as pregaming.

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