Design Crush: Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz

I promise I am not stalking you. But when I see another of your projects, I fall in love all over again. And you thought you could hide from me in the latest Veranda. Who would have thought to find you here? When I saw the cover, I thought: this is no ordinary Veranda. This is not the tailored and refined Country French I have been accustomed to. This is something altogether different.

I went to see who it was that could be gracing this beautiful and edgy cover. The white upholstered sofas and daybeds (Room and Board), the ebonized floors, the black tiled fireplace surround...I thought I had found a new crush.

But then..... I knew it was you as soon as I saw the white sheers and your custom designed light fixture (ABYU Lighting) in the foyer. had me at "Hello". Only you could have piqued my interest with the Country Swedish chair with the seat in Sacco Carpet goat hair!

One of the things I love about you is the way you mix up the high and the low. Like in this Dining Room: putting a Larsen Velvet on a Crate and Barrel chair. It makes my heart smile, like wildflowers in a silver vase. Zimmer + Rohde fabric used as wall art, it's wonderful.

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well men aren't the only ones who love the culinary arts. And to find a kitchen at the other end of the Living Room, well that's just magic. And then you go and make it look like this! That curtain of beads by BallChain around the stovehood, the Plexi-Craft barstools.... sigh.

I could lounge here for hours on this banquette by the window. Long relaxing dinners with family and friends. Maybe a little Jamie Cullum playing in the back round. You did this on purpose, I know it. (Chairs through Room and Board).

Then you got really glamorous, but I could expect no less. In the Master Bedroom, you went for the Swarovski crystals on the custom shade and Ostrich Pillow on the bed, both by ABYU. Jean Harlow would be right at home. So could I.

And there it was.... just what I'd hoped for. One of your iconic feather lampshades (ABYU) hiding in the guest room, perfectly juxtaposed with the Man Ray photographs.

What I love about you is that you inspire me. I can watch you make magic using sources available to everyone, like this bed by Room and Board, the Restoration Hardware Lamps, and the mirrors by Crate and Barrel.

I promise, I am not stalking you........yet......

All photos by Antoine Bootz for Veranda, May-June 2008