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A Designer’s Haunt in Greenwich Village


A Designer’s Haunt in Greenwich Village

October 31, 2012

We recently dropped in on designer Lorraine Kirke (she's the matriarch of a family that includes husband Simon Kirke, the legendary Bad Company drummer, and daughter Jemima Kirke of Girls). Kirke's special talent is creating idiosyncratic mashup worlds wherever she happens to touch down—New York, London, Miami, and Long Island. Even the name of her New York-based clothing line Geminola is a mashup; merging the names of her children, Greg, Jemima, Domino, and Lola.

From vintage markets to eBay, nothing is out of bounds for Kirke; when she travels, she trawls tirelessly for inspiration. The result? A fashion line created from recycled and reworked one-of-a-kind pieces; never seen before and definitely not to be found anywhere else. When her creative daughters Jemima (portraitist and accidental Girls star), Domino (singer and doula), and Lola (actress) need a frock to wear to a big event, Geminola is their first stop.

Photography by Brian Ferry for Remodelista.

Above: The kitchen island is a classic example of a found piece, which Kirke retrofitted with doors and drawers and a piece of soapstone as a countertop.

Above: The cabinet was retro fitted with salvaged antique mirrored doors that Kirke sourced from Moon River Chattle in Brooklyn. She then placed the cabinet on top of a found side board to make a floor-to-ceiling pantry. The painting on the right is a self-portrait by Jemima Kirke, who trained as a painter at RISD.

Above: A romantic vignette featuring a distressed mantel Kirke purchased from Second Hand Rose, her go-to source for vintage wallpaper.

Above: Kirke favors patina; creating it if it doesn't already exist. She purchased the lamps above the island 25 years ago in London and they have traveled with her through all her moves. The turquoise stools were found at midcentury gallery Wyeth.

Above: Kirke created a ceiling using multicolored tin pieces she found at Olde Goode Things.

Above: L. Kirke retro fitted old refrigerator doors onto her kitchen cabinets. R. Kirke purchased her double soapstone sink from Jim Morgan of Tall Cotton Supply.

Above: Kirke created a wraparound bookshelf in the kitchen and dining room using found pieces of old doors.

Above: Kirke found the galvanized steel sheet in her attic and had it flattened to create a surface for the wall. She sourced the subway tiles from eBay.

Above: The dye room is in the basement of the West Village townhouse; Kirke cut out a hole from an old work bench she found in the basement and had it fitted with a double sink. The backsplash is made from found green tiles. This is where Kirke dyes dresses, napkin, and tablecloths for Geminola.

Above: A collection of vintage French linen napkins from Portobello Road and Brimfield that Kirke dyes in vibrant colors; available through Geminola.

Above: Kirke's approach to hanging art follows a similar pattern of eclecticism: A black and white Irving Penn photo and a drawing by Jenny Scobel flank a colorful still life.

Above: A vintage shelf embedded into the wall is filled with Kirke's finds from all over the world, destined for her Geminola dresses.

N.B. Lorraine Kirke has a way with combining and refashioning vintage pieces. For more inspiration, see 336 Vintage images in our Gallery of rooms and space.

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