A Look at Space Magazine

We sell a lot of Apartamento at Magalleria. It seems we can never order enough so we’re always scouting for similar interior design magazines. We think we’ve found one, but we didn’t think it would come out of Denmark. Meet Space Magazine

Like the eccentric Spanish magazine, Space, too, tracks a less conventional species of celebrity – achievers who continue to make their own path, doing things their way, living how they want. In the process they offer us unlikely but no less useful inspiration. You’ll get this impression quickly from the understated covers of Space which seem to make no effort to catch our attention. The first issue, portraying the film director Tomas Alfredson, could be mistaken for an Apartamento back issue, but it appears that they haven't bothered much since. The cover of the previous issue pictured Vuitton artistic director Kim Jones and the model David Trulik in the former's Paris penthouse. Jones is seen reading his phone away at a desk in the background, while Trulik sits on the floor in the foreground in his underpants.

'...the photography is generous but casual. It’s concentrated on giving us a good snoop around rather than a frozen glimpse.'

So with issue 5 the covers are split between what appears as an overall-clad man peering out of an urban orange grove and a woman lounging in an untidy apartment. They are, respectively, Ricky Clifton, described by Space as ‘one of the New York art scene’s true cult figures – an interior designer to the art world, decorator, florist, ceramicist, inventor, antique dealer and former taxi driver.’ Clifton wasn’t on my radar at all, but he should have been, if only for dressing Andy Warhol’s two dachshunds as the Pope and Jacques Cousteau for Esquire magazine. He’s undeniably fascinating, and we’re treated to an extensive pictorial tour through the many manifestations of his talent. I love the way Space does this; the photography is generous but casual. It’s concentrated on giving us a good snoop around rather than a frozen glimpse. The images carry a small amount of informative text (rather than captions) so there’s no going backwards or forwards to fill out the details. Ricky Clifton is mostly seen moving about, but we get one almost formal pose, revealing more clearly his stylish utilitarian orange jacket, set off with a lemon cap. He looks like a man who means business, but you couldn’t guess what his business might be.

The other (split) cover star is the stylist and occasional model Camille Bidault-Waddington, photographed in her Paris apartment. Bidault-Waddington’s work is threaded through many significant magazines at Magalleria. She has a predictably impressive and stuffed CV which gets a page of homage in the feature that kicks things off before we get to the very reason you’re reading a magazine like this – a tour of her flat. As we begin, Bidault-Waddington is asked what inspires her. Her answer is ‘books and museums’, and that’s about all. ‘When I look at something on a computer screen I feel like I’m seeing the same things as everybody else’, she says. Amen to that, then, and in the pages that follow we see what she means. Books are everywhere, untidily piled or haphazardly arranged around beguiling furniture, antiques and objects d’art. It’s all gloriously irreverent in terms of considered design, plus we’re being treated to a decent interview along the way that probes more insightfully than a regular Q&A.

But Bidault-Waddington and Clifton merely bookend a procession of interesting interviewees. These include Roberto Burle Marx, the pioneering modernist landscape and tropical garden designer; Swedish DJ Rudolf Nordström (‘Mr Top Hat’), Finnish furniture designer Eero Aarnio, artist Nicky Saint Phalle and her Tuscan tarot garden, and ‘untypical’ potter Steve Harrison. There’s a conversation between subculture photographer Ari Marcopoulos and Dashwood Books publisher David Stretwell, Willo Perron’s tour design for the band The xx, and the revitalisation of Dutch midcentury furniture design (see Friso Kramer and Wim Rietveld) by the very voguish Danish furniture company Hay. 

There’s much more in this clever mix of studied design, folly and chaos, carried along by decent interviewing with interesting and disarming personalities whose home and work environments are unfailingly intriguing. 

Space comes in a sizeable format (330mm x 240mm) which won’t appeal to those who want to carry a handy style manual on them. But this is an essential, inspiring read for the home or office environment. It’s also a good one for your coffee table, but clear some space first.

Daniel McCabe


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