Throwback Home Tour: Work to Home with Paul Caddell

This Southern aesthete masters the work-life balance with a sophisticated living space and equally stylish storefront in New York City's charming West Village.

In Caddell's living room and gallery space, vintage furnishings—such as an Eames sofa and a metal coffee table—are juxtaposed with contemporary art installations. Photography by Patrick Cline. Original text by Shawn Gauthier.
In Caddell's living room and gallery space, vintage furnishings—such as an Eames sofa and a metal coffee table—are juxtaposed with contemporary art installations. Photography by Patrick Cline. Original text by Shawn Gauthier.

At the age of 36, Paul Caddell, an Alabama transplant living in Memphis, quit his job, packed his bags, and moved to Manhattan. "New York had always seemed like the most adventurous place in the United States," Caddell says. "I had no idea what I was going to do there, but I knew I’d figure it out." 

Shop owner Paul Caddell outside his West Village townhouse. 
Shop owner Paul Caddell outside his West Village townhouse. 
A round dining table allows for entertaining while maximizing space in the narrow living room. 
A round dining table allows for entertaining while maximizing space in the narrow living room. 
Paul's Tips for Owning a Home-Based Business

   

  • #1

    Hire an employee you can trust in your home is willing to take on responsibilities regarding both work and the house, such as accepting packages and watering plants.

  • #2

    Make a getaway plan to give yourself a break. It can be as close as a separate room in your home or farther via travel or a second home.

  • #3

    If part of your personal living space is used periodically as a public space, be sure it doesn't look like a retail store so that you and your guests can always be comfortable.

A neutral palette weaves throughout Caddell's personal living space and retail store, with a mixture of modern and traditional accents effortlessly adorning both. 
A neutral palette weaves throughout Caddell's personal living space and retail store, with a mixture of modern and traditional accents effortlessly adorning both. 
Throwback Home Tour: Work to Home with Paul Caddell
Clockwise from top right: a corner of his home furnishings shop, Abingdon 12; a circular wire light fixture; a collection of contemporary and vintage furnishings for sale; a neutral-colored sofa allows and Italian side table that once belonged to Caddell's grandmother to serve as the focal point in the upstairs den.
Clockwise from top right: a corner of his home furnishings shop, Abingdon 12; a circular wire light fixture; a collection of contemporary and vintage furnishings for sale; a neutral-colored sofa allows and Italian side table that once belonged to Caddell's grandmother to serve as the focal point in the upstairs den.
Paul's Favorite Manhattan Spots

    

  • VILLAGE APOTHECARY

    a wonderful drug store with great service

  • MOOD FABRICS

    for its great fabric selection

  • LEO DESIGN

    for arts and crafts, pottery, and gifts

A transfer print by Edmund Galperin adds a sense of history to the entryway of the townhouse.   
A transfer print by Edmund Galperin adds a sense of history to the entryway of the townhouse.   
The hand-carved bed, wider than a typical queen, belonged to Caddell's great-great-grandparents. 
The hand-carved bed, wider than a typical queen, belonged to Caddell's great-great-grandparents. 

Once he’d settled in the city, Caddell, who formerly worked in health-care administration, began to consider turning his passion for antiques and interiors into a career. "Even though my original aspirations were in a completely different field," he says, "surrounding myself with a pleasing, interesting environment has always felt natural." So, he added a new requirement to his ongoing search for a West Village townhouse: space for a home design shop. Now, ten years later, Caddell has opened the doors to Abingdon 12—a home store and art gallery specializing in vintage and contemporary sculpture—in the garden level of his 19th-century townhouse. And upstairs, the three-bedroom home is filled with family heirlooms that boast his Southern heritage and whimsical objects he’s collected during trips around the world. His living room doubles as a public gallery where visitors can view installations by such artists as Rodger Stevens and Jonathan Iylanjah. "It’s such a pleasure living in a room filled with ever-changing artwork," he says, "and sharing it with my customers."

Mementos and books give the master bedroom a collected look. 
Mementos and books give the master bedroom a collected look. 
A wire objet takes the shape of a contemporary piece of art.
A wire objet takes the shape of a contemporary piece of art.

For Caddell, decorating isn’t about paint colors or fabric swatches; it’s about filling his home with meaningful pieces that tell a story. Like his journey to Manhattan, the decor of Caddell’s home represents his own natural development. "Whether it’s moving to the city or designing my home," he says, "there are deliberate guiding principles in my life, but, most importantly, I do what looks and feels right."

A collection of black-and-white framed photographs gather above the white mantle. 
A collection of black-and-white framed photographs gather above the white mantle. 
Concrete pedastals, reclaimed from a Washington Square townhouse, flank the fireplace. 
Concrete pedastals, reclaimed from a Washington Square townhouse, flank the fireplace. 

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