Throwback Home Tour: Blair Clarke's Artful Park Avenue Apartment
Together a chic couple combine their passions for art and antiques to create a harmonious Manhattan home.
In the Park Avenue home of Alistair and Blair Clarke, it’s not uncommon to see an abstract painting contending for wall space with an antique cartel clock. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that he’s the worldwide head of English and European furniture for Sotheby’s, and she’s a dealer in contemporary art. “Do we ever argue?” laughs Blair. “Yes! But, for us, decorating is like ballroom dancing: each partner relies on the other.”
It didn’t always run this smoothly. When Blair first met Alistair, their tastes slightly clashed. “His is not a passion you run across every day,” says Blair. Their personalities clicked, however, and their eventual Park Avenue apartment reaped the benefits. “We like to call it a classic hodgepodge with a touch of humor,” she says. “I’m a huge fan of taking risks if it fits into our personality.”
The apartment, which the couple purchased in 2003, is an ode to both aesthetics. In the dining room, a Michael Marra chandelier crafted from six dozen martini glasses casts a glow over Sèvres porcelain. A Louis XV marquetry chest of drawers stands below a series of contemporary silhouettes by artist Natasha Law. “I have to admit that Alistair’s collection has won a place in my heart,” says Blair. “Together, we have pieces that are of the moment and others that feel timeless, and both are equally intriguing.”
Blair and Alistair say they ultimately decorate as a team, and even let their young daughters, Poppy and Georgina, contribute their opinions. “We never take ourselves too seriously,” says Blair. “We’ve created a space in which we not only entertain, but truly live.”