Inside the home of John Derian

John Derian lives in a house in the East Village, New York that used to be an artists studio and a sewing factory. I’ve long viewed his home as the perfect source of inspiration. Not only for it’s old world charm that I just love but specifically for his beautiful distressed, unfinished walls.

“That’s nicotine”, he quipped to the New York Times who came to explore his home last summer. “The woman who lived here for decades was a chain smoker, so there’s this amazing patina, because it’s dust and dirt and nicotine everywhere. It’s all kind of a mistake.”

That’s perhaps why John’s style is so great. Nothing feels forced in his interior. There are so many elements but he’s skilled in making them work together. He’s helped too by the space – the high ceilings, large scale and light.

John is the maker of decoupage plates and homewares, that much like his house have an antiqued, old-y world-y feel. He began in 1989 collaging found images onto glass plates that resulted in a first order for £40k. With the help of friends he managed to complete it and since (having refined the process) has built a reputation as a master of his trade.

If you want to emulate a bit of John Derian styling in your own home go for neutral walls or if you’re in the fortunate position of stripping back old wallpaper, leave it as you find it for the perfect distressed look! Get foraging at your local antiques market  for all sorts of vintage & antique collectables and don’t be afraid to have an unfinished upholstered chair in the mix.  Finally, as I’ve banged on about before – see the power of a black lampshade.

He’s also lucky enough to have another home in Cape Cod and below are my favourite images from both.

You can buy his dishes and paperweights in the U.K. here, here, and here.

P.S – I won’t sing Alicia Keys for you but I am typing this from New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, so for the next 10 days they’ll be a pause in the posts but a whole lot of instagram (The Minford & miniFORD ‘shops’ are open as usual). First stop John Derian’s store!


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April jackson

Beautiful home. Very soft and comforting. Inspiring all that a home should be.


I love your style. So simple.


I love this house.


Still a studio for an artist, then …..