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Behind The Scenes

Make Yourself Right at Home in Caroline Z. Hurley’s West Village Apartment

Perk of having an architect sis? In addition to the ultimate Jenga teammate, you have someone down to do a home makeover—or at least that’s how it went for artist/designer Caroline Z. Hurley and her compact West Village pad. “The apartment has been in our family since 1990 when my oldest sister went to NYU. Both of my sisters have lived in this place at one time, and we had all been talking about renovating it since the beginning,” says Caroline, who turned to her sibling Angela to make it all happen. See what they did with the place. —alisha prakash “This is the living-room area. My textiles are on the couch, and those are two collages I made a couple of years ago. The rugs on the walls are prayer rugs from India. The cover that’s over the L-shaped couch is also from India. I wanted it to be cozy and colorful and fun.” “I’ve always desired a super-functional kitchen where I can bake and have dinner parties. There’s a better oven and workspace now. On the left is where I keep all my inspiration and things that are coming up during the week. Before the renovation, it was hard to function in such a segmented space, and now it’s just one large open space. Also, those coffee beans are my go-to coffee—Café Bustelo.” “This is my bathroom. When the door’s open, it becomes a changing room, and when it’s closed, it’s a bathroom. Every time I have a party, I feel like people love to hang out in the bathroom. It’s a cozy little spot. Those baskets on the top are from Bali. The basket on the left is from one of my favorite stores that I actually used to work at in L.A. called Plastica. On the left are some of my pasta necklaces.” “These are two of my favorite chairs. My boyfriend and I found them at Elephant’s Trunk, a flea market in Connecticut. We found these amazing pieces for around $5 a chair. They’re outdoor chairs, but I use them indoors. I spent so much time at ABC Carpet trying to find the perfect rug, which is on the ground here. It has a really interesting pattern—a flower in one spot and a half circle in another.” “This textile is from a street vendor from my trip to Bali. This plant is inside one of the ceramic vases my boyfriend made. I signed him up for this class at Greenwich House Pottery, and he came back with all these really beautiful pieces. They were his first try at the wheel, and he really nailed it. That clock, I found in India—I had to have it. It’s a piece from part of a clock—just the numbers. I love the font of those numbers.” “That’s one of my paintings. It’s an abstracted beach scene. It came in a flurry—I painted it in an hour or so. I had all these ideas stored up; I had been sketching and it popped out all at once. The chair I found from this woman who used to be on Houston Street. Her name is Christine—she had these amazing mid-century pieces. The thing the TV is sitting on is an old-school desk—that was also from Elephant’s Trunk and was $10.” “We designed the apartment with the bed lofted so there would be more living space. It’s this cozy nook. I’ll read up there, or when I’m not feeling well, I’ll bring my computer and watch a movie. It’s nice to have zones—this is my sleeping area, this is my TV area, this is my office area.” “The books feature some of my favorite artists like Dana Schutz, Cy Twombly, and Richard Tuttle. John Robshaw is a friend of mine who brought me and another friend to India. We learned the textiles of India through his eye, which was a really great experience. The last book is called Terryworld—it’s photographs by Terry Richardson. It’s basically like porn—he’s an amazing photographer, really cutting-edge.” “These are shells that my boyfriend and I picked up from Ho Hum Beach off the coast of Bellport. I love the ocean, so it’s a nice reminder that it isn’t too far away. The two compasses are ones I found in strange flea market in India. My dad gave me a compass necklace—I think that might have started my desire to collect compasses. The ladybug is for good luck and from my sister who just had a sweet baby girl named Rose. Rose really loves the color red.” Now that you’ve seen how Caroline decorates her apartment, come back tomorrow to see what she has in store for yours. Believe us, her new edition is amazing.
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Dive Into Caroline Z. Hurley's Amazing Paintings

Studio action!“I feel like I was throwing paint around out of the womb,” Caroline Z. Hurley jokes. Once she grew up a little, she studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and started exhibiting her work all over—New York City, Los Angeles, Rome, Memphis, you name it. Here, Caroline, who now has a namesake line of jewelry and textiles as well, tells about some of her key paintings. —raquel laneri Pile of Laundry (2004)“I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college, and I got really inspired by the clotheslines there. You would see these really personal things, like oversized bras and boxers and really small Speedos for men, and it was just so bold—right in the main square! I did this painting directly after Rome. I set up in my studio in Providence, Rhode Island, with piles of clothing, photos I had taken, and images from magazines or books, so my studio was covered with inspiration, which is the way I like to work best. My work is all about colors, and the colors are the ones I kept seeing in Rome. For example, those three blue streaks at the bottom were part of this sweater I wore there almost every day. That was the year I finally figured out what I wanted to paint. After I came back from Rome, it was like ‘OK. I get it.’” Rio (2012)“This painting has transformed so many different times. I keep paintings around and work on them until I feel like they’re done, and this one had been around for like a year. I would just add small things at a time. Then one day I was looking at this magazine about Rio de Janeiro, and all of a sudden I started putting all these pictures of Rio up in my studio. I’ve never been there, but I did a sort of aerial view of what I thought the coast of Rio would look like, with the flashy bikinis and the beachy colors.” Thank You, Virgin America (2010)“It was 2010, and I was living in Los Angeles. I had this huge aircraft hanger I used as a studio, and it was so awesome because I could really just let loose and do these huge paintings and be messy. But there was a point where I felt kind of stuck—it was like I had writer’s block but for painting. So I took a trip to New York, and on the way back home, I was walking down the aisle of the plane and every pattern I saw was just popping out at me. It was like this video of awesome shirts and weird patterns, and if you blurred your eyes it kind of looked like a painting. So I sat in my seat, and the whole six-hour ride I was drawing things around me. I had all these sketches to put up in my studio when I got home. I had been so fed up with everything I was doing before then, and this was the painting that refueled my love of painting.” The Beach (2009)“I usually do abstract paintings, but with this painting, I was living in New York and really missing the beach. I was looking at this picture of a beach in L.A., and I was like ‘God, I just need to get this out,’ and I did this painting in 10 minutes. I was thrilled by how quickly and easily it came out, and it led to this yearlong series of beaches. I can remember the feeling I had when I was painting this—a little frustrated but also excited by these little patterns and textures—and the feeling is conveyed in the painting.” Get your own piece of Caroline’s artistic style for your home now!
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