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Pursuitist Q&A: GRADE’s Edward Yedid Talks Design & Luxury Trends

Pursuitist Q&A: GRADE’s Edward Yedid Talks Design & Luxury Trends

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Nominated as one of GOTHAM Magazine’s most eligible bachelors, Edward Yedid – a quintessential New Yorker – is the interior design extraordinaire of GRADE, an architecture and design firm in SoHo spearheading some of New York’s most historic landmark residential conversions such as Ralph Walker Tower and boutique 87 Leonard and recently completed the design for Oprah’s former penthouse on 57th Street.

Edward is a mainstay in New York’s society circles with close ties to NYC’s bold names behind top tier fashion brands but when he isn’t in New York, you can find Edward shopping for antiques in Paris for client projects or on the slopes at St. Moritz.

We chatted with Edward about a variety of topics, ranging from his favorite spots for business meetings and travel to his thoughts on the design industry. Read on for our exclusive with this eligible bachelor and tastemaker.

As a native Manhattanite with a finger on the pulse of NYC, what are some of your favorite locales to meet with clients over lunch/dinner?

Blue Ribbon Sushi or Giorgione on Spring Street are both great for lunch. For dinner, I enjoy the French cuisine at Le Bilbouquet in the Upper East Side or the authentic Greek dishes at Milos.

You’re known for spearheading some of NYC’s most notable historic landmark residential conversions. What are you currently working on? Any buildings you’re eyeing for future projects?

We recently designed a boutique landmark residential conversion at 87 Leonard featuring floor-through units which incorporate the structure’s industrial detail melded with luxe fixtures and finishes. For Ralph Walker Tribeca, we balanced classic shapes and geometric motifs with modern finishes and detailing to reference the building’s storied art deco past. In addition to the residential spaces for Ralph Walker Tribeca, we also spearheaded the amenity spaces such as outdoor terraces for residents, pool, spa and fitness center among others. We also have an exciting project in Boston; a high rise residential building that will transform the Boston skyline. A selection of our latest projects can be found on our redesigned website, which launches in a few weeks with a new layout that’s reflective of the evolution of our brand.

 Downtown is a burgeoning neighborhood with a number of luxurious new residential projects – the Four Seasons residences, for example. Is there a neighborhood that you feel will follow suit?

I’m predicting The Lower East Side/Bowery to be next to follow.

Not everyone has the Oprah budget for interiors – where are your favorite places to shop for high end antiques/decor without the million-plus budget? 

We love a piece that has history and can add a different dynamic to a home’s story. Much of the décor we use in our designs is from all over the world, pieces that inspire us and reflect a particular culture or time period, but still fit in our clean aesthetic. One of my favorite flea markets for antiques is Marché aux Puces in Paris as well as Pimlico Road in London.

Are you seeing a shift in interior design trends/styles/aesthetic? For example, any movement towards certain type of layout, reclaimed materials, minimal decor, etc?  Emphasis on art?

I think that each interior designer has their own style or aesthetic, but we’re increasingly seeing our clients looking for us to incorporate our holistic approach to design by spearheading both architecture as well as interior design to create a luxury lifestyle experience. We’ve curated everything and anything from artwork, custom furniture and monogrammed towels as a way of shaping a truly custom, bespoke design experience.

What design trend/movement is making an overdue exit? 

To us, ostentatious is not luxurious. Using quality materials in a tactful, understated manner is what gives a space value in my opinion. Simplicity is elegant and provides a calm, clean space versus a home layered with gilded features and décor.

As a world-class designer that’s searched the world for inspiration, what tops your list for architecturally stunning destinations (for each season) along with a corresponding design-centric hotel? 

For the winter, the chic luxury at the Four Seasons in Turkey complements the trendiness of Istanbul. In spring, Hôtel Plaza Athénée with its Parisian luxury and great city views. The Connaught in London during the summer, and Hotel Danieli in Venice during the fall.