This story originally appeared in Downtown Magazine Summer 2015 issue.
Art et Maison has redefined interior design in Lower Manhattan. Founders Olga Sivkova and Maria DeFilippis have created a brand that is now regarded as a reference point of cutting-edge design and high quality, fusing the best of the Old and New Worlds for inspired, elegant living.
The duo opened their doors in the epicenter of TriBeCa in 2004 with a single objective in mind: become a major player in the home furnishing business. The key to this goal was establishing relationships with top architects, developers, private clients and key members of the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. Considering Art et Maison’s success, it is safe to say this goal has been accomplished.
Sivkova, Art et Maison’s CEO, has years of experience working with major architectural firms, interior design companies and private clients, fine-tuning her innate skill.
She provides her extensive list of clientele with one-of-a-kind finds and offers them a variety of options to create a space that is unique to their needs and tastes.
With an expertise in kitchen design, Sivkova assists her clients in selecting not only cabinetry and finishes, but appliances, fabrication and countertops as well; she provides the whole package.
DeFilippis, Art et Maison’s sales director, has 30 years of retail experience, bringing a unique set of service skills to the team. DeFilippis works tirelessly to fulfill all of her clients’ needs, be it a closet renovation or furnishing an entire loft.
Her connections to real estate brokers throughout the city have allowed Art et Maison to break into the commercial world, and the pair have designed and furnished numerous sales offices.
Together, Sivkova and DeFilippis have merged and cultivated their skills to offer the best in Italian furnishing and design. Their collective experience and unique perspective have established their company as a premier brand not only downtown, but throughout Manhattan.
An Artisanal Touch
Art et Maison’s relationships with vendors have been both fruitful and informative.
“[We have learned] to appreciate the quality of materials and the different elements that they choose in their designs and their ability to use old ways of ‘making by hand,’ together with modern day technology,” says Sivkova.
Artisanal goods are integral to Art et Maison’s aesthetic and philosophy of Italian craft and tradition.
“We always talk [to and] educate our clients [about] where our products come from, how they are made and the beauty of Italian design,” says Sivkova.
With their affinity for artisanal treasures and the influence of Italy, the women behind Art et Maison bring a worldly flair to downtown design, differentiating their brand from the hordes of modern designers saturating the city.
Having conquered the world of bathroom, kitchen, closet and bedroom design, Art et Maison is moving up and out with its stunning outdoor spaces and rooftop designs. For Sivkova and DeFilippis, the transition was natural.
“There is really not that much difference [between designing for indoor and outdoor spaces]; you want to listen to what your clients want and how they live,” says Sivkova.
“With outdoor design, there are different factors [that], depending on the location, views and surrounding buildings…can influence your choices and what your client wants to use it for.”
For many of Art et Maison’s clients, outdoor spaces are very important, highly utilized areas of the home. According to Sivkova and DeFilippis, their downtown clientele tend to be more relaxed and enjoy a more casual lifestyle, characteristics that are often incorporated into the design elements.
“Our clients really enjoy their outside space with their families and friends, and were very influential in deciding what they needed for the space,” says Sivkova. “It [is often] important that we [include] a large dining table, comfortable seating, as well as areas where they can just lounge…When not entertaining, it is a very peaceful space where they can retreat to.”
For clients who use their outdoor areas less frequently, Sivkova says that the design is more centered on comfort.
“We would probably have it be more about seating and more tables; more lounge-like,” she says.
When designing for the outdoors, DeFilippis and Sivkova stress the importance of conceiving a space that can stand up to the elements. Sivkova says it is critical “to choose collections that are specifically made for [the] outdoors, to use anti-corrosion treatments, anti-UV power coating for metal parts and outdoor fabrics.”
Keeping the environment of the space in mind will ensure a successful and beautiful rooftop. Art et Maison’s beautifully styled rooftop spaces epitomize downtown living. Light, airy and unequivocally cool, rooftop living is a home design trend that is bound to take root, and Art et Maison will undoubtedly be the go-to company as it blossoms.
Thirsty for a new design direction and a novel perspective, downtown has embraced Art et Maison with open arms and open doors. The intrinsic talent, unique aesthetic and Italian influence have elevated Art et Maison to a new echelon of design. Rooftop living is the essence of downtown.
Photography by Tony Shi