Interior designer Brad Ford, founder of Brad Ford ID, is known for a rich and elegant modernism that artfully balances function and style. Ford has been featured as one of “10 New Designers to Watch” in both New York Spaces Magazine and New York Magazine and was named one of America’s Top Young Designer’s by House Beautiful and Traditional Home. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Elle Décor, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Here he shares his address book for Haute Secrets.
Where were you born: Russellville, Arkansas
How long have you been in New York? Almost 25 years.
Favorite New York neighborhood: I love the West Village. I find the tree-lined streets and townhouses so charming and I like the sense of community it offers.
Favorite neighborhood shops: I’m a big fan of Kalustyans (123 Lexington Ave.) near Little India. I love to eat and I love to cook and this place has every type of specialty food, spice, extract, jam. etc., to satisfy my inner curious chef.
Favorite Restaurant: Do Hwa down on Carmine Street. I think they offer up some of the best Korean food in the city.I’ve been going there since their opening night.
Best French restaurant: Buvette in the West Village. Everything they serve is absolutely delicious and I love the atmosphere.
Best Italian restaurant: Via Carota. Another restaurant from chef Jody Williams, who opened Buvette. She’s got the golden touch and she’s adorable to boot.
Best place for a power business lunch: I actually like something a little more low key like Maialino’s in the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Best spot for Sunday brunch: Lafayette has a great brunch. I highly recommend their soft scramble with truffle vinaigrette.
Favorite New York dessert: I can never resist the salted-caramel ice cream sundae from ABC Kitchen.
Favorite spot for cocktails: I love having drinks at Salon de Ning, the rooftop bar at the Peninsula Hotel. The outdoor terrace is open for all four seasons and it’s really fun to sit outside during the holidays under one of their heat lamps with a blanket. They not only make the best cocktails but they also have the most delicious nut mix.
Night-on-the-town favorites: If I’m going to be honest my favorite night on the town usually involves a double feature at our neighborhood movie theater.
The wine you order most: I like a Malbec, but I much prefer vodka!
If you have out-of-town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Either the Gramercy Park Hotel, or The NoMad Hotel which happens to be close to my apartment.
Favorite retail store or showrooms for design items: I have to give myself a shameless plug and say my showroom FAIR. We’re focused on high-end handcrafted furnishings that are sophisticated but also highly livable. I’m also a big fan of BDDW and The Future Perfect.
Favorite antiques stores: Wyeth down on Canal. I’m always inspired when I visit their space.
Favorite store/resources for lighting: Apparatus Studio. Jeremy and Gabriel, the founders, are friends of mine and they have the most incredible taste.
Favorite store/resources for rugs: Marc Phillips for custom Tibetan rugs and Merida Studio for everything else.
Favorite stores for clothing. I’m very casual and can pretty much find everything I need at J. Crew.
Best gym/athletic facility: Equinox in the West Village
Favorite art gallery: David Zwirner
Best museum: There are so many great museums in the city, but the one I always go back to is the Museum of Natural History. I’ve always been inspired by nature and I never get tired of their dioramas. I also really like their planetarium. A close second is the Noguchi Museum.
Best museum for design: Cooper Hewitt.
Favorite historic houses in New York: There’s so much great architecture in the city, but I’ve really enjoyed working on Cast Iron House in Tribeca. Originally built in 1881 by James White, this building is one of the best examples of 19th-century cast iron architecture. It’s currently being re-imagined by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and I was asked to design the model apartment. It’s been such a great process and the newly renovated interiors are really stunning.
What book or books are you reading now? I’m re-reading Brett Easton Ellis’s Less than Zero which is a much different read from when I first read it as a teenager back in Arkansas.
Favorite historic/legendary New York place to see or explore: I can never spend enough time in Central Park. It’s absolutely beautiful in every way–from the design, to the landscapes, to the people. It’s like this sub-culture in the city where everything just sort of slows down and you can breathe and find clarity. I absolutely love it.
Describe New York in three words: Love/Hate/Home
What is the secret to your success? Living an authentic life, surrounding myself with meaningful relationships and experiences, and being kind.