Designer Finds Inspiration Everywhere

John Mahoney’s Art Could Hang In Your Home

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Two examples of Mahoney’s “Kiku Shima” wallpaper. It’s glorious!
AB: Now, you said you have a house upstate. Where else do you live?

JM: I live upstate, actually. My main office is in Hudson, New York and I also have an old one-room school house near Hillsdale. It’s great. It’s a wonderful little getaway surrounded by 250 acres of forest.

AB: How did you find it?

JM: We kind of stumbled on it. My partner and I had been looking for a get-away for probably over a year-and-a-half and one day, when we were headed back to the city after seeing a horrible dump, the real estate agent called us and said she’d just gotten a new listing and thought it was perfect for us. And, sure enough, we went over and fell in love with it immediately.

AB: What about your house – your main office? How did you find that?

JM: We’d been going – we have a lot of friends in Hudson and we’d been going in and out for many years, so we knew the area pretty well and we knew the neighborhood that we wanted to be in – the house that we bought had been on the market for a while, but the price was unreachable for us. When we found out the owners were going to drop the price, we jumped on it, because it’s a beautiful, old Greek revival townhouse that had a Victorian makeover, an arts and crafts addition and a 1940s kitchen added on. It’s quite an almagamation of different times and styles and that appealed to me. I see it as a wonderful canvas for future explorations

AB: What do you want to do now with your career?

JM: I’m actually working with a national manufacture on a collection of carpets that’s a little more rooted in tradition. The designs in this collection are a play on traditional Persian, Oriental rugs, but they’ve been given a modern twist. Using color and scale – I’m creating a more transitional collection that will be available in showrooms across the country. So, that’s exciting – having a bridge line that will be available to more designers and architects. I’d love to design a collection of fabrics and I think perhaps tableware.

AB: How important is tradition to you? The concept of tradition – the things that we pass on to the next generation? The things that become familiar?

JM: I think can traditional is useful for inspiration, but not useful as a rule book. You shouldn’t be too beholden to tradition, but it’s also important to know the history of art.