AT HOME WITH FRANK MUYTJENS
Head of Menswear Design takes us out of the city and to his upstate home in Hillsdale, NY.
Most mornings, Frank Muytjens takes a moment to admire the Manhattan skyline from right outside his Williamsburg apartment. But on the weekends, he tends to lush gardens, strewn along acres of rolling hills, at his second home in Hillsdale, NY.
Located upstate, 100 miles north of the City, Hillsdale is without the bustling social scene of other, more popular weekend destinations - precisely the reason Frank chose the town as home. “[Hillsdale] is still a work in progress, but that's what I really like about it,” the designer says humbly.
The contrast between the City's bustle and the simplicity of the small town takes implicit form in Frank's designs for J. Crew. Classic and understated menswear elements, counterbalanced by forward and sometimes risky ideas, Frank favors an unlikely pairing - when things are “imperfect and clash,” he says.
The same type of contrast is applied throughout Frank's home. A rustic farm table paired with Bertoia wire chairs, and a contemporary sofa covered in pillows made from antique fabrics - Frank celebrates his rural surroundings, but pays subtle homage to the urban culture that inspires him equally.
Intrigued by glimpses we've peeked on instagram, we traveled upstate to spend a Saturday afternoon with the designer - to explore these unexpected juxtapositions, and observe how he spends those weekends away from the City.
Graced with perfect weather, Frank gives us a tour of the grounds, while describing his strong affection for gardening. We then make our way inside for coffee, conversation, and to begin uncovering the many layers of his thoughtfully decorated home. Assembled over years of collecting, Frank rarely (if ever) settles for something he isn't thrilled about. The designer would much rather wait than to compromise, a philosophy that's helped him to create a space that truly feels like home.
As we make our way back to the kitchen to reconvene with the host before parting, he greets us with two glasses of Rose and a couple of franks he grilled as we were busy perusing his property. We toast to the quiet life and a lovely afternoon, before reluctantly heading out, and allowing Frank to return to his calming weekend routine.