A Low-Key Outside, Exuberant Inside Village House
Sasha Bikoff’s 21-foot-wide house on Commerce Street in Greenwich Village was built in the 1820s in the late-Federal style, which doesn’t call undue attention to itself. But step inside and it runneth over with colors, patterns, and references. “My goal for the house was really to create this Notting Hill–French country vibe,” Bikoff says. “It started with the Pierre Frey wallpaper.” Oh, and there are a few Venetian notes as well.
“I love to tell a story, and I like to make up a story that doesn’t exist,” Bikoff adds.
She was raised in an Upper East Side apartment with a minimalist look, but at age 14, she rebelled. She set off to Janovic for pink wall paint and draped her stainless-steel Conran canopy bed with fabrics found in the Garment District. Bikoff had admired her Persian maternal grandmother’s homes, which involved “a lot of Middle Eastern and European antiques and big puddles of silk drapes — very glamorous,” she recalls.
She went off to college, studied in Paris, and then spent four years at Gagosian (she had previously interned there while in high school). Yet it was always décor, not art, that resonated for her. Her mother let Bikoff redo her apartment at the Dakota when she was in her early 20s.
She is self-taught in décor. “I walked the entire D&D Building in one week, teaching myself about all the vendors” — fabric, wallpaper, furniture — “and I did it in the New York Design Center, too,” she says.
“I was fighting my real passion to be a decorator,” she explains. “And I love the term decorator. A lot of people are, like, ‘interior designer,’ but I am like, ‘No! Call me a decorator.’ ” She started her practice in 2014. In 2018, Donatella Versace spied her work on Instagram and flew her to Milan to create a home collection based on what she’d seen, then asked her for a second collection that was unveiled in Miami during Art Basel the next year.
She bought this house before the pandemic and rented it out. After she married Adam Cooper a year ago, she set to work on decorating it so they could move in. Bikoff warned him in advance, “I’m going to go kind of crazy here.”