A Visit with Renowned Stylist Scott Newkirk, at His New Place in Charlotte, North Carolina

A star fashion stylist in NYC for nearly 30 years, Scott Newkirk has also been one to watch in the world of interiors, thanks to his effortlessly chic quarters. In Brooklyn, he kept home in a former fire station with burlap curtains and art displayed every which way (including with masking tape as instant wall frames)—as featured in our first book, Remodelista: A Sourcebook for the Stylish Home. In upstate NY, he built his own off-the-grid, two-story dream cabin from salvaged materials—see Steal This Look. Photos of the latter and of Scott bathing in a brook continue to make the online rounds even though Scott himself moved on a decade ago.

We’re happy to report that our friend recently resurfaced with his beloved dog, Scratch, and an expanded repertoire. After putting most of his possessions in storage and going home to Mississippi to help his ailing father, Scott tells us, he got a job offer that brought him to Charlotte, North Carolina. For the last few years, he’s been beyond busy as the visual director at Tabor and Capitol, companion mens’ and womenswear boutiques (at Tabor, Scott was also enlisted to design the store and is one of its two buyers). And for the last year, he and Scratch have been getting settled in an apartment in a 1929 five-story brick structure in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward, a walkable area of Victorian houses and pocket-sized park that he describes as “the most urban neighborhood I could find.” Every object Scott lives with has a story, and he welcomed us in for a guided tour.

Photography by Chris Edwards, courtesy of Scott Newkirk.

located in what scott thinks was charlotte’s first luxury apartment 9
Above: Located in what Scott thinks was Charlotte’s first luxury apartment building, the two-bedroom setup came in great condition, with its original features intact, including wood floors, casement windows, and a working fireplace. “I’m usually one to repaint rooms—it makes them yours. But I loved the existing color on the walls, Sherwin Williams Light French Gray.  It’s just moody enough to soften the room.”

“The living room is quite small so I needed a sofa no more than five-feet long,” Scott continues.”I came across this one on 1st Dibs. It was a sad little no-name Italian piece from the late fifties in an old red striped velvet with springs bursting from the seat, but it had great lines and I loved the little brass legs. (I like to imagine it lived in Venice at one point.) I found the beautiful green mohair at a local fabric store that sells leftovers from interior designers and it gave the sofa a new life.”

scott always surrounds himself with stacks of outsized books and positions art  10
Above: Scott always surrounds himself with stacks of outsized books and positions art in every sight line. Much of the work is by friends and people he’s worked with, such as the ceramic orb is by sculptor Pamela Sunday and the Dietmar Busse tree photograph: “It’s actually a color image of a fresh snowfall in his hometown in Germany.”

Other than the sofa and the Grasshopper Floor Lamp, shown here, just about everything came from Scott’s New York loft: “All of the furniture was purchased in the early- to mid-1990s from small furniture galleries in Soho and the beloved 26th Street Flea Market.”

the ceramic groupings on the mantel include a pamela sunday vase: “ 11
Above: The ceramic groupings on the mantel include a Pamela Sunday vase: “Every piece of hers is hand built. I met Pam in the early nineties when she was an art director at Bergdorf Goodman and I was working with them as a stylist.”  That’s a 1902 pressed seaweed print in the frame.

scott and scratch at his living room desk, a danish modern rosewood table. the  12
Above: Scott and Scratch at his living room desk, a Danish-modern rosewood table. The Thonet No. B9 chair is on loan from architect Perry Poole—”he’s the friend who convinced me to move down here. He and his wife, Laura, own the stores that I work with, Capitol, which Laura opened over twenty years ago [her podcast now in its sixth season is What We Wore], and Tabor, which I helped open seven years ago.” scott and scratch at his living room desk, a danish modern rosewood table. the  13Above: “Books, books, books,” says Scott, “and not a shelf in sight, so pretty much every surface serves as a resting place for my collection.” Of the 1950 Cubist canvas propped against the wall, Scott says, “My color palette lives in that painting.”

The table story: “I bought it thirty years ago from a young man who had just inherited two warehouses of Scandinavian furniture from his Dad and was trying to sort it all out. That day was a score.” Scott paired the 1960s bronze lamp with a string shade he long ago found in a Chelsea thrift store. The long-armed light is in the style of Prouvé.

scott says his friend karen gelardi‘s artwork “speaks t 14
Above: Scott says his friend Karen Gelardi‘s artwork “speaks to my love of reinterpreting the mundane.” Shown here: Gelardi’s ‘Drawing Construction No. 2,’ “a large papier-mâché panel made with upcycled chipboard, rice paper, and photocopies of a hand-drawn grid structure. And the framed piece to the right is Gelardi’s ‘Romasco Weed,’ a colored pencil drawing on a patched-together manila folder.”
scott steel kitchen table was custom ordered back in the 1980s from zona, the  15
Above: Scott steel kitchen table was custom ordered back in the 1980s from Zona, the Southwestern-themed It store in Soho. It works with a pair of vintage Tolex stools. The tall plant is a pencil cactus. Scott’s sister, Jane Newkirk of @gemglasstudio, made the stained glass medallion.
scott left the kitchen as is and used a vintage french art poster and &#82 16
Above: Scott left the kitchen as is and used a vintage French art poster and “a lot of wooden spoons to disguise the laminate countertops.” He draped the Restoration Hardware task lamp’s heavy metal shade with burlap to soften it. “I’ve always loved things made of twine and burlap. In the summer, instead of logs I keep a knotted rope sculpture in the fireplace—creating something beautiful from the mundane.”
a japanese tansu chest stands in the entry: “it spent a decade in m 17
Above: A Japanese tansu chest stands in the entry: “It spent a decade in my cabin upstate and always finds a home wherever I take it.” By surrounding it with art, including two prints from a vintage Paul Klee folio and a 1951 painting, Scott was able to turn the narrow little space into “a very intimate gallery.”
the apartment has two bedrooms, but scott uses one of them as a walk in closet. 18
Above: The apartment has two bedrooms, but Scott uses one of them as a walk-in closet. The George Nelson rosewood Thin-Edge Cabinet is filled with “fabrics I’ve collected in my travels and more books.” The foxed mirror came from Restoration Hardware 15 years ago and the ceramic vessel is a Pamela Sunday.
scott keeps things simple in the bedroom: “it’s literal 19
Above: Scott keeps things simple in the bedroom: “it’s literally just a mattress; I blackened the side of it.” The linen sheets are by Matteo and the gray throw is from Snow Peak.
a vintage aalto stool and mies chair keep company with a karlheinz weinberger p 20
Above: A vintage Aalto stool and Mies chair keep company with a Karlheinz Weinberger photograph.
“it’s not perfect,” says scott, “bu 21
Above: “It’s not perfect,” says Scott, “but all my favorite things are here. I see everything that I want to see.” Of late, Scott has been moonlighting on some interiors projects for friends and he’s thinking about designing a log furniture collection. Keep up with him @newkirk_interiors.

Here’s our 2011 Designer Visit: Scott Newkirk shot by Michael Mundy at Scott’s Brooklyn firehouse.