When he was escalating up in Jamaica, Matthew Harris can remember his pleasure at checking out New York City on a excursion. Passing via John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport, he was dazzled by an artwork hanging overhead: Alexander Calder’s cell sculpture Flight, with its 45-foot span. He remembers being fascinated by the do the job, which seemed to him like a huge earring.
Several years afterwards, Harris moved to New York and turned a jewellery designer. Before long soon after he established his brand, Mateo, in 2009, Rihanna was spotted carrying a single of his silver zipper necklaces. A line of chandelier earrings encouraged by Calder adopted, and Mateo speedily acquired a cult next with customers such as Zendaya and Oprah.
Offered his longtime fascination with Calder, it would make sense that when Harris was building his new pied-à-terre in Lisbon, he was established to include things like a piece by the artist. “It was generally a aspiration to own a Calder, but most of the costs are in the stratosphere,” he states. With the assist of art adviser Christopher Wolf, he set his sights on a additional attainable acquire: a 1975 jute tapestry produced by Guatemalan artisans from a structure Calder donated to increase income for earthquake victims. Now its organic and natural crimson and blue sample hangs in excess of the dining space in his Lisbon apartment.
Harris lived in New York for 12 many years ahead of producing Houston his house foundation in 2020. His dwelling there has a gallery feel, with a black and white palette. “It’s a wow, but it’s tricky,” he says. “People don’t know where to sit—is it art or a chair?” Emotion restless all through the pandemic, he thought about shopping for a next residence in Europe, exactly where he spends a good chunk of the yr working. He remembered how significantly he enjoyed Lisbon when he frequented a 10 years earlier for company. “It experienced the greatest of almost everything: remarkable foodstuff, it is so multicultural, and the men and women are truly great,” he says.
From a distance, he investigated the area genuine estate scene and obtained an apartment sight unseen on the best flooring of a 19th-century creating at the coronary heart of the metropolis around the bustling Avenida da Liberdade. “It’s like Lisbon’s Fifth Avenue,” Harris suggests. “Just less manic.”
The move also permitted him to flex however another inventive muscle. “It’s always been a aspiration of mine to operate in interior design,” says Harris, who is presently building a line of ornamental objects. He enlisted the Portuguese architect Rui de Abreu and put in a year renovating the home with the target of retaining its historic character.
In contrast to his house in Houston, Harris preferred his 1,000-sq.-foot Lisbon flat to experience quickly approachable—“like it just about hugs you.” The living place captures that ethos with its classic Togo lounge seating, which he unexpectedly put together with a stout Brutalist facet chair and a mobilelike chandelier by Andrew Neyer. The dining location is furnished minimally with a glass desk and filament-trim sconces—supporting players picked so as not to compete with the star attraction: the Calder tapestry. Harris meticulously designed the grooved-oak wall and floating night time tables in his tailor-made bedroom.
The most important bathtub nods to its placing: The walls are tiled in common Portuguese blue-and-white azulejos, some depicting a nearly daily life-size 18th-century gentleman. In quite a few Portuguese residences, Harris describes, “there would have been a tile determine at the entry with an outstretched hand to signify hospitality.”
Thoughts of his principal profession are by no means considerably from his head, and the serene workplace demonstrates that. “In each individual dwelling I have, I want a room committed to jewelry, and it was time for an emerald area,” states Harris, who reached the rich hue with 11 coats of paint.
Now that his Lisbon apartment is full, Harris’s urge to devise new spaces has only intensified. He is currently building a villa for himself in Jamaica. Immediately after that, he has a much more ambitious concentrate on. “I’d appreciate to design a hotel from scratch,” Harris says. And would not a Calder mobile be just the issue for the lobby?
This tale initially appeared in the April 2023 concern of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE