Nick Spain

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After a decade spent in the world of marketing for the art + design world, Nick Spain decided it was time for him to be the one creating things. He has 3+ years of experience designing and maintaining gardens in the NYC metropolitan area and possesses a Certificate in Horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. His first project was gut-renovating a 4400 square foot Italianate in the Berkshire Foothills of Massachusetts which was featured in Clever. These peripatetic experiences finally coalesced in his company Arthur’s, which aims to create designs for living, both inside and out. He designs interiors intuitively and they are largely inspired by imagined narratives, with each element playing a crucial role in the production of the whole.

What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?

I just found this book called Biedermeier to Bauhaus at a local tag sale that charts German and Austrian interior design from the Renaissance up until the mid 1900s. It’s really turned me on to mid 19th century Bavarian dowry furniture, which is trippy in all the right ways.
Favorite books of all time is a tough one - for fiction, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan and Orlando by Virginia Woolf all come to mind. For non-fiction, The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton and Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith. I love all of Nikki Giovanni’s poetry.

Most visited blogs, websites? : 

This Is Paper
Sight Unseen
Dig Delve by Dan Pearson
The Planthunter
Office Magazine

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What apps do you use the most and why?

Honestly I try to spend as little time on my phone as possible because I think it’s slowly homogenizing and demoralizing society, but I do use iNaturalist a lot for plant and bird ID.

Whats currently on your playlist?

Someday by Julia Jacklin
Lightning Field by Steve Gunn
True Blue by Mark Ronson & Angel Olsen
Phone Numbers by Dominic Fike & Kenny Beats
Cutout by Softee
I’m Not in Love by Kelsey Lu
Queen of the Rodeo by Orville Peck
Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis
Milionaria by Rosalia
Wine Green by Velvet Negroni
Restore the Feeling by Daniel Caeasar

What records would you recommend to hear?

Anything and everything by Angel Olsen. She’s fucking brilliant.

Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?

My husband always falls asleep on the couch if we put a movie on, so we’re more TV people. I’d say The Hours because Ed Harris always makes me cry, Pontypool because I’m a big horror fan, and anything with Parker Posey. I met her at a party once and geeked out.

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Which artists working today do you admire most?

I really admire my friend’s gallery Larrie NYC because it reps some really great artists questioning existing social dogma in a way that makes you squirm and feel uncomfortable on the inside - Curtis Santiago, Ilana Harris-Babou are two of them. William Farr, Martine Syms, Rashid Johnson, and Pierre Yovanovitch come to mind as well. I also liked a lot of the dead ones.

What are some of your tv top tips right now?

Dark on Netflix - it’s this weird sci-fi time travel show in German that views the past as something that isn’t fixed and is constantly evolving, and I think I gravitate towards it because I think about the intersection of past, present and future a lot in my work.
Gardeners World on BBC - Monty Don is so charming and the British just care so much more about gardening and I’m pretty much an old man.
Fleabag - The entire cast is stellar. Olivia Colman says the nastiest things with a sense of the utmost generosity.

Who are you following?


What tools do you use in your work?

Lots of tape measures, spades, pruners, pencils, paper. Beginning to play with pastels. Bubblegum.

What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?

Viewpoint Magazine and RUM ID whenever I can get my hands on it
Old copies of World of Interiors, or old copies of any shelter magazine for that matter
Fantastic Man

What are your favorite gadgets?

The transition sunglass lenses I just got in my new Lesca glasses have been a real game changer for me.




Images by © James John Jetel, Zio and Sons