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Give Me Libertine or Give Me Death!

by habituallychic

08 . 21 . 07

I thought about calling this post Johnson Hartig’s All Grown Up and I’ll explain why in a minute. As many of you probably know by know, Libertine designers Cindy Greene and Johnson Hartig pictured above are profiled in the September 2007 issue of Domino. But what few of you probably remember is that Johnson Hartig was also profiled in the September 2002 issue of House Beautiful below! I know this because I have the tear sheets to prove it! I thought it would be fun to look back and see how his style has changed in the past five years. I think it definitely looks like he grew up and refined his decorating style while still retaining his penchant for collecting.

Hartig above from five years ago working on his then burgeoning clothing line in the red workroom. Glad to his dog Pocket is still around too!

The photo above is of Hartig’s new living room in his house in LA which is dominated by a giant Damien Hirst spin painting. I remember making this type of art when I was little. I might have to ask my parents to find them since they’re back in vogue! Hirst was also a recent collaborator on a recent Libertine collection. Hence the skulls as well.
The walls in the new house mostly all white a departure from his previous LA penthouse living room that was full of color above. The new white walls are the perfect blank canvas for his colorful collection of art but also work well with his antiques and modern furniture.

Everything seems cleaner and more streamlined in the new house above as compared to the old penthouse below which was a bit cluttered. An English Regency dresser is flanked by 18th-century chairs and topped off with a Lucite and chrome flea market lamp.

Hartig did keep his British flag motif but instead of a rug like in the old penthouse above, he now has a pillow on the couch. A self professed Anglophile, now mixes his Anglo antiques along side Lucite, modern art and memento mori that all seems to work.

I think it’s amusing that the new house has white walls in every room but the bedroom above while the old penthouse had colorful painted walls in every room but the bedroom. I love how his style has changed and evolved and it’s so nice to know that the company he was running out of his penthouse is still in business. Libertine has grown up and it looks as if Johnson Hartig has too! Oh, and a line for Target ain’t too shabby!

Photos by Paul Costello and Fernando Bengoechea

Comments Closed

  1. The Peak of Chic August 21, 2007 | 9:09 pm

    Quite a change b/n the two. His current home is definitely more streamlined and much more edited. I think the older one gets the more one needs to edit 🙂

  2. Habitually Chic August 21, 2007 | 9:44 pm

    Peak, I agree about editing as you get older and also as you are able to afford quality over quantity.

  3. patriciagrayinc.com August 21, 2007 | 10:36 pm

    Great post and aren’t you clever to have saved this article for 5 years. The comparison of before and now is fun. Life is about evolving.

  4. decorno.blogspot.com August 22, 2007 | 2:08 am

    Brilliant! I am obsessed with page 112 of the current Domino (the one with the inky blue dresser you feature above) and I had no idea he was profiled elsewhere so long ago. You made my day with this before & after post! I loved seeing these old pictures.

    His current home is like a dream for me. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  5. katiedid August 22, 2007 | 4:35 am

    So Funny! I remember the original article in HB. What a difference a few years make.Love the new digs.

    Hey – love the Hermes blanket- There’s alot of posts on those going around right now! 🙂

    A little out of the loop lately! i will check out your wonderful posts more thoroughly when I get a chance!

  6. Cote de Texas August 22, 2007 | 10:28 am

    Great post! I love to see things like this, before and after, what stayed, what went. Of his new home, the bedroom is my favorite. As an aside, the Target tradition of late of selling designer clothes on a revolving door schedule is brilliant. My daughter buys out these collections and looks like a million in them.

  7. ALL THE BEST August 22, 2007 | 12:21 pm

    This is just such a great post!! Everything does seem much cleaner and more streamlined. I like it much better.

  8. Habitually Chic August 22, 2007 | 4:15 pm

    I’m so glad everyone enjoyed seeing the difference in John Hartig’s homes! I saved all my old House Beautiful issues from when Marian McEvoy was editor and had just gone through them recently. They remind me of what H&G and Domino are doing now so I thought it wa funny that Domino had a feature on his new home. I LOVE his living room! I would kill for a Damien Hirst. So amazing!

  9. kcdesign August 22, 2007 | 9:50 pm

    This is a great post – really fun to see the two together. I recently picked up an old design book with some “vintage” Victoria Hagan – you could really see the “acorn” of the idea and how it had evolved. Fun to have these right here together.

  10. Shannon August 23, 2007 | 12:38 am

    Wow. I have the 2002 sheets still as well. That’s too funny, I never would have connected the guy in the pictures, much less the homes. Good thing someone pays attention!

  11. ms. swifty August 23, 2007 | 2:20 am

    i always loved the compare & contrast assignments i was given in grammer school. interesting to see the evolution.

  12. artDESIGN August 31, 2007 | 4:55 pm

    Your collection of note-worthy pretty things here is a breath of fresh air. Very much enjoying your blog.

  13. Anonymous September 26, 2007 | 9:52 pm

    Actually I happen to like the OLD apartment much better than his latest one. (And what up with the photo lense or angle in the living room shot? That lucite coffee table looks bigger than the couch!) I think his new place lacks soul and definitely looks put together to impress other people. (And btw, really study the photos, we don’t really see much of his place at all.) Doesn’t look as personal as his old place.

    Are you sure this is from House Beautiful? I could swear it was Elle Decor that did a story on him in 2002.