Designer Elena Frampton is expanding out East. The SoCal native, New York–based designer has opened Exhibition, an experiential gallery and studio, in Bridgehampton, a space to showcase the Frampton Co. founder and creative director’s own work, as well as pieces from Kyle Morris, Michael Boyd, Sidney Geist and Jorge Fick. Frampton answers Business of Home’s inquiries about the new endeavor.
How did you decide to establish the gallery out East?
Our projects in the Hamptons have increased over time, and a year-round location makes sense for our team and clients. Lifestyle-wise, I’m a Southern California native, and being here is a natural fit—having spent many years working and summering in the Hamptons.
So much of our work is private, so I’ve been exploring the idea of creating an experiential gallery and studio. In my experience, clients are most comfortable taking risks when they can see or experience examples of new concepts. The Bridgehampton studio is a larger space to make and create, while Exhibition is a place to share our vision/expressions. Exhibition will feature annual summer shows as an experiment in artful living.
The inaugural exhibition is a study in the duality of minimal versus maximal, while challenging the notion that a summer home must be white. Expanding on my modus operandi to explore new ways to engage with art, we’ve created for this summer a tactile and sensual experience, blurring the lines between art and design, and reflecting living with art joyfully without the chilliness of a museum.
What works are being included? Will you feature other designers and artists in addition to your own work?
The most predominant work inside Exhibition is our newly debuted sofa design, 14 feet in length and hand-seamed with a bird motif fabric and leather fringe trim. Artworks are by Kyle Morris, Michael Boyd, Sidney Geist and Jorge Fick, mostly from the 1960s and ’70s and courtesy the Eric Firestone Gallery. Sculptural seating designed by the Campana Brothers, Nendo, and Wendell Castle are courtesy Friedman Benda. We’ve included vintage furnishings from my own collection, including a pair of Italian armchairs reupholstered with two-tone fabrics, and a Wendell Castle table.
We aimed for a residential atmosphere in the converted garage, so [we have] custom-fit, non-repeating wall treatment courtesy Calico, the Isamu Noguchi lanterns and Pierre Frey sheer draperies, and the gray sisal underfoot from Stark Carpet.
How did you choose the location?
A couple of years ago, our projects reached a level where I thought a second location out East would be helpful in providing services to our clients. I kept an eye out for a potential space, though a storefront on Main Street or a standard box space never felt quite right. Coincidentally, a spacious converted garage near my house became available, and the moment I walked inside, I knew in my gut it was right. This double-height, skylit space is the perfect place to plant our new studio roots, and I saw the opportunity to expand our efforts to create Exhibition.