Carlos Mota Home New York City

There’s something so much fun (and that I never tire of) about house tours. On our latest installment of “At Home in New York” we’re visiting the Chelsea apartment of  Architectural Digest’s international style editor, Carlos Mota.

Carlos Mota Home New York City 01

I like things more crazy, more messy, more unexpected.

Mota’s approach to interior design is much like his philosophy on entertaining, “Live in a small apartment? Stuff it with people[.] If you can only fit six people at your table, invite 40. I like things more crazy, more messy, more unexpected.” The Living Room’s grey button-tufted sectional is modeled after banquettes in Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel. The design, spanning nearly the full width of the room lavishly accommodates Mota’s frequent abundance of guests.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

Of his aesthetic, the editor emphasizes, “I like color. I like to combine looks and periods. I don’t like just any one style[.] I hate the word eclectic, so maybe I should call my look globally chic.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

In lieu of a formal dining area, Mr. Mota filled the space adjacent to the Living Room with a second sofa and two 1960s chairs that sit on either side of a bespoke cocktail table lacquered in a bold coral. Regarding the chartreuse silk rug in the Living and Dining Area, Mota declares, “Carpets are the shoes of decor[.] Have a good one and the whole room looks sophisticated.”

Carlos Mota Home New York City

A graffiti-like canvas by Jay Lohmann hangs above the living room console.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

In his office area, an emerald David Benjamin Sherry photograph is framed by avocado-green walls.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

Eccentricities abound in Mota’s home. An aluminum-foil elephant bust by artist Dean Millien hangs above the bed, juxtaposed with photographs by David Benjamin Sherry and Alec Soth. Mr. Soth’s picture titled I Can’t Go On Like This (to the right of the bed) features a handwritten breakup letter, colorful passages of which Mota enjoys reading aloud to guests.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

Mota’s favorite room in his home, however, is the bath, inspired in spirit (rather than hue) by Diana Vreeland’s iconic all-red living room. The fashion editor described her scarlet botanical-printed salon as “a garden in hell.” With that phrase in mind, Carlos upholstered the walls and ceiling above the original 1930’s tilework in a dramatic tree-of-life motif with a black ground.

Carlos Mota Home New York City

“I like anything that feels different,” Mota mentions. “That applies to people, too.”

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Image / via Architectural Digest. Photographer: Roger Davies. Interior Design by Stylist Carlos Mota /

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Author: Sarah Sarna

Interior Designer and Editor helping intelligent women unlock their style and own it, à la: decorating, fashion, beauty, and beyond.