Discover the work of Aero Studios, one of AD TOP 100 INTERIOR DESIGNERS 2017.
Thomas O’Brien is an interior and home furnishings designer based in New York City. He is the founder and President of Aero Studios, one of America’s leading design firms, and the owner of Aero Ltd., the iconic home boutique that is the retail face of the studio.
Since establishing Aero in 1992, O’Brien has been celebrated for translating modernism into a warm and livable style. From private residences to commercial properties, product design to brand and fine art consulting, his work is known for its collected, vintage elegance, even as it is sympathetic to the most practical ideas of home.
His sense of the modern comes from filtering together elements from different historical origins, in combinations that can seem at once familiar and revealing: the shared simplicity between 20th century and classical forms; the balance of rustic and refined, comfort and rarity.
In such connections and in his love of the local O’Brien is an American designer at heart. He draws from the farmhouse as much as the townhouse, and he is a lifelong student of American vernacular antiques and architecture as a foil for modern generations of design. His mix of the modern and traditional extends to the eponymous Thomas O’Brien brand of home furnishings, with furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles, carpets, and bedding and bath collections for both fine and daily living.
As both merchant and designer, O’Brien chooses the old-world model of a design enterprise: keeping a one-of-a-kind store with a curated viewpoint as the anchor to a popular lifestyle brand. This approach allows him to continually create a world unto itself for people to discover, and a laboratory in which to work out the ideas that find their way into his many projects and interiors.
His designing comes out of those twin worlds, public and private, and makes up the two parts of the business that is Aero: a studio and a store. I am lucky to create homes and the products that go into them. And now, this online Aero that is a different window onto those worlds. A third way in design that is both immediate and as meandering and full of discovery as an actual walk through the physical place of Aero, in New York City.
“I REALLY THINK OF MYSELF AS A COLLECTOR FIRST. EVERYTHING I DO IS ABOUT FINDING THINGS TO SHARE.”