Franklin Report Report Card for ILIAD Design in New York City
★ Franklin Report Card

ILIAD Design

12 East 20th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
(212) 935-4382
Main Contact: Andrea Zemel


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Services & Specialties
Period-focused bespoke furniture, original art, antiques, restoration and interior design

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FR Review:
Iliad Design bypasses the “antique vs. bespoke” debate with its sophisticated renderings of classically inspired pieces. When stepping into a room furnished by this firm, it’s hard to distinguish an Iliad original from a restored treasure: Rosewood and burl-wood veneers and brass hardware finish pieces mirror the designs of 19th-century Vienna Biedermeier and 20th century continental Art Deco. A team of artists in its own right, Iliad pays just as much attention to the craftsmanship of the period as the style. Some say that the quality of Iliad’s scaling exceeds that of even the best decorators. It’s this keen eye and smart taste that make Iliad the top choice for something “with provenance and a bit of the unexpected.”

The antiquarians behind the business are partners Adam Brown and Andrea Zemel, who hold a BA from Temple in Japanese and Northeast Asian Studies, and a MFA from UPenn, respectively. While traveling in Europe just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the pair found the region to be littered with antique sales. What they collected served as the basis for their first business. As antique dealing moved online, Brown and Zemel decided to provide an alternative—and arguably upgraded—option for collectors, and started Iliad Design. With a showroom in New York City’s Flatiron District and an Old World workshop in Prague, Iliad is able to blend modern 3D printing and CAD with traditional techniques—using actual veneer samples from abroad—to offer a unique design experience.

This process, however, comes at a high price. A three-piece salon suite of table and chairs averages around $30,000 and can take up to twelve weeks to execute. However, countless visits back to the drawing board must be factored in. And getting there can be expedited by full customer participation; Brown and Zemel find their best client experiences are with artistically inclined, hands-on types— such as a Wall Street exec with hidden creative talents. In addition to furniture, Iliad offers a carefully curated contemporary art collection that includes Zemel’s own work. The fi rm has acted as owner’s reps for loyal clients and is sought out by industry big wheels for interior design collaboration—its upcoming projects include a 75-piece international show house and the complete furnishing of an uptown residence. Whether a job of this scale or a single piece, Iliad is the premier designer for translating aesthetics of the past into today’s lifestyle.

Representative Client Comments:
“The team is impeccably organized and sharp; Andrea is a technical genius.” “For rare pieces, we rely on Iliad because their network exceeds even ours.” “Not for the budget-minded.” “They asked me to come in and make sure a piece that was off by less than an inch was still okay—I almost blew it off. But it was, as they suggested, incompatible and needed to be redone. They truly saved me.” “I wanted them to sell a Biedermeier couch for me, and was shocked when they told me this family heirloom was fake. I had someone from the Met give a second opinion. They were right. Iliad really knows what they’re talking about.” “Barney, their right-hand man, ensures a fluid process, facilitating everything, even out of state installation and follow-up.” “Go-to when the look calls for antiques but you want something brand new.” “Huge experts in world art and history.” “Renderings are 100% exact all of the time.” “They are never pushy or going for the hard sell, you can tell they truly love being surrounded by their masterpieces and are in it for the art.”

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