Fab Friday: Collector, Bill Indursky


Bill Indursky co-founded VandM.com, one of the largest vintage, antique, and design e-commerce websites on the internet. VandM features over 16,000 amazing items from around the world and their DESIGNinTELL magazine is filled with informative articles and inSIDERS profiles.

Bill also utilizes his great eye for design for his own media-worthy home, which has landed on three Top 10 lists on design site Apartment Therapy (best small space, best apartment 2010, best spaces NYC), and on The Huffington Post‘s real estate house tour section.

Robin Baron: What inspired you to start VandM.com?
Bill Indursky: I think most people accidently fall into the jobs that they do in order to make a living.  The trick to finding success, especially for creative people, is one part undying ambition, one part luck, one part timing, and a large part strong motivation to push us to keep trying.

When I started VandM.com, I had been designing websites, running my own small struggling 10-year-old web firm. I was looking for a way out. By chance, a man I had worked with one time called me to be part of another project.  That project did not work out but we both thought that there was something we could work on together – VandM was born.

Chris and I worked relentlessly during the first 2 ½ years.  We practically starved. But I never give up – ever – even if I probably should.  Perhaps it is my ego, control issues, or simply I am naïve, but no matter what, I never give up. Several years, and two more owners later, our company is now about to be worth millions.  But both Chris and I had to put up with almost unimaginable bull and endless work and sacrifice.  He left our company recently to pursue some other dreams but I still hold the torch for both of us now.

I never thought I would be working in the antique and home décor industries – it seems like most people, I fell somewhat into it.  But you see, as long as you are open, ambitious, have a little luck, have a little timing, and of course NEVER give up – anyone can do it!

RB: What are a few of your favorite pieces on the site right now?
BI: That is like asking me to pick my favorite child, which, like most parents, I could do, but might not be fair. What I think I love most is that we have items at all sorts of price points that all represent a great value.  I love the fun flea market quality of the site where you discover something new each time – a real gem where you think… my god, why has no one snatched this treasure up!  With over 16,000 items to buy on the site, 300-400 items new each week, it changes so often that it is like a dream never-ending flea market.

RB: How would you describe your personal style?
BI: As a child my personal style was often called “different” and “unusual,” which I believe is the nice way of saying “ugly.”  I like to mix apparently two disconnected things. For example, I called a recent outfit “Farnsworth Bently (P. Diddy’s former man servant)” meets “a Christmas leprechaun.” All my design is like this; two disparate things creating something new in a fresh and fun way.  My own apartment is “London bachelor pad” meets “urban Adirondack.”

RB: How did your passion for home design start?
BI: I got my undergrad and graduate degrees in Architecture.  I knew I always wanted to be an architect but it was really sealed for me when I was fourteen years old.  I went to the Holy Seplica in Jerusalem where Jesus was taken down off his cross and cleaned, then brought into the interior of the early church to be laid out. When we entered the church I saw just how cavernous and soaring the interior was. Light at the dome clearstory windows gently shimmered against small gold tiles embedded into the mud walls.  It was the first time I ever FELT architecture.  It was the first time I thought space could move you.  After that I was committed to creating moving spaces that people noticed.  How many spaces do we go into and never notice?  I would say most of them.

RB: You showed me photos of your fabulous Apartment Therapy-featured apartment! From the dark walls to the edgy art collection, it’s clear that you’re a risk taker! Where did this come from?
BI: The funny thing is that I never think of it as odd or edgy. My apartment may be atypical, but to me all this is normal.  I don’t know what that says about me but I guess my normal is edgy and risky!

RB: What do you love most about your home and why?
BI: I love that my home is actually warm, relaxing and comforting.  Not words you would normally put together with all black space with skulls, but there you are!  I think it is important to have a wonderful balance between soft and hard furnishings. I think most architects are obsessed with cold, hard, structure and don’t ever explore the softer side of design. It is important to have a balance. My home has comfy chairs (from my own site but recovered in new upholstery) and hard furnishings like desks as well. Comfort is both.

RB: What is the one thing in your home that everyone always comments on?
BI: I think everybody comments on the “bombs” the most.  It is a ceramic prototype from an Argentine artist (that I also got from my site).

RB: If you could start from scratch with your place, what would you do?
BI: I live in my 350-square-feet of heaven with my longtime boyfriend and dog. They have shaped the look of the space as well. I designed it with all of us in mind. It was a lot of give and take. If I had to do it over for myself it might look like a 16th century Venetian Palazzo.  Who doesn’t love Venetian Palazzos? I am Italian, gay, and Jewish, so if I was left to my own devices the place might look some Rococo fantasy – gold gilt everything, murals, face it with the trifecta too much can never be enough with that combo!

>images courtesy of VandM, Apartment Therapy and MRK Style

Each Friday Simplifying Fabulous! presents Fab Fridays, an up-close-and-personal look at how one of our community members simplifies fabulous in their own life. Is there someone you’d like to see featured? Email your submission to info@simplifyingfabulous.com.