Part of the appeal of this New York apartment is the expansive volume, rare in New York (and San Francisco). I also like that this was done on a budget, with a mix of smart design, inexpensive materials, pops of color and vintage Scandinavian antiques.
Color is a defining feature of this home. It is used sparingly to animate and define space. This is especially evident in the Mondrian-style bookcase done in some of Corbusier favorite colors. This serves as a focal point from dining to living room, drawing your eye through the space. Imagine how dull this space would be without this color!
The first thing the architect did was remove the drywall to expose the black steel beams. Removing drywall from the ceiling, and painting this white, maximizes the 13′ ceiling and creates a sense that they are drifting away. A new plain sawn-oak floor provides nice contrast with the black, and creates even more volume. I’m a fan of flooring with grain and pattern in loft spaces…more casual, more authentic.
Probably my favorite part of the apartment is the entry. A smart addition provides a space to take off shoes, hang your keys, and stash a coat. The full height cabinet also provides needed storage up high, for stuff not used frequently, such as suitcases (for the non-business travelers). Another smart thing is creating a darkened elevator lobby. The spatial and visual contrast upon opening the door into the apartment will be magnified: from confined to expansive, and from dark to light.
A visual connection to the steel beams are new steel and glass room dividers, provide privacy but allowing light to enter, key to any internal office or bedroom (budget advice: use black painted aluminum frames instead of steel). Here the doors lead to the blue master bedroom.
Blue in the bedroom contrasts nicely with the warm tones of teak and Rosewood furniture. I love texture of the lamps from Thailand, the wool bed spread and the sisal rug. (painting advice: painting your base boards the same color as the walls, so that your does not stop. To me the white base boards say “look-at-me”.)
Kids bathrooms should be fun, but allow for change. Selecting neutral tile and countertop materials while adding color to painted cabinets and walls is a great option. Here the owners chose formica, which is durable, inexpensive and now comes in LOTS of great colors and textures. And its a low-cost investment, easily changed in 10 years when kids become teenagers and young adults, giving the room a new look. You wouldn’t be able to say that about bright green tile.
David Bjørngaard, May 2015
All photos from Interior Design magazine. For more information on this project click Here.