Aari and Barbara had quickly combined two apartments some years back but were now ready to do the full gut renovation they’d dreamed of. Aari is an architect and had worked out a great floor plan. She called me in to help with finishes; it was truly one of my favorite collaborations.
The apartment was your standard “white box” in a 1960s building, but Aari had something more special and idiosyncratic in mind: distinctive moldings, millwork, and reclaimed floors. In anticipation of this renovation, she’d collected vintage hardware and furniture for years; now we needed to organize it and find the right paint colors, window treatments and tiles to compliment them.
Above: One of the first quandaries was the living room rug: Aari had inherited a gorgeous antique carpet in shades of mint, raisin and plum. But she was afraid of ending up with a mint green room. Then we found two velvet couches that were too perfect to pass up. The dark notes of the raisin-colored roman shade, stone window sill, needlepoint pillows and bronze accents keep things from becoming overly sweet. The lesson: if there’s an element you love, go with it!
Above: The built-in banquette is upholstered with faux leather and a performance fabric and uses bakelite handles that were part of the stash. The kitchen (above and below) is done in a deep grey stain a shade darker than the banquette. Even a spare wall around the intercom is thoughtfully embellished with theater memorabilia.
Below: A standard bookcase had always been planned to fill one span of the living room, but once the dividing wall came down during demolition, the idea for the glass-backed bookcase was born.
Below: The master bedroom is done in soft tones with chocolate accents. The en-suite master bath continues the palette with a mosaic stone floor, custom stone vanity and German-engineered shower doors.