For Felicity Adele: It's an interesting experience creating a room for someone who you haven't met, or rather, hasn't even been born yet. But meeting with Bridge & Will, proud parents-to-be of the princess of their two-story Queens home, it was easy to see the sweet and sassy lady who would be gracing our presence so soon. Both B&W work in the music business and spend their days going to hip-hop festivals and baseball games, though rest-assured Bridge doesn't miss a week getting her nails done. When B found out that her little future Beyonce was a girl, two words stuck out to her: glitter wall. They wanted a room that was fit for a mini Beyonce -- some glamour, some femininity, something unique, and as much love as that teeny space could fit.
By Me: Cool gray walls with pops of yellow gave the room the girly touch with iron safety pins and lighting showing a hint of badass music chic. One animal-print bed-sheet transformed into a zoo of friendly faces to greet the infant, with an empty nook-turned-clothes hang and reading bench to hold all of her new favorite things. A jewel-studded chandelier, a light, lovely mosquito net and honey wood accents completed this animal kingdom fit for this beat-boppin' "Bey"-by.
For a city son retreating to a country home away: Nancy and her husband Jim recently moved to the dream home of their retirement in rural upstate New York, a cozy cottage fit for visiting children and growing grandchildren. While the majority of the house was beautifully decorated, her son's guest-bedroom was left feminine and barren that doesn't match the rest of her stunning and well-loved house. The only thing she wanted to keep in the room was a vintage Adirondack poster with fire-engine-red deck chairs, tall deep green trees, and a bright blue river running through it. Color-scheme set, all it took was some creativity and finding some special pieces to make her grown son feel as cozy in the guest room as he did as a kid.
By Me: Sallow yellow walls transformed with a cool blue replacement cascading up towards the ceiling. From a feminine off-white metal bedframe to a rustic yet chic headboard, a coat of shiny lacquer black paint and cherry wood planks anchored onto the wall is the perfect redux, anchoring the charcoal gray linens and jewel-toned, patterned pillows. A soft camel-leather ottoman sits above a room-sized deep green rug that is an ode to a pine forest. I found circular birch tree bark the perfect circumference for the too-basic white lamp-shades, adding a bespoke touch to the space. Rattan chairs and an antique fan make a cozy corner for reading or to hang a suit coat.
For The Allens: The Allens are a group of gentlemen -- Michael, Trevor, and their pup Duncan -- who needed a serious spruce-up of their sleepspace. A music-business executive and a teacher by day, and food-bloggers by night, the two's styles are very different, even though the share a home and heart. They love music, art, enjoying a delicious meal together and of course each other. That love shows the moment you spend time with them thus making this project a special one. Turning old pieces into new, and adding light, texture, color topped their "must-have" list -- that and creating a comfy place for Dunc to sleep at their feet.
By Me: After finding a trio of state-themed art framed in their living room, I suggested we build a room around the pieces' color palette and thus the cool-toned, black-rimmed space popped to life. His and His reading lights, a ton of texture in the linens, an old and well-loved dresser stenciled and Ikea-hacked, a metallic-sprayed collage mirror and a handmade-and-stained wooden headboard turned this basic bedroom into a cozy space worthy of a happy couple, a glass of wine and an intimate chat.
For Kasey: Kasey is my favorite kind of curious -- never says no when someone asks her to a spontaneous dinner on a Tuesday night or a 10 day adventure to Austria in the middle of winter. A native upstate New Yorker who vacationed at her family's lake house as a child, she lived in London for half a decade but recently moved back to the states and settled in NYC in her first one bedroom. She is a vibrant and full of life, but was aching for a space that could calm her down after a wild city night. As a market research executive, she needed a place to work, a place to play, and a place that was uniquely her own, cozy enough to hang with her jet-black pug, Weezy.
By Me: Teals and yellows, a little country and a little kitch, it was easy to play off of Kase's gorgeous fireplace and light-filled living room to create a welcome oasis that's a secret big-city escape. With a hand-stenciled bookshelf full of touching nicknacks from her family, a fuzzy, ivory rug that Weezy snuggles into, dark linens and pops from plants, it's truly a special home fit for a business woman and weary world-traveler.
For, CFG NY: Drummer-turned-business manager Butch is an entrepreneur who needed an office with flexible space for a growing business, lots of light, and a hip-factor fit for both his artistic clients and the finance guys alike. He's at the top of his field and didn't need to prove any street cred, but really cared about making his employees feeling supported, something that would both comfort and impress. B hates clutter and major keys, loves wine and numbers, and is that enviable mix of smart and cool.
By, Me: Clean and industrial with carefully-chosen musica and moolah-themed antiques, the office is a balance of the need for a serious work environment nice enough for high-profile clients to still acknowledge it's level of cool. Butch loved the glossy jet-black Saarinen conference table highlighting the window frames and the sectioned executive office. With handmade artistic touches like a chalkboard-paint logo for clients to autograph with industrial metal letters found at Brooklyn Flea, as well as a rotating display for records and his drum set, it's an office to be proud of hip enough to get in a jam session post afternoon meeting.
For an eager entrepreneur: My NYC commercial office client referred to me his colleague who had recently moved to Nashville and was at the helm of opening the third home for their successful business. Dan G., lovingly referred to as Dang, is consummately cool. The only piece that he wanted in the entire, concrete-laden, loft-like office was a mustard yellow armchair with florescent pink palm trees on it. I'm pretty sure I've seen that exact pattern as a blazer he's worn before. A lover of simple, clutter-free design with an affinity for funk, it would be a unique office project I was excited to take on.
By Me: Blue painters type and acrylic stark white paint livened up a basic particleboard conference room table, grounded by an Aztec-patterned rug with a soft weave. Metal tangerine orange chairs round out the room with Edison string lights swoop overhead to create a whimsical meeting room fit for the music business. Statement clocks set to the time zones of each business location, matching painted logo with metallic lettering and antique stools with hairpin legs match the sheen on the concrete floor. To bring some green to the space, a hanging plant hung on the metal laundry hook is a purposeful pop.
For him and me: Since the theme of my work reflects other people's tastes and needs, it's special to take the time for my own mini-family and create a homey space for myself and my hubs. This apartment is a true find in the Greenwich village -- while out-of-towners spend more time complimenting our 100 year old hardwood floors than our "spacious" Manhattan one bedroom, we have a living room AND a dining room which is perfect for a duo who spends their free time hosting dinner parties of all shapes and sizes. Because if I wasn't going to design for you, you can rest assured that I'd be baking for you.
By Me: A hand-stenciled accent wall, a curated wine-center, and a seating nook with a place to enjoy that second glass of wine are some of Apt16's best and most well-loved moments. A repurposed dresser-turned-bar, warm-toned bits and bobs and our handmade table built by a good friend rounds out our home.
For Michael, who really wanted wallpaper: I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few more projects with the Allens. The keyword for Michael throughout my work at their apartment? Wallpaper. Every time we'd talk about a space and an idea it was "Ok that sounds great....but I really want wallpaper". Ask and you shall receive, my friend! For a man who absolutely adores Moroccan print, the B sides to Bastille's latest album, and cocktail after a long, long day working as an entertainment marketing executive -- and wallpaper -- this beige bathroom came to life with a pop of plum.
By Me: Lavender and gold Moroccan wallpaper is the highlight of the space, and admittedly its' arduous application tested the new-found friendship of M's husband Trevor and I (though it was a labor of love that was worth it). An ombre shower curtain added height to the narrow toilette and with solid color towels anchoring the room and teardrop elegant flower wall vases, it was a few easy-breezy touches that transformed the cookie-cutter bathroom into a salle de bain worthy of an evening bath.
For M&T and their love of NYC: Michael and Trevor are southern gentleman who've spent over a third of their lives as New Yorkers. They met here, they fell in love here, they've made their first home here. While it's a natural inclination to make the inside of a home an escape from the insanity of New York, the two embraced it and wanted to bring it into the their home. That, and they needed to get rid of their white upon white upon white standard cookspace. The two run the blog Butter Upon Bacon and with a name like that you know they're serious about what comes out of the oven. Since the kitchen opens into the rest of their colorful and carefully-created apartment, it needed to match its neighbors without feeling "matchy-matchy". And so, we began.
By Me: To create a well-defined space, I went city-chic with charcoal gray paint for the base of the counter and mirrored the look above to the kitchen's "skyline". Hand-stenciled tile backsplash and a heating grate cut to size to mask a plastic I-have-to-keep-this-because-it-comes-with-the-apartment light fixture were a reflection of NYC's subways, and the ceiling casts a golden-yellow glow with sponged painting detail that gives a shout out to everyone's favorite Metro Card. Simple and clean, cutting out the white and putting in colorful yet grounded touches, it's just enough to make the old kitchen feel like new (york).
For 6 "you"'s and a videographer: I really can't say enough great things about Rachel Woods of Rachel Woods Productions -- she's a videographer, choreographer, and all around amazing artist. For a series that she created titled "Le Hallway", she uses the long hallway in her home to film different pieces, all confined to the same space: modern dance, improv, even a short film with a slip-and-slide. She asked me to be part of her series as a designer and the results were something we're both really proud of.
By Me: I created six distinctly different rooms out of the same, narrow hallway, all specifically designed for a different person in the manner I would do for a client but shot with a stop-motion camera to catch the process. While each are slightly a caricature of a much larger room and a much more nuanced person, what we created with depth of space, concept, and light was something really special. We present: "Hallway Homes".
For the spirit of the holidays: I recently flipped the script on Apartment 16. One of my favorite things as a kid was going to a sleepover and coming home to a rearranged room courtesy of my wanna-be designer parents. I've carried that special surprise to this day and recently revamped our apartment. We were hosting Thanksgiving this year for both of our families, as well as our annual Christmas cocktail party (5th year running), so it was perfect timing for some holiday cheer, FYBM-style.
By me: I switched our living and dining rooms to provide more space and create better lighting (I pointed our track lighting straight down onto our table so B's incredible food is in full spotlight with the guests basking in the glow, Gramercy-tavern style. I painted a huge chalkboard accent wall fit with light, jewel-toned accents and iron metal scones that barely peak through. A hand-built gift from a special carpenter of a pallet wine rack, our bookshelf-turned-bar, and "tap into our neighbor's apartment" as it's lovingly been called accents our new bar and entertaining area. A massive multi-colored area rug grounds our new living room, with just enough space for a tufted RH charcoal gray couch and, of course, our Christmas tree.