Tour a Designer's Chic Long Island City Pad

Clever accessory vignettes and sentimental mementoes of travel and special occasions define this stylish lair.

By: Jeanine Hays

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

A Home in the Clouds

New York City is a nesting doll, made up of cities within cities, all constantly in the act of being built, with more popping up all the time. One of the newest places to explore is Long Island City. Not to be confused with Long Island itself, the Long Island City sits on the western edge of Queens, right at the point where the Queensboro Bridge ends its trip from Manhattan. There, in a luxurious twenty-third floor apartment with commanding views of both Brooklyn and Manhattan, interior designer Tanika Goudeau Hochhauser, the creative principle of the design firm Depsyn makes her home with her husband, Brian, using all of her design abilities to ensure that the view inside her space is every bit as breathtaking as the one outside her window.

Laid-Back Luxe

From the narrow entryway the space opens wide into the living room, a space made even bigger by the massive windows that look out to Manhattan. This space epitomizes Tanika’s “laid-back luxe stye” combining mid-century modern furnishings with modern accessories for a casual yet sophisticated look. The soft, neutral color palette in this space adds to the relaxed feel while making full use of the light that the room receives. At the same time, light yet meaningful moments of pattern are added to the space through the rug and woven art feature on the wall.

Warm Moments

Mirroring the black of the shelves is this painted feature wall. The wall is topped with a white, Cameroonian Juju hat on festive display. Combined, they provide the perfect backdrop to the sleek, modern fireplace that keeps the couple warm through the colder months of the year. A New York luxury, the bio-fuel burning fireplace was installed by Tanika and Brian to complete the look of the space.

Architectural Elements

Storage is key in every home as is a good dose of creativity. This built-in bookshelf was a DIY project by the couple to create an architectural feature in the home. The finished product was painted black to add a touch of sophistication and contrast to the shelves which hold a fun assortment of small accessories and pieces picked up on travels in Paris, the Netherlands and Japan.

Cool Contrast

The dark gray of this sofa and the wall art above offers a contrast to the white walls while remaining neutral. The sofa itself is brightened by the wool throw blanket which adds texture as well as color. Meanwhile, the overall space is warmed by the addition of creative wood elements in the lamp stand as well as in the side tables and accessories.

A Floor-to-Ceiling View

Easily one of the most striking features of the home, the windows offer bird’s eye views of the river running lazily past their window and the boroughs that lay beyond. Here, Tanika added the perfect seating to contemplate the view: the iconic Eames lounge chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames which remains the pinnacle of mid-century style.

House of Mirrors

You can never have too many mirrors when you’re on your way out the door, so Tanika made sure that there were plenty on hand in her entryway with two French-style pieces. She continues to make good use of the space with a simple white console topped by a flower under glass and black candles. Completing the space is an African mask that promises the blessing of fertility to the home.

Designer Instinct

As a designer, Tanika knows the value of a good entryway, both as a functional part of daily living and as a design feature, setting the tone for everything to come. She makes excellent use of her space on both fronts with a dark-stained wooden bench adorned with colorful pillows in dazzling geometric patterns. Complemented by the modern, artistic mirror hanging above, the bench is the perfect place to sit while putting on shoes or to pause for a moment after a long day, with an underside that doubles as storage for shoes.

Accessorizing With Mementos

In the hallway leading to the bedroom, even more art awaits. Much like the map of Paris in the kitchen, large metallic lanterns are mementos from the couple’s wedding. Tanika kept the Moroccan pieces for use in the home, pairing them with a 200-year old, hand-painted Chinese chest. The oversized Scrabble pieces set above, also began as part of the wedding decor, spelling out the couple’s initials. The combination of modern metallics with vintage global wares is a hallmark of Tanika’s style and one of the secrets to her beautiful home.

Statement Wall

This cozy bedroom features layers of textures and pattern all set against a striking black feature wall. The rustic, wooden bed frame stands out against the colorful and varied patterns of the throw pillow. To the right of the bed, a large ampersand, a symbol of connection that was widely featured in Tanika and Brian’s wedding sits by the window. Its weathered metal is a perfect echo of the weathered wood of the headboard - once a room divider that Tanika repurposed for the room.

Family Portrait

Opposite the bed, a large art display hangs over the dresser. The paintings—a series created by Tanika’s talented younger cousin—depicts all the members of the household including the couple’s puppy.

Decorating With Whimsy

To the left of the bed, a small astronaut figurine holds another wedding memory, pressed flowers from the wedding table. Incorporating art and accessories from important places and events is the best way to create a space that is full of meaning and connection. And adding unexpected moments like an astronaut on the bedside table helps create a fun and relaxed atmosphere that feels like home.

Cool Collections

By the door, a final collection of artworks reiterates Tanika’s conviction that art “should be things you love and people you love.” A collection of sketches of the happy couple sit beside woven artwork and even a ceramic doggie sculpture for the puppy.

Global Elements

The kitchen features modern design complemented by warm, rustic wood elements. A large wicker basket finds new life here as an art installation giving depth as well as texture to the space. For color, an assortment of wine bottles handmade in South Africa add an element of global culture.

Color Pop

Inside the kitchen, this window offers another stunning vantage of the view below. On the sill, a combination of beautiful and functional pieces bring together the different ways this space is used. Meanwhile bright green bar stools create a pop of color that breaks up the neutral-heavy space while providing seating to what is usually a standing-room-only space.

Art With Meaning

In this home, art is a statement of sentiment as much as an aesthetic statement. This map of Paris is a constant reminder of a honeymoon spent in the City of Lights. Reflected in the map is the presence of another piece of art—this one a gift from from one of Brian’s old friends that gives an edgy, modern look at the couple’s traditional kitchen.

Designer Inspiration

A creative parting gift from Tanika and Brian as the couple shows us everything they love about their life together and the place where they share it, far above it all.

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