The bedroom's back wall features paneling custom-designed by Vern – a tribute to the rusticated masonry that hallmarks 19th-century buildings in New York City. "That wall is designed to give this very modern unit, with all its modern amenities, some architectural flavor, and to pay homage to these foundations that I think are so beautiful and so grand," says Vern.
Vern commissioned a carpenter to craft six-foot-tall pedestals that serve two purposes: to display artwork and to provide an end-table-style surface to house a small table lamp, reading materials, beverages and even an alarm clock. "Everything you need is right there in that column," says Vern.
Wall space is reserved for a piece of fine art Vern acquired at the famed Christie's auction house. The gelatin silver print, circa 1950, by Walter Rosenblum features a young boy on a Lower East Side rooftop. "He's using the rooftop as his escape from the rest of the world, his escape from the hustle and busy streets of the city," says Vern, who finds a parallel with the HGTV Urban Oasis bedroom itself. "I just think it's such a beautiful, incredible photograph."
Circa-1916 keystone pediments, salvaged from a brownstone scheduled to be demolished, stand sentry over the bedroom space. "They were sitting on the floor of the salvage yard," says Vern. "Keystone pediments are designed to be elevated and appreciated on an elevated level, so I had those pedestals designed to showcase them."
Vern chose luxe bedding to continue the bedroom's understated story. The comforter and shams' embroidered trim, a variation on a Greek key design, echoes "the design of so many molding pieces in rooms throughout New York," says Vern. "I love that reference."
"I just wanted something soft to step on when you get out of bed. It didn't have to be a bold color or a bold pattern," says Vern of the contemporary wool rug he placed beneath the bed. "It's important not to have too much going on in the bedroom space," he adds.
The bedroom's window seat is topped with a baby alpaca wool throw and a set of binoculars should a lazy day lend itself to daydreaming and contemplation from the sky-high perch.
The queen-size bed, purchased at Oly in Tribeca, features turned bed posts and an upholstered leather headboard. The bed lends a serene, lush architectural feel to the room. "What I think is so great about this four-poster bed is that it's wood, but it's been finished in silver. It simultaneously feels warm and sleek," Vern says.
An upholstered leather cushion tops the window seat, and velvet pillows provide added comfort in the cozy corner.
Walls, bedding and upholstered surfaces in clean, crisp white add to the room’s sense of serenity. Small doses of color make a strong statement. "I wanted the bedroom to feel easy and serene and still have a little bit of color to add fun and joy to the space," says Vern.
Adding ambiance and eliminating odors, Glade everyday candles are in keeping with the room's understated elegance and muted, soothing color palette.
Entertainment at the ready: A Samsung 32-inch LED HDTV does not distract from the room's design aesthetic.
A mirrored cabinet purchased at ABC Carpet and Home in New York's Flatiron District offers up a vintage feel and brightens the small sleeping space. "Again, it does that magical thing of offering you storage without taking up a lot of visual weight," says Vern. "Those mirrors make it look like it disappears a little bit."
Art glass and contemporary Asian-style porcelain dinnerware sprinkle the space with hints of color. "I purchased the vase to add a burst of color to the space that would endure and would look great even without flowers in it," says Vern.
Clear highball glasses stand at the ready should party guests spill into the bedroom space.
Bottles of all-natural IZZE sparkling juice complement the room's color scheme and serve as a refreshing starter to the morning.
Wool carpeting blends almost seamlessly with wire-brushed walnut floors. The mirrored cabinet creates the illusion of additional space.
Mirrored and clear glass surfaces keep small spaces light and bright. "You have to make sure that not everything in the apartment reads super heavy because you don't have endless amounts of square footage," says Vern.
Turning the bedroom into a home theater, a Samsung BD-C6900 Blu-ray 3D disc player is concealed inside the mirrored console.
Central Park, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Autumn, a photograph by renowned artist Joel Mirowitz, is displayed just steps inside the bedroom's entrance. "It's another example of getting away in New York, another serene moment," says Vern, "because you look out your windows and all you see are huge buildings and busy streets, but New York isn't just about that. It's about these wonderful little moments."
The clean, uncluttered design concept extends into the master bathroom, where wood flooring gives way to a marble tile surface.
Two four-foot bedroom closets (a luxury rarely found in the city's pre-war buildings) provided Vern with a space to experiment with dramatic color. "I wanted there to be a nice surprise every time you opened your closet doors," says Vern. "The idea of having color just in your closet is something that puts a smile on your face."
Space-saving pocket doors section off the master suite from the hallway and living space. Inset doors also eliminate accessibility issues.