This Over-the-Top NYC Apartment Mixes Hip and Luxe

Designer Anthony Dunning's two-story apartment is lavish but hip with a definite big city sensibility. Take a tour.

August 14, 2020

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Photo By: Yoshio Itagaki

Dream Home

As the lead designer for his own company, Traders Haven Design, New York-based designer Anthony Dunning is responsible for the creation of beautiful spaces in many homes and businesses. His own home, a two-story apartment in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, is a living portfolio of his design ideas, and a design-lover's dream.

Brand New Digs

It was only a year ago that Anthony Dunning first set eyes on his new home. The 1,600+ square foot duplex was a completely new building with none of the issues associated with long use and multiple owners, and all the promise of a blank canvas. It was exactly what the designer had been looking for. “Finding a new build let me come in and customize many of the details to make sure that the apartment fit my lifestyle,” he says.

Fast and Furious Design

Anthony wasted no time in putting his stamp on the new home. “All of the modifications were done at once and completed in a two-month span,” he recalls. “Initially the apartment was four bedrooms. There was an additional bedroom on the upper level of the townhouse next to the living room, which was modified to expand the living room area. Doing that doubled the size of the living room.”

Every New Yorker’s Dream

New Yorkers are known for getting the most out of small spaces. So for Anthony Dunning, doubling the living room size presented the novel problem of filling it up. “The living room was definitely the hardest area to design,” he reveals. “I wanted to have as much seating as possible so I selected two identical ten foot sofas and placed them across from one another on the dominant walls. It worked out extremely well and it doubled my seating capacity.”

A Well-Read Home

To fill the space between his sofas, Anthony took an innovative approach to the traditional coffee table-book mashup and turned an extra long table into a horizontal bookcase. Covering as much subject area as they do physical space, the books are an amazing design feature. The table beneath is solid marble, requiring Anthony to hire movers every time he wants to change rugs. “A lot of people thought I was crazy to put a table that size in this apartment,” he says, “but it worked out tremendously. It’s one of the best decisions that I made.”

Next Level Design

“Urban-cool luxury with a bit of an edge,” is how Anthony describes his unique approach to interior design. The style expresses itself in his home in an explosion of colors, textures and densely layered objects. The far end of his living room is a perfect example of Anthony's iconoclastic style. The wallpaper patterns on the wall and in the alcove complement each other, but are contrasted by the orderly striped pattern of the vase in the alcove. At the same time, the soft textures of the blanket and pillows is contrasted by the hard, rocky facade of the text art above the sofa. This expert play with textures and patterns is on display throughout the entire home.

Hall of Fame

There are no empty spaces in Anthony Dunning’s home. Every surface, open space or wall is an opportunity to make a statement. “I’m not afraid to make big, bold choices with my design,” he admits. As a backdrop to his art collection, the designer turned his upstairs hallway into a statement piece all its own. The simple line drawings are an abstract take on a giraffe’s distinctive spots. “The giraffe is definitely my spirit animal,” Dunning explains, “symbolizing grace, peace, individuality and farsightedness.” The pattern creates a captivating environment that keeps the eye engaged as it moves from piece to piece, changing an ordinary hallway into a gallery.

Wall Art

In a striking wall design that recalls artist Keith Haring's work, Anthony showcases an impressive art collection. Each piece interacts with the surrounding wall, either framed by the abstract line pattern or — in the case of one small black and white drawing at the bottom right — serving as a possible inspiration for it. For Anthony, the rationale behind his choices is simple: “I love pushing the boundaries,” he says. “I’m less concerned with design rules and more concerned with creating a balance that is elevated and extremely appealing — edgy, but playful.”

Visionary Design

To accent this light-flooded room, Anthony was very specific about how he addressed the walls. “I chose a yellow Japanese-style toile to embrace the sunlight. I love the paper because although it’s classic in nature it’s translated in a very exciting way.” Anthony carries that sense of embrace throughout the entire apartment’s design. “What I love most about my home is that it is a safe haven that stimulates, motivates and restores me on a daily basis. I’m so happy to call this place home.”

Low-Key Favorite

Though he claims not to have a favorite room, the bedroom might just edge out all the others for the part of the home nearest to his heart. “I love my bedroom for the days when I just want to relax and stay in bed,” Anthony confesses. “It’s definitely my zen haven.” That might be why he found the space so easy to decorate. Or it may have been the room’s natural appeal. “The bedroom gets a tremendous amount of sunlight throughout the day and especially in the morning,” he adds.

A Space Apart

“I specifically designed each space to cater to the different needs in my life,” Anthony says. He designed the guest bedroom to evoke a combination of nature and luxury. In the guest bedroom he has combined real and representational plants and a sun-like pendant overhead. Adding to the luxurious feel: a gold-colored poster bed complete with Versace and black fur blankets. It’s a perfect escape, as the designer expresses, “I love the guest room when I want to be a little more secluded without too much sunlight in the morning.”

Pieces of the Puzzle

The accessories in the guest bedroom demand a closer look: Anthony cleverly combined elements to create a whimsical environment. A pillow with the appearance of a rain-soaked leaf fits perfectly with the floral wallpaper. Meanwhile a crowned lion and soaring eagle complete the picture, small examples of the designer’s love of sculpture. “Some of my favorite pieces in my home are all the various sculptures that I have,” he reflects.

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