Apartment Doubles As Work and Entertaining Space
When a tech-industry guru needed his home to double as an office and a place for entertaining, Susan Galvani created the perfect design for the open floor plan.
White Eclectic Living Room With Gold Sofa
The designer for this living room wanted to create a visually bold setting that allowed for easy entertaining. The long narrow space features a tete a tete sofa in the center, open to both sides of the room for flexible socializing.
What was on your client’s wish list?
This home functions as an NYC pied-a-terre for a technology entrepreneur who wanted a space that would be suitable for working from home and frequent entertaining. The walls of the main living/dining space support a rotating gallery of artwork that changes every three to four months. The client’s wish list included a flexible seating arrangement to accommodate parties and functions; a large table to function for both work meetings and dining; and a visually impactful light fixture.
What did you hope to accomplish?
I created a flexible layout anchored by a daybed open to both sides of the living area to facilitate conversation in both directions. Given that the living area also functions as a kind of gallery, I wanted to make sure the entire space was visually interesting and brought in a decorative artist, Robin Sacks, to install a geometric pattern using metallic paints on the staircase. Robin’s art installation helped transform the three-story staircase into a dynamic, artful space, which really sets the tone for the rest of the apartment.
What makes this space unique to your client?
My client hired me just as he was moving in, so we were working with a blank slate. The first thing we did was paint the entire apartment in a palette of warm grays.
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What was your biggest obstacle?
Working within a budget and on a relatively fast-track installation schedule led me to select pieces that were readily available, with the exception of a couple of custom-made items that were very specific to the scale of the space.
What inspired this project?
The design concept was to create an open layout combining classic furnishings and great textures including velvet, leather and jute. The high ceilings, huge windows and light walls are conducive to the art installations while the bold colors (like the red banquette) and large Sputnik light fixture offer some visual drama. The inspiration came in part from hotel lobbies designed as hybrid work-social spaces.
Was there a particular element that tied the design together?
I think the open daybed/sofa in the living room is an essential piece in terms of being conducive to casual entertaining. The Turkish and Moroccan textiles are an important element that contribute to the dynamic quality of the space.
What are you proudest of?
My favorite feature is the staircase art. It was a great opportunity to commission an original installation specific to the space, which Robin tackled with such enthusiasm. It’s something unique that kind of sets the tone for the rest of the home.
Why did you chose a tete-a-tete sofa?
The selection of the tete-a-tete was a very specific one. It’s not a piece suited to every interior, but here it really works to break up the linearity of the long, narrow living room and helps to create flow, whereas a traditional sofa would be closed off to one half of the room.
How did you decide to paint the fireplace niches?
The fireplace niches are painted Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe, a rich charcoal color. This deep tone makes the niches appear to recede and have much more depth than they would otherwise. By contrast, the central area of the fireplace really pops.
What makes this project uniquely yours?
I love incorporating vintage pieces and elements from other parts of the world. In this case, the vintage Turkish kilim pillows (an Etsy find!) and the Moroccan banana-leaf pillows discovered in an East Village shop serve as a good contrast to the more classic pieces.
What “hidden gems” made your design a success?
The combination of materials made a big difference in terms of making the space feel well balanced. For example, the living room alone has velvet, leather, burlap, jute, Lucite and metal. This blend of textures gives the space a really layered sensibility.