Among the fantasies you may have indulged in this past year, perching on a bar stool with a drink in hand or going out for dinner with friends is surely high on the list. The owners of this Manhattan home, therefore, should be congratulated for having the foresight to add a flavour of their favourite hangouts into its design.
The couple enlisted Home Studios, the team behind a series of the district’s cult bars and restaurants, to complete the look of their fifth-floor apartment, which is located in a 1920s block on Bond Street.
This cobblestoned thoroughfare loved by artists is where Robert Mapplethorpe photographed Patti Smith in his studio at 24 Bond. ‘The area’s inherent charm makes me feel like it’s a portal into a more historic part of New York,’ says Home Studios’ founder and creative director Oliver Haslegrave.
The building is a landmarked property (the American equivalent to being listed), but with no original features inside to preserve, Oliver’s team were free to take the space ‘back to the studs’, keeping only the maple wood floors. An open-plan layout was devised for living, cooking and dining, with bedrooms and bathrooms leading off a hallway at the north end of the apartment.
The challenges of landmarked status, coupled with the Covid pandemic, meant the project took three years to complete, with the owners moving in just a few months ago.
The couple were wise to go with their gut: hospitality-grade materials are tough enough to handle family life and Oliver’s team excel at using them in unexpected ways. Tiles curve fluidly across surfaces just like on the banquettes at cocktail haunt Elsa in Brooklyn, while raised, rounded ceilings are a motif borrowed from now closed East Village restaurant Goat Town. A slim ribbon of copper links the rooms, snaking along skirting boards and windows, and gleaming from recessed handles and ceiling lights.
Thanks to its mix of bright and calm colours and soft curves, there’s a warm minimalism to the space, with a rich blend of vintage and site-specific pieces crafted by Home Studios. ‘Custom design has an organic feel to it. It’s not overly ornate,’ explains Oliver, who notes Alvar Aalto and Mario Bellini as key influences.
As our homes have been forced to replace the public spaces where we usually meet and mingle, translating that spirit of fun, glamour and escapism into the domestic realm was an intriguing challenge that Oliver and his team were perfectly placed to take on.
After all, who needs a bar when you’ve got a five-metre kitchen island to dance around? homestudios.nyc
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration April 2021
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