Monthly Archives: December 2016

Easy Ways to Make Small Spaces

Small spaces are the bane of practically any city-dweller’s existence. And when you’re living in a minuscule apartment or home, figuring out how to make the most of your square footage is essential. Thankfully, inventive interior designers and architects have long devised solutions—from paint finishes to light fixtures—for making small spaces feel big (or at least bigger). Phillip Thomas’s petite room at this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is chock-full of small-space ideas. We caught up with the New York–based interior designer for his tips on living large in a tight spot.

Create a glossy ceiling. “With the right finish, a ceiling can make a room feel bigger. At Kips Bay, we chose to use a decorative plaster finish that adds sheen. The finish helps to move light around the space and create the illusion of height.”

Add glass. “Glass can also be a wonderful way of making a space feel larger. In our daybed nook at Kips Bay, we used laminated glass panels by Galaxy Glass, consisting of a layer of frosted mirror and of frosted clear glass with a metallic gauze interlining. The effect of the glass is to create the illusion of great depth in the space.”

Cover the walls in pattern. “We upholstered the walls of our ‘Lady Lair’ in a beautiful cream fabric, which was then graffitied by Andrew Tedesco Studios. The layering of graffiti paint and the play of the sheens create the illusion of depth.”

Hang a statement light fixture. “Even if a space is small, a large light fixture can make a room feel larger and taller. At Kips Bay, we chose a monumental vintage Italian glass chandelier that is 54 inches in diameter but only nine inches in depth. The diameter of the chandelier helps to open up the space, while the depth is not oppressive. The glass also catches the light, drawing your line of sight up.”

Delineate different spaces. “While your space may be limited in square footage, the function of the space does not have to be limited. Create different zones to maximize use of the space. At Kips Bay, we created three zones within our space: a desk area, a small entertaining area, and a sleeping area.”


Penthouse Transformation Ideas

A walk-in closet with endless shoe storage, a skyline view, outdoor space—in Manhattan, amenities like these take on Holy Grail status. So when designer Wesley Moon’s clients commissioned him to design their fixer-upper of an Upper West Side pied-à-terre with an enormous wraparound terrace, the idea of bringing the outdoors in was suddenly reversed to highlight the benefit. “We wanted the terrace to feel like a natural extension of the inside to make the narrow interior spaces feel more expansive and cohesive,” says Moon.

The best way to do that: light. Moon covered the home’s walls in soothing shades and chose texture over pattern to create a retreatlike atmosphere for the world-traveling homeowners. “The whole space glows because we used warm tones and some key reflective surfaces,” says Moon. “So when you’re inside, you sort of get the feeling you’re floating on a cloud.” To enhance the effect, Moon removed a closet to expand the kitchen’s footprint, adding quartzite countertops and replacing upper cabinet fronts with opaque textured-glass panels. “They make the space feel lighter while adding a glamorous element,” says Moon.

The seamless indoor-outdoor transition suited Moon’s concept for the dilapidated terrace, which is visible from most rooms thanks to expansive windows throughout the apartment. “My vision of the terrace started with a series of exterior rooms,” he says of the nearly 1,000-square-foot space. To help execute the plan, Moon called upon his good friend, local landscape architect Aaron McIntire of Gunn Landscape Architects. Together they created multiple lounges using privacy hedges as partitions, an herb garden next to the kitchen, and an outdoor dining room, complete with a custom-made pergola and banquet seating. McIntire then planted an array of evergreen trees, flowers, and shrubs, in shades designed to complement Moon’s interior palette. The result is a home that makes the most of its coveted amenities—indoors and out.

High Style Hamptons Houses

Since the late 19th century, Manhattanites have been fleeing the sticky heat of the city each summer for the breezy coast of Long Island. In fact, a 1983 article in The New York Times deemed the cluster of villages around old Southampton “as close an approach to Eden as can be found in a long journey,” noting also that “well-bred men and women find a congenial atmosphere, refined attractions in plenty.” And if you’ve ever caught an episode of Seinfeld, Sex and the City, or The Real Housewives of New York, you might note that not a lot has changed. So for those of you dreaming about your entrée into Hamptons real estate—or perhaps just researching a summer timeshare—we’ve rounded up the best-looking homes from the pages of AD, from a multicolor modern abode in Hampton Bays to a Shingle Style beauty in East Hampton.

Nearly 20 years after it was built, Shelton, Mindel & Assoc. gave this Colonial Revival Hamptons home by Robert A.M. Stern a vibrant refresh, leaving most of the structure and its classical detailing in place.

After living for more than a decade in a Shingle Style home in East Hampton, architect Frank Greenwald crafted a modern two-story abode for himself and his wife in Sag Harbor, featuring big bay windows and a gently sloping hipped roof.

On architect Peter Marino’s 12-acre, lavishly planted Hamptons plot, ‘Pink Beauty’ hydrangeas engulf the rear of the 1990s house, which looks as if it had been built in stages over centuries—a shingled Dutch Colonial section at right, a central block recalling the late-19th-century country houses of McKim, Mead & White, and an Arts and Crafts wing that could have been added around 1905.

How to Find Chic London Apartment Is for Sale

London’s stylish Mayfair neighborhood just got a serious dose of design—an entire apartment full, to be exact—as Nina Yashar, of Milanese gallery Nilufar and its sprawling warehouse adjunct, Nilufar Depot, moved a portion of her vast furnishings collection into a refurbished Victorian apartment on South Audley Street. The installation—a collaboration with interior design and architecture firm Shalini Misra on display through October—marks the fifth iteration of Nilufar Squat, Yashar’s version of a pop-up shop that feels a lot more like a swanky apartment, decorated with a mix of blue-chip 20th-century design collectibles, contemporary furniture, and museum-worthy artworks.

The only difference? Everything in the three-bedroom apartment—from the Gio Ponti chairs in the dining room to the Henri Matisse painting in the reception room—is for sale. The furnishings were valued at £1.5 million, and the apartment listed at £10.9 million. Set aside a few more millions if you want to take the art—a collection that includes works by Lucio Fontana and Julian Schnabel.

“I have always been interested in creating new and unexpected associations between furniture and space,” Yashar said in a statement. “I like changes and challenges, which is why I decided to bring Squat to different cities around the world.”

Nilufar Squat, 70 South Audley Street, London; Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. and Sundays by appointment only through October 15.