Modern Rustic #5

This skyscraper home may be a calm retreat from the bustling New York streets down below, but it’s also full of verve and excitement, thanks to a very quirky take on design ideas

Get the look: The sofa is by American brand Verellen, covered in custom-printed fabric by Gregory Parkinson. This is the Arpa armchair by Renzo Mongiardino for Bonacina 1889. The rug is by French brand Cogolin. The coffee table is by Jacqueline Morabito. The papier-mâché candleholders on the table are by French artist Laurent Friesz of Farfelus Farfadets. The terracotta busts on top of the bookcase are by Mexican ceramicist José García Antonio.

THE PROPERTY

An apartment in an Art Deco skyscraper, built in 1926, in Brooklyn Heights, New York. It has a hallway, open-plan kitchen-diner, living room/study area, utility room, master bedroom with en suite and walk-in closet, plus another bathroom.

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LIVING ROOM

New York is a noisy city, but inside this 11th-floor Brooklyn apartment it’s q-u-i-e-t. The sirens and cars below are silenced by the height and the views of Manhattan, New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty are spread in front of this living room like an estate agent’s dream.

Get the look: The sofa is by American brand Verellen, covered in custom-printed fabric by Gregory Parkinson. This is the Arpa armchair by Renzo Mongiardino for Bonacina 1889. The rug is by French brand Cogolin. The coffee table is by Jacqueline Morabito. The papier-mâché candleholders on the table are by French artist Laurent Friesz of Farfelus Farfadets. The terracotta busts on top of the bookcase are by Mexican ceramicist José García Antonio.

The home is filled with one-off pieces, such as these folding garden chairs (pictured below), which the home owner covered in yarn (each one has enough to stretch 45 miles and took two months to complete), and the steel table with shovels and a fork for legs.

Get the look: The Table Outils (‘tools table’) is by Louis Albert de Broglie for Le Prince Jardinier in Paris. The snakes artwork is by Australian-American textile artist Ruth Marshall.

A gem located in an Art Deco tower, the apartment had been converted from offices during the cowboy developing days of the Eighties, when logical layouts were an afterthought. To create a better sense of flow, architects MADE were hired, provided with just two references: a sample of a tessellated tile that was found in Miami and images of glass walls. The tiles now cover the entire floor of the apartment and a glass wall has been added between the bedroom and dining room to bring in more light.

Get the look: The lead wall sconce is by French designer Jacqueline Morabito. The framed photograph next to the chair is by Yves Klein. The poster behind the photo is by David Stark Design and Production.

The interiors were done by Jane Schulak, founder of Culture Lab Detroit – a non-profit organisation that connects international designers with local talent in the city. She was able to help discover a mix of one-off pieces by makers from around the world, such as the console table with spades for legs, made in Paris. Her brief was that every room had to have something salvaged and something new.

It’s this combination of quirky items and meticulous architecture that gives the apartment its sense of character and its sense of solidity. The renovation has given it new bones and a new heart.

The home owner created the oversized pencil (above) from a wood pole he found in the street and then covered in 5,000 thumbtacks.

Get the look: The media unit was designed and built by MADE. The 19th-century stool is from Galerie Half, with a cushion upholstered in fabric by Parisian design house Antoinette Poisson. The fern pot on the coffee table is by New York ceramicist Paula Greif.

The TV is cleverly hidden inside a sliding bookcase – the bookcases slide away to reveal the wall-mounted TV hidden behind.

Get the look: The media unit was designed and built by MADE. The 19th-century stool is from Galerie Half, with a cushion upholstered in fabric by Parisian design house Antoinette Poisson. The fern pot on the coffee table is by New York ceramicist Paula Greif.

Meanwhile, the walls around the edge of the apartment have been thickened to create deep sills that can be used for display, turning what normally would be empty, unused space into something functional.

Get the look: The windowsills were designed and built by MADE architects using a paper-based composite called Richlite. The wood vases were created by David Stark Design and Production.

STUDY AREA

Located at the other end of the living room from the offbeat console table, this space has a bright, sunny aspect, ideal for domestic admin.

Get the look: The curtains are made in Montpelier fabric in Cool Grey by Christopher Hyland. These are Three D floor tiles by Cuban Tropical Tile Co. The wire Clouds hanging from the ceiling are by Milan-based designer Benedetta Mori Ubaldini. The vintage Gustavian chair is from Galerie Half in Los Angeles. The bookcase is a 16th-century antique.

DINING AREA

In the evenings, the sunsets are amazing. A pink haze comes all the way through and casts the whole place in golden light.

Get the look: The steel-framed glass wall was designed and built by MADE. This is the Himmeli pendant by Jason Miller for Brooklyn-based design house Roll & Hill. The table is a collaboration between Jane Schulak and MADE, using a 3cm-thick slab of Bianco Ondulare marble sourced from Walker Zanger in New York. The vintage Thonet armchair is from Holler & Squall in Brooklyn; the rest of the dining chairs were found through US etailer bauhaus2yourhouse.com.

KITCHEN

The architects at MADE designed and built the kitchen cabinets and central island unit. The cabinets look like wood, but are, in fact, again made from the Richlite composite. It’s really durable and has a beautiful softness. Black-painted wood just looks like black-painted wood, whereas this has a sense of mystery.

Get the look: The splashback tiles are from US brand Daltile. This is the PRO304GASX Professional Series gas range from Bertazzoni. The Ray pendant is by Jordi Veciana for Metalarte. The wicker bull’s head is a sample of a product David designed for home interiors outlet West Elm, but which never went into production. The marbleised ceramics are from Atelier Sylvie Saint-André Perrin in Paris.

BEDROOM

Jane Schulak found French artist Laurent Friesz of Farfelus Farfadets, who created this elegant cabinet using papier-mâché mouldings inspired by 18th-century interiors. The gessoed canvas on the wall is used to conceal the TV.

The Fifties chair in the bedroom came from a hotel in the Catskills.

Get the look: The painted lamp shade is by Rome-based Italian designer Orsina Sforza. The Old Cinema sells similar Fifties seating. For an off-white wall paint, try Benjamin Moore’s Cotton Balls flat.

The apartment is like the book in The NeverEnding Story. When you open it up, you discover all these beautiful things, like a fantasy. Some of this home’s most eccentric pieces were created by the home owner, such as the matchstick chairs.

Get the look: the matchstick chair was created by the home owner himself.

In a clever nod to the area, just beyond the glass partition, the shape of the pendant mirrors the look of the one above the dining table.

Get the look The ceiling light was sourced from Connecticut-based DzineElements. The bedding is from Khadi & Co and Tensira in Paris, and New York’s John Derian. The upcycled wall lights were sourced by MADE. The curtains are made in Souris grey flannel by Christopher Hyland, teamed with cotton voile from Chelsea Textiles.

The glazed wall screens off both the en-suite bathroom and a dressing area beyond.

Get the look: Find original Yves Klein artwork at Istdibs.com. The bedside table is by New York’s Stephanie Odegard Collection.

EN SUITE

Originally a cavernous room, this space has been transformed into a luxury walk-in bathroom with marble walls and a cast-cement basin.

Get the look The basin was designed and built by MADE. The brassware is by Swiss brand Arwa. The ceiling lights are vintage Jieldé.

View MADE’s portfolio at made-nyc.com; learn about Jane Schulak’s design-advocacy group at culturelabdetroit.org; discover David’s events company at davidstarkdesign.com; and find Migguel’s artistic itinerary at migguelanggelo.com

Photography ⁄ Matthew Williams

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