Inside an eclectic New York apartment that was once a 19th century warehouse

With its beams and folkish textiles this eclectic New York apartment feels like a (very cool) country house in the heart of the city.

eclectic New York apartment


A modern home duplex set on the second and third floors of a former 19th-century warehouse in New York’s West Village. There is an open-plan kitchen-diner/living area and a cloakroom on the lower floor. The master bedroom, master bathroom, guest bedroom, guest bathroom and study are upstairs.


Before it was converted, this six-storey building was a warehouse used to store paper for the publishing industry. It was the ‘rustic warmth and imperfections’ of the 19th-century architecture that fired Kimberlie Birks, a design writer’s imagination.

Although well-tended, the apartment was stuck in an early Nineties time warp of melamine surfaces and dark floors. Professional help was needed, however, so Kimberlie turned to Alexandra Champalimaud, a family friend who runs interior design practice Champalimaud Design.

What began tentatively as a discussion about window treatments led to the spirited changes that have transformed the two-storey apartment without compromising its architecture. The bones of the apartment were an important part of the design, but rather than dressing them up or painting them out Champalimaud Design preserved them as a backdrop for the new furniture and decorative elements.

Above the fireplace, the artwork by Olafur Eliasson features a photograph withan orb of mirrored glass ontop.

eclectic New York apartment


Underfoot, white oak flooring replaced the unsympathetic mix of dark wood and cork tiles.

The largest alteration was made downstairs. A dividing wall was removed to create one fluid living, cooking and dining space where low sofas and nests of shapely tables emphasise the tall windows.

eclectic New York apartment

At one end of the room, the industrial feel of an exposed brick wall was softened with a layer of pale pink plaster.

eclectic New York apartment


Removing the wall was a deliberate ploy to draw attention to the spiral staircase, which swirls like a piece of Modernist sculpture to the bedrooms upstairs.

eclectic New York apartment


Kimberlie likes the contrast of quieter spaces with zanier corners, like the sink area in the cloakroom with its bold wallpaper.

eclectic New York apartment

See Also: 5 Chic Bathroom Wallpaper Looks To Tap Into


Kimberlie calls the master bedroom this her Kit Kemp room. The curtains are heavy but work well to block the light. The headboard was designedby Champalimaud. Its colour echoes the artwork from Nova Scotia, where she also found the yellow figurine on the table.

eclectic New York apartment


Kimberlie thought the narrow office might feel claustrophobic but she finds it cocooning.

eclectic New York apartment

Find out more about Champalimaud Design at

Kimberlie’s first book, Design for Children, is published by Phaidon (

Photography / Matthew Williams

See more modern homes

The homes media brand for early adopters, Livingetc shines a spotlight on the now and the next in design, obsessively covering interior trends, color advice, stylish homeware and modern homes. Celebrating the intersection between fashion and interiors. it's the brand that makes and breaks trends and it draws on its network on leading international luminaries to bring you the very best insight and ideas.