New Elegance #11

Cool shapes and artistic influences create a stylish backdrop inside this New York home

Get the look: The vintage sofa is by Tobia Scarpa and was reupholstered by White Arrow. The chairs were bought at auction and reupholstered. The coffee table is a limited edition reissue of a design by Yves Klein. This is the Carpet Frank Nr 1 rug by Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn.


The top floor of a former schoolhouse in Williamsburg, New York. There is a large entrance hall that leads to Mira’s bedroom. The living room, main suite and dressing room are on one side. The kitchen, dining area, pantry/utility room and family bathroom are on the other side.

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The design of this apartment was approached like an exercise in geometry. Shapes are perfectly balanced, so that the angles of an Yves Klein coffee table are softened by the fronded curves of a palm tree and the hard white lines of a Tobia Scarpa sofa contrast with curvaceous powder-pink chairs.

In fact, balance is the byword for this reworked Williamsburg apartment. It’s shown in the way Art Deco meets Moorish decoration in the bathrooms, mid-century design works with modern lighting in the dining room and Brooklyn tin tiles meet space-age gold wallpaper in the baby’s bedroom. But, most of all, it’s displayed in the way the contemporary furniture sits comfortably inside such a  historic frame.

The rug, pictured above, dances with patterns that remind us of Henri Matisse’s Jazz motifs, while a potted tree adds a dose of Seventies Palm Springs. The fireplace, below, is inset with black tiles in a herringbone pattern, giving the space a traditional focal point with a twist.

Get the look: The daybed is by White Arrow. This is the Multi-Lite pendant by Gubi. The Semicircle rug is by Ferm Living.

This apartment is on the top floor of what was once a schoolhouse, built in the 19th century, later taken over by a business college and, in the Eighties, used as light and lofty artists’ studios. Instead of the apartment’s legacy dictate its style, the property was entirely redesigned in a way that pays homage to its roots, but also works as a backdrop for a more personal look. It acts as a great historic envelope that personal pieces can slot into. Skirting boards and cornicing were replicated and after some deliberation, a fire surround was added in the living room as a low-key focal point that helps counterbalance the more playful furniture shapes.

The collection of furniture definitely dips into the Seventies, but also goes further back in time, with mid-century chairs by Børge Mogensen and the Josef Frank rug, which, unbelievably, was designed in 1938 despite looking modern.

The limited edition Klein coffee table, found through eBay, is a coveted centrepiece, with grains of the artist’s signature pigment spread out beneath Plexiglas.


Three boxy windows were redrawn as a trio of arches, echoed by an architectural archway between the kitchen and dining area. A chandelier by an LA designer emphasises the proportions of this simple, elegant space.

Get the look: The table is by White Arrow. The J39 chairs by Børge Mogensen are vintage finds. This is the Pivot chandelier by Brendan Ravenhill. The Moroccan rug is from Etsy.


A sequence of architectural arches, which echo the decoration on the exterior of the building, were created by architect Kevin Greenberg, most notably between the kitchen and the dining room.

Get the look: The kitchen is by Space Exploration Design and White Arrow, painted in Wimborne White eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The range cooker is by Lacanche. The bar stools are by Sawkille Co. These are BL9 pendants by Gubi. The handles are vintage finds.

The inspiration for the kitchen came from old French bakery cabinets, but the execution is pure Brooklyn. The symmetry is simple, but so striking.

Get the look: The kitchen is by Space Exploration Design and White Arrow, painted in Wimborne White eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The handles are vintage finds.


This baby’s room has the most glamorous wallpaper going. The wallpaper was already in place before it became a baby’s room, but it’s pretty cool for a nursery too.

Get the look: The wallpaper is by Calico. This is The Rocker chair by Ernest Race. Find a similar tepee at Etsy.

The wallpaper uses satellite imagery from Nasa.

Get the look: The wallpaper is by Calico.


A deep blue wraps around this bedroom, while the glossy verticals of a four-poster bed draw the eye upwards.

Get the look: The walls are painted in Hague Blue estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. For a similar bed, try Emaf Progetti’s Milleunanotte at The Conran Shop. The bedside tables and lamps are vintage finds. Graham and Green’s marble lamp base is similar.


Salvaged doors divide the main bedroom from this slim storage room, with bespoke cabinets. The design makes the best use of the high ceilings here.

Get the look: The room is by Space Exploration Design and White Arrow, with metalwork by Mitchell Dose. The chandelier is by FontanaArte.


A bedroom was sacrificed to create this luxe, spacious bathroom, with the wet room separated from it by a glazed steel divide. Metal-framed glazing in the bathroom feels rooted in New York design traditions, but other details, such as tiles from Morocco and Portugal, were inspired by the owner’s travels. Majolica tiles always have the power to put you in a holiday mood.

Get the look: The steel and glass wall is by Space Exploration Design. Try Mosaic del Sur for similar floor tiles. The cabinets are bespoke. The taps and shower are by Barber Wilsons & Co. The bath is vintage – try The Albion Bath Company for a similar style.

The glass has a slightly wavy finish, emulating the look of period glass. Moroccan floor tiles continue the thread of blue that pervades the apartment.

Get the look:  Try Mosaic del Sur for similar floor tiles. The taps and shower are by Barber Wilsons & Co.

See more of the designer’s work at

Photography ⁄ Matthew Williams

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