he best thing about downsizing is getting a fresh start. For empty nesters in their 50s, a move just a couple of blocks from their former residence afforded an opportunity for a change of scenery and decor.
The co-op, in a 1908 landmark building, provided beautiful bones and distinctive features like original art glass, but the space needed a facelift. That’s where designer John Willey came in.
Taking advantage of the home’s abundance of oversized windows and uninterrupted park views, Willey riffed off the sky’s changing palette by incorporating shades of blue and pale terra cotta, with touches of aubergine and mauve.
He chose furnishings, many upholstered in textural chenille and velvets, for their shapes and comfort levels. Additionally, Willey addressed a need for storage with built-in cabinetry in the living room and dining room, seating that doubles as beds in the office, and a bookcase that wraps around a sleeper sofa in the study.
The designer says that he always has admired the iconic building. “It’s thrilling to work inside, transform, stripping away unnecessary flourishes but keep the integrity of the architectural elements and allow the apartment to shine, with a more youthful spin,” he says.
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