real happy living

When you step into your home, all you want to feel is a sense of belonging and familiarity, whether you’ve lived in it for 10 years or just moved in. That is exactly what we have created in the new home of a handsome couple who have been together for more than two decades. Weaving in their delightful collection of art and artifacts from their world travels with new as well as vintage pieces, we transformed their new home into a cozy and timeless place to hang out and relax in private or with friends and family.

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Art can be powerful and inspiring, and in this home, the art of an invisible person comfortably sitting on an armchair with a drink in hand welcomes anyone walking through the front entrance. How wonderful to see a painting owned for many years enjoying a new purpose in a new home. The vibrant tones of the painting quickly became the inspiration for the color palette in the open living and dining areas.

Expertly crafted furniture is like art too, and we are certainly partial to those with lovely effortless curves. They attract you into the room and elevates everything around them. One of our favorites was the walnut elliptical coffee table made by talented craftsmen right in our backyard, in Brooklyn. It’s like the icing on the cake, its beautiful lines and seamless joints are marvelous work and a joy to look at … what a great conversational piece!

Besides art, vintage furniture also appeals to the emotions and sometimes evoke wonderful childhood memories. We were very fortunate to find the most amazing pieces designed by architect and designer George Nelson and designer Arthur Umanoff in the 1960s. The Omni shelving unit in walnut by Nelson proudly graced the entryway and the beautiful curves of the newly upholstered muted olive-green desk chair by Umanoff added sophistication to the home office.

Throughout the home, texture and color provided a sense of warmth and coziness. A rich rust-colored mohair fabric, which we fell in love with, wrapped the dining chairs. The luxurious mohair felt amazing to the touch and so comfortable to sit on.…what a worthwhile splurge! The chairs were further accentuated standing next to a contrasting white quartz dining table on a curvy pedestal. A charming globe-shaped rattan ceiling fixture hung above the dining table, looking as beautiful in the day as it is illuminated in the evening hour. In this open-plan space, a pair of deep blue sofas with subtle chevron patterns sat in the living area across from the dining chairs. We couldn’t be more pleased with our choice of complimentary tones.

We also brought natural elements into the home, filling an entire wall in the study with the natural texture of coral cork. It provided interest and function to the workspace where ideas, pictures, drawings and quotes were displayed to get the creative juices going. The cork has a natural pattern, is self-healing (can be pinned over-and-over again) and provides sound proofing. Plus, we like the fact that cork harvesting is sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Our clients love plants, and indoor-friendly plants certainly add another dimension to many spaces in the home. The spider plant, ZZ plant and peace lilies are some of the popular ones that are reasonably easy to care for and often found in NYC apartments. Green is the color of hope and is very soothing to the eyes and relaxes the mind. We put plants of various sizes on macrame hangers, planters and pots throughout the home, next to sofas, on floating shelves, by the window and on the coffee table.

Finally, a definite way to personalize a space is with books, and if you are avid readers like our clients, there are plenty of books to display as well as being incorporated in the design. Blending things from the past with things newly acquired is one of the best ways to make a home unique and special. This timeless gem on the Upper East Side is filled with objects of memories and is beginning to be filled with its own memories for many years to come. How lovely!