An English Oasis in Midtown Manhattan

An English Oasis in Midtown Manhattan

An English Oasis in Midtown Manhattan


Soft hues and sumptuous textures soften a Midtown apartment's sharp edges, and provide the comforts of England for a former Londoner.

Photos by Daniel Wang

After leaving Manhattan for London for a few years, Donna was set to return to the concrete jungle, and wanted to do such on ideal terms. After securing a standard one-bedroom apartment in Midtown West, Donna enlisted Homepolish designer Tenecia Harris to create an elevated space into something that could tempt anyone to return to the states.

Tenecia imbues her work with a southern chic aesthetic by marrying contemporary pieces with more homespun touches. For this space, that meant starting from scratch and marrying absolutely all-new everything. The goal: an English garden in NYC.

To create a more nuanced palette, Tenecia swathed the apartment in Benjamin Moore’s Sweet Innocence. The calming grey softened the hard angles of new construction and played off the apartment’s natural light while still keeping the space open and bright.

“The blank canvas was already very metropolitan, so the challenge was to soften it a bit,” Tenecia explains. “The paint color did wonders to take a sterile box and make it feel warmer and homier. After that, pretty much anything we brought in would work.”

Like any Manhattan residence, the living room serves many purposes: entertaining space, guest room, and home office. The Cinderella blue sofa isn’t just great for watching a movie, it’s also a sleeper, giving Donna an extra place for her favorite London visitors to crash. Tenecia added a small, marble topped desk and a comfy wingback chair to a bright corner, upgrading the area to a snug home office with a sick view. The clear sightline to Columbus Circle could inspire anyone to actually deal with bills and paperwork.

Donna style leans towards soft and romantic with glam cosmopolitan touches, but still tries to keep furniture and accessories minimal. So Tenecia’s challenge was to add in just the right amount of décor without going overboard.

“Her friends joke that she lives like an international spy with so few possessions,” Tenecia laughs. “But because she is also a romantic at heart I wanted her sanctuary to reflect that. So we used pale, soothing colors in soft-to-the-touch fabrics. She’s also into the glitz and glam of Broadway so we selected furniture with cool leather textures and mirrored accents.”

In the bedroom, clean lines and cozy textures collide. The modern, winged bed is topped with a velvet duvet in dusty rose and more luxurious throw pillows, while a mirrored dresser serves as both a nightstand and ample storage. To create a pretty perch to read by the window, Tenecia paired a velvet upholstered swivel chair with a rich fur rug and sculptural tripod lamp. Metallic finishes in copper and gold pop, adding warmth, twinkle, and glamour throughout the space.

Thanks to Tenecia’s light touch and minimal yet luxurious furniture choices, Donna’s return to New York just might stick this time.

Ready to create your own oasis in NYC (or anywhere else)? Sign up for Homepolish today.

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