Bachelor Style, in Bold Black and White

Bachelor Style, in Bold Black and White

Bachelor Style, in Bold Black and White


Nicole Watts strips the bachelor pad down to its graphic and groovy essence in the West Village.

Photos by Sean Litchfield.

It’s not unusual for a bachelor pad to begin with very little. But it is unusual for a designer to flip that white box challenge on its head—with a boldly black-and-white space that reads as an announcement of cool. Thankfully, Nicole Watts of Nicole Watts Studio isn’t too usual.

Her design for this bright, bi-level, one-bedroom/two-bathroom West Village condo exemplifies her clean, modern, and handsome style.

“At the time of this project I was spending half of my time in the L.A./San Diego area on another project, so I think I was just in a sunny, breezy mindset,” she explains.

Whatever the influence, this modern bachelor pad reaped the benefits.

“The inspiration was California coastal design meets New York City bachelor,” Nicole explains. “It all came together while my client was at the Peter Tunney show at Art Basel in Miami.  I had conceptualized the half black triangle wall, when my client Facetimed me from the show. The ‘Easy Rider’ piece was a Peter Tunney favorite. I loved the orange and yellow triangles’ contrast with my black angular wall design. It was meant to be!”

The wall treatment doesn’t just make a statement, it highlights the room’s architecture while keeping the space restrained

“I wanted to have an edge in this space while highlighting the soffit, but we did not want to go full-on with paint or wallpaper,” Nicole explained. “It just came to me one day while spending time in the space and I am in love with how it turned out. This is my first triangular half-wall, but I have a feeling I might be using this more with some new design elements and color!”

The stunning slash sends the eye upward and draws your vision around the space, making the “white box” appear even more open and expansive. But it was important to keep the limited palette from feeling too stark. Nicole ensured the space had plenty of personality by choosing a host of one-of-a-kind pieces.

“We did a Saturday shopping session at one of my favorite antique shops in Manhattan, Mantiques Modern, where we found some great accessories,” Nicole said. “I totally recommend Mantiques for amazing finds from ’60s Gucci bar accessories to kitschy, oversized Bvlgari perfume bottles from retail displays.”

The singular accents were paired with copious plants, more hip artwork, art books that telegraph sophistication, tons of textiles, and a soft, textured area rug for an incredibly inviting vibe. When asked to pick a favorite piece, Nicole just can’t decide.

“The Dante Goods and Bads bar cart, The Greta De Parry bar stools, The Plinth Marble tables from TRNK, and the distressed moon mirror from ABC Home hanging over the diagonal black paint…,” Nicole lists. “I love them all.”

Nicole’s designs might be bold, but when it comes to revealing her process, she was a little more tight-lipped. When asked if there were any challenging parts of the process she jokingly replied, “I’ll never tell.”

She certainly made it look easy.

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Living Room