Louisa Roeder helps a young couple balance airy and eclectic in their brand-new home, making the most of a blank slate with soaring ceilings.
Photos by Sean Litchfield.
Having an apartment that is too big might sound like a delightful problem. But when you’re staring down a what is essentially a white box, it’s a little less glamorous.
Such was the case for a pair of young, married professionals who found themselves with a cavernous 2,300-square-foot Flatiron apartment and no idea where to start. Thankfully, they reached out to Homepolish designer .
“The apartment has great bones—high ceilings and big windows that flood the home with light,” Louisa tells us. “We sought to accentuate the qualities of height and light by drawing the viewer’s eye to the tall bookshelves and curtains and by choosing light-toned furnishings.”
But it wasn’t as easy as installing a slew of height-blessed features. Louisa also needed to balance the grandeur with style that worked for the couple’s day-to-day.
“My clients didn’t just want a refined space, they also wanted a livable space,” she explains. “We achieved that by using a lot of layers including rugs, textures, and wall coverings to warm up such a large, open space.”
In the dining room, Louisa contrasted the white, open background with varying textures and tones. The clients love art, so she infused the space with unique pieces that could act alone, but shine as a group. A cloud-like Apparatus pendant creates a dreamy mood, while a series of small color-blocked works inject a cheerful air of sophistication without overwhelming the space.
Overall, Louisa wanted to instill a sense of the couple’s personality through elegant custom work and detailed built-ins that display the couple’s interests and gracefully showcase their memories.
“In the living room, I absolutely love the built-ins—I think they make the room,” explains Louisa. They’re both beautiful and functional; the one-of-a-kind customized features tailor the space to the couple’s lifestyle. “Both individuals are avid readers, so we built the space to showcase their extensive book collection and be a cozy environment for actual reading,” Louisa tells us.
“We rounded the living room built-in shelf corners, which turned out really well,” Louisa tells us. “It’s a subtle design element, but one that adds a lot of character. In general, we avoided sharp corners, which ended up bringing a fluidity to the design and makes for an enveloping, womb-like space.”
Louisa amped up the atmosphere by repurposing an out-of-commission fireplace.
“The fireplace is not functional, but we didn’t want it to appear that way. Since it was built to be decorative, we embraced its decorative nature by adorning it with the ‘firewood,’” she shares.
Speaking of natural textures, the living room is loaded with layers of interest. Cream-colored linen and sand-toned sisal create a crisp background, while the addition of a slightly distressed patterned rug, linen and leather armchairs, and smooth wooden accents add to the visual depth and intimacy.
In the den, Louisa pushed the palette a little further. She used the client’s extensive library to inspire a more brightly hued reader’s hangout.
A multi-colored patterned rug, an inviting denim sofa, and statement artwork give the room a punch of personality (the needlepoint pooch pillow doesn’t hurt either). While architectural and polished furnishings like a curvaceous side table and a stately burled wood media cabinet balance the cozy vibes with an air of importance.
The bedrooms delve even deeper into textural territory. In the guest bedroom, floor-to-(almost)-ceiling drapery lends a luxurious sense of privacy. Materials like fur, lacquer, glass, and brass intermingle into a rich symphony that could invite you to stay in pajamas all day long. The creamy undertones are set off by shades of grey and black that make a statement, but keep the overall feel sophisticated and subtle.
In the master bedroom, Louisa laid the foundation for a variety of bohemian tones and textures with neutral basics. To balance the worldly-yet-restrained atmosphere, she paired smooth wood with glossy marble, tufted linen with woven drapes, crisp white sheets with luxe green velvet, and embossed shagreen with brass hardware.
“My clients wanted the bedrooms to be calm spaces, so we used muted colors in a monochromatic palette,” Louisa explains. “The non-bedroom spaces intentionally feature more adventurous pops of color since we didn’t want the entire space to be muted. Color works especially well in the rooms where people generally tend to host, hence the colorful living and dining rooms as conversation makers.”