Designer Amy Courtney was persuaded by all things feminine when she designed this bold, sculptural Hell's Kitchen space.
Photos by Genevieve Garruppo.
When you’re the owner of an empowering fashion line like Leota, your apartment needs to have a real perspective. Leave it to Homepolish designer Amy Courtney to channel Sarah Carson’s feminist bona fides into a sculptural, and surprisingly approachable Hell’s Kitchen haven.
“Being the owner of a strong feminist fashion line, Sarah wanted an über femme space with an edgy twist,” Amy explains.
Maybe “twists” is a better word. Surreal touches abound—shapely furnishings, a wild color palette, silky textures, and, oh, a bronze peacock sculpture named Bartholomew.
“I have always been obsessed with including one of Sergio Bustamante’s sculptures in my work but couldn’t find the right client to understand it. I remember apprehensively showing this to Sarah by sending a lonely link in an email with a note trying to explain how fabulous this piece is, who the artist is, and where the peacock might live (which was simply: anywhere it feels right that day),” Amy explains. “She immediately responded ‘YES’, and that’s when I knew we were soul sisters.”
Being “soul sisters” makes designing a space like this a little easier. With the two on the same wavelength, it was easy to choose courageous pieces and trust everything would live in happy harmony.
“A lot of the inspiration came from Sarah’s love for feminism; its colors, shapes, and wonders,” Amy explains. “She wanted a retreat in the sky, with unique pieces to make her smile.”
Leota is a women’s clothing company founded on the principles of empowerment, femininity, and optimism, and that ethos runs through Sarah’s home. The boho glam space features a host of bold accents, but each is balanced with enough lightness to keep the effect from feeling overwhelming.
“The space itself offers sweeping views of NYC and has a ton of light,” Amy explains. “The floors are white oak, stained a beautiful light gray and the walls were kept plain white to give the space a gallery-like feel.”
The architectural backdrop is perfect for off-the-wall art. The aforementioned peacock isn’t alone: he shares the space with a full-figured bust, a hat feather display, an oversized Lucite hand, a bird-leg table, and a bulbous geometric stone dining table.
“While I’ve used tons of sculptures in my own home and smaller scaled pieces in other designs, I hadn’t been handed the opportunity with something of this proportion,” Amy explains. “Sarah wanted a lot of really cool objects, so this was a fun task.”
While the space might seem like an exercise in out there maximalism, any designer knows that the secret to achieving a bold look is picking pieces that don’t need to stand alone. Amy made sure to find the threads that connected each and every accent.
“Though there are several bold pieces throughout the space, they were carefully selected because of their harmonizing features,” Amy explains. “If you look at the furniture pieces and most of the objects on a stand-alone basis, they are neutral in terms of color palate though they certainly have curious and striking characteristics. That neutrality helps balance the environment.”
In the bedroom, that meant finding the pieces with just the right chemistry.
“A lot of the moment in the space had to be carefully paired,” Amy explained. “They’re all extremely bold and textural, and needed a beta counterpart to work, much like love and relationships. The Atelier Delalain nightstands and Entler lamp have very different qualities—the lamp is glossy and solid in color, where the nightstand has more of a matte finish with hints of natural wood coming through.”
The combo is worth waking up to: the nightstand were custom designed and entirely handmade by Emmanuel Delalain of Atelier Delalain, while the pink ceramic bedside table lamp serves both as a source of light and another sculptural accent.
“I love its anthropomorphic expression and it’s nod to Mid-Century Design,” Amy explains.
Amy’s desire for balance and good chemistry could extend to her partnership with Sarah as well. The soul sisters simpatico style lead to a match made in design heaven.
Amy’s desire for balance and good chemistry could extend to her partnership with Sarah as well. The soul sisters’ simpatico style lead to a match made in design heaven.
“My personal style is pretty eclectic, I love interesting pieces and I think everything should have a story,” Amy explains. “At the same time, I balance the funky pieces by making sure they are refined and timeless. During the design process, I encouraged Sarah to take risks by incorporating a lot of unique objets but ensured her that the space would be a balanced living space and not museum-like.”
The result is certainly not museum-like—at least not any museum we’ve ever been to.
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