Comfort should never come at the expense of style, as designer Jesse Turek proves with a handsome, functional space in Long Island City.
Photos by Sean Litchfield
Some people have an almost clairvoyant-like sense of what their home will look like before they even dive into the design process—they know exactly where they’ll place their credenza and which style of drapes will shroud their windows. And some people don’t have a clue which direction their home transformation will take, and that’s often when some of the best design moments emerge.
Such was the case when designer’s client called upon him to establish an aesthetic for his one-bedroom apartment in Long Island City.
“My client really wanted me to run with the design and create something that was a reflection of his personality,” Jesse recalls. “As I presented different pieces to him, his style surfaced and essentially it would be defined as transitional and comfortable with pops of color.”
But before Jesse focused on catering to his client’s newly defined taste, he took advantage of the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a trifecta of sites: the Manhattan skyline, Long Island City, and the East River.
“I created the floor plan so that my client can enjoy these views,” Jesse says. “This allowed the space to look larger and expand to the exterior onto the balcony.”
With the floor plan solidified, Jesse focused on creating a comfortable, effortless pad where his client can fully soak in the views. He learned that his client gravitates towards grey and neutral tones, so he sourced key pieces—like an area rug, sofa and drapes—with this color scheme in mind. And because comfort was so important to Jesse’s client, he also made sure these pieces appeal as much to touch as they do to his style.
To add warmth to the living room, he selected walnut wood furnishings, as well as brass pieces, like a side table and coffee table. At the request of his client, he also side stepped too much pattern, adding visual appeal through materials and textures, like velvet, leather, and linen. He also commissioned his client’s friend, Scott Allen Roberts, to create a multi-colored, abstract painting for one of the kitchen walls.
“When we hung it, I loved how it helped to bring the space alive with the vivid colors, so I finished off the space with more of these colors in the pillows, and throws and some accessories to bring balance,” Jesse says.
Jesse and his client also commissioned the artist to create a piece of art for the bedroom. But instead of featuring bright, punchy colors, this piece evokes a moodier vibe. To offset this darker tone, Jesse brought in large, sculptural gold lamps that pop against the dramatic blue drapery and walnut nightstands.
On one of those nightstands, Jesse also insisted they include a model of teeth—a nod to his client’s profession.
“I was persistent that we display them somewhere since it represents one of his passions and his career in dentistry,” Jesse explains. “The simplest things can really change the mood of a room.”
Proof that even in an ultra-comfortable space, it’s okay to make choices that feel a little uncomfortable at first.
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