Blending old and new evokes “home” for a young New York couple. Layered natural textures enliven the neutral color scheme and bring the outdoors in.
For Lorraine Gordon, lead interior designer at Safavieh’s Broadway flagship store in Manhattan, capturing the feeling of “home” has rarely been as important as it was for this Tribeca project.
The design was for the daughter of Gordon’s very first client. “When I was just starting out,” says Gordon, “her mother was the first person to trust me to design for her. That meant a lot. Over the years, we worked on several projects together, and I’ve designed
previous apartments for her daughter as well.” A high-school student when they first met, the daughter is now an attorney, married and working in New York. Her Tribeca home is just under 2,000 square feet, with two bedrooms and the gift of 14-foot ceilings. Oversized windows in the living area and master bedroom let in masses of light.
“The bare apartment had such beautiful bones,” says Gordon. “The gorgeous brick wall, the reclaimed wood floors, the multicolored wood kitchen. We just wanted it to be comfy and cohesive, so we chose a neutral color scheme.”
To balance the home’s neutral palette, Gordon added layers of texture “to make everything tell its own story.” The sofa is linen and scattered with cozy throws. Pillows are made from Tibetan lamb’s wool and rabbit hair. The bedroom’s wallpaper is sisal; the library’s metallic. “Texture makes things more interesting,” notes
Gordon. “It breaks up neutrals and gives a cohesive feel without any one thing sticking out too much.”
The great room features two pieces of custom furniture, both oversized and both of carved wood. “Every - thing shrinks in a home with such high ceilings,” says Gordon, “so it was important that pieces be large in scale. And my client loves real, carved wood.” The duo selected the largest top they could find for the live-edge dining table, made of Mexican guanacaste with gilded wood legs. On the opposite side of the great room, the 105-inch custom sideboard lends overall balance to the space, and its gilded wood base connects it to the dining table.
Like those two pieces, all of the furniture was chosen specifically for the space. But a few items carry special meaning for client and designer alike. The brown leather chairs that flank the sideboard and the Turkish Sivas rug are from the home of the client’s parents—the source of Gordon’s first project as an interior designer. In fact, Gordon selected those pieces 15 years ago. The third item that carries special connotations of home for the client is the hand-carved wooden screen from India, which belonged to her grandfather’s brother.
“My client is of Indian heritage and her husband is Jewish,” says Gordon. “So they come from different traditions and cultural backgrounds. But they balance each other so well. Part of my job is to keep their home balanced in the same way—to give them both what they like and make it feel like home.”
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