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Kips Bay Charmer

Designed for relaxed living, this apartment has touches of glamour that also make it perfect for entertaining.

For anyone decorating a compact city apartment, making the most of space is always a prime consideration. That was true for a young couple in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, and they upped the ante for Safavieh decorator Lorraine Gordon. “The foyer and living room would be the couple’s everyday space for hanging out, so it needed to be relaxed and low maintenance,” says Gordon. “At the same time, they wanted a glamorous and sophisticated vibe.”

This simple and glamorous foyer evokes various cultural references. The Art Deco dressing room of a 1930s starlet? Check. A side chapel in a Baroque cathedral? Yes. A jewelry counter at Tiffany? No doubt. The space delights its owners every time they walk through the front door.

In addition, the female half of the couple, an art director in the advertising business, wanted her art collection to be an integral part of the design. Gordon’s solution was to harmonize the neutral color palette of the rug, fabrics and walls with the existing artwork, producing an overall sense of calm, while highlighting the art with dramatic lighting. Sectional seating helps maximize the use of space.

Harmony In Neutrals: Other than the floor, wood finishes were kept to a minimum in this apartment, where chrome, glass, stone and tonal fabrics lend a warm, contemporary aura. As the owner requested, her artwork plays a starring role; the paintings set the color palette for the whole project.

The foyer is reminiscent of old Hollywood, with lustrous metallic tones and paint finishes. Here the palette ties to the living room, and the details—especially the attention-grabbing sunburst mirror—immediately set a mood of elegance when one walks through the front door.

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