The Fully Black and White Office Space That Defines Monochromatic Goals
Jewelry designer Eva Zuckerman’s NYC office is as edgy as her designs.
Published Nov 7, 2017 2:00 PM
Eva Zuckerman has made a name for herself as the designer behind edgy engagement ring and fine jewelry company Eva Fehren. And while her unconventional jewels are definitely showstopping, another aspect of her work is catching our eye: Zuckerman’s monochromatic studio space, which is a lesson in minimalist design that’s anything but boring.
“We moved into our studio three years ago, and it was important to us to move into a space that felt like it could shift and evolve with us,” says Zuckerman of her now-workspace. “It needed to be multifunctional, but it was also important to me that it felt beautiful and creative. It was an exciting challenge to determine how it should be laid out.”
Given that the space needed to act as her office, showroom, and artist studio all in one, this was no small challenge. After whitewashing the space to create a blank canvas, Zuckerman set about adding in black furniture and accent pieces for contrast, relying on finishing touches like sleek black chairs and monochromatic artwork to make the space punchy and striking.
“Our space is ever-evolving… I never think it will be complete. I get too much joy out of perfecting it to say that it’s finished,” adds Zuckerman.
Zuckerman also uses the space to showcase some of her other projects. Not limited to jewelry, she’s responsible for several of the paintings, pillows, and even furniture (the coffee table, marble table, and small side table are all Eva originals) in the studio.
Want to learn more about how she created the perfect mix of personal and professional in her office? We spoke to the designer to get the story on everything that went into building the space.
What was your inspiration going into the design?
“I have always wanted to work in a white, tranquil space with graphic, black, tough, minimal pieces in it. I want people to feel inspired, calm, and focused when they walk in—not only clients, but also my employees and myself.”
“My goal was to make it feel stark without feeling cold. It was important to me that it felt extremely curated and quite graphic so that each choice we made seemed highly purposeful; for me, that meant eliminating clutter and color and focusing on texture that felt rich, but restrained. It’s not easy to slow things down and get people to focus on a detail that is one millimeter large, and I wanted to create an environment that lent itself to appreciating tiny, precious details.”
What made you choose a monochromatic color palette?
“Black and white makes me feel calm. Life is messy enough; I like to pare things down in order to simplify things for myself.”
How would you describe the finished look of the studio?
“I would say my studio is monochromatic, minimal, and graphic with lots of contrasting black and white. It is accented with textured, grittier elements, such as my paintings and textiles. I wanted it to feel minimal while still remaining a creative space.”
In this image: Fernando Mastrangelo White Cement and Silica Console, $25,000
Were there any challenges with creating a space that functions as an office, a showroom, and an artist studio all at once?
“It was really important to me that it feel open and airy. In the beginning we grappled with how to lay it out so that it had a nice flow and felt open, but could still be multifunctional. We chose to close off my studio so that when I am painting, the chaos could be contained, but incorporated a sliding door so that people could feel connected to the process in the studio when it felt right. We created floating walls that divide the other part of the space. We have high ceilings, and the floating wall creates a helpful barrier when we have people in for appointments; we covered the other side of [it] with a huge bulletin board so that everyone can feel connected to the work that we are doing, and the creative process can be more democratic.”
Are there any pieces that worked especially well when creating a multifunctional space?
“One of the things I am proudest of is the large lilac marble and blackened steel conference table that I designed. I am incredibly inspired by architectural details; my signature [jewelry] shape is an X, and I loved the idea of a modular, versatile piece of furniture that could be combined to create a grand, large scale piece, but could be pulled apart to work in different ways.
“I found a huge, gorgeous piece of lilac marble, which strikes the perfect balance of being edgy and cool, and remains classic. We divided it into four tables that, when combined, create a repeating X pattern. We have rearranged those tables in so many ways and it’s the perfect, flexible piece of furniture for us.”
When creating for your own business, where do you look for inspiration?
“I am incredibly inspired by my native New York and the architectural details I find here. I look to urban patterns such as the crisscrossing of power lines or cracks in the sidewalk or the zig zag of metal on a grill. I rarely seek out inspiration or use literal references… the great thing about working and living in such a dynamic city is that inspiration finds you.”
How would you define your personal design aesthetic? Is that reflected in the studio space?
“Feminine, graphic, architectural, and always a little tough; I think it translates into my jewelry, my paintings, and my space.”
How does your art practice inform your work?
“I always say that my painting and my jewelry are two sides of the same coin of who I am. They do not necessarily mirror each other: My paintings are gestural and instinctual, and my jewelry is precise, minimal, and architectural. They’re both graphic and monochromatic, and they evolve side by side. I would not be able to do one without the other.”
Can you tell us a little about the custom pieces in your studio? What’s the story behind them and how did you incorporate them?
“All of the custom pieces I created are meant to seamlessly integrate into the space and be multifunctional. My latest creations are the warrior mirror and two side tables. Designing furniture feels like a natural extension of jewelry, and it is something I plan on continuing to grow.
Do you have a favorite part of the finished space?
“Definitely my painting studio… I love making a mess in there and getting my hands dirty.”
Shop Eva’s designs at evafehren.com.