By New York City real estate standards, a 676-square-foot Bed-Stuy apartment was the holy grail for Erin McGuire, senior merchandising manager at Prada. “I loved the fact that it was a corner unit and how bright the space felt,” she remembers from visiting the one bedroom for the first time. “It had a sense of warmth and lightness I did not feel in other apartments.” There was just one minor caveat: no obvious space to put the TV.
Having a single wall not occupied by floor-to-ceiling windows meant that the sofa would have to awkwardly float in the middle of the room, which left McGuire stumped—so she called on Charlotte Sylvain of Studio Fauve for help. “Making TVs the focal point of a room always breaks my heart, and this room had just one wall available for artwork,” explains the designer. Thankfully, she had the perfect solution: a floating dining banquette-meets-media console with a remote-controlled lift that conceals or reveals the flat screen at the touch of a button.
Sure, there are more budget-friendly fixes out there, but McGuire quickly realized that in a small space that requires paring back to only a few pieces of furniture, this splurge was well worth it. “She wanted her apartment to be cozy enough to sit on the couch and watch a movie but at the same time be functional and sophisticated so she could entertain,” says Fauve. With her clever idea in mind, she sketched a few prototypes and went to her most trusted millworker.
The result was a fluted piece with a banquette on one side and a mix of open and closed storage on the other. In the middle, an automated mechanical lift raises the screen on demand. “The opening for the top of the TV was a challenge because we wanted to make it look seamless,” says Fauve. With Woodmatters Brooklyn, they designed a concealed hinge detail that opens and closes automatically when the lift is activated and retracted.
The designer finished off the space with slim furniture that wouldn’t overcrowd the space but functions well for dinner parties and Netflix nights alike. “It ended up being the perfect solution,” says McGuire. “When I’m entertaining friends, the banquette is cozy and the perfect amount of space.”
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