How Jonathan Adler Designed the Ultimate Luxurious NYC Oasis
Playful pops of color and pattern give the home a welcoming feel.
Published Dec 26, 2017 2:30 PM
While designing a model home for a chic new apartment building named 555TEN in the heart of New York City, Jonathan Adler had the luxury of a blank canvas on his hands. “It was a white box—the perfect starting point for color, pattern, and texture,” the potter, author, and designer tells Domino. Without having to work with specific clients in mind, Adler had free rein to explore the three-bedroom, three-bathroom space, and work with the features of the home to create a glamorous oasis in the center of the city.
Evoking the theme of “Modern American Glamour,” the home makes full use of the high ceilings and tons of natural light allowed through the modern windows. The living room, for instance, allows the windows to complement the mix of tailored furniture, filled with unique designs and modern accents.
The Barcelona lamps and modern light fixtures give a sense of sophistication to the space, while the plush velvet sofas and abstract art add a playful touch. Some wild accessories, like a malachite pyramid and grand easel, further up that cheerful vibe, in order to make the space seem both warm and welcoming.
“The apartment is on a high floor—it’s like being in the clouds,” explains Adler. “I wanted the apartment to be serene and calm; the perfect retreat from the endless energy of New York City. The cool color palette and squishy furniture are comfortable, and the layered accessories—which add just the right dash of eccentricity—make this a glamorous cloud in the sky for a young, urban family.”
This desire is seen most clearly in the master bedroom, where soft, pale colors make a bold appearance, accented by textured throw pillows and brass lighting. The wallpaper—although in a tamer hue—makes a splash thanks to its delicate detail, which gives the space a serene feel.
The cozy chair and settee, as well as the pop of pink from the art, further encapsulate that play on color, while some grand elements (peep the textured tile credenza and fuzzy Mongolian bench) scream modern luxury. “[The look was] serene, calm, layered—and glamorous, glamorous, glamorous,” says Adler.
While the home juxtaposes sleeker pieces with more light-hearted ones in a way that exudes warmth and character, nothing plays with textures and patterns as much as the children’s room. Featuring a canvas of white with a navy pattern on the wallpaper, the unique artwork and zebra printed rug provide a ton of personality without overwhelming the space—not to mention, the bunk beds juxtapose their yellow trim perfectly with lighter, paler bedding.
For Adler, that’s the trick to playing with patterns—“Start with pillows, rugs, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, wallpaper,” he says. “Once you start, you won’t look back.” And of course, because the patterns (mostly) fall in the same color family, it makes the odd additional color command even more attention.
Case in point? The bold blue hues and brass mirror stealing the limelight in the entryway.
The dining area seems almost pale in comparison, but it allows the emphasis to be on the sweeping views the apartment is known for. As Adler’s main priority was showcasing the towering windows, the white dining area served as the ultimate sanctuary. “The furniture is low and sleek to keep the view out the windows uninterrupted,” he explains.
Yet, the copper lighting, brass accents, and well-stocked bar cart further add some joy to the space. The seating area boasts rattan textures, and the animal-shaped fruit bowl stands out, despite being the same color as the countertops. The bar further plays with animals, thanks to the giraffe print, while the malachite ice buckets and sleek design of the bar cart tie it to the calculated patterns in the master bedroom.
The den, however, is where the designer really let loose—a wonderful mix of interesting textures, cozy prints, patterned carpeting, and modern lighting gives a cool, fun vibe that still provides a sense of relaxation. The secret? The browns.
“I used brown in the den to make it cozy and intimate,” explains Adler. And it works: Despite the amalgamation of themes, the cohesiveness of the room is still very much present. Some of our favorite pieces include the funky pillows, sleek cocktail table with unique brass legs, and attention-grabbing rug.
However, Adler made sure that in order to keep the home an inviting space, he never forget how important it was to fill it with pieces that had both form and function. “Good design isn’t good design if it doesn’t work. You can put your feet on the sofa, set a drink down on the table. This isn’t a show house—it’s supposed to be where you can actually live,” he says.
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