Since its founding in 2009, New York outfit Home Studios has crafted some of the metropolis’ most enticing and atmospheric eateries. There’s the richly detailed Elsa in Brooklyn and the decade-old watering hole Goat Town, defined by its shimmering vaulted ceiling, to name a few interiors that exemplify the practice’s deft combination of deco and moderne with contemporary restraint. It was these intimate rooms that inspired a pair of design-minded clients to commission the firm — lead by ex-editor Oliver Haslegrave — to helm what would become their inaugural residential project in the city.
The studio’s first task was to strip the 185-square-metre unit within a historic 1925 structure in Manhattan’s NoHo neighbourhood to its bones, including wiping away a now 40-year-old renovation done in the 1980s. By the time they were finished, all that remained was a section of the original maple floors.
With the new open floor plan — illuminated by street-facing, full-height windows — Haselgrave and his team built-up a three-bedroom, two-bath home that “celebrates a clean and cohesive design language,” according to the studio. Taking cues from Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, the completed residence is replete with subtle flair and elegant material combinations that gracefully knit the space together.
Alongside curating a host of vintage furnishings, Home Studios also fitted the renovation with a number of custom pieces. In the living room, a “site-specific” rotund oak, steel and copper console dubbed Vesper provides a focal point next to furnishings by local trio Egg Collective and Sabine Marcelis.
The nearby dining room also sees a solid walnut table by another hometown studio — Fort Standard — join the firm’s custom blown glass and chromed steel Swing Pendant.
Throughout the space, a subtle radius edge is a defining motif – accenting many of the furnishings as well as the home’s eclectic features. Two rounded walls with bowed glass windows frame the corridor leading from the kitchen, which functions to separate public and private spaces. This division is further emphasized by a custom pocket door that allows the family to close off their sleeping quarters entirely.
Here, a travertine-clad alcove divides the children’s bedroom from the master, its contoured edges accompanying additional Home Studio-designed pieces including a walnut, rattan and stone bed recalling Marcel Breuer’s woven Cesca chairs. The walls, too, feature the same rolled language, echoing the overall softened quality of the residence.
In the washroom, a darting ceramic datum with arched edges wraps the entire space. This gesture complements the profile of the rotund custom copper mirror and inset sitting nook, among other handsome features in the spartan loo. Similar details define the master ensuite, where a collage-like scheme of a custom concrete finish, handmade mosaic tile and Arabescato Classico marble with slim metal elements add a refined sense of rhythm to the otherwise pared-back space. Even the apartment’s many doors and Farrow & Ball-coated kitchen cabinets boast custom pulls with sinuous edges.
There’s no storage of charming surprises peppered throughout the seemingly simple renovation. From slender oak segments along the floorboards and doorframes to the chorus of curving elements — coves, ceiling features and more — and the unifying tiles lining much of the space, the design rigorously committed to its streamlined language yet playful in its overall approach. “The final product is a near-ideal extension of [our] values,” the studio concludes, “a place that offers its residents something truly unique.”
Riffing on the work of Alvar Aalto, the Brooklyn-based practice crafts a charming abode “that offers its residents something truly unique.”