It wasn’t the vaulted ceilings or open-plan living room that interior designer Sandra Weingort remembers most about her initial visit to the West Village, New York, apartment she was asked to renovate by her clients. Perched near the top of a restored 12-story, 19th-century building, she was instead struck by the remarkably cold and uninviting lighting that swept over the 3,200-square-foot space.
“I first walked in and fell in love with the feeling, the scale, and the proportions,” says Weingort. “However, the apartment was quite dark and heavy in the way it was painted and finished, and the lighting was very cold and grim,” she says. So Weingort and her team—including Rockhill Construction—embarked on a year-long gut renovation that included overhauling finishes and fixtures and redesigning the apartment’s awkward detailing.
Hanging decorative fixtures felt inconsistent and overpowering, as they competed with each other, so Weingort had the concrete beams lowered to allow more flexibility in lighting placement. That required having the curves in the vaults reworked by hand to maintain its continuous and genuine aesthetic.
The layout of the space also didn’t lend itself to symmetry. “The angles of the cuts of the apartment were busy and not symmetrical,” says Weingort. So she created balance by installing a curated collection of custom pieces with softer curves, such as the large oval table in the dining room. Created by Casey Johnson and Weingort, it helps blunt the unevenness of the room while not suppressing its richly textured interiors.
The apartment’s downtown industrial views informed its interior color palette and material selections. Rust colors in the living room mimic the terra-cotta brick buildings that hover just outside the window. These pieces include the Pierre Frey fabric on the rust-colored lounge chair and ottoman from Studio Giancarlo Valle, the terra-cotta sconces by Courtney Applebaum, and the Quatre Saisons marble on the custom coffee table.
Interior accents in the guest room include a vintage stool and a side table by Chris Lehrecke. The prominent black building façades on view from the primary bedroom informed the selection of furniture, such as the vintage black metal chairs, the Axel Vervoordt slate coffee table, and the highly patinated vintage floor lamp by Ostuni & Forti.
“I really love the DNA of the neighborhood,” adds Weingort, who says her goal was to balance an artful sense of color with texture. “I felt it was very important for that to be the dialogue on the inside, and the clients loved the idea.”
Those clients—a West Coast couple who use the place as a pied-à-terre—are avid collectors of contemporary art, and that passion plays out through colorful canvases that dot virtually every corner of the three-bedroom apartment. (Cardiff Dugan Loy served as art advisor on the project.) Works by German painter Andre Butzer, Colombian artist Oscar Murillo, and French conceptual artist Bernar Venet help augment a pared-down design language of natural materials that underscore how the clients wanted to live and function in their New York home.
“They really wanted the apartment to feel very livable, but also inspired by beautifully integrated things,” adds Weingort. “So it was important to make sure nothing felt too precious or too intimidating, but instead feels very calm and relaxed so that you can truly enjoy it.”