hen their children went off to college, one New Jersey couple didn't do what everyone thought they were going to do, which is flip out, turning bedrooms into gyms or crafting rooms or the like. Instead, they hopped across the river and purchased a one-bedroom pied-à-terre on New York City's leafy Upper West Side, where they could escape on weekends and design a home based solely on their needs. To get started, they turned to Homepolish—a service that connects style-conscious homeowners and renters with accessible interior design experts—and transformed what was a plain white box into a colorful expression of their new lifestyle.
"The owners love art and color but wanted the combination to look clean and modern," says Homepolish designer Matthew Cane, who created a poppy palette of primary hues that was inspired by the couple's extensive framed collection back home in New Jersey. "I knew I wanted the living and dining areas to be packed with color and an eclectic vibe, while leaving the bedroom to have a softer elegance with splashes of yellow, pink, and teal in an all-white monochromatic foundation." So he began mixing styles and textures, incorporating traditional pieces such as Jonathan Adler's classic Rider chair in the dining room with contemporary items like a tweed-upholstered sectional from Room & Board. A custom marble-and-brass tulip table elevates the arrangement. "I wanted to make sure they were as comfortable as possible within the space for reading, watching television, or dining without compromising the aesthetic," Cane says.
In the bedroom, a gray tufted headboard creates a neutral base for smaller pops of color and pattern that don't overwhelm the space. West Elm's mixed-media Patchwork nightstand lends a sense of patina and age to counter the apartment's more contemporary finishes, as does a stately potted ficus in a coordinating green pot. The small white table nearby is equal parts workstation and vanity, and is punctuated with a bright-yellow wire chair from Blu Dot. The combination feels serene yet personable, intimate yet approachable. "I wanted to make sure that it was a retreat from their suburban home, but that the apartment did still feel like their home," says Cane.
Ironically, the colorful outbursts throughout the home were a departure for Cane. "I'm not a huge fan of color—I don't even own color in my wardrobe," he says. "But I took a lot of risks and am so glad I did because pieces like the teal sectional and dining chairs are key players in the space." Naturally, his clients—and their children, who can be found perched on a pair of poufs by Jonathan Adler when they're home from school—agree. So much for being empty nesters.