It was during a trip to India that New York City designer Tina Ramchandani fell in love with interiors. She had traveled to Mumbai for a wedding and was staying at a beachside property with a gorgeous infinity pool surrounded by landscaped gardens. “I remember thinking, I want everyone to live in a place like this,” says Ramchandani, who recently opened her namesake firm. “That’s when I realized I had to work in the realm of design. Until then, I was one of those people who couldn’t quite figure out what to do professionally.”
After graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in the mid aughts, she was recruited by Frank & Marcotullio, a commercial interiors studio in Manhattan, and later by Vicente Wolf, the renowned decorator and furniture designer. Although Ramchandani discovered her career path in a lush setting halfway across the world, she began cultivating a style that is neither exuberant nor exotic. “I love traveling and often come back with interesting ideas, but I gravitate towards grays and neutrals and clean lines.”
One of her first solo projects—a one-bedroom bachelor pad in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood—shows her understated sensibility. The client, a finance professional in his early 30’s, wanted a masculine home where he could entertain effortlessly. With that in mind, Ramchandani created a layout that felt open and conducive to conversation. “Our goal was not to fill the space with furniture, but to make it versatile and allow it to breathe,” she explains.
To give the residence that level of adaptability, she installed several types of seating areas in the main living and dining room of the 900-square-foot apartment. On one side, a modern sectional sofa anchors the space; a custom-built dining banquette dominates the other, and several single chairs that can be easily rearranged to accommodate guests supplement both areas. Another party-ready feature: the resin-and-metal bar table, which rolls around the room delivering cocktails to order. With so many mobile elements, Ramchandani made the space cohesive by using an all-gray color scheme and opting for solid prints over patterns. The sober palette was brightened with plenty of white accents—including the dining table’s laminate top, three Eames-style molded plastic chairs, and several throw pillows—plus abundant natural light seeping through North-facing windows. “It’s an uplifting room, yet it manages to evoke masculinity,” the designer says.
To keep her relatively tight budget in check, she shopped at popular retail stores like West Elm and CB2 and deal sites like One Kings Lane, but she also splurged on key custom pieces to make the home look “more complete and one-of-a-kind.” In the living area, for example, she commissioned a spacious ottoman upholstered in a pebble-gray linen, as well as a dove-gray wool rug. Ramchandani’s flair for creating visually compelling interiors while exercising restraint is also seen in the bedroom, where she leaned large black-and-white artworks against the walls to add boldness without adding bulk. An ebony-wood bed adds a touch of warmth. “I’ve had other bachelor clients before, and it wasn’t easy to make the place feel bright and inviting,” she says. “This time we got really far.”